As most of you know RYAH has just earned certification from the American Association of Feline Practitioners as a Feline Friendly Practice (CFP). In celebration of our new designation I thought I would devote my next few blogs to our feline friends and bust a few myths!
Here are some stats: Stats Canada reports that 4.5 million cats and 3.5 million dogs currently reside in Canada. This makes the cat the most popular Canadian pet yet another recent survey has revealed that compared with dogs, almost 3 times as many cats had not recieved veterinary care in the past year.
How is this possible? Is there any correlation to this stat and the MYTHS about Cat Health that abound? Let’s take a look.
Myth # 1: Cats are healthier and more problem-free than dogs
Myth # 2: Most feline health problems arise from living primarily outside therefore if your cat lives only indoors they will be fine
Myth # 3: I will know when my cat is sick as they will display visable signs of illness (like dogs do)
So, what is the truth?
The truth is that cats are no different from dogs in their medical needs. They NEED veterinary care, including annual health exams and vaccines every year.
Living outdoors certainly has its dangers such as cars and other animals but living indoors does not preclude cats from most feline diseases and illnesses and adds a few medical problems of its own arising from a more sedentary life style.
Since cats are so adept at hiding signs of illness, annual exams are particularly important for the early detection and diagnosis of health problems. Cats naturally conceal signs of illness. They will sleep more and hide rather than seek attention or whine which dogs tend to do. For this reason, we find that cats are often much sicker than they need to be when their owner’s finally seek veterinary care.
This is one of the reasons that RYAH became a CFP: we wanted to raise awareness about the importance of regular veterinary care for cats. A thorough physical examination and updating bloodwork can help manage many illnesses when detected early! Remember that an annual exam for your cat corresponds to YOU seeing your own doctor every 5-7 years!!
Next time I will talk specifically about the signs to watch for to determine if your cat is “not well”.