Posted on 08-06-2015
“Does my cat really need to go to the vet?”
In a word…YES! Even if cats are strictly in-door only, a yearly physical exam is extremely important for them. By their nature, cats are famous for hiding illness. We routinely hear clients say things like, “they’re fine” or “they’ve been healthy,” when in reality, they have no idea since the cat only lets them see what it wants them to see. For example, cats that become “picky eaters” really aren’t becoming that at all – it’s a sign that something is wrong. The most basic survival instinct is to eat; therefore when a pet walks away from food, especially repeatedly, there is a problem! A physical exam and some lab-work can help us identify the problem, hopefully before it becomes too serious.
We do understand that cats generally don’t like to get in carriers, go for car rides or come see the vet. But we can help! There are several things that you can do to help minimize the stress (on them and you!). If it is a scheduled visit, about 2-5 days before your appointment, bring the cat carrier out into the most used room of the house and leave the carrier door open. This allows the cat to become accustomed to it, as eventually curiosity will get the better of him/her. The day before, or the morning of your appointment, we encourage you to wipe out the carrier with Feliway® pheromone wipes to relax your cat and make them feel at ease. Feel free to stop by in advance and pick up one at no charge. Usually, by that last day it isn’t a struggle to get them in the carrier for the trip. You can use the remainder of the Feliway® wipe across your car’s vents to help them relax on the trip, as well. And if possible, bring your cat hungry! Skip breakfast and bring your cat’s favorite treats. We will happily feed them to your cat during the appointment to help them relax and make this a positive experience.
When you arrive, feel free to sit on the left side of the waiting room, right next to our cat specific exam room. If your cat is especially stressed, let us know and we will gladly put you into the exam room early to wait for the veterinarian. That way, you can open the carrier and let your cat wander out to relax and explore. Please try not to grab and pull your cat out (we try not to do that either) as this just scares them even more. Many carriers come apart easily so the lid can be removed and your cat can still feel safe.
Good luck and see you at the office!
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