Are you in the habit of taking your cat to the vet for regular visits? It is a sensible technique to watch if your cat has lost its appetite lately or if there is a change in its behavioral pattern. But, all said and done, additional and routine vet visits are highly beneficial for the pets. They can also suggest an ideal cat food that is the best suited for your cat to maintain good health.
After all, you will all agree that prevention is always better than a treatment plan. Check out some of the reasons why you should even take your healthy cat to a vet. To get suggestions on its behavior, care, and diet, if you have any queries related to your cat, it is normal for many to refer to a search engine over the Internet these days.
However, taking guidance from an experienced and professional vet is irreplaceable as far as your pet cat is concerned. For instance, in the United States alone, around 58 percent of cats are overweight. But despite that, a majority of such cat owners would like to believe that their cats are not overweight but have big bones or are fluffy. To ensure that they stay fit, get them involved in playful activities with interactive cat toys. A more active and playful cat means a better and fit pet.
A vet examines your pets and gives a different verdict altogether. Furthermore, certain diseases can be prevented when you ensure that your cat maintains proper weight with a balanced diet, such as Hill’s Science Diet. Your vet will also advise you on how to trim your cat's claws or keep them protected with cat claw caps and ways of holding him properly. While you can now sell these by reading a book, it is always better to learn it after consulting the vet.
If your pet cat requires consultations from another pet care expert, such as groomers or behaviorists, you can ask your vet to provide you with a few good recommendations. Proper diagnosis helps in detecting your pet's health issues early.
One of the most crucial reasons for taking your car to a vet is to ensure an early diagnosis of what condition he is going through. The earlier a disease is diagnosed, the better your cat's response to treatment. In fact, for some illnesses, early diagnosis is vital. For instance, it is curable when diabetes mellitus is detected earlier in cats, unlike in many other animals. Your vet should learn more about your pet cat, like what cat food brands you feed your cat, their daily routine, etc.
If you take your cat to visit a vet at routine intervals, they can collect your cat's eating habits, urine and blood tests, vital signs, and weight. A regular visit to a vet's clinic enables him to know more about your cat in other erodes. It will help your vet be better prepared for any situation when they possess all the relevant information.
But ensure that you visit the vet prepared. Have a leash on your cat so that they stay close to you and do not panic about seeing other pets at the clinic. Carry some cat treats along, so if they panic, you can give them treats and calm them.
Unveil Hidden Issues
A reputable vet is well-trained to watch out for symptoms of bad health. Often, they tend to see certain things that you, as a cat owner, may overlook. For example, it is known that cats are very good at hiding their weaknesses. They are pretty good at concealing their pain, like back pain or lameness. But vets can notice symptoms in subtle alterations in sensitivity to touch or changes in its activity. So, it would be better that your pet wears a cat harness so that the vet can examine them properly and find out the symptoms.
The Importance of Taking Your Cat to the Vet
Even though cats are the most popular pet in America -- in 2011, more than 86 million cats were owned as pets compared to 78 million dogs – cats do not receive the same level of veterinary care as dogs do.
The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) shares the following statistics:
Almost twice as many cats than dogs never visit the veterinarian.
Of the cats that visit the veterinarian, they average 26% fewer visits than dogs.
41% of cat owners visit the veterinarian only for vaccinations.
39% of cat owners say they would only take their cat to the veterinarian if it were sick.
60% of cat owners report that their cat hates going to the veterinarian.
Finally, 38% of cat owners report getting stressed just thinking about bringing their cat to the vet.
These numbers are alarming because they support the misconception that cats don't need the same level of care as dogs. Unfortunately, quite the opposite may be true. Cats are masters at hiding illness, and by the time they show symptoms, a disease may already be in the advanced stages, making treatment more complex and more costly.
"A Stitch in Time" Could Save "Nine Lives!"
Kidney disease is a prime example: the disease may already be in the advanced stages by the time your cat shows symptoms. However, if kidney disease is detected early through routine bloodwork, treatment may only require minor changes to your cat's lifestyle, rather than costly medications or even hospitalization.
The AAFP recommends annual wellness exams for cats of all ages, with more frequent exams for seniors, geriatrics, and cats with known medical conditions.
What About Cats Who Hate the Vet?
One barrier to regular vet visits for cat guardians is that so many cats get so stressed when they have to go to the vet. One option may be to have the vet come to you. Going to a veterinary clinic where the doctors and staff understand cats can go a long way toward making the experience less stressful.
If you're worried about your feline's reaction if at all possible, look for a feline-only practice. You will find more and more of these practices in large metropolitan areas and even in some smaller, rural areas. Feline-only techniques can provide a less stressful environment (no barking dogs!) and a staff who will be able to handle even the most fractious felines. If an all-feline practice is not an option where you live, look for a cat-friendly approach.
If nothing of the above favors your situation, consult a vet online and discuss your cat's health issue so that they may prescribe you the best pet meds online. After all, the cure is more important.
What Does a Cat-Friendly Practice Entail?
You'll start seeing more of these cat-friendly practices since the AAFP rolled out its cat-friendly practice initiative earlier this year. The goals of the initiative are to:
Lay the groundwork for the delivery of care to the underserved feline population.
Identify trends and baseline species information essential for understanding cats.
Acknowledge the indispensable role of the cat owner in the veterinary visit.
Provide support to veterinarians and their teams to create a cat-friendly practice environment.
Outline strategies for introducing changes in care delivery that incorporate a better understanding of the cat's distinct needs and behaviors.
Certification requires a practice to have at least one staff member who belongs to the American Association of Feline Practitioners. However, the practice does not need to specialize specifically in cats. Practices must comply with a 10-item checklist and send it to the AAFP for review.
If your cats haven't seen a veterinarian in more than a year, pick up the phone and make an appointment with an online vet now and ensure that they receive the care they need!
*According to the AAFP-AAHA Feline Life Stage Guidelines
Ingrid King is the award-winning author of Buckley's Story: Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher and Purrs of Wisdom: Conscious Living, Feline Style. She is a former veterinary hospital manager turned writer. Her popular blog, The Conscious Cat, is a comprehensive resource for conscious living, health, and happiness for cats and their humans. The Conscious Cat has won multiple awards, including DogTime Media's 2012 Pettie for Best Cat Blog, 2011 Pettie for Best Overall Pet Blog, and About.com's 2012 Readers Choice Award for Best Website About Cats. In addition, Ingrid is the publisher of the online magazine News for You and Your Pet, which goes out to subscribers worldwide. For more information about Ingrid, please visit www.ConsciousCat.com.
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