Monday, August 22, 2011

It's Take Your Cat to the Vet Week!

How do you entice your cat into his carrier to go to the vet? Treats? Playing? Trickery and brute force?

Whatever method you use to get your cat in the carrier is only the first step in a dreaded series of tasks involved in getting regular veterinary checkups for your cat. After bandaging your wounds and finding the car keys, there's the yowling in the car, prying the cat out of the carrier at the vet, getting him back into it for the trip home, and the yowling on the drive home, followed by hours of sulking under the bed before things are even close to normal again...and kitty's still looking at you with suspicious glances for days afterward. Those with multiple-cat households have many times the trouble.

The American Veterinary Medical Association now recommends that cats get veterinary check-ups twice a year. This is especially true for senior cats, or those suffering from chronic conditions like diabetes, compromised kidney function, FIV, or FeLV. Yet the CATalyst Council and the American Humane Association have determined that our precious cats are taken to the vet only half as often as dogs! We only seem to take them when they're sick, not for regular preventive care. Perhaps it's all those above-mentioned hassles that deter us from going more often.

But cats tend not to show symptoms of illness until they're just about dead, so neglecting regular checkups can have dire consequences. Heartworms, severe renal failure, and advanced stages of cancer are just a few of the more serious (and expensive) ailments that can result from lack of well-cat veterinary visits.

To turn this trend around, Feline Pine founded Take Your Cat to the Vet Week in 2009. This recent USA Today article discussed how to make the visit less traumatic. is commemorating the event this year with posts each day this week covering topics like:
  • How to get your cat to like his carrier
  • How to reduce the stress of traveling with your cat
  • How to keep your cat calm at the vet
  • How to get the most out of your vet appointment
  • Questions to ask at the vet
Petfinder is also posting links to the articles on their Facebook page all week. While they don't expect all of America's 30 million pet cats to get in to see the vet this week, they do hope that people will make appointments this week for a well-cat exam. How about you? Have you taken your cat to the vet recently? Maybe it's time.

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