I have a bit of a ritual when it comes to entering an examination room after working as a veterinarian for ten years. My technician has taken a history, conducted a preliminary exam, and informed me of the main concerns that bring a cat in to see me before I’ve even opened the door. This enables me to detect issues more quickly and choose the appropriate inquiries.
Since our feline friends are unable to communicate verbally, I frequently rely on a cat parent’s observations and words to clarify a situation and suggest a course of action. Many folks respond to my queries without posing any of their own out of anxiety over their cat’s health and self-consciousness. I like it when pet owners ask me questions! By assisting me in understanding pet parents’ worries and making sure they leave the clinic with all of their requirements satisfied, I regard it as a crucial method of communication.
Ten inquiries that I hope more cat owners would pose are listed below:
1. Can I schedule this appointment at a quiet time?
The veterinarian’s office can be a frightening, noisy environment for cats in particular. Requesting to enter during the slow period accomplishes two goals: it expedites your entrance and exit and reduces the possibility of being seated next to an attentive dog in the waiting area. Both result in a less anxious visit for your cat. Out of habit, most clinics provide the first available appointment, but they’d be pleased to accommodate you if you wanted to come in at a less busy period.
2. Is my cat a good weight?
Over 50% of the pets in our country are overweight, making obesity a serious issue in veterinary practice. But many pet owners are unwilling to confront the problem because they are disappointed with the slow progress of a weight-loss program or they are averse to altering their daily routine. By posing this query, you are letting me know that you are prepared to discuss your cat’s weight and that you are receptive to recommendations for the best weight management.
3. What food should I feed my cat?
It can be challenging to choose the correct diet, yet many cat owners choose to ask someone in the pet store aisle for assistance rather than a veterinarian. Please don’t be afraid to ask for advice if you find the pet store to be overwhelming. That is why we are here.
4. Should I be concerned about this change in my cat?
Cats are amazing at hiding disease symptoms until the condition has progressed quite far. Subtle signs of a condition could be very important warning signs. Even seemingly modest and unimportant habit changes can have significance. In one instance, a cat’s owner inquired about it after noticing it suddenly drinking from the tap. It turned out that she had diabetes.
5. Is there anything I can do for marking behavior?
One of the most annoying problems for cat parents is a cat that urinates or defecates outside the litter box. A urinary tract infection, intestinal obstruction (which causes constipation), or kidney failure are all diseases that might cause your cat to urinate more or less than normal and pose a serious risk of death if left untreated. There are a variety of explanations, from medical to behavioral, but many people wait until they are quite frustrated and the issue has persisted for months before they consult a veterinarian. We frequently have tricks and advice that can greatly simplify your life. We can get you both back on track as soon as we address the root of the problem.
6. When can we schedule a dental cleaning?
One of the most typical diagnoses in feline medicine is dental problems. Even for cats who do not exhibit symptoms that their owners would consider to be a visible disease, yearly dental cleanings are an essential component of preventative care for middle-aged and elderly cats. It is preferable to undergo a normal yearly cleaning than to later struggle with a mouthful of uncomfortable unhealthy teeth.
7. What vaccines are appropriate for my cat’s lifestyle?
Vaccination is not a decision that applies to all cats, as more and more cat parents and veterinarians are realizing. The best choices are made individually, taking into consideration a cat’s lifestyle, age, history of vaccinations, and likelihood of exposure to disease. Additionally, several clinics now provide non-adjuvanted immunizations for cats. Even though they can be more difficult to find, these vaccines are regarded to have a lower risk of developing vaccine-associated sarcomas.
8. Can I give this medication to my cat?
A simple phone call can save a life. Never give your cat a human prescription unless you are very certain it is safe for feline use. A lot of drugs that are safe for humans, such Tylenol, can be deadly to cats because of how differently cats and humans metabolize drugs.
9. Can someone watch me give this treatment?
It can take a lot of patience or maybe even just pain to give medicine to a cat that doesn’t want it. This is understood by veterinarians. One approach to make sure your favorite feline has a long and healthy life is to maintain effective communication with your cat’s doctor. Ask the technician or veterinarian to watch you perform an action and provide comments if you have any doubts about whether you are carrying it out correctly. Sadly, this is one of the most typical reasons cats are surrendered to shelters.
10. When should I schedule a follow-up appointment?
Make your next appointment before you leave the office. It can take a few days or weeks for an ongoing issue that needs follow-up. It might take a healthy cat six months. Making an appointment beforehand increases compliance and the likelihood that you’ll actually return on time. Why not do the same for our cats as we do for ourselves when it comes to dental and even hair appointments?
A cat can be a lot of work to take care of, but the effort is well worth it. It takes some practice to become proficient in certain procedures, such providing insulin injections or subcutaneous fluid administration. Never be reluctant to seek clarification. Any trustworthy veterinarian will be more than pleased to respond to them.
Wondering about APCCs Five Commandments of Pet Poison Prevention? Check it out on our latest post!