The week of Aug 18-25 is Take Your Cat to the Veterinarian Week. Why do we need a week to promote veterinary care for cats? The sad fact is that even though cats are the most popular pet in Canada and the United States, they don’t receive the medical care they deserve. Cats visit the veterinarian less than half as often as dogs so many medical issues causing pain and suffering go undetected, or are diagnosed later than is ideal. Remember that even your indoor cat needs regular veterinary care. Even though they are at reduced risk of injury or illness from infectious diseases, they can still develop other serious health problems, such as diabetes, intestinal problems, kidney disease, and more. Health screening and early detection means a better chance of curing or successfully managing problems.
Do you know the 10 subtle signs of sickness in cats? Cats are masters at hiding signs of illness, so here’s what to watch for:
- Changes in interactions with other pets and people
- Changes in activity or daily routine
- Changes in eating habits or chewing
- Changes in water intake
- Unexpected weight loss or weight gain
- Bad breath
- Changes in grooming habits
- Changes in sleeping habits
- Changes in vocalization
- Signs of stress, such as anxiety or not using the litter box
Having trouble getting your cat into her carrier? We wrote about how to make the carrier less stressful for everyone in a previous post: How To Get Your Cat In A Carrier. And here’s some tips from Stanley, spokescat for the CATalyst Council about how to make the trip to the veterinarian more pleasant.
Once at the veterinary clinic, make sure you are prepared for the visit:
- If you and your cat are new to the veterinary clinic, bring a copy of your cat’s previous medical records with you.
- Bring along any medications prescribed for your cat.
- Write down all the questions you might have and anything that concerns you about your cat.
- Ask your veterinarian for more information, such as reliable websites or printed material, on health topics affecting your cat.
- And remember not to be embarrassed – you don’t have to feel nervous about asking questions!
Have we seen your cat lately?