Have We Seen Your Cat Lately? by Dr Ben Brown
Australians love their cats, and more households are getting cats each year. But, compared to dogs, cats still aren’t getting the care they need and deserve. Since the days of the ancient Egyptians and throughout history, cats have earned their reputation as affectionate, intelligent, clean, playful and fun family pets. As a cat owner, you probably agree!
Regular veterinary care is the best way to keep your cat healthy and happy. There are almost 4 million pet cats in Australia, but they are less likely to receive regular health checks than dogs. In 2016, approximately 80% of dogs were examined by a vet at least once, but this was the case for only 65% of cats. This disturbing trend is leading many veterinary professionals to ask pet owners, “Have we seen your cat lately?”
Many feline veterinary specialists recommend a minimum of one annual wellness examination for cats, with more frequent examinations for senior and geriatric patients, or those cats with medical or behavioural conditions. Cats are masters at hiding illness and injury and their more sedentary nature, compared to dogs, means that signs of disease may be harder to detect. Cats are also very susceptible to kidney disease because their kidneys contain less nephrons, the functional tissue of the kidney, than other species. They are also adapted to living in the desert and conserving water by producing highly concentrated urine, this can make them more susceptible to acute kidney failure related to ingestion of toxins. Cats are also very susceptible to a special type of dental disease called feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions, which causes painful cavities in their teeth and can result in the loss of teeth.
So to make sure your feline friend stays in tip top shape, call your local Sydney Animal Hospitals for an appt, to discuss your cat needs.
Dr. Ben Brown
B.V.Sc. (hons) M.A.C.V.Sc
Director of Sydney Animal Hospitals – Northern Beaches