Sunday, August 15, 2010

National Take Your Cat to the Vet Week

August 16-22 has been designated the 2nd Annual National Take your Cat to the Vet WeekFeline Pine, maker of natural cat litter, is sponsoring the event.  Their slogan is so fitting "Every dog has his day. We're making sure cats have their day too!"  I've noticed as I've been writing this blog for over a year and a half that the majority of my topics relate more to dogs than cats.  I'm not trying to be bias, it just seems like the canines get into more stuff than the felines.

The main reason I've heard for not bringing kitties to the vet is the fear of the car ride.  I get that, my own kitties were never fond of being placed in the carrier and our vet lived right across the street.  

Some tips for getting your kitty in the carrier:
  1. Wrap kitty in a towel first and then place in the carrier.
  2. Tip the carrier up on it's end with the door in the air then gently put the kitty in head first.  This will give you time to close the door before kitty has time to escape.
  3. Try a soft sided carrier.
  4. Place a favorite toy, towel, catnip mouse, etc. into the cage first.
  5. Set the carrier out in the room a few days ahead of the appointment to let your kitty get used to the feel, look, and smell.  It won't seem so foreign and kitty might just take a nap inside if it has her favorite towel or blanket to lay on.
  6. Never transport kitty in a towel or loose in the car.  They are great escape artists and can hurt you or themselves trying to get away.  It is also dangerous for the other animal owners in the waiting room as some dogs are not so friendly with cats and vice versa.
Why take kitty to the vet?
As kitties age they are more prone to some serious diseases and unfortunately cats tend to hide illness better than dogs and you might not even be aware of the change before kitty is already pretty sick.  Conditions like chronic renal failure, hyperthyroidism, and diabetes are three illnesses that tend to land older kitties in our ER when they have otherwise seemed to be healthy cats.

An annual check-up with your regular veterinarian can screen for these conditions through a physical exam and simple blood tests.   To learn more about common feline medical conditions visit the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

Cats up to 10 should have an annual exam and cats over ten should be seen every six months.  Feline Pine conducted a survey and discovered that fewer than 50% of cat owners took their cat to the vet unless their kitty was obviously sick. 

Do you need to find a veterinarian?  Try visiting AAHA's Healthy Pet website to search for an AAHA accredited hospital near you.

Happy Cat Week!

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