Ever since she was a kitty, Ms. Meowly has been an indoor cat. And believe it or not, I I’d never taken her to the vet. Her vet is Dr. Picatso (true story, fake name …)
My mom wondered if there were real risks of not taking her to the vet. “Honestly, I don’t see why a pet who doesn’t interact with other animals and never gets out of the house needs to get vaccines…” she used to say. Well, the truth is, as soon as we found Dr. Picatso, he explained things to us wonderfully. He immediately told me what to do and, as always, he was very helpful.
“It’s a common doubt people have, but your mother is not right. Come and visit me, and I will give you a booklet that has all the information you’ll need to make an informed decision.” That was it! This is how vets do it (mine does this, at least): show us the hows and whys, explains the risks and gives us the information that helps us make the right choices.
Next day I visited him in the morning, and grabbed a copy of that booklet he mentioned. It was entitled: “4 Reasons You Should Get Your Cat Vaccinated”. The girl at the front desk was helpful too, asking how old my cat was and letting me know how much money I could expect to spend on routine things like vaccines and dewormings. I would have to put these expenses on my budget, but that is part of being a responsible pet owner! I rode home on the bus, highlighting all the interesting details in the book with my pen. Let’s see:
- Fleas. Fleas are often transmitted from pet to pet. A flea-infested cat spreads the pesky things to any cat that comes around. It can happen, however, that fleas find their way into your home, even if you never come in contact with another animal. Turns out they could be anywhere. Even on my bus seat, clinging to my coat, then literally jumping onto my cat. Oh, no! I had to shake off the awfulness of that thought.
- Heartworm. This disease is spread by mosquitoes, and as you know, they are very well capable of making their way indoors. Even if your pet is not going outside, preventive actions like deworming and insect repellents could avoid this type of problem.
- Vaccine booster shots. Kitten shots are important, most importantly the FVRCP (feline distemper vaccine). There are two other common vaccines, one is for protecting against feline leukemia. The way cats become infected doesn’t necessarily mean contact with others who are infected. Having my cat protected for life was important if I ever took in another pet on short notice or had to leave her at the pet hotel for an extended period of time.
- Rabies. This is a deadly infectious disease for both cats AND humans. It’s really not likely that an indoor cat can be exposed, but theoretically it’s possible. And in case of a sudden outbreak, you really want protection from it. There is no cure and the result most often death.
By the time the bus driver announced the next stop (my stop) I was completely shocked. I didn’t want to believe how much could go wrong if I didn’t decide to take Ms. Meowly to the vet! To be honest, I felt relieved! As soon as I get home, the first thing I did was call my mother and let her know all about Meowly’s pressing needs.
Author: Petable Team