How to Prepare for Your Cat’s Veterinary Check Up

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America’s cats are not getting the healthcare they deserve. 83% of cats are taken to the vet during the first year after they’re adopted, yet over half of them don’t return for subsequent wellness visit. Given that cats age more rapidly than humans and are masters at masking illness, these statistics are disturbing. National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day, which takes place on August 22, is designed to improve awareness about the importance of regular, routine check ups.

One of the barriers to cats getting the veterinary care they need and deserve is that it’s often such an ordeal for cats and humans alike to get their cats to the veterinary clinic. I’m delighted to announce that I partnered with the American Association of Feline Practitioners to create a checklist to help reduce the stress of the veterinary visit for both your cat and yourself.

Your Cat’s Check Up Preparation List

Your Cat’s Check Up Preparation List addresses making your cat’s carrier a “home away from home” by leaving it out in a room where your cat spends a lot of time several days before the visit, placing familiar comfort items such as towels or bedding inside the carrier, and using Feliway. The list also suggests keeping a list of any changes in your cat’s health or behavior since her last check up, along with any questions you want to ask. It’s easy to forget things when you’re worried about your kitty.

You can view the checklist here.

The American Association of Feline Practitioners wants to raise awareness about just how important regular check ups are for cats. You can find a wealth of information on their website and Facebook page. Please share with other cat parents!

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12 Comments on How to Prepare for Your Cat’s Veterinary Check Up

  1. Margaux Ford
    March 19, 2018 at 8:14 pm (2 years ago)

    You make a good point in explaining the importance of regular, routine check-ups for cats because they age more rapidly than humans and are masters at masking illness. I recently adopted a cat from the local shelter, and I think that I need to take her to the vet for a check-up. It’s good you mentioned that creating a checklist can help reduce the stress of the veterinary visit for both your cat and the owner. Thanks for the tips!

    Reply
  2. Marti
    August 12, 2016 at 7:02 pm (3 years ago)

    I left the carrier out with their stuff in it for a week. Vet visit day comes and they acted like i was murdering them. They’re the sweetest kitties normally, but but the time we got to the vet I was nearly crying along with them. They were panting and trembling so bad. Luckily the vet was quick and gentle and my kitties are healthy. My female didn’t speak to me for the next few days. My male was better about it after. What can I do to prevent this next time they need a visit? They’re a year old, so I have years of visiting ahead of me.

    Reply
  3. Harold Anderson
    August 12, 2016 at 11:49 am (3 years ago)

    How funny that this is today’s post, I just got back from taking one of cats to the vet, it was Sierra for her annual physical, It was a challenge she is my most skittish/scared cat, she was a rescue from my work, and even after six years she is still somewhat feral in some ways, but also loving in other ways. She will cry all the way to the vet, then once inside become calm and submissive. I have an excellent vet, he asks lots of questions, he takes time to talk and listen to me, We have discussed in great detail, food, vaccinations, behavior, hairballs, etc… in fact the whole team has a great deal of caring & concern in the way they take care of their patients.
    As for cost it was $85 and I feel very happy with the level of care that I receive. Now having six rescues that can add up, but I get ten times that amount back in love & affection from my cats.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      August 12, 2016 at 5:33 pm (3 years ago)

      It sounds like you have a wonderful vet, Harold.

      Reply
  4. Sue Brandes
    August 12, 2016 at 9:55 am (3 years ago)

    I make sure my kitties get their checkups and watch their health in between.

    Reply
  5. Nathalie Lenoble
    August 12, 2016 at 8:18 am (3 years ago)

    Lots of people don’t take their pets to the vet regularly simply because it can get so expensive. Also a lot abandon them to shelters as soon as the animal shows signs of illness. They don’t want or cannot pay high vet bills. Vets are big contributors to this kind of issue.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      August 12, 2016 at 10:09 am (3 years ago)

      I respectfully disagree, Nathalie. The reality is that adopting a cat comes with the responsibility to care for its lifelong health, and that means veterinary bills. As a former veterinary hospital manager, I can guarantee you that nobody goes into the veterinary profession to get rich. For a better understanding of what goes into the cost of veterinary care, please read: http://consciouscat.net/2013/01/28/why-is-veterinary-care-so-expensive/

      Reply
      • Marti
        August 12, 2016 at 7:05 pm (3 years ago)

        Well said.

        Reply
      • Nathalie
        August 12, 2016 at 8:11 pm (3 years ago)

        Well maybe it depends where you live/work. I do know what it takes to adopt an animal and the fact that vet bills is part of the deal. I have 4 rescued cats, and I always adopt older cats (+9 years) because usually they are the ones left behind. I have 2 cats with cancer among the four and visits at the oncologist at $1300, I find that excessive. My regular vet charges $95 a visit. And it’s just the visit! Considering that I have 4 and they need a visit every 6 months because they are getting old, you do the maths. I spent around $25K so far on my oldest who has cancer. So, please no lecture. I am certainly not the only one to complain about this, and just looking at the shelters in my area, many cats elderly cats are brought because people just can’t afford the vet bills. I don’t know where your practice was, but I can tell you that in the DC area, vets are very expensive. Maybe it’s because it is DC… That said, vets charge $600 for teeth cleaning here! Again, with 4 cats, you see that I’d better have a good job. That said, mu vet is wonderful and as another lady said in the comments, the love and affection my cats give me is certainly worth the trouble.

        Reply
  6. Janine
    August 12, 2016 at 6:50 am (3 years ago)

    I have the Sleepypod and find it makes taking the cats to the vet much easier. I don’t struggle to get the cats in there. They want to be in it.

    Reply

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