According to PetMD, a recent study showed that more than half of the cats in the US had not been seen by a veterinarian in the past year for a wellness exam.
While I do not parent a cat, I know many people who do have cats. And they all indicate that getting their cat to the vet’s office is one of their biggest challenges. From the disappearing cat act when the carrier appears, to the fight to get them into the carrier and car, and the subsequent fight to get them out of the carrier at the vet’s office, it goes on and on.
The woes of transport lead many cat parents to simply avoid the annual visit to the vet for a checkup. Many cite undo stress as the reason they opt to avoid the ordeal. According to PetMD, cats have a unique survival tactic that results in them attempting to hide symptoms of an illness until they simply can no longer do so.
That means skipping those annual visits may result in a missed opportunity to address a treatable disease until it is too late to head off the worst.
Since cats are creatures of habits, some signs that you should signal a trip to the vet might be needed include:
Change in eating or appetite
New litter box habits
Change in sleeping location
There are some ways to minimize stress in those trips to the office with your cat. First, don’t get the carrier out until you are leaving for the vet’s office. Pulling it out too soon can result in a game of hide and seek you probably don’t want to play.
Second, you can build a positive association with the carrier in the months leading up to the visit. Or, consider a mild sedative prescribed by your vet to take the edge off your cats anxiety. If all of that fails, see if your vet would make a house call (there are still some that practice on site visits).
Let National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day be a motivator to get your feline seen for a wellness exam.