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Why Your Cat Needs to Go to the Vet Routinely
Many cats don’t like to go into cat carriers, ride in cars, or be examined and treated. Pet parents of cats, especially those that stay exclusively indoors, often put off making veterinary appointments. But part of caring for cats is getting them to a cat vet for routine care, even when they aren’t visibly sick.
Cats Are Experts at Hiding Illness and Injury
Cats are known for their stoicism when it comes to being sick or injured. In the wild, not being in tip-top shape means being challenged in your pack or not getting enough to eat. While that isn’t the case for domestic cats, their intuition still tells them that it’s best to conceal it when they aren’t feeling well.
Getting your cat in to see the veterinarian routinely means that a full physical exam gets done on a regular basis. Your veterinarian’s experience and training allows him or her to find problems that your cat might not be showing signs of at home. Routine testing like fecal examinations and blood screenings can also reveal certain issues before they result in illness. Many feline conditions are much more treatable when they are caught early.
Another benefit of routinely seeing the veterinarian is that the doctor gets to know you and your cat. That can be incredibly helpful while you work together as a team throughout your cat’s life.
The results of annual or semiannual testing are also invaluable for the doctor, who can use them to develop a record of your cat’s normal baseline values. That way, it’s easier to spot trends such as slowly elevating kidney function values.
Preventing Is Often Easier and Cheaper Than Treating
Many people with indoor cats aren’t aware that they need certain preventative care, such as vaccinations and parasite prevention, just like cats that go outside. Some feline illnesses are airborne, parasites like fleas and ticks can travel in on dogs and humans, and indoor cats have been known to be bitten by bats that get into the home, making them susceptible to rabies.
In most cases, it is easier and less costly to prevent illness than to treat it, and it is also less traumatic for the kitty. Making a habit of keeping your cat up-to-date on the preventative care that your veterinarian recommends may save her from having to endure more vet visits.
Tips for Making Vet Visits with Your Cat Easier
Here are a few tips to help make visiting the veterinarian routinely with your cat a bit easier for both of you:
Get your cat used to riding in a carrier.
Keep the carrier open at home, and reward your cat when she investigates it. Getting your cat into a carrier isn’t always easy, so going slowly, gradually get her used to having the door closed, being carried short distances, and going in the car are great starting points. Always use patience and reward calm behavior.
Try to take your cat to the vet during slower times.
When you make your appointment, ask for a time that is usually calmer at the clinic; hopefully, there will be less commotion and fewer dogs around to scare your kitty. Using a cat-only clinic is a good idea for some cats.
Keep your cat in the car until the exam room is ready for you.
You may be able to arrange with the veterinary staff to stay in your car with your cat in her carrier until you can go directly into the exam room. Bypassing the waiting room, which is often a stress-inducing place for cats, can make the entire visit go more smoothly.
Consider pet insurance.
Vet visits can be less stressful for you when some of the costs are being covered by insurance.
Sign up for membership at PetHero.com.
Among other benefits, you will receive 25% off at participating veterinarians.
Taking your cat to the vet routinely is an important part of cat care; make it as easy for you and your cat as possible, but get it on your schedule today.