Did you know, 22nd of August is Take Your Cat to the Vet Day? Yeah this means you, pet parents! It’s time to push you, oh so gently, towards thinking about that vital annual ‘wellness’ visit for your cat.The Cat, Mysterious Creature, and Confuser of Humans
You may feel your cat is doing fine, it doesn’t NEED an annual visit. Princess, or Clyde, or Misty bounces around, has fun, and eats like a small tiger, so you don’t need to bother – right? Let us, respectfully, put you right on this idea.
A cat is a master of disguise, you may not find out your cat has a serious infection, a sprain or a lump without a regular vet check. Cats are skilled at hiding illness so a ‘predator’ will not sense weakness. An annual ‘wellness visit’ might catch something and cure it cheaply – rather than cost you thousands of dollars for a serious health issue.
Remember too, the time of cats being “old at 7” are long gone. You are more likely find this approach to cat ageing:
- Kittens – generally up to one year old
- Adult 1 – 7 years old
- Mature 7 – 10
- Senior 11 – 14
- Geriatric 14+
What Happens on a Vet Visit With Your Cat?
If you have never been on a vet visit, you might be worried about what the heck happens. It can seem intimidating, because you don’t know what is going on. Let us tell you what we have learned about vet visits.
With a fur family of our own, we have discovered that vets have very structured examination techniques. Anyone who has been to a vet will see exactly the same thing, all over the world, from here in New Zealand to Paris, France: New York City and all points ‘USA’.
- A Top to Toe exam – looking for lumps and bumps, and anything that does not say ‘healthy cat’ to their trained eye.
- Listen up! Your vet will listen to your cat’s heart and chest carefully for signs of any respiratory issues.
- Focus on the Front – a good look to check the condition of teeth and gums, and breath for potential tummy issues.
- Focus on the Rear – The rectal thermometer is no cat’s favourite but the temperature can indicate possible health issues. Your vet might call for a urine test to check on kidney health. Our Harvey is waiting on the results of this test himself.
Help! Vets Can Be Very Expensive
Vets are as skilled as human doctors, if not more so. You pay for those skills when you visit the vet at their surgery. When researching this post I discovered several unhappy comments accusing the veterinary profession of attempting to maximise profit at the expense of animals. This is a difficult point with no easy answers, but I thought a few tips to help you know where you stand financially with your vet visit might help:
- Ask for a quote from the veterinary office. Tell them your cat is coming for an ‘annual wellness check’. They should be able to give you the vet’s standard kitty check up fee.
- Do you have cat friends? Ask them for veterinary recommendations. A personal recommendation will come from someone who loves and trusts their vet.
- There may be charges for tests. Ask for prices if you need to. Don’t be intimidated. Vets are prepared for questions, then write down the prices they quote.
- Try to find a vet who specialises in cats. This is not always possible, but, your cat will get awesome treatment from someone who lives and breathes ‘cat’.
Heck I’m Scared of the Vet!
- Don’t be. Write down any questions or worries you might have before you go to the surgery.
- Nerves can easily make queries for your vet vanish like smoke, especially if it’s your first visit and you are as nervous as your cat!
- Never be afraid to ask questions, and wait patiently for explanations then if you need to do so, ask for clarification.
- You are paying the vet for their skill and their time, they will respect this, and give the best explanation they can.
Make this the week you take your cat to the vet, and if the budget stretches that far, look into cat insurance too!
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