Did you know that cats age quicker than humans? During its first year, a cat reaches the estimated human age of 15 and then 24 at age 2. Therefore, cats age approximately four “cat years” for every calendar year. This is why yearly veterinary care is important because a lot can occur in four “cat years.” In honor of National Bring Your Cat to the Vet Day on August 22nd, here are the top 4 reasons why routine vet visits are crucial for your cat to live a healthy life.
The Significance of Taking Your Cat to the Vet
Your cat’s natural behaviors make them great at hiding their feelings when they are in pain or sick. Your cat can develop a health condition long before you discover anything is wrong. The Mt. Carmen Animal Hospital veterinarians are trained to pinpoint easily missed abnormalities and detect many issues before they advance. Furthermore, we will examine your cat’s weight at every vet visit and provide nutritional recommendations to maintain your cat at an ideal weight. A couple of extra pounds can increase your cat’s risk for heart disease, respiratory problems, diabetes, and more.
As always, preventive care is better than reactive care! Regular vet exams can assist in avoiding medical emergencies. Our vets can frequently detect health diseases or conditions that might impact your cat’s health long before they become significant or expensive to treat. Also, adult cats have 30 teeth, while kittens have 26! That is a lot of dental care. Studies have shown that over 50% of cats over the age of three have some level of dental disease. Often there are no apparent signs of dental disease in cats. Most cats with dental disease will still eat without an obvious change in appetite! Make sure to discuss your kitty’s teeth at their routine preventive care vet visit.
Helpful Tips for a Stress-Free Vet Visit for Your Cat
Cats are attached to their home territory, and most of our pet cats live a sheltered life with a pattern that doesn’t involve traveling away from home. For many cats, a vet visit is an overwhelming experience. Try out the following tips to provide a stress-free vet visit for your pet cat.
Acclimation to Carrier
We strongly recommend using a carrier for travel because it’s the safest way to transport your cat. Once you arrive to us, your cat, who is in a secure carrier, will feel safe from other curious pets and be less vulnerable. In contrast, a cat being held in your arms and becomes frightened might respond by leaping out of your arms and putting your cat at risk for escape or injury.
Furthermore, the ideal carrier is strong, waterproof, and lightweight. It has a large opening to allow effortless access to the cat and an easy-to-remove top with ‘fast release’ fasteners. If your carrier has a removable lid, your pet cat might be able to remain nestled in the carrier’s bottom while we complete the routine physical examination. Regardless of the carrier’s type, you should put a blanket or towel in the bottom to provide a comfortable place to lay down and absorb fluids in case your kitty has an accident on the way to the clinic.
In addition, you can assist your cat in getting over the fear of a carrier by forming positive associations with the carrier. One way is to avoid storing the carrier in a basement or garage and only taking it out for a trip to the vet. Instead, position the carrier in an area where your cat enjoys sleeping or playing. Or you can set it up as your kitty’s private sleeping area or private dining room by placing it near the food and water dishes. You can also leave the carrier open, inviting your kitty to go in and out as he or she pleases. If your cat is still apprehensive, you can try enticing them with treats or putting a yummy treat like a small amount of canned food inside the carrier.
Cats use pheromones to mark familiar things. They are naturally-occurring odorless substances that animals release and provoke an emotional response in members of the same species. So, spraying the carrier 3-4 times with Feliway, a synthetic copy of the cat’s facial pheromone can help produce a sense of familiarity in the cat’s environment. As a result, this synthetic substance can help comfort cats while they deal with a challenging situation and prevent or minimize the stress caused by environmental changes.
Avoid feeding your kitty for a couple of hours before the vet appointment to minimize the chance of vomiting. A few treats to help them into the carrier won’t hurt. You can also teach your pet cat to relax in the car by taking them on short trips that lead to a positive outcome. For instance, put your cat in the carrier, give them their favorite treats, and complete a short drive that ends up at home.
Moreover, your veterinarian at Mt. Carmel Animal Hospital might recommend some prescription medication before the visit if your cat’s stress or fear is profound and he or she has no health concerns. However, most medications have side effects. So, never administer a sedative if you have concerns about your cat’s present health status or without the direction of a veterinarian.
Here at Mount Carmel Animal Hospital, We’ll Treat Your Pets Like Family!
Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!