Why do national statistics indicate that people take their dogs to veterinarians twice as often as their cats?

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A recent survey by the American Animal Hospital Association has revealed an alarming trend: Only 28 percent of cats go to the veterinarian for routine examination.
Many cat owners mistakenly feel that cats don’t need veterinary visits. Maybe it’s the myth of the self-sufficient cat. Maybe cats just hide their symptoms better. Maybe some try to avoid stressing their cat out with any kind of travel. Or maybe it’s the result of a bad economy where many people are struggling financially.
Most people hate the idea of stressing their cat with travel. People also hate that game of “hide ‘n seek” while trying to get the cat in the carrier. Here’s how you can make taking your cat to the veterinary clinic a bit easier on both you and your cat:
• Line your cat’s carrier with a towel or blanket. Many cats feel more secure if there’s an extra blanket to burrow in and play peek-a-boo. You may want to cover the carrier with a blanket as well. If covering a carrier, always make sure there is an exposed area for ventilation to prevent your cat from heatstroke. If space permits – and your cat would welcome – add a small favorite toy or a small amount of treats to make the carrier an inviting “home away from home.”
NOTE: If your cat gets carsick, forgo the treats. And even if she doesn’t get carsick, you may want to hold off on giving treats until she is inside the exam room to make the visit more pleasing for your cat.
• Train your cat to be a savvy traveler. Start by getting your cat into her carrier and carrying it around your house. Then graduate to getting your cat into her carrier and taking short drives around the block. Eventually build up to making a fun trip to the veterinarian for a meet-and-greet play session with no exam. Before heading to a veterinary appointment, give yourself plenty of time to get the cat into the carrier. And if you have time to spare, that’s all the better: Letting your cat wait in the carrier before leaving can ease her stress.
• Talk to your veterinarian. Ask your veterinarian how he or she handles fearful cats. Perhaps there’s someone at the practice who is particularly tuned in to cats and can work patiently with your cat.

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