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Reducing the Stress of Your Cat’s Annual Health Check Visit

Cats are often seen as independent animals who don’t need to visit the vet if they aren’t showing any symptoms, but this is not always true.

One cat to every five dogs are being taken to the vet on this belief. Unfortunately, cats are good at hiding illness and in many cases it can be too late by the time you’ve noticed anything unusual in your cat’s behaviour. 

Minimal to no vet visits means those issues can go undiscovered and untreated for much longer.

Completing an annual checkup, which can include a blood test for a wellness screen, can help us identify any problems before they have done silent, irreversible damage.

The main concern for a lot of pet owners is that their cat experiences so much stress when visiting the vet that the negative effects of going often outweigh the benefits.

 

Top tips to help reduce the stress of your visit:

  • Select a good carrier for your cat, ideally a top-opening one, as they are easier to get your cat in and out of, plus they are generally larger than the side-entry carrier
  • Train your cat to see the carrier as just another piece of furniture with a favourite blanket, a piece of your clothing or a toy inside. Make it comfortable and inviting for them instead of simply pulling out the carrier from storage the day of the appointment.
  • Introduce the carrier a week before your visit or do some dry runs to the vet with your cat to get them used to the car ride.
  • To help reduce stress for the physical examination, you can perform a home ‘examination’, where you manipulate paws, inspect ears, inspect their mouth and comb your hands over the body and legs. This way your cat will be used to these actions and won’t experience undue stress.
  • Cats can be sensitive to loud noises and bright lights, so to avoid visual stimuli at your visit, placing a blanket over his carrier could help to calm them down. Another tip could be to ask to wait out in your car if there is too much going on in the clinic at the time of your appointment.