Cats are the neglected species. Compared to dogs they are less likely to be brought to the pet clinic for wellness care and regular examinations, less likely to be current on vaccinations and less likely to receive good dental care. Drug manufacturers are less likely to do clinical trials on cats for FDA approval of new medications so more of the drugs we use on them are “off label.” Sick cats wait longer to be brought to the veterinary hospital and are less likely to receive costly treatments.
It’s OK to not do every service recommended or applicable to your cat but he or she deserves regular care. Cats are very skilled at hiding illness, so you likely won’t detect anything is wrong at an early stage unless you are providing regular examinations. 80% of cats have some form of dental disease by age four and it’s a rare client who recognizes this on their own. Kidney disease typically begins somewhere between six and nine years of age and arthritis around age nine. Blood and urine screening can detect kidney disease early, allowing us to add three years or so of life expectancy. Poor nutrition and obesity are other common problems we see, even in young cats. We can’t stress enough that even indoor cats need regular visits to the veterinary hospital.
Older cats deserve pain medication and continued care but often are even more neglected than younger cats. Fearful cats may not get care because it’s stressful to bring them in, but there are many things we can do to make this easier. We encourage you to learn more about what cats need to have the longest, healthiest lives possible.
We have lots of resources for you here, so you can provide the best health care possible for your feline friends!”