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National Pet Wellness Month: Focus on cats

National Pet Wellness Month—an annual awareness-raising campaign sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and Fort Dodge Animal Health—is observed in October. In the first blog, we focused on dog health. Here we will discuss cats and the value of semi-annual wellness vet visits in detecting and treating common health problems.

The Importance of Twice-Yearly Wellness Exams for Cats

As cats age, their risk for some common health problems increases. The seven most common health issues seen in aging cats are chronic kidney disease, heart disease, feline diabetes, thyroid disease, dental problems, arthritis, and cancer. And because cats have a far shorter life cycle than humans, these problems can crop up quickly, and often silently. Twice-yearly vet exams can help detect the sometimes-subtle changes in your cat’s health that occur early in the disease process. And by catching diseases early, you can save your kitty the ordeal of complex and protracted treatments, and save your budget from unexpected vet bills.

Editor’s Note: As a new cat owner, you may be unaware of what to expect at your pup’s first wellness exam. Here are tips for taking your cat to the vet.

How you can Improve your Cat's Health?

During National Pert Wellness Month, vets across the nation will be sharing educational materials with their clients. Check with your vet on materials they can share regarding canine health.

Here are a few things you can do:

  • Keep records of your cat’s health, including all vaccinations and procedures.
  • Note any subtle changes in your cat’s weight, appetite, energy level, mobility, litter pan use, hearing, vision, and dental health.
  • Stay current on all vaccines and boosters as recommended by your vet.
  • Check your cat’s fur and ears for parasites such as fleas, ticks, and mites—a common problem in outdoor cats.
  • Check skin for “hot spots” or signs of over- or under-grooming.
  • If your cat is accustomed to being handled, you can check for any palpable lumps or masses in the abdomen.
  • Check your cat’s teeth and gums for obvious signs of dental issues including decay, disease, or sensitivity.
  • If it’s been more than 6 months since your cat’s last wellness visit, make an appointment with your vet.

Consider Cat Health Insurance

Maintaining our cats’ heath is important to all of us. But in a health crisis, veterinary bills can mount up quickly, testing our ability to cope with the sudden added expense. Enrolling in affordable cat healthcare coverage can help lighten the financial burden and provide some peace of mind when working with the vet to plan a course of treatment.

We hope these tips will help you and your cat enjoy many more happy and healthy days together!


Cecily Kellogg is a pet lover who definitely has crazy cat lady leanings. Her pets are all shelter rescues, including the dog, who is scared of the cats. She spent eight years working as a Veterinary Technician before becoming a writer. Today she writes all over the web, including here at Figo.

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