My cat seems
healthy—why take him to the vet?
Cats are masters at hiding physical problems. This
served them well in the wild, but it means we have to be
extra diligent to see the subtle early warning signs
|Changes in appetite or drinking
||Vomiting more than once a month
|Changes in bathroom habits
- Stops using litter box
Your veterinarian is specially trained to detect
early physical changes in your cat and to recognize
early warning signs in your cat’s history.
It also gives the veterinarian an opportunity to
discuss any behavioral problems you are having. With
undesirable behaviors such as scratching, aggression, or
not using the litter box it is crucial to address them
as soon as they arise. Long standing problems are much
harder to fix.
Preventive care can ward off many diseases, make your
life easier, and even saves you money!
Benefits of a Veterinary
Veterinarians are trained to assess your cat’s health
with a thorough physical exam. They evaluate multiple
body systems including:
|Heart & vessels
Some of the more common abnormalities found include:
||Lumps and bumps
||Weight management issues
In most cases, owners are not aware of the
abnormalities found by the doctor after a physical exam.
Problems are easier to
address if detected early
- Many initial stage abnormalities are easily
treated with simple steps such as diet change, a
flavored medication, or a supplement.
- Initiating therapy in early stages saves you
money. For example:
- Dental procedure that only requires cleaning
of tartar is approximately $300.
- Dental procedure that requires cleaning plus
extraction of teeth from advanced periodontal
disease averages around $800.
- Or even better—a good dental homecare
regimen can negate the need for a dental
- Early detection also extends the lifespan of
- They experience better quality of life when they
are not suffering silently.
Routine Care Needed
- Physical exam every 6 months
- Fecal exam or de-worming at least once a year.
- This keeps your cat healthy.
- This keeps your family safe. Intestinal
parasites such as roundworms can easily be
transmitted from a cat to a person.
- Monthly application of effective flea and tick
control year round.
- Not only are these parasites annoying, they
carry potentially fatal diseases.
- Monthly application of heartworm prevention year
- There is no treatment for heartworms in
- Regular dental home care.
- Periodontal disease is painful and spreads
infection throughout their body.
- Wellness blood work to establish baseline values
and enable early detection of disease.
- Appropriate vaccines for your cat’s lifestyle.
- Our vaccines for cats are “non-adjuvanted”
for increased safety for your pet. Numerous
veterinary groups and Internal Medicine
Veterinarians agree these are less likely to
cause a variety of adverse side effects, some of
which can be very serious. To learn more, we
this article from Veterinary Partner.
Indoor Only Cats
It’s a myth that indoor only cats don’t need the same
routine veterinary care. For example:
- Studies have shown that 25% of cats diagnosed
with roundworms or heartworms were indoor only cats.
- People track fleas home to their pets from
infested areas that they have visited.
- Dental disease strikes all cats regardless of
lifestyle. In fact, over 80% of cats over 3 years
old have dental disease.
What does Four Paws
do to put my cat at ease during his visit?
- Separate waiting area for cats.
- Stress-relieving pheromones in the exam room.
- Positive rewards such as treats during vaccine
administration means many cats are not aware that
the shot was given at all!
- Use of towels for restraint rather than
scruffing whenever possible.
- Performing as much of exam as possible in a more
comfortable location such as the bottom of their
- Allowing your cat time to adjust to their
- Blood collection techniques that minimize
- “Hiding spots” provided for all hospitalized
patients make cats feel more secure.
- Separate room for boarding cats away from
sights, smells, and sounds of dogs.
What can I do to make the
visit less stressful?
- Use of pheromones such as Feliway 30 minutes
prior to the trip will help calm your cat. We have
single use wipes to apply inside your carrier prior
to your visit.
- Leave your cat’s carrier out all the time, and
make it a comfortable place to take naps or eat
- Always use some kind of enclosed container such
as a carrier when transporting in the car. Many cats
prefer to have the carrier be covered with a towel.
- Take short car trips with your cat on other
occasions so they become used to the car ride
- View the video “Cats
& Carriers”, which shows the best way to
transport your cat to the veterinarian.