No one wants to be the client that has the veterinarian arching her back and hissing. But how do you know if the things you are doing make you a terrific pet parent or raise your vet’s dander? In order to keep your kitty’s doctor happy, read on to see if you’re guilty of any of the following.
Never Consult Dr. Google
The internet is a great place to find information about the weather, shop for clothes, and even keep in touch with friends. It is not the place to diagnose your cat’s sneezing or decreased appetite. You will be able to find out anything you want and even more about what you don’t want to by searching your cat’s symptoms on the internet. Anyone can post stuff there. Not only is there incorrect information, but most sites will also try to lead you to the worst case scenario and may leave you sure that Fluffy’s occasional cough has to be heart failure. Remember, not all lumps are cancer and hair loss isn’t always a serious issue.
This is not to say there aren’t websites out there with good information, there definitely are. Sift through and only read content posted by actual veterinarians after you’ve been to the vet. This is a way to get more information on what was discussed at your visit for clarification, not diagnostics.
Food Is Not Love
I’m sorry to say it, but it’s true. Please don’t show your feelings about how much you care by giving lots of treats and extra food. Cats are little animals; therefore, they require little amounts of calories. If you think some of the food off your plate won’t hurt, think again. One small cube of cheese to your kitty would seem like you eating 2 ½ hamburgers, buns and all! It adds up fast, doesn’t it? For more information on what table food can do to your cat visit Hills Science Diet.
Don’t get me wrong, your kitty will love you for the extra food, but his health, in the long run, won’t. Instead of all the treats, try to interact with your kitty on a deeper level. Play, pet, take cat naps or simply scratch behind the ears to cement and strengthen your bond. I used to have a 30-pound cat patient, 30 pounds! You can imagine how funny his disproportioned body looked. Turns out his family liked to share their nightly after-dinner ice cream with him because he loved it so much. His body didn’t love it, however, and he ended up with nearly every health issue in the book, diabetes, and arthritis to name a few until he finally lost the weight.
Exercise Is Not Just For Dogs
You can’t exercise a cat; I’ve heard that so many times before. What I tell that client is oh yes you can and it’s fun! Like dogs, cats need exercise for weight loss or maintenance, mental stimulation, and to prevent injuries.
While your kitty won’t appreciate a romp around the dog park or a swim in the lake, she might love a game of fetch. Most cats will chase balls, stuffed toys, lasers, etc, and some will even retrieve and bring them back to you for more.
If fetch isn’t her thing, she might enjoy climbing. There are a million different styles of cat trees available that not only promote climbing and jumping but can also make your kitty totally lose her mind in wild hysterics for a few minutes several times a day.
Finally, don’t underestimate your cat’s desire and ability to go for walks. Walking your cat can be a fun exercise for both of you. Whatever exercise you choose, make it interesting and engaging to exercise her brain as well.
Veterinary Visits; For More Than Just Illnesses
Most cat parents would like to believe this because their cat may not be the easiest to wrangle into a carrier or he tends to get hissy when seeing the vet. But let me tell you that veterinarians want to see your kitty for wellness visits too. This not only gives them a chance for a good checkup and vaccinations, but it also gives you a chance to ask any burning questions about your furry pal’s behavior, normal aging, activity, etc.
Since cats are stoic creatures, an illness may progress far longer than it should before you even know something is amiss. Regular wellness exams can help spot these issues before they become overly bothersome and may even prevent future trips to the vet. Believe me, veterinarians want to see your kitty no matter how cranky, grumpy, grouchy, or even downright mad they may be. One of my favorite clients is an overly touchy grandma kitty that we see regularly for minor issues. She’s one of my favorites because we always see her before anything becomes major and we really have to find out how foul her mood can be!
Cat Carriers Are Not Just For Bad Kitties
Nothing will get your vet’s tail twitching more than having a client walk in holding their cat in their arms. Just because your cat seems calm and collected as she basks in a sunbeam on your couch doesn’t mean she will act similarly when confronted with the stress and annoyances of a veterinary visit.
Transporting your cat without a carrier is not only a risk to them but to you as well. Your precious pet won’t think twice about climbing you like a tree in order to escape the cars speeding through the parking lot or the barking dog in the waiting room. Always use a cat carrier to transport your kitty to the veterinary clinic, no matter how much Hide And Seek and stuffing you have to do to get her in there.
If you don’t have a pet carrier and don’t plan on purchasing one, don’t worry. I have had clients bring their furry friends in cardboard boxes, coolers, laundry hampers, and even an industrial-size garbage can. As long as kitty is safe and has proper ventilation, any container will do to keep your cat confined and your arms and hands in their original condition.
Stay on your veterinarian’s good side by not doing the things posted above. After all, after you, your veterinarian could and should be your kitty’s most trusted friend.