Thursday, April 19, 2012

Don’t Let 'Vet Fear' Shorten Your Cat’s' Life

Image via Bayer Healthcare Animal Health 
Via Market Watch - Garfield took to the internet today to educate cat owners about the risk of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and the unseen danger as their pet reaches the age of seven. Every owner dreads the stress caused to their animal by visiting the vet and in the latest Garfield cartoon, you can see how treating CKD early need not be a stressful experience.

CKD is a common health problem for cats, especially those who are aged seven or older. Many cats will not show any signs of kidney disease until more than 75% of kidney function has been lost. First signs can include reduced appetite, increased thirst and urination and weight loss. With the right care and treatment, cats with CKD can enjoy a good quality of life for many months or even years.

Early intervention is essential to slow deterioration of renal function. Garfield, a middle aged cat himself, encourages cat owners to visit the vet to safeguard the health of their cat. "If you are concerned that your cat may have the symptoms of CKD bring them to the vet - your trip does not need to be a stressful experience", says veterinarian Dr. Sarah Caney. "Simple measures can be taken to reduce your cat's anxiety and make your trip as pleasant as possible for you and your pet".

Dr. Caney's recommendations include:
  •  Use a top-opening basket, which is the most practical for getting cats in and out with minimal stress.
  • Choose a basket that is easy to clean and line it with something absorbent before placing something that smells familiar and reassuring on top. This could be your cat's favorite bed or some of your clothes.
  •  Leave the basket out in the home when not in use and use as a place to give your cat treats in the carrier when a trip is not planned. This may help your cat to associate the carrier with positive activities.
  • Spray Feliway into the basket at least 30 minutes before putting the cat inside, as this may help your cat to feel more at ease on their journey
  • Once your cat is inside the basket, cover it with a large towel as this may help to calm your cat.
  • Secure the carrier firmly when in the car, using a seat belt or by placing in a footwell.
  •  Drive slowly and smoothly, talking to your cat as you travel. If you remain calm your cat will also feel reassured.
  •  If your cat is very anxious, stay in your car until your vet is ready to see you - waiting rooms can be very noisy and stressful for cats.
  • Speak to your veterinarian to find out when there are quieter times at the clinic, as this will help to reduce your cat's stress.



  2. My cat cousin Mickey (actually, I think he's my uncle....but anyhoo) was diagnosed with CKD when was 11. And he's 21 now and still going strong. A special diet and regular check ups have kept him happy and healthy. He's a bit of a wonder really.

    Love and licks, Winnie the Greyhound

  3. I have a few friends who have kitties with CKD; totally treatable! Great post.

  4. Thanks everyone for your comments. Although I don't have any experience with CKD, I have had cats who were afraid to go to the vet. The suggestions from Dr. Caney are great for anyone and everyone!

  5. No kidding! We hates going to da V-E-T and it's just 2 blocks away! We gonna make sure mommy takes this advice next time!