Despite their popularity with pet owners, cats account for a fraction of veterinary well care. By contrast, twice as many of their canine counterparts receive routine annual visits! Reasons for the absence of preventive care range from owners not knowing that annual care is necessary for a cat, to owner fears surrounding the dreaded task of enticing kitty into their carrier for the trip to the veterinarian! Owners admit to becoming so stressed at the idea of kitty being miserable during the journey and exam that they simply avoid well visits altogether! Another roadblock is the false assumption that an indoor cat is not exposed to potential hazards, and therefore immune from disease. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Disease and the aging process are not eliminated by environment. Cats develop heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, cancer, autoimmune disease, allergies, food sensitivities, and more, just like any pet. It’s significant to remember that when illness strikes, prognosis is greatly improved by early detection and early intervention, both of which are a byproduct of regular preventive care. Caught early, we can often treat effectively before symptoms become painful, or quality of life becomes compromised. Cats are subtler in the way they express pain or illness, making it difficult for owners to recognize a problem. Behavior changes, often involving litter box usage, can be the only indicator of an underlying health problem.
Wellness visits are an invaluable opportunity for communication between owners and veterinarians. Working together to formulate an individualized healthcare plan to carry your cat through the various phases of their life is a win-win. Nutrition, exercise, parasite control, vaccinations, environment—all components of well visits—form the foundation of a successful owner/pet relationship. Understanding what your cat is trying to tell you, and developing techniques to eliminate unwanted behaviors, are common conversations between veterinary staff and owners.
Whether you’re a new owner or an owner who has fallen behind on visits, call us! We’ll work with you to de-stress the process and enhance your ownership experience. Working together, we’ll do everything we can to help you and kitty have a long, happy relationship! Call us today at (732) 671-3110.