VCA University Veterinary Clinic

Busting Cat Myths

On average, cats visit the veterinarian less than half as often as dogs. Many cat owners hold the belief that cats don’t require the same routine care as dogs or don’t get sick as often"and this cat myth is just not true! The natural behavior of cats is to hide disease and this is why one or two routine yearly visits to the veterinarian are critical to maintain your cat’s health.

While cats are healthier and tend to live longer when they live indoors, it is a common cat myth that indoor cats do not get sick. While outdoor cats are more susceptible to predators and trauma, both indoor and outdoor cats can be affected by infectious diseases. Insects carrying disease can come inside through open windows and doors; soil and other debris carrying disease may be tracked inside on an owner’s shoes or from other pets that go outdoors. Additionally, indoor cats can develop metabolic diseases " meaning internally developed disease that has nothing to do with exposure to the outdoor environment.

Cats are very skilled at masking signs of illness and sometimes the only way a medical problem may be discovered is by your veterinarian during an examination. For example, a cat may have evidence of heart disease only detectable when your veterinarian is listening to your cat’s heart. Cats are very sedentary or “lazy” around the house and signs of heart disease don’t often become evident until the condition is very advanced.

We will also evaluate trends in your cat’s weight and other laboratory values to identify early evidence of illness. Medical problems are always most successfully treated when detected early, and one to two annual health examinations
are well worth your time and effort.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:

 

See all VCA Animal Hospitals >

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately at 703-385-1054. If it is after hours, please contact one of the following nearby emergency care clinics.

- The Hope Center, 703-281-5121, 140 Park Street SE Vienna, VA 22180
 

- VCA South PAWS, 703-752-9100, 8500 Arlington Boulevard Fairfax, VA 22031
 

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