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Published: Aug 23, 2012

Cats may be independent most of the time, but when it comes to their health, they may need some help from their owners. A 2009 study found that many people only take their cat to the vet when she is sick or injured, not for routine, preventative care, which began the National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day education and awareness campaign, reports. This day is recognized on August 22, reminding owners to make an appointment at the veterinarian.

Even if your cat lives indoors, it is important she stays up to date on vaccinations, according to the news outlet. The rabies vaccination is required for all pets by law in the United States, and this will protect your cat in case she should ever get outside and be bitten by a rabid animal. It will also protect you and your other pets. Other cat vaccinations for feline distemper, herpes, and feline caliciviral disease are important, too, VCA Animal Hospitals reports.

It's also a good idea to bring your cat to the vet for early detection of health problems. A veterinarian will be able to spot things like a heart murmur, which could be a sign of thyroid disease, or dental problems, which could lead to worse physical conditions in the feline, Catster reports. When you take your cat to the vet, you have the ability to catch these issues early and potentially prevent serious ailments.