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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