Knowing whether your beloved Garfield is just being lazy or might have an underlying health issue is often tricky – and sometimes only obvious when it is a serious problem.

Cats are far more subtle than dogs in showing discomfort, illness or pain according to Royal Canin South Africa’s veterinarian and technical manager Dr. Michelle Harman.

“Cats may retreat to a corner, hide or merely not display much movement if they have joint pain, mobility issues or are unwell. They rely on us. We need to make their health a priority,” said Dr Harman.

More than half of cat-only owners felt it wasn’t necessary to take their cat to the vet in the past year. While 21 percent of cat owners go to the vet only after already seeing clear signs of illness.

“The difficulty of getting their cat to the vet or the belief that indoor cats aren’t as susceptible to illness or disease are some reasons why cat owners avoid vet visits.”

To avoid your cat from going through potential suffering and pain (and to save yourself from massive vet bills) set that annual reminder to go for a health check.

Try out Dr Harman’s five, easy tips to make the next vet visit less stressful for you and your cat:

  1. Find a cat-friendly vet practice. Make sure the veterinary practice has a separate cat waiting area to ensure a more calming environment for you and your cat.
  2. Invest in the best carrier for your cat.  Secure, stable, hard-sided carriers that open from the top and the front, and can also be taken apart in the middle, are best.
  3. Take the fear out of the carrier by placing it in a room at home where your cat spends a lot of time. Put a soft blanket or any other familiar bedding and a special toy into the carrier to make it a comfortable place.
  4. Give them a safe space by covering their pet carrier with a towel to help block out strange sights and dampen unfamiliar sounds at the vet. Respect your cat’s need for time to acclimate to the new environment.
  5. Take it easy when you come home. Keep the peace in a multi-cat household by leaving the returning cat in the carrier for a few minutes. See how all of your cats react to unfamiliar smells, and separate them if there are signs of tension.
WIN one of three Royal Canin pet hampers valued at R500 each!
So many goodies for you and your pets – from an eco-friendly coffee mug and cat scratching post to a stylish food container, doggy walk pouch and more!

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Royal Canin Hamper

Competition closes at 9am on 30 September.

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