Today is National “Take Your Cat to the Veterinarian Day”

Today is National “Take Your Cat to the Veterinarian Day”

Who knew this day even existed? Also, did you know that cats go to the vet much less commonly than dogs?

To celebrate National “Take Your Cat to the Veterinarian Day,” following are a few tips to make the trip to the vet more pleasant for everybody involved.

No question, going to the vet can be stressful. How can we make it a happier event?

Cat love - kitty love - heart

1. Help your cat like the carrier

Even as an adult, you can train your cat to tolerate the carrier. Plus, your cat may end up using it at home as a security blanket or yet another napping spot.Here is a video to help you reach that goal.

2. Look for a Cat-Friendly Veterinarian

This is tough one for me. I am certainly not trying to encourage you to leave your current family vet. But if your cat doesn’t go to the vet because it’s such a disaster every time, I suspect this won’t offend anybody.

The American Association of Feline Practitioners has created a program that certifies vet clinics as “cat friendly.” You can find a list of them on their website.

For example, cat friendly vets know that cats prefer to stay in their carrier during their exam if at all possible. Their waiting rooms are segregated by species (cats vs. dogs) to avoid the risk of a cat coming nose-to-nose with a curious canine.

3. Reward your cat

Talk to your cat during the trip (don’t worry, people will think you are talking to someone on the phone). Pet your cat. Bring tasty treats with you (as long as your cat doesn’t have to be fasted for blood work or anesthesia).

Regular preventive health care is important for cats.

Here are a few facts:

  • Dental disease affects 68% of all cats over the age of 3.
  • Most cases of diabetes could be avoided if the more than 50% of cats who are overweight were on the proper diet.
  • A huge number of cats die of kidney disease. There are simple ways to detect and treat the condition, or to decrease the risk it might happen in your cat.
  • Feeding a good diet decreases the risk of bladder stones or urinary blockage.
  • A simple checkup, once or even better, twice a year, can help detect and treat preventable diseases and conditions that can cut a life short.
  • Cats need vaccines and parasite prevention to be fully protected. And rabies vaccination might be the law where you live.

4. Don’t go to the vet!!!

What? Isn’t that the opposite of everything I wrote above?

Please hear me out. If taking your cat to the vet is just too stressful, consider calling a house call vet.

There is even a chance your current family vet offers that service. Or might consider it. Call your vet clinic and ask if that is an option.

5. Start early

Clearly it’s better to start the training during kittenhood. Next time you adopt a kitten, remember to start the training early.

Go to the vet clinic just for the experience of it, even if nothing happens there.

Ask if staff members have time to interact with your kitten.

No vaccines though! It just to show your cat that the vet clinic is a friendly place! I hope these tips encourage you to go to the vet more often – for your cat’s benefit.

Until next time,

Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS, CVJ

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Dr. Phil Zeltzman

Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a traveling veterinary surgeon in Pennsylvania & New Jersey. An award-winning author, he loves to share his adventures in practice along with information about vet medicine and surgery that can really help your pets. Dr. Zeltzman specializes in orthopedic, neurologic, cancer, and soft tissue surgeries for dogs, cats, and small exotics. By working with local family vets, he offers the best surgical care, safest anesthesia, and utmost pain management to all his patients. Sign up to get an email when he updates his blog, and follow him on Facebook, too!