I’ve been practicing veterinary medicine for over twenty years and have experienced the entire spectrum of reactions from cat vet visits that you can imagine. These cat reactions range from “You’re my best friend” to “I want to kill you.” The cat vet visit that could be right out of a horror flick is just one of the reasons that cat owners don’t like taking their cat to the vet. In a recent study conducted by Royal Canin, they reported that 92% of cat owners say their cat’s health is important to them, but only half of all cats are taken to the veterinarian by their caretakers on a regular basis. This week, I will reveal the top four excuses clients use for not taking their cats to the vet and how to resolve these issues.
Top 4 reasons why clients avoid cat vet visit:
- Difficulty getting your cat to the veterinarian: I understand that the struggle is real, from the cat carrier to the car, to entering a veterinary clinic full of other dogs and cats. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Over the years, Guthrie Pet Hospital has learned more effective, stress-free and fear-free ways to handle cats which can make your cat vet visit less stressful for everyone involved.
- However, fear-free begins with you at home. Unlike our clinic cat, Sylvie, most cats are scared or apprehensive about new objects, so getting the cat carrier out of the closet or garage a few days before isn’t enough time for your cat to accept it. I recommend leaving your cat carrier out in your house all year long. Leave the door open and throw treats and toys inside to encourage your cat to go inside.
- Guthrie Pet Hospital has an exam room just for your cat. It contains a cat tower and a fish tank. We use a pheromone plug-in called Feliway which also helps relieve anxiety.
- For those of you with cats that want to rip your veterinarian’s throat out, talk to your veterinarian about anti-anxiety medication to help with your cat vet visit.
- Cats need less veterinary care than dogs: This is just not true, in fact, cats are experts in disguising or masking when they are ill. In fact, it can be nearly impossible for the most observant cat owner to recognize signs and symptoms of cat illnesses. May cat owners get their cat’s initial set of vaccines and they don’t return to the clinic unless their cat is sick. This is especially true with inside only cats because owners don’t feel their cat is at risk for these diseases. Even if you and your veterinarian decide not to vaccinate annually, it’s still imperative to perform annual cat vet visits to detect diseases early.
- Reluctance to ask for time off from work: At Guthrie Pet Hospital, you have several options to get your cat seen by the doctor. Monday through Thursday we are open for 11 ½ hours a day. Most people work 8-hour shifts, so this should give you ample time to come in early or later depending on your work schedule. We also are open on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. If this doesn’t work for you, Guthrie Pet Hospital offers day admission appointments, where you can bring your cat in the morning and pick up at the end of the day. We will get your pet examines before your discharge appointment.
- Cost: At Guthrie Pet Hospital, your annual visit should range from $50-100 for a full comprehensive exam, vaccines and deworming depending on what your cat needs. Having your cat examined annually will allow us to detect problems early and reduce the cost of veterinary care in the long run. Need help budgeting your cat vet visit? We have the answer to this problem with our Petly wellness plans. These customized wellness plans allow you to pay a monthly fee for all your cat’s annual needs.
Do you have other reservation about your cat vet visit? Contact Guthrie Pet Hospital to discuss these issues. I’m confident that we can help you solve the issues and help your cat live a longer, happier, healthier life.