Indoor Cats Need Vet Check-ups Too

Indoor Cats Need Vet Checkup’s Too

“But my cat is an indoor cat”

I’m sure this makes any vet cringe when they hear this excuse from a cat owner as to why their cat doesn’t need annual checkups or regular vaccinations. I will be the first to admit that I myself had thought the same at one time.

Why would an indoor cat who never goes outside need to visit the vet on a regular basis, or for that matter, need vaccinations? What could an indoor cat possibly exposed to? Indoor cats don’t interact with other animals and they’re not exposed to outside environment, so what could possibly go wrong?

Am I right?


Just because our cats are not exposed to the outside, living in this bubble we called our home does not mean your cat cannot become ill.

Think about it. If we never left our home we may be less likely to be exposed to viruses but this does not exclude us from becoming ill.

Annual veterinarian checkups with your cat is the perfect time to discuss any change in your cat’s behaviour or changes to their physical being. It can also be a time to catch something early that you may not be aware your cat had under all the hair – lumps, bumps and cysts for a start.

As my 2 cats start to age; Lily going on 14, and Lloyd who will be 11 this year, I’m starting to see a difference. They don’t run as fast or jump as high, sometimes Lily tries to jump but doesn’t quite make it to her desired destination. It’s hard to watch your pet age. But saying that, a vet can be our cats best friend as they head into their senior years.

I recently learned that what I thought was “normal” behaviour for my cat was not!

In fact, the cat that I thought was “well”, was the one in need of medical assistance.

In December I took both Lily and Lloyd in for a checkup.

Indoor cats need vet checkups too

Lloyd and Lily waiting for their vet check up

Not to pick on Lloyd – and I did apologize to him afterwards 😉 but it was Lloyd I thought I was going to be told needed to loose weight.  You see Lloyd’s love in life; his favourite thing ever is eating. This is followed closely by sleeping, the occasional run after his catnip mice and the need for a cuddle and a chin rub. I was pleasantly surprised and of course very happy that was Lloyd was given a clean bill of health, and yes, he could stand to loose some weight, but overall he was doing very well.

Indoor cats need vet checkups too


But here’s the thing. I was comparing my cat Lily to Lloyd. You see even at 13 years of age, Lily was being active, running around, up and about all the time. Lily’s never had a weight issue, in fact, she is quite slim, but what I had noticed was Lily consumption of food had increased but her weight didn’t increase. I even blamed Lloyd for getting into Lily’s food (again, “sorry Lloyd”).

Indoor cats need vet checkups too


When I mentioned Lily’s change in activity and food consumption to our vet, her response surprised me. It seems what Lloyd was doing; eating, sleeping and having occasional play time, was normal behaviour for a cat of his age. It was Lily that should NOT be this active and eating this much. Even with her increase in eating she had lost weight, and Lily really could not afford to lose any weight.

Blood was taken from Lily to see what was going on. A few days later, a call from my vet had confirmed that Lily was hyperthyroid. So what does this mean? Will she be ok? My veterinarian and I discussed treatment options and we decided on a gel that is to be applied to the inside of Lily’s ear twice daily, then in 6 weeks we would do a followup blood test to see if Lily’s levels had gone down and if we would be a need any medication adjustments.

It’s been 5 weeks since Lily has been on her thyroid medication; she has surprisingly been very cooperative with having gel applied to her ear twice daily. Her activity level and restlessness has decreased, she is now able to relax, rest and sleep for periods of time, her food consumption has decreased and her coat is looking better and she seems to be filling out more.

Indoor cats need vet checkups too


I will be going back to the vet with Lily in the next week to have a re-check done on her blood work to make sure her levels are getting to were they should be and I’m hoping to see some increase in her weight.

Looking back, I can only imagine how agitated Lily must have been, not being unable to rest her mind and her body, it must have been awful for her. And had I not have taken her for a checkup with her veterinarian, thinking she was the healthy cat of the two, she would not have gotten the medical help she needed.

Author: Kelly Harding

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  1. Wonderful post. And so important. I’ve actually heard folks say this about small indoor dogs, too, and I cringe!

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    • It is a shame. Taking your cat (or any pet) for a regular check up can find potential health issues early enough and then be addressed before it’s too late.

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    • And that’s how it should be!

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  2. Such an important message! I too used to think that taking cats to the vet for checkups was unnecessary. As you said, they are so very important! Glad to hear that you all figured out what was going on with Lily. Hope her checkup next week shows good results!

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    • Thank you. Lily has really improved since starting her medication and I’m interested in seeing the difference in her blood work next week.

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  3. It is astounding how many people think indoor cats don’t need regular vet visits. Great message today.

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  4. great post! I had a older kitty and he was a indoor cat but he went to the vet every year for a check up twice a year when he got old.

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    • Thank you!
      And yes, sometimes more than once a year is required when there are health issues or a pet is aging.

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  5. Callie the Cat goes in every year whether she likes it our not! 🙂

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    • “Whether she likes it or not” BOL!
      Love it 🙂

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  6. This is such an important issue. Cats see vets much less frequently than dogs do for many reasons, and it’s so important for them to get good quality care. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. This is a really great post. Just because a pet lives indoors all the time doesn’t mean they can’t get sick. Some illnesses are harder to spot than others; hyperthyroidism is one of those. It’s so interesting that there is a gel that can be applied simply to treat it! Thanks for sharing this.
    Love & Biscuits.
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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    • I have to admit when Lily was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, I was worried. But it seems to be common in cats, especially as they get older.
      And here I thought she was just being exceptionally active and playful! Poor Lily couldn’t rest.
      I’m very happy, and so is Lily, that it’s a simple application of rubbing the medication to the inside of her ear twice daily.
      Of course there are other options for treating hyperthyroidism in cats, but after discussing all the options with our vet, this one was the best for Lily at this time.
      I’m happy to say since being on the medication she seems so much more calm and relaxed.

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