Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Take Your Cat to the Vet Week

This week (August 22 through 28) has been declared as Take Your Cat to the Vet Week. You’re probably wondering why such an event is needed. Unfortunately, the CATlyst Council and the American Humane Association estimate that even though cats outnumber dogs in the U.S. by 15 million, cats see the veterinarian half as often as dogs. In fact, Feline Pine, which founded Take Your Cat to the Vet Week, surveyed feline owners in 2009 and discovered that fewer than half of the owners took their kitties to the vet for checkups unless they were ill. However, the American Veterinary Medical Association recommends that felines visit the veterinarian twice a year for checkups.

CatChannel speculates there are a few reasons pet parents do not take their cats to the vet as often as they should. First, it is difficult to get a cat into his or her carrier. Oftentimes, when you pull out the carrier, a cat will bolt under the bed or the couch and is difficult to capture.

When I take my kitties to the vet, I pick up one of my cats while my roommate gets the carrier ready. It is definitely easier to get a cat into a carrier when you have two people on the task. However, if you do not have anyone to help you get your feline into his or her carrier, you might want to put your kitty into the bathroom and then get the carrier out. Take the carrier into the bathroom with you and shut the door. This will ensure your cat does not have a lot of room to run around or things to hide under.

Another great idea is to help your cat get used to, and even like his or her carrier. Petfinder has some tips on how you can get your pet to like his or her carrier. You can read the tips here.

I speculate another reason pet owners do not take their felines to the vet as often as is recommended is that the vet can be expensive. If your kitty does not have many medical problems, you might want to look into pet insurance, which will help cover the cost of preventative vet care. If you are on a limited or fixed income, do an Internet search for “low-cost veterinary care” in your city and state. Many states offer low-cost vet care for individuals who cannot afford to pay full price for their pet’s vet visits.

Even though vet visits may be stressful for both you and your feline, they are very important. Cats are very good at hiding health problems from humans. If you do not notice subtle changes in your cat’s behavior, he or she can suffer for weeks or months before you notice that he or she may not be feeling well. You can read more on how to tell if your cat may be sick in my posts How to Tell if Your Cat is Sick - Part 1 and Part 2.

Regular checkups can help diagnose and treat diseases such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, arthritis, and kidney failure earlier, which could mean less suffering for your furry friend and less expensive treatment for you as well.

Regular vet visits are beneficial for both you and your furry friend. If you haven’t been to the veterinarian in the past six months, I really encourage you to schedule an appointment for your kitty soon.


Petfinder: Take Your Cat to the Vet Week 2011

CatChannel: The CATalyst: Celebrate Take Your Cat to the Vet Week


  1. Great reminder! I hope lots of cat owners read this post, and take their feline friends to get checked.

  2. I did not know there is such week and cats are not taken to vet as often as dogs. I tend to take my kitties too often with any little things. I think it's good to be too careful :-)

  3. I totally agree! I'd rather be too careful with my precious fur babies than not careful enough. They are so worth pampering :)