If this question has ever crossed your mind, then you are not alone. It seems obvious, my cat stays inside all day every day, so why do they need to come in for vaccines? The short answer is because disease-causing organisms can live anywhere. Protecting the health and wellness of your feline companion is what we strive for as Veterinary purr-sonel.
So, what’s the purpose of a physical exam? Just like us, cats should get a yearly checkup with a doctor to ensure ongoing good health. Your Veterinarian will provide a nose to tail exam including listening to the heart and lungs, checking hydration status, and looking for weight loss or gain which can be indicators of illness. In addition, checkups help to catch and prevent diseases in their early stages when they are most manageable. Cats’ are extremely skilled in hiding their illnesses. Many times, when it becomes obvious to us humans that our cat isn’t feeling well, they have been sick for a good while. Silly, sneaky meows.
The term vaccine has come to be a scary word for many people. For our feline friends though, these can truly be lifesaving! Many people are surprised to learn that the rabies vaccine is required by law in most states, including Pennsylvania. This is because rabies is not only a deadly disease with no cure but can be passed onto humans through a bite wound. Through strict vaccination programs here in the United States we are fortunate that rabies incidences continue to decline (CDC). Even strictly indoor only kitties can be exposed. Have you ever had a mouse, bat, racoon, or other small creature somehow find its way into your house? That’s right, these critters can pass onto rabies your pets. In 2017 racoons represented the largest number (50.7%) of positive rabies cases in Pennsylvania (PA Department of Health). In addition, if your feline ever ventures outside, even supervised by their humans, they run the risk of being exposed. Keeping your pet up to date on their rabies vaccine can protect them and you from this deadly disease.
In the end it all boils down to the simple fact that regular checkups keep animals (and humans) healthier, happier, and living longer. A yearly physical is a simple and effective way to catch problems early and help prevent illness. Vaccines play a huge role in keeping kitties safe from many diseases, including rabies. For more information or if you have questions please call our office and we can help you understand the best options for your pet. Getting your feline to the Vet may be a hassle, but worth it so your companion can live all nine lives to the fullest.
“Pennsylvania Animal Rabies 2017 Report.” Pennsylvania Department of Health, Apr. 2018, www.health.pa.gov/topics/Documents/Programs/Rabies/Annual%20Animal%20Rabies%20Report%202017.pdf.
“Rabies.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 Apr. 2011, www.cdc.gov/rabies/prevention/animals.html.