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Cat Check Up: How to Prepare for Your Cat’s Annual Vet Visit

cat during vet visit
Dr. Rick Coufal, DVM

Dr. Rick Coufal, DVM

Dr. Rick Coufal is the founder and lead veterinarian for Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic. Coufal graduated from State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in May of 2000.

Although cats have a tendency to be independent, it doesn’t mean they require less care than a dog or any other pet. Both indoor and outdoor cats should see the vet at least once a year. These annual wellness exams allow trends in your cat’s health to be established, so any changes or emergencies are caught early. Yearly checkups also ensure your cat is up-to-date on vaccinations and has a clean bill of health.

At Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic, it is incredibly important to us that cats in the Colorado Springs area are living healthy and fulfilling lives. With years of training and experience in veterinary medicine, we provide thorough wellness exams to keep your cat safe and happy.

Taking a Cat to the Vet: What to Know Beforehand

As an owner, it is your responsibility to monitor your cat’s behavior and be prepared to share details with your veterinarian. It’s a good idea to have some notes ready prior to your visit, including:

  • The type of food your cat eats
  • Past medical records, including vaccines and previous health issues
  • Any medications your cat is taking (name and dosage)
  • How frequently your cat uses the litter box
  • Recent travel or time spent outside

Providing your veterinarian with this information will help make the wellness exam as comprehensive as possible. Additionally, it is helpful to know what to expect during the visit.

Cat Wellness Exam

Wellness exams are all-encompassing checkups meant to prevent any major health concerns from arising. During your cat’s wellness exam, you can expect the following to be evaluated:

  • Weight
  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Lymph Nodes
  • Skin and fur
  • Eyes and ears
  • Teeth and gums
  • Sensitivities over muscles or joints
  • Any unusual lumps

Cat Vaccinations and Lab Tests

Along with this, cat vaccinations and laboratory tests are often a part of the wellness exam. Vaccinations will be recommended by your veterinarian during each visit. Vaccines are classified as core vaccinations and non-core vaccinations. In most cases, all cats should be vaccinated, no matter whether they are an indoor or outdoor cat.

As for cat laboratory tests, blood work may be completed or your vet may take urine and fecal samples. Generally, these tests are done to establish a baseline for your cat’s health and can be compared to if concerns arise.

Cat Freaks Out at the Vet

Whether it’s your cat’s first trip to the vet, or vet visits just makes your cat nervous, there are things you can do to reduce the stress that comes with the process.

  • Allow your cat to get used to the carrier – Give your cat time to get comfortable and familiar with the carrier. You can do this by simply leaving it out a few days in advance of the veterinary appointment.
  • Be prepared for the car ride – Wait until right before you leave for the appointment to put the carrier in the car. With this, put some of your cat’s favorite treats and toys in the carrier to help calm him.
  • Actively participate and soothe your cat during the wellness exam. With guidance from the veterinarian, do your best to help throughout the exam by petting and talking to your cat. Your familiar presence will make the visit less stressful.

Cat Vet Visits | Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic

If you have recently gotten a cat or it has been a year or longer since you have taken your cat to the vet, it is time to schedule a wellness exam. At Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic, our kind-hearted, expert team will ensure the visit goes smoothly and your cat experiences the professional care. Learn more about our wellness exams or contact us to schedule an appointment.

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Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic is seeking an enthusiastic and caring veterinarian to work relief, part-time or full-time in our general practice. PVC is a full-service, 3+ doctor, small-animal veterinary hospital. We have established an excellent reputation for developing lasting relationships with our clients and for providing compassionate and quality care to our patients.