By: Paula Plummer, LVT, VTS (ECC, SAIM)

What is it?

In today’s society most “cat owners” don’t think of themselves as an owner of that cat. We consider them feline family members. Let’s be honest, who actually ever really owned a cat? With those cute, cuddly faces, the intuition to know when we need to cuddle after a long day, they own us. However, studies show only 83% of cats are taken to the veterinarian within the first year of ownership, and only a staggering 50% or less will return to their veterinarian in the years following.

Statistics show us our beloved felines are only taken to the veterinarian maybe once a year as compared to dogs who are taken more often. This is because many people believe cats are self-sufficient and signs of pain, discomfort, and illness aren’t as obvious in cats. Honestly, all of those things are true, cats are self-sufficient, and they can hide their pain or illnesses. These specific traits a cat has are because of their natural instincts. In the wild, they are solitary hunters and considered both predator and prey.  Therefore, they naturally hide those signs, self-sufficient and stoic, making it hard for us, their human companions, to determine when care is needed.
What now?

Feline wellness examinations by a veterinarian are key to early detection of illness and prolonging a healthy life for your feline family member. The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) groups cats into five different life stages: kitten, young adult, mature adult, senior, and end of life. Each life stage requires different areas of attention which include; prevention (appropriate vaccines and parasite control), behavior, comprehensive physical examinations, lab work when indicated, nutrition, weight management, behavior, environment, and medical conditions when relevant.

Not surprisingly, it is also a known fact that our feline family members hate going to the veterinarian. This is due to the stress of being taken out of their own environment, car rides, and being in the veterinary hospital.


Blue Ridge Feline Veterinary Services offers in-home comprehensive wellness visits which reduce stress for both you and your cat. During these in-home visits, our team can offer preventative care, provide consultations on behavior, nutrition, and environmental concerns.


  1. Bayer Veterinary Care Usage Study III: Feline Findings (2012)
  2. Quimby, J. Gowland, S. et al. (2021) 2021 AAHA/AAFP Feline Life Stages Guidelines.
  3. Bayer Veterianry Care Usage Study II (2011)