Recently mom saw an article in the New York Times by Kaitlyn Wells for WireCutter.com, which is a recommendation site owned by the Times. In this article, the author listed 5 questions to ask your vet the next time you take your pet for a wellness check.
While the article listed questions for both cat and dog owners and were species non-specific, it often leaned “canine” when the author elaborated on the issues to be aware of.
We love the fact that the author came up with a list – and who doesn’t love a list?! Mom felt it would be beneficial to add some cat-specific questions to the list and, of course, share it with you!
What should I be feeding my cat?
This is a biggest question on the table – because we are what we eat – just like you humans. It is very important to do your “diet” research online as well as by asking questions of your friends and family who have cats and have a sense of the feeding options available today. Then you can go into the check-up with some understanding of the connection between poor diets and poor health.
Regarding the diet, ask your vet their opinion on the following:
Commercial processed food, including canned food and kibble, verses a raw, fresh food diet that is also available in pet stores and online
How many Kcals should you be giving your cat each day
All day grazing versus multiple, small meals 2-4 times a day
What is your cat’s ideal weight considering breed, sex, age, etc.
How you can be sure that your cat is well-hydrated
How do the teeth and gums look?
This is the next most important topic because the teeth are a cat’s weak spot – they are prone to dental and periodontal disease. Your cat may be a part of the small exception, if it has never had dental issues, however, most cat owners will have to have their cat’s teeth cleaned at least a couple times during its lifetime, which is costly. Ask the vet for the best practices to care for your cat’s teeth and gums.
Some Additional Question That Should Be On Your List:
What is your opinion on “indoor only living” verses “indoor/outdoor” living for cats?
What types of exercise and how much does my indoor cat need on a daily basis?
Does my indoor cat need a friend? Can it be a dog or do I need to get a second cat?
How do you feel about booster vaccinations (after the first round series) for indoor cats?
How do you feel about flea medications for indoor cats?
One last question…Can you give me a list of your services and costs for visits and treatments?
This is a very important discussion to have on your first visit to a vet. This is where the discussion of the importance of pet health insurance comes in, too. Be candid with your vet when it comes to your budget so that, together, you can plan an effective but cost-effective treatment plan if needed for your pet.