American households now have more cats as pets than dogs. About 86 million cats are owned in the US, compared to 78 million dogs. (HSUS survey data)
The amazing popularity of feline companions means that more than ever, pet owners need to be aware of the value of routine checkups at a veterinary hospital. We know that compared to dogs, cats aren’t seen by a veterinarian as often as dogs.
Why does that matter? Lots of reasons! Pets age faster than humans do, so their health can change more rapidly than ours does. Small problems can rapidly progress to a serious state if the earliest, smallest signs aren’t detected. Cats will try to hide illness for as long as possible, too, and it may be more difficult for owners to recognize signs of illness in cats. Routine exams and lab work help cats live longer, healthier lives.
One of the biggest challenges for making sure cats are seen by a veterinarian is getting the cat to the vet’s office. Cats can be exceptionally difficult to place in a carrier, and visits can be stressful for the cat and the owner. There is hope, though! A number of special groups have been formed to help educate cat owners about caring for their feline companions. The first is called the CATalyst Council. Another is the American Association of Feline Practitioners. The AVMA also has great info on cat care.
I’d like to share a video today that was published by the CATalyst Council. It’s full of great tips for getting your cat used to the carrier so the trip to the veterinary office isn’t as traumatic. It runs about ten minutes but it’s well worth the time!