Cats love in-home veterinary exams. Well, cats generally don’t love being examined by the vet, but they certainly like seeing the vet at home a lot more than they like being dragged to the clinic!
Vetted veterinarians see a lot of feline patients. A lot of house call first-timers have questions about what to expect during a house call. Understandable! It’s so easy, many cat parents have a hard time believing they’ve ever done it any other way!
As Far In Advance as Possible…
Make your appointment for a time that works for your cat. What does that mean? Some cats are “morning people,” who are best behaved and most active in the mornings. Maybe your cat is most amenable to being petted (and prodded) in the evenings after the sun goes down.
Preferably several days or even weeks before your appointment, be sure your veterinarian has all the records that are available for your cat. Typically, your new veterinarian’s administrative team will handle this, but it’s never a bad idea to call and check.
The Day of Your In-Home Appointment…
Your veterinarian’s administrative team will likely have communicated with you ahead of time about whether your cat may need urine, fecal or blood diagnostics. If you’re unsure, check with your veterinary team before the appointment so you can prepare.
If your cat is being seen for a gastrointestinal upset or her annual wellness exam, you’ll want to collect a fecal sample prior to your appointment. The sample must be kept cold and should be taken as close to your appointment time as possible. We recommend placing it in a double-sealed bag prior to refrigeration.
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If your cat is more than 8 years old or being seen for urinary tract issues, there’s a high likelihood a urine sample will need to be collected. If you can collect one yourself, great! It doesn’t need to be refrigerated. If not, try to keep your cat from using her litter box for 3-4 hours before the appointment.
Since there’s always a chance your vet will need to draw blood in order to perform diagnostic testing, it’s a good idea to ensure she’s very well hydrated the day of her appointment to make the process easier.
30 Minutes Before Your Appointment…
Round up your cat and place her somewhere secure while you wait for the vet to arrive. This is particularly important if she’s a hider! Crates can be useful, but a small bathroom works fine too. Ideally, your cat will be contained in the same area you plan to have her examined.
Remember that you’ll likely still be charged for an in-home veterinary exam even if your cat can’t be “caught,” so do your best to locate and restrain her before her appointment time!
If you’ve been prescribed anti-anxiety medication for your cat by the veterinarian you’re about to see, now’s a good time to give it to her, if not even earlier. You want her to be as relaxed as possible when the vet arrives. In most states, veterinarians cannot prescribe tranquilizing medications to animals they’ve never treated, so this may not be an option until your second visit.