Happy Cat Vet Visits

Happy Cat Vet Visits

Here at Harbourside Animal Hospital, we understand that going to the vet can be stressful for pets and owners alike. Keeping your cat healthy is essential, and there’s no reason that going to the vet should be an upsetting experience.

That’s why we practice tried-and-true cat-friendly techniques to make every cat feel as comfortable as possible while in our care.

Schedule Regular Vet Visits

Cats should visit the vet for a wellness exam at least once a year, though every six months is ideal for keeping your cat in good health.  A wellness exam includes crucial tests that evaluate the health of your cat, such as: 

  • A physical exam
  • A weight check
  • A dental exam
  • Lab testing
  • Lifestyle vaccines

You’ve likely heard of “dog years,” and there is a cat version, too; cats mature and age much faster than humans do. While a year might not seem like that much time to you, your cat ages rapidly in those 12 months. Your cat’s health can change a lot in that short time, so it’s crucial to keep up with regular checkups.

Cats are experts at hiding signs of illness or discomfort. A veterinarian knows what small changes or abnormalities to look for that may indicate signs of an otherwise hidden illness.  Like humans, preventive care for cats is always better than reactive care. Preventive care is also less expensive than major surgery, so regular checkups keep your cat in good health while not breaking the bank.

How to Get Your Cat to the Vet Easily

When it’s time for your cat’s yearly vet appointment, the first challenge can be getting your cat into the carrier. It can take time for cats to become accustomed to their carrier, but you can take steps to help your cat feel more comfortable. Some things to try are:

  • Leave the carrier where your cat spends much of its time.
  • Put blankets with your scent in the carrier.
  • Put treats in the carrier.
  • Wash the carrier thoroughly after each use to eliminate previously released stress hormones.

Cats respond best to positive reinforcement rather than punishment or force.  Encourage your cat by putting toys or treats in the carrier. For more complex situations, Harbourside Animal Hospital is happy to offer pre-visit “happy cat medicine” to help keep your cat calm.

What We Do for Your Cat

Harbourside Animal Hospital uses many of the techniques employed by Cat-Friendly Practices® to keep your cat as comfortable as possible. We start with a comfortable, safe waiting room.  Then, our educated staff takes their time with a gentle approach to provide a thorough checkup that helps your cat remain calm.

We always keep you completely informed on your cat’s wellbeing so that both you and your pet can rest easy.  For more information or to schedule an appointment at Harbourside Animal Hospital in Tampa, FL, call us at (813) 229-3322.