Dear Elliott

Dear Elliott,                                                        

I know my owner loves me (at least I thought so…), but it seems like he takes our dog to the veterinarian more often than me. Should I be concerned?


Dear Indignant,

I am sure your owner loves you both equally but you may not be getting the regular exams you need. A recent study by the American Veterinary Association reports that the level of veterinary care that cats receive is declining sharply.

This could be happening since many cats now live entirely indoors where they have fewer opportunities to get into trouble, such as injuries or contracting parasites.  This makes cats seem very “low maintenance”.  It can be easy to let their annual exam slide.  After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?  But cats age so much faster than we do that is more like 4-7 “cat years” between visits.  A lot can happen in that much time.

Cats are masters of denial.  They do not like to admit that they are ill.  It takes very close observation to notice tiny things like a change in appetite or social behavior.  Cats are creatures of habit, and they don’t change their routine for no reason.  You have to look past that “No, really, I’m fine!” act and take that finicky appetite seriously.

Finally, most cats are not used to traveling.  Being cornered, stuffed into a box, bounced through traffic only to be poked and prodded by strangers is not something that most cats enjoy.  It is not uncommon for cats to suddenly go AWOL at appointment time.  It takes extra determination on the owner’s part to get cats in to see their vet.

During your cat’s exam, we will check for all the things that are difficult for you to check at home like weight change, dental problems, heart trouble, and so on.  Early detection is important when managing any illness and regular checkups are the key.

Cats are special, mysterious creatures and act like they can take care of themselves without any help.  In fact, they are small and depend on us to take care of them.  We welcome the opportunity to help you to ensure their well-being.