How to get the most out of Take Your Cat to the Vet Day
The following is a contribution from Zach at Vet Set Go, a community designed for aspiring veterinarians. Dr. Chris Carpenter shares tips on how we can make the most out of that important trip to the vet.
The annual Take Your Cat to the Vet Day is August 22nd. If it has been a year or more since you last took your cat to the vet, this would be the perfect time to schedule an appointment.
Most of us take our cat’s health pretty much for granted, especially when they are indoor only cats (which, hopefully, every cat is). As long as they are eating, using the litter box, and not throwing up every day, most of us feel content that our furry companions are healthy.
Problems can arise, however, when you least expect it. By taking your cat to the vet at least once a year for a general check up, you are more likely to catch potential problems while they are in the earliest stages, making treatment easier and more effective.
Be sure to check out our top tips for getting the most out of your visit to the vet. Who knows? You may not be back for another year.
Pre-Visit Prep Work
- Collect all your pet’s medical records and put them in one folder. If your cat has had several vets over the years, this becomes even more important.
- If the vet hasn’t called you, call them 24 hours before your cat’s appointment and confirm the time. Nothing is more annoying than finding out that your appointment somehow got lost in the computer.
- Make notes about anything you might have noticed (such as your cat drinking more than normal or lack of interest in toys) that would help the vet.
- Write down the types and brands of food(s) your cat eats. Don’t forget to mention kitty treats and any human food you might give them. Your cat’s diet is extremely important and it might help your vet if something is wrong.
- Make a list of questions to ask your vet, if you have any. Don’t worry about asking a “dumb” question, your vet is there to help you, not judge you.
- If your cat is taking medication or herbal supplements, be sure to bring them along.
- Always put your cat in a carrier. Even though most cats dislike them, they are the safest way to transport kitty and to keep them safe in car and office.
- If your furry feline generally goes berserk once out of the carrier, be sure to warn the doctor or nurse beforehand so they can be prepared.
- Always tell the truth. The vet cannot help your pet if you are not honest when answering his questions.
- If the doctor gives you a prescription, be sure you understand how, and how much, you are supposed to give your cat. Write it down if you feel you might forget.
- Schedule another appointment before you leave if the doctor says it is necessary for kitty to return.
Before You Leave
- Get a business card and see if it includes a 24 hour emergency number. If it doesn’t, ask if you can have a number to call in an extreme emergency. This is especially important if this is a new vet. Put the numbers in your cell phone ASAP.
- If the doctor plans on calling you back, be certain they have your correct contact information. Your cell phone number or work number might have changed in the past year, so it’s a good idea if you double check the numbers before you head out the door.
Home Sweet Home
Hopefully, your cat’s health checks out fine and is given a clean bill of health. You both can relax and mark another item off your to-do list for another year. Try rewarding kitty with a special treat so he or she doesn’t associate the carrier or vet’s office with a thermometer in the behind. A little bite of their favorite treat, and some petting, will go a long way towards making the next trip a little bit easier.
This is a helpful reminder brought to you by Vetsetgo, a unique online community for aspiring veterinarians.