Ash Veterinary Clinic


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Forgetting Feline Friends

            Why is it that cats make up the majority of household pets in America, but dogs are seen more at veterinary clinics? Many people have the misconception that cats take care of themselves, but they rely on us for more than just food, water and shelter. Their emotional and physical needs are just as important. Many people consider their cat as a member of the family; however, some cats are strictly barn cats and live outdoors. Even these can need healthcare, too. Our goal is to make owners aware of the importance of feline healthcare.

            Bringing cats into the clinic can be a difficult first step to take. Sometimes the thought of trying to force a cat into a carrier, and the clawing and scratching that can come with it, can be enough to deter anyone. There are ways to acclimate your cat so they become more familiar with the carrier and do not associate it only with trips to the vet. Try leaving the carrier someplace where your cat can go in and out of it freely. You can occasionally sneak treats into the carrier so when your cat enters, they will find a nice surprise and start to associate it with a positive experience.

            Preventative medicine matters. All cats need to see the veterinarian at least once a year for wellness visits, but twice yearly is even better. They not only need their rabies vaccination, but may also need additional vaccines based on their lifestyle. Any cat that encounters other cats, or their saliva or urine, is at risk of contracting certain diseases like distemper, FIV and leukemia. These checkups can identify subtle changes in your cat’s health that could indicate disease. Did you know that 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by the age of three? Yearly blood screens check vital organ function and can help detect abnormalities before they develop into something more serious.

Heartworm and fleas are just two of many issues that can affect your cat. Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes. All cats can come in contact with mosquitoes and fleas daily. Here in Michigan, we know that mosquitoes are not only outdoors, so our indoor cats can be bitten as well. There is no cure for feline heartworm disease, but there is prevention that can be given monthly either orally or topically.

Cats are masters of hiding an illness. From the outside your cat may look like the picture of health. There are a few clues that you can look out for that may signal that your cat isn’t 100%. If your cat’s eating habits, grooming habits or sound and frequency of their meow changes, this may be a sign of not feeling well. If you think your cat is experiencing any of these signs, please seek veterinary care.

Around the United States, our feline friends are taken to the doctor less often than our canine friends. These statistics lead some to say that cat owners just do not care about their cat’s health. We know this is not true! We believe that people are unaware that cats need just as much care as dogs do. We want to educate owners about the importance of bringing your cat in for a yearly visit. If you have any questions concerning any pet, please call Ash Veterinary Clinic at 734-782-2827, go to or email us at

[4:06:25 PM] Dianne Raftopoulos: