It’s that time of year, where the focus at the Mountain Road Animal Hospital is on cats. For the next couple of months, we will be hopefully knee-deep in kitties!
This is an area where we don’t see as much action, as we do with dogs. Dog owners tend to interact more with their dogs outside than cat owners do with their cats, which puts them more at risk for illnesses and injuries, thus, requiring more veterinary attention.
That does not mean cats don’t or shouldn’t see their veterinarian on a regular basis. Regular health checks are just as important for our kitties, including indoor only kitties. Many illnesses/injuries affect our feline friends. Early detection of certain disease processes can help your pet live a comfortable, happy and long life. Yearly physical exams are critical for the wellness of your cat. It is also more cost effective to detect and/or prevent illnesses before they reach a critical stage.
Cats tend to be highly stoic. Therefore, we often don’t realize that they are ill/injured until it becomes VERY evident. By this time, many disease processes have already progressed to a high level, which can shorten their life-span dramatically.
For those owners who find it difficult to bring their cats in for exams, here are a couple of suggestions that may help:
- Feliway products – This product is amazing to help reduce anxiety and stress in your cat. They come in many forms such as sprays, wipes, plug-ins. It’s as simple as wiping down their kennel prior to using it, spraying a blanket to put in the kennel with a kitty or running the plug-in constantly at home, so Fluffy is exposed all the time to the product. Feliway is an all natural product that uses cat hormones to calm the pet. Most veterinarians and pet stores sell this product.
- Accustom your cat to his/her kennel – Best way to do this is to leave the kennel out in plain sight and with the door open – ALL THE TIME. For most cats, the mere sight of mom digging the kennel out of the garage is enough to send them into hiding. The more Fluffy gets used to seeing the kennel, the more comfortable he/she will be with it. Allow him/her to explore the kennel at their own pace. Feed him/her in the kennel (with the door open). Put toys in the kennel. Over time, you can start closing the door with kitty inside. Start with a few seconds and slowly increase the amount of time the door is closed (this may take days or weeks). Make the kennel a fun, safe place for your cat. Most pet owners only bring the kennel out when it’s time to see the veterinarian, which makes the kennel a fearful and negative experience. If your cat is used to seeing/using the kennel, it’ll be a lot LESS stressful.
- We do house calls for those super difficult cats!
- Anti-anxiety medications – There are many natural medications on the market (ALWAYS consult with your veterinarian before using these), as well as prescription medications. These can be administered prior to their travel to the veterinarian.
Book your appointment today! Fluffy will thank you!
Written by Lisa, RVT