Its a perfect storm. Cats hide their illnesses very well; its often not clear that theyre sick until theyre at deaths door, which is why annual wellness exams are so critical. Through blood tests and other diagnostic workups, a veterinarian can detect problems even a very tuned-in owner might miss. Yet most cats do not like leaving the familiar environment of their home to be handled by a stranger, surrounded by cats and people theyve never met and will probably never see again. They become so stressed that their owners become overwhelmed with anxiety themselves. So owners skip the veterinary exams. My cat seems fine. Why put her through it? And that, of course, ratchets up the risk that a health issue wont be detected until its too late for effective treatment.