As responsible cat owners, we all know (or should know) that regular veterinary examinations are a necessity for keeping our cats healthy. However, according to the most recent U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics information released by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), 9.6% of cat owners do not take their cat to the cat veterinarian at all and 27.1% visit a veterinarian only when their cat is sick. According to AVMA estimates, that amounts to 20 million cats that only see a veterinarian if they are sick.
In the same AVMA survey, only 75% of cat owners indicated that routine check-ups are either very or somewhat important for their cat. That compares to 90% of dog owners. These statistics are troubling. One in every four cat owners believes that veterinary visits are not important for their cat! Let’s talk about why regular routine veterinary visits are important for your cat.
Cats are masters of disguise when it comes to hiding illnesses or pain. Signs that your cat is not feeling well can be subtle. These symptoms can be very difficult if not impossible for the average cat owner to be able to detect. However, that doesn’t mean that your cat is not suffering.
Cats can develop a number of health issues. Older cats in particular are at risk for arthritis, hyperthyroidism, chronic kidney disease, heart disease, and more. But younger cats are not immune to the effects of disease. Dental disease is one of the most frequent diseases seen in our pets and the majority of cats already show evidence of dental disease by the time they reach three years of age. Your cat veterinarian is trained to look for signs of these illnesses. She may rely on physical examination findings as well as blood tests, urine tests, radiographs, and even ultrasound technology to help detect and diagnose these diseases.
Read more about why cats need a veterinarian at petmd.com