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When it is time for your pet’s annual visit to the veterinarian, don’t leave behind your felines. I know some of you are picturing an empty carrier at your feet, while your cat crouches in the magic spot under the bed that is somehow inaccessible from all four sides. Others are thinking of the series of deafening meows and cries on the car ride to and from the vet’s office, imagining the horrible things your cat would be saying to you if it could be translated into English. Don’t stop reading though, there is hope. You need to know two things: 1) It doesn’t have to be this way and 2) The annual veterinary visits are really important and worth the effort.
There is a misconception that cats are more independent and don’t require the same level of medical care as dogs. This is NOT TRUE! Vaccinations for cats are as important as they are for dogs. This is not just because the rabies vaccine is required by the county, but also because vaccines provide protection against serious diseases. Also, preventative care for cats, as with dogs and humans, helps them to lead longer and healthier lives. Cats are good at hiding sickness, and the veterinarian may be able to detect a problem before the cat becomes seriously ill. Finding disease early can improve the prognosis and also result in significant cost savings. Some problems that can be discovered or addressed at annual visits include chronic vomiting or diarrhea, changes in urination/water consumption, allergies, ear infections, abnormal growths or masses, heart disease, dental disease, constipation, and more.
So now that we have discussed the importance of these annual visits, here are some pointers to help make these trips less stressful for you and your cat:
Using these few pointers can make the experience at the animal hospital as stress-free as possible for you and your cat. This can then help to provide preventative care to help your cat live a longer, healthier life.
—Dr. Lindsey Roth, DVM