Welcoming a new pet into your home is a mix of companionship and responsibility. As a pet owner, it’s your duty to keep your feline safe, healthy, and happy. One of the most important aspects of maintaining your cat’s health is to regularly consult your trusted veterinarian.
Felines can’t communicate their health directly to humans. Therefore, you’ll have to take a closer look at your cat’s condition and have specialized health professionals look after the technicalities of their health.
In this article, you’ll be exploring how to prepare for your cat’s routine health examinations, which is a paramount aspect of fur parenthood.
How Often Should Your Cat Be Checked?
Routine examinations involve veterinary health tests and examinations that’ll evaluate your cat’s overall health and wellness. Whether your cat is in good shape or dealing with a medical condition, the importance of routine examinations can’t be overstated.
For young and middle-aged cats in good health, it’s ideal to get them checked at least once or twice a year. However, if your cat is already a senior or is experiencing a medical issue, general health examinations should be carried out twice a year, and more, if necessary.
Scheduling The Appointment
Before preparing for the examination itself, it’s crucial to have your appointment settled to ensure a smooth procedure once you step inside your vet’s office. If it’s your first time caring for a pet and looking for a veterinarian, you should find a reputable professional within your location to keep your cat away from long and stressful transportation.
Thanks to technology, you can set an online appointment with your vet clinic if they host a website or application. For more advanced booking and processing, vet offices should also consider veterinarian payment processing, where fur parents can directly send payment inside this platform.
Also, this is the perfect time to discuss the upcoming procedure with your veterinarian. Do you need to bring a urine sample, poop sample, or past medical records?
Lastly, it’s best to let your vet know about your budget as it’ll help them identify how extensive the checkup would be. Higher budget allocation means your cat can undergo as many tests as possible.
Looking Back At Your Cat’s Health
Taking care of a feline pet is full of unforgettable memories. Remembering your fun and playful experiences with your cat is as important as knowing about their health and lifestyle. As the owner, it’s only fair to know these pieces of information, and your veterinarian will have to know them as well.
To keep the exchange with your vet quick and seamless, it would be better to list the following information in a piece of paper before the consultation:
- Their current diet since the last visit
- Name and dosage of supplements and medications
- Eating, drinking, and sleeping habits
- Information about urination and defecation
- Level of physical activity
- Behavior and demeanor
- Any recent infestations from flea, ticks, and other parasites
Aside from this general information, take note of recent changes in your cat’s health and wellness, if there are any. Informing these observations to your vet can make a huge difference in their health examination.
Knowing The Procedures Involved
Now comes the highlight of your vet visit: the actual health checkup. Keep in mind that your vet is trained to handle your cat regardless of their fear or aggression. However, your helping hand can offer a hassle-free experience.
Much like different types of pets, your cat’s routine checkup will involve a physical examination that typically involve these procedures:
- Weight, stance, and gait check
- Skin and coat inspection
- Listening to the heart, lungs, and abdomen
- Checking the eyes
- Checking the teeth and gums
- Examining the ears, feet, and nails
- Feeling the body for swelling, lameness, and other signs of pain
If you have a senior cat under your care, it’s recommended to sign up for more wellness testing procedures to help detect underlying diseases in your older cat. Senior cats are more susceptible to illnesses such as kidney disease, gum disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, and heart disease.
Since they’re good at masking their illness, their condition might seem healthy to you. Thus, make sure that they undergo these additional tests:
- Complete Blood Count (CBC): Analyzes the components of the blood–red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets
- Urinalysis: Checks the physical and chemical properties of urine
- Blood Pressure Assessment: Screening for high blood pressure
- Biochemistry Profile: Series of screenings that examines the body’s tissues and organs
- Thyroid Hormone Testing: Panel of tests that find abnormalities in the thyroid gland
Preparing Your Cat For The Examination
Most cats and other pets tend to get stressed during vet appointments as this isn’t their usual surroundings. Therefore, your ultimate goal is to keep your cat comfortable and stress-free, especially if they’re known to get scared of the veterinarian.
Weeks and days before the actual vet appointment, you can spend some time with your cat outside to get them used to the outdoor environment. Preferably, take your cat on car trips and give them a treat for every destination.
If your cat isn’t used to staying in a carrier or cage, don’t forget to practice them weeks before the visit. This way, they won’t be too stressed when placed inside the carrier while traveling. Put your cat’s favorite pillow, blanket, and toys inside to invite them into the cage.
When the appointment day comes, pack necessary supplies for the trip, such as a lease, harness, portable litter box, water, and food. Since you’re only visiting for a general health check-up, it’s okay to feed your cat the day before and on the day of the visit.
Practicing Safety Amidst The Pandemic
Due to the ongoing health crisis, every institution, including your veterinary clinic, follows strict guidelines for everyone’s safety against COVID-19. As a responsible citizen and pet owner, observing these rules should be of paramount importance when attending your vet appointment.
If you don’t want to risk going outside, you can consider shifting to veterinary telemedicine services, especially if you don’t have any emergency concerns for your feline. This revolutionary technology allows pet owners to digitally send photos and videos to their vets, send non-urgent queries, and more.
Routine health and wellness checkups are indispensable to cat ownership. After all, going to the vet consistently will bring good results throughout the entire life of your cat since these examinations will help them maintain optimal health and well-being.