Dog owners bring their pups to the veterinarian 1.5 times per year, on average.
Most cats, on the other hand, see their vets less than once a year.
Pet health and advocacy organizations like the nonprofit Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) and the CATalyst Council are trying to understand why there's such a discrepancy between canine and feline wellness visits to veterinary offices.
One reason may be that cat owners view their pets as self-sufficient – almost to a fault.
According to Dr. Jane Brunt of the CATalyst Council:
"Many people hold the misconception that cats can take care of themselves. In fact, cats rely on us for many things, including food, water, shelter, and freedom from illness, pain, and distress."
In addition to viewing their kitties as independent, research shows that a majority of pet owners are more emotionally connected to their dogs than their cats. Almost 60 percent of people who own both a dog and a cat feel more attached to their canines. Just 19 percent feel more bonded to their cats.