Why Your Cat Needs Regular Veterinary Care
Cats often give the impression that they are fully independent, but they need far more cat care than we realize. In fact, cats are experts at masking any signs of illness, which can lead us to believing they’re perfectly healthy—even when they’re not!
According to a study conducted just a few years ago by the American Association of Feline Practitioners and Bayer HealthCare, more than 50 percent of cats living in homes in the US are not seeing their veterinarians on an annual basis. Cats are not as low maintenance as they seem, and need annual checkups, vaccinations and diagnostic tests just like dogs do.
Acclimating Your Cat to Their Carrier
Many cat owners have trouble transporting their felines to the vet. Fear of the carrier is a common issue for a large number of cats, and often owners simply give up. It’s understandable to want to avoid causing your pet undue stress, but you also need to make sure that your companion is healthy. There are several things you can do at home to get your cat acclimated to their travel carrier so vet visits are less traumatizing*:
- Try helping your cat associate their carrier with more positive experiences. Leave the carrier out every day in a room where your cat spends much of their time, and have them enter it until they feel more comfortable. A favorite blanket or clothing item sprayed with feline pheromones can help, too.
- Include toys, treats, or even catnip in the carrier to encourage entry. This can take time, but patience is key. Your cat should feel comfortable enough to enter the carrier entirely on their own. Additionally, reward good behavior. When your cat goes near the carrier or steps inside, reward them with a treat.
- If time is short and you need to get your cat into their carrier quickly, we try keeping her in a small room with few or no potential hiding places. Try enticing them with treats. If that doesn’t work, gently lower them into their carrier and calmly close it. We recommend carriers with a removable top half; if your cat prefers, they can remain in the carrier during their appointment and be examined from there.
- Use a carrier that is sturdy, accommodates your cat’s size, and is easy for you to carry. Again, it is ideal to have a carrier that is hard-sided and can be opened easily from both the front and the top.
- In the car, make sure your cat’s carrier is secured with a seatbelt to prevent jostling. You may also want to keep the carrier covered, either partially or completely, with a towel or blanket.
Need Help? Talk to Us!
Your cat’s health is extremely important to us, and we’re here to help. If you have additional questions about calming your cat and transporting them to our hospital, just give us a call today at (757) 877-6464!