Cat Vet Visits

Know when to take your cat to the vet and how to make the trip less stressful

When it comes to vet visits and car rides, cats stay home. According to a 2012 survey by the AVMA, there are 74.1 million pet cats and 70 million pet dogs in the US.

According to the 2013 AVMA Vital Statistics - Veterinary Visits report: 

Among cat owners, 44.9 percent did not take their cat or cats to a veterinarian during 2011, up from 36.3 percent in 2006. Among dog owners, 18.7 percent did not take their dog or dogs to a veterinarian during 2011, up from 17.3 percent in 2006.
Read full AVMA...MORE Vital Statistics report.

One reason for the higher percentage of cats skipping out on annual vet visits may be that cats, especially indoor cats, aren't as easy to travel with and going to the vet is a scary experience.

Health care from kittenhood to the senior years is just as important for cats as their dog counterparts. Here are some tips to help make it happen.

  • 01 of 09
    Cleo Hiding by Genglo
    Cleo Hiding. by Genglo

    Getting used to the carrier and taking some short easy trips are the first steps. Learn some tips to make this a positive experience for your cat. Also some considerations about choosing the 'best' vet for your cat (feline-exclusive, mobile) and what to do for extreme cases of vet-phobic cats.

  • 02 of 09
    Elmo the Cat Photo © GenGlo
    Elmo the Cat. © GenGlo

    Cats may become stressed by many things. Just what stresses cats out is not always obvious, and stress may manifest in many forms. Learn how to recognize signs of stress in your cat and what to do about it.

  • 03 of 09

    Cat Carrier Training

    Image courtesy of PriceGrabber

    Cat carriers (also called crates), are considered by many to be a necessary evil. Necessary to protect your cat in transit to the car, while in the car, and at the vet. The 'evil' downside is that the crate reminds the cat of the transport, car, and vet office.

    Here are some tips to make the carrier less scary and hopefully, more appealing.

  • 04 of 09

    8 Socialization Tips For Veterinary Office Visits

    Dog and Cat / Noel Zia Lee on Flickr
    Dog and Cat. Noel Zia Lee on Flickr
    Planning and preparing for a veterinary visit begins at home. Here are some training and socialization tips to start at home to ease the stress of a veterinary visit.
    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09
    © Bill in Ash Vegas on Flickr
    Mo at the Vet. © Bill in Ash Vegas on Flickr

    Adding a new kitten to the family is always exciting. Sometimes it is a pre-planned and highly anticipated event, sometimes it is a spontaneous adoption-rescue. Either way, a vet check-up as soon as possible is your best bet, especially if you have other cats in the home.

  • 06 of 09
    Herman Quinn - October 2007
    Herman Quinn - October 2007. Janet Tobiassen DVM
    As a general rule of thumb, a cat who is 10 years or older should be considered middle to senior aged Each cat, like each human, is different. Here are some general things to watch for as a cat ages.
  • 07 of 09
    Are looking at me? © dogbomb on Flickr
    Are looking at me?. © dogbomb on Flickr
    As a cat ages, it may be easy to chalk up a new behavior or health issue as "just old age," but be on the alert for new behaviors and activities (or lack of activity) - these can be clues to your cat's overall health.
  • 08 of 09
    Veterinary exam room by Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM
    Veterinary exam room. by Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM

    Working on your pet observation skills at home (and when your pet isn't ill) will aid your veterinarian in providing the best possible care and diagnostic services for your pet.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09
    Herman Roosevelt Quinn - Cat Relaxing on a Rug Credit: Janet Tobiassen DVM
    Herman Roosevelt Quinn - Cat Relaxing on a Rug. Credit: Janet Tobiassen DVM

    Feliway is a product that contains the synthetic version of the naturally occurring facial pheromones of cats. It is similar to DAP for dogs. This product is available as a spray or an in-room difusser and creates a sense of calm for many cats.

    Feliway spray is not to be used on the cat, but is effective when sprayed in the carrier or blanket a few minutes pre-trip.