“Cats have become the most popular pet in the United States, yet statistics about veterinary care for cats remain troubling. Although most owners consider their cats to be family members, cats are substantially underserved, compared with dogs.
“In 2006, owners took their dogs to veterinarians more than twice as often as cats, averaging 2.3 times/year, compared with 1.1 times/year for cats, and significantly more dogs (58%) than cats (28%) were seen by a veterinarian one or more times/year. Cat owners often express a belief that cats ‘do not need medical care’. Two reasons for this misconception are that signs of illness are often difficult to detect, and cats are perceived
to be self-sufficient.”
— Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, January/February 2010
The American Association of Feline Practitioners and the American Animal Hospital Association have jointly produced a set of Feline Life Stage Guidelines, printed in the January/February issue of the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association. These guidelines, are, of course, primarily intended for doctors of veterinary medicine and other specialists in veterinary care. They are, nevertheless, of considerable utility and interest to cat owners who wish to be well-informed about issues related to their pet’s welfare.
Complete with a life stage chart, a directory of web resources for feline health care and an extensive bibliography, the Feline Life Stage Guidelines can be an excellent supplemental resource for conscientious cat owners.