Tips for Taking Your Cat to the Vet During COVID-19 By Layla Morgan Wilde
August 22 is the feline awareness holiday: Take Your Cat To The Vet Day and the Royal Canin campaign #Cat2Vet. This year, more than ever, our cats need our help to stay happy and healthy. Cats are masters at hiding illness and all the more reason for wellness vet visits.
An annual preventive check-up can help identify problems before they become serious (scroll down for a purrsonal story with my cat Odin.)
I’m passionate about feline wellness which is why I’m partnering with Royal Canin for their annual #Cat2Vet campaign, which aims to encourage cat owners to not only schedule regular veterinary visits, but to continuously educate themselves on cat health and nutrition.
Here’s how and why it’s important: Living during a pandemic is stressful for humans and pets. Stress causes or exacerbates many diseases. Ironically, cats can develop just about any illness or disease that humans do. There is a reported rise in UTIs or urinary tract infections which is often stress related. Symptoms of illness in cats can be subtle and easily missed.
Cats thrive on routine. Most are used to quiet days to nap or play in peace. Having pet parents suddenly working at home, teaching kids at home, screens dinging and blaring is disruptive. There may be more yelling and tempers flaring from the “Covid crazies”. Seriously, you’d have to be a Zen Buddhist monk not to be impacted from doomscrolling, economic loss, in a volatile election year no less. Cats don’t care about any of it. They just know something is amiss.
The upside of more pet parents working from home is more kitty petting, grooming and cuddle time. According to a recent survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Royal Canin, 81% felt the quarantine brought them closer to their pet while 60% noticed a change in their behavior. It’s a boon for snuggly cats and a chance for cat parents to observe their cats more closely.
IF ONLY I’D KNOWN SOONER, I COULD HAVE HELPED MY CAT! If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that. Don’t let that be your mantra. I prefer AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS…
Don’t blame yourself! Cats are notorious for sneaky ways of dealing with stress and illness. They hide. They over groom. They avoid (like the litter box). See more of my tips for easier vet visits.
Other symptoms to look for:
- Changes in appetite or water consumption.
- Changes in urine or stool appearance of frequency.
- Lethargy. Sleeping more. Not him or herself.
- Coughing, sneezing, eye or nasal discharge.
- Drooling or Vomiting
But don’t wait until any obvious symptoms pop up. Remember, symptoms can be subtle. There is no better feeling than a clean bill of health. Goodness knows we all need something to celebrate these days.
How else to help kitty?
- Learn more about their unique ways and specific needs.
- The best way to keep your cat healthy is to Stay Curious about their health!
- Purchase Royal Canin at PetSmart and receive a free vet visit from Banfield.
No one expects you to go to the vet on August 22 but circle the date to make an appointment this week. When you do, this is what’s different this year.
- More vets are offering tele-visits.
- If you are driving to a clinic, take the normal precautions of masking up, and wiping down the cat carrier with a sanitizer wipe.
- If you are taking public transportation, keep the carrier six feet from other riders if possible.
- If you have a mobile vet appointment or house call, most vets and assistants will take extra measures to keep you and your household safe.
- Ask in advance what your vet’s protocol is.
- Curbside vet service is typical now. There is no need to enter a clinic. Vet staff will pick up and return your cat’s carrier from the car or in front of their door.
- I visited our very busy feline-only vet this week and was pleased. Be sure your phone is charged. After the staff picks up the pet’s carrier, the vet will call during or after the exam. Some vets Face time. For those who don’t like waiting in a waiting room or being in the examining room, it’s a breeze. For those who prefer being there during the exam, there is a slight disconnect but well worth it for the service.
A purrsonal story
I’m a big advocate of mobile vet care. It’s the least stressful for all concerned. No stressful car rides or new sights, sounds and smells at a clinic. But I also have a trusted feline-only veterinary clinic. Hello, no barking dogs. If you have a choice, choose a veterinary feline specialist.
Last summer, my one-eyed adventure cat Odin tuned nine. It was time for his annual visit and since he was now officially a senior, he needed the recommended senior panel of blood and urine analysis. He was in good health but the test results showed very early signs of kidney disease.
Had I waited, the disease would have silently progressed, but I changed his diet to a low phosphorus, added supplements and encouraged more filtered water consumption. Odin is 10 now, healthy and happy but I will continue to monitor his health every year. So much can happen in the span of one year which equals about 7 human years. I suggest geriatric cats, 12 and up see their vet twice a year for that reason.
Kidney disease or CKD is the #1 killer of cats over the age of 5, but we can change those stats with a healthier diet. Odin likes Royal Canin 12+ for its kidney support formula. They also have a variety of prescriptive formulas.
I think you’ll find when your cat gets used to wellness and not illness visits, going to the vet can be purrfect! Now that’s something to celebrate. Nou Nou agrees!
FTC disclaimer: This post is kindly sponsored by Royal Canin but my professional opinion remains my own.