According to a survey conducted by the American Products Association, from 2011 to 2012, people in the United States owned 78.2 million dogs, compared to 86.4 million cats. In light of this data, one would assume more cats visit veterinarians than dogs. Veterinarians, however, see, examine and treat many more dogs than cats, which means lots of felines go out without the medical care they need to live long, healthy lives.
Cats are most comfortable, confident, and relaxed when safely nestled in their own, familiar environment. Naturally, most cats become quite stressed when removed from their everyday surroundings and brought to the veterinary clinic. To avoid the anxiety of a feline appointment, many pet parents avoid scheduling regular wellness exams for their cats. Pet parents use some common misconceptions to justify skipping check ups:
- Cats are self-sufficient and do not require regular veterinary care.
- Cats can recover from minor illnesses and injuries on their own.
- Cats will show early signs of illness.
Unfortunately, cats cannot completely care for themselves and are also masters of disguise, preferring to appear strong and healthy – rather than sick or injured – to any potential threats. As a result, most cats do not show noticeable illness-related symptoms or behavioral changes until a condition is quite advanced, difficult to recover from and expensive to treat.