SCRATCH the surface and even the sweetest kitty can turn into a hellcat when you’re trying to get her to the vet.
Attempts to get puss into a carrier, a car and the inside of a clinic spark a distressing battle of wills for all parties - so much so that some owners give up on the idea altogether.
This worries Melbourne veterinarian Vadim Chelom, who said cats may be missing out on their annual health check as a result.
“The simple fact that cats are hard to get into a cat carrier – many of them have a phobia about them – to transport them to the clinic means they can be at extra risk of health issues,” he said.
This can be painful for the pet and costly for the owner – both emotionally and financially, he said.
He said he hoped the worrying trend could be reversed with the expansion of mobile vet services, like Australian app-based mobile vet booking service Pawssum.
“One of the reasons I’m passionate about being able to visit cats in their own home is because I know that if I wasn’t doing that, many of these cats wouldn’t be a seeing a vet regularly at all,” said Dr Chelom, a veterinarian with Pawssum.
“It’s a worry because cats are, for example, commonly affected by kidney disease and upper respiratory infections, both of which can be hard to discover without vet checks, and cats are also often very good at hiding their health issues, meaning it can be easy to miss them until the issue is advanced.”
Mobile vets that come to the family home – or workplace – can cover 80 per cent of a pet’s health needs without having to head to a clinic and can also allow for a better diagnosis.
“It can be difficult to make an accurate medical diagnosis when a pet is stressed or over-excited; the physical examination itself becomes challenging if the pet won’t relax or becomes aggressive secondary to stress, and these reactions will also affect their vital signs so being more relaxed at home can reduce stress and improve the accuracy of diagnosis,” Dr Chelom explained.
“It’s also easier to review diet, check if outdoor spaces are adequate, and observe the pet’s behaviour in their home environment too.”
Pawssum vets can help with urgent medical check-ups, vaccinations, dental, heart, eye and ear checks, taking blood and lump samples, in-clinic follow up, dog training and telephone or video chat check-ups.
The Pawssum app also keeps your pet’s complete health records handy at any time, meaning any vet can access them without the hassle of contacting another clinic or vet.
Appointments can be made using the Pawssum app or website.
The company also donates $2 from each booking to a pet-related charity.