Many people only take their cat to the vet when he or she is sick, but all cats should be seen at least once a year for their annual check-up to ensure they are fit and healthy.
It’s National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day on the 22nd August 2016, and this day serves as a reminder for cat owners to take their four legged friends to the vet for an annual check-up.
Some owners put off the visit because it’s too much of a battle to get their cat to the vet in the first place. If you are one of those unlucky cat owners whose cat makes going to the vet look like a mission, here are a few tips that may help make the next vet visit that little bit easier…
It is usually the car journey rather than the destination that cats fear the most; it creates a feeling of uncertainty and they cannot predict what is going to come next. Cats enjoy it when things are familiar, and travelling in a car is not usually part of their daily routine.
The cat carrier is often associated with going to the cattery or the vet, so to avoid the “catch me if you can” scenario, try leaving the carrier out so your cat can explore it. If you put some healthy treats in there, or feed them inside of it, they’ll soon associate the carrier as being a positive place to be, thus making it easier for you to get them into your car.
Performing a head-to-tail check on your cat at home is not a replacement for veterinary attention, but it can help your cat get used to being touched so that it doesn’t seem quite so scary when the vet does it in practice.
Get your cat used to being touched by checking their eyes, ears, mouth, teeth, and gums, and take a good look at their skin and fur coat for any unusual lumps and bumps. Is their skin flaky and their coat dull? Have they suddenly lost or gained weight? These could be signs of underlying health issues, so it’s good to keep an eye on your cat and spot the signs sooner rather than later so that veterinary assistance can be sought immediately.
It is never a safe idea to carry your cat in your lap when you are driving to the vet – they can quickly climb under your feet, block your vision, or you could come to do an emergency stop and frighten or injure your kitty.
By investing in a comfortable, safe and secure carrier, not only will you make the journey safer, but you will also help to ease some of the stress that your feline friend is feeling.
When you are choosing a suitable carrier for your cat, make sure it is big enough to allow him or her to move around comfortably, but not so large that they’ll be thrown around inside. Your vet may be able to recommend a good brand or retailer so that you buy the most suitable one for your pet.
The waiting room can be quite an intimidating place to be for a cat, what with barking from dogs, hissing from other felines, and anxious humans waiting to be called by the vet.
To help your cat relax whilst you are at the veterinary practice, use a pheromone spray (Feliway) at least 15 minutes before you place your cat inside their carrier. A pheromone spray releases calming chemicals into the air and prevents issues like scratching and spraying, and makes travel and visiting the vet less stressful. Speak to your local veterinarian to find out more about the benefits of using Feliway.
If your beloved kitty is prone to anxiety or stress, we have some great news for you! Several of our practices have been awarded Cat Friendly Clinic (CFC) status by the International Society of Feline Medicine – making them a safe, secure and reassuring environment for your cat.
Several things set apart a CFC from the rest, including extra study for vets and nurses related to feline medicine every year, suitable waiting areas and clean consulting rooms, and comprehensive facilities to diagnose the most common feline ailments, to name just a few.
Here at Medivet, we are firm believers that prevention is better than cure. All cats should have at least an annual veterinary check-up to make sure they are fit and healthy, and to allow the veterinary surgeon to spot any signs of disease sooner rather than later.
Visit your local Medivet practice for further information and advice about how to make your cat’s next visit to the vet a stress-free one.
Posted July 26, 2016 in Pet Care Advice