Here at Rocky Creek Veterinary Hospital we are big fans of our furry felines. In fact, we are now proud members of the American Association of Feline Practitioners and are becoming a certified Cat-Friendly Practice. However, did you know that cats are often under-represented at veterinary hospitals? Here are some troubling facts:
CATS ARE MORE NUMEROUS THAN DOGS – There are approximately 74.1 million cats and only 70 million dogs in homes across America.
CATS ARE OFTEN OVERLOOKED WHEN IT COMES TO RECEIVING ANNUAL EXAMS– Over the past 2 years, veterinary visits for cats totaled 60.5 million compared to 130.4 million visits for dogs! It is estimated that over 45% of cats did not receive any veterinary care at all!
The animal community often misrepresents felines and their health. This is commonly caused by the assumption that cats are “easy pets” that are independent and capable of taking care of themselves for short periods of time. So in turn, this mentality influences attitudes towards their health– “ah, Kitty doesn’t need to be seen by the vet.” This assumption could not be further from the truth! “Cats have long been relegated to second-class status,” says Dr. Gary Norsworthy, DABVP (feline), owner of Alamo Feline Health Center in San Antonio. “Even though they’ve overtaken dogs as America’s favorite pet, they remain shorted on health care.”
CATS HAVE SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEMS THAT ARE FREQUENTLY MISDIAGNOSED:
DENTAL DISEASE – 85% of cats over the age of 3 have some form of periodontal disease.
OBESITY – 1 in 5 cats are considered obese; 2 in 5 considered overweight.
KIDNEY and URINARY TRACT DISEASE – Going “outside the box” is one of the most common complaints when a cat comes to a veterinarian.
VOMITING – “hair balls” are a common complaint, but trust us any vomiting is NOT normal.
Cats are often extremely stoic creatures. They are genetically wired to hide sickness until they can no longer do so. Annual exams and open communication with your regular veterinarian about your cat’s health needs are vital. Due to the progress in veterinary medicine, we can now catch sickness and disease much sooner and prolong your baby’s life. It’s a win- win!
Here are some helpful links for more information on cat health: