Cats are independent and secretive by nature. They can be elusive and hide injury and illness well. As a cat owner, you are the true expert in detecting the subtle changes in your cat’s behaviour. We are asking you to look closely, as we are worried. Many cats are not getting the health care they need and deserve – and we want you to have a long, happy, and healthy relationship with your cat.
Changes to look for:
- Activity level (increased or decreased)
- Sleep patterns
- Increase or decrease in weight
- Vocal changes (frequency and sound)
- Eliminating outside the litter box
- Changes in fur/grooming behaviour
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Bad breath
- Behavioural changes (aggression, clinginess, fear)
Changes in any of these areas can be an indication of illness or injury and are important.
The importance of annual wellness exams:
- 80% of cat owners believe that their cat is healthy and self-sufficient.
- Regular visits to the veterinary clinic will help prevent many health issues and detect the early onset of others. Even indoor cats need updated vaccinations and parasite control.
- When we see cats for a physical exam, we can prevent and/or diagnosis many early stages of a disease. Routine exams allow the veterinarian to assess and track their weight, body condition, heart health, eyes, dental and oral health. We can address mobility issues, behavioural changes and discuss any changes that you have detected at home. By having regular discussions and answering some simple questions, the veterinarian can gain a lot of insight into your cat and their wellbeing. We need to start talking about our cats!
- We know that bringing cats to the veterinary office is stressful for both cats and their owners. That is often the biggest reason why cats do not come in to see us on a regular basis or even at the first sign of illness. We can help!
Here are some things we will do at College Manor Veterinary to help make this visit easier and less stressful, beginning with your cat at home:
- We will happily lend you a safe and secure cat carrier.
- We will provide your cat with a quiet and secure location on your arrival at the clinic.
- If hospitalized, we will provide your cat with a safe and quiet location away from barking dogs and stressful stimuli.
- We will use our professional training and expertise to handle your cat safely and gently on their terms throughout the appointment to help minimize their stress levels.
- Our exam rooms have a Feliway pheromone diffuser – proven to reduce fear and stress levels in cats.
- We will assess, and if needed, prescribe safe and effective medications to reduce anxiety, fear and even motion sickness, for you to give at home before their visit with us.
Some things you can do at home:
- Have a solid-sided cat carrier big enough for your cat to move around in.
- Never put more than one cat in a carrier at a time (we will lend you additional carriers if needed).
- Purchase a carrier that can be opened from the top and able to be taken apart in the middle. We can often examine a cat while it is still in the bottom portion, where it feels safer and more secure.
- Consider having your cat carrier open and out in your home all the time. Make it a safe and familiar place.
- Put a thick, comfortable blanket inside – cats like traction and don’t want to be sliding around in there!
- Use a calming pheromone spray such as FELIWAY inside the carrier and bedding.
- Secure your cat in the carrier in your car. Behind your seat on the floor, or with the seat belt.
- Cover the carrier with a light, breathable cover so that they feel secure from unfamiliar sights or stressful triggers (dogs, other cats, new surroundings).
- Contact us – we can provide sedation, anti-anxiety and anti-nausea medications if needed.
We love cats! And we know you do too. Let us strengthen the bond by adding to their health and well-being. Call us to book a wellness examination today at 905-853-4706.
Written by College Manor Veterinary Hospital