Cat health checks: the importance of routine check-ups for your cat
Your cat may be pretty independent, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to plan for her health and wellbeing. As well as getting into a regular routine when it comes to pest prevention (you treat her for worms and fleas each month, right?) it’s important to get her checked out by your vet every once in a while – and at least annually – to keep her up to date with her booster injections and general healthcare.
Think of the annual check-up as a health MOT for your cat, and a chance for a hands-on examination by your vet to nip any developing health issues in the bud.
- Their lungs, using a stethoscope
- Their heart, to detect any heart murmur or irregular heartbeat
- Their stomach, for swelling, pain or abnormalities
- Their weight
- Their temperature
- Their ears and eyes
- Their teeth, for a good clean, if necessary
- Their and skin, for dryness, sores, fleas or ticks
- Their joints, for normal movement
- Their genitals, for discharge or abnormalities
Your vet may also suggest blood or urine tests, or scans and X-rays if he or she believes it’s important to look at any aspect of your cat’s health in more detail.
Most vets believe the protective benefits of cat vaccination far outweigh any risks involved. If you’re planning a holiday and want to leave your cat in a cattery, they will insist that your cat is up-to-date with her annual booster injections for cat flu (feline influenza), feline enteritis, and feline leukaemia (additionally in some cases feline chlamydophila may be required). Your vet can give your cat her annual injections at the check-up, provided you mention this when you book the appointment.
Finally, your cat’s annual check-up is your chance to ask your vet any burning questions about your cat’s diet, behaviour, toilet training and general health (though, of course, you can call them for advice any time you have a question or concern.)
Want help and advice on your cat’s health and wellbeing?
For expert advice on all aspects of cat care, get in touch with your local vet. To find your nearest recommended vet or pet clinic, use our Find a Vet page.