When you bring your Ragdoll kitten home for the first time, usually the breeder which you bought your Ragdoll cat from will encourage you to visit the veterinarian as early as possible. This assures you that you received a healthy kitten and gives your veterinarian a baseline measure during future visits.
Taking your ragdoll kitten to the vet can be a daunting task. In this article, we will provide you with tips on how to take your ragdoll cat to the vet safely and comfortably, and what to expect during your first visit to the vet.
Research the Vet You Are Using
When you are thinking about taking your ragdoll cat to the vet, it is important to do some research. You want to make sure that the vet you are using is reputable and has experience with Ragdoll cats. Ask around and find someone who has had good experiences with the vet. This will help ensure a safe visit for your cat.
Before visiting your chosen vet write down any questions you may have. Don’t rely on your memory, as it is easy to inadvertently move off a topic before all of your questions are completely answered.
Prepare Your Cat for His Visit To The Vet
Before you take your Ragdoll cat to the vet, it is important to prepare them for the trip.
To begin with, cats need to be put into a basket. Most of us will fetch the basket out of storage shortly before we intend to go, this can mean the cat will start to associate the basket with the trip to the vet. You can help avoid this happening by bringing out the basket a few days ahead of time and placing it somewhere where your cat will see it every day.
As cats like to hide in small spaces, they sometimes actually see it as a place of sanctuary, and it can be quite difficult to get them out of it at the other end! Having a basket where you can take the complete top off, for easy access, is certainly useful in these cases.
Transporting Your Cat to the Vet
When it comes to taking your Ragdoll cat to the veterinarian, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. First and foremost, always make sure that your cat is comfortable during transport. This means that you should make sure that they are seated in a carrier or container that is big enough for them to move around, but is also padded so that they don’t feel bumps or jolts. Put a toy or two in the carrier, in the event that you must wait for the veterinarian. It is important that your cat remains in its carrier while it’s in the waiting room, as it will feel more secure this way and be safe from other animals and open doors.
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Cats will show signs of stress in different ways, some will go quiet and become reserved, others might yowl for the complete journey. It’s usually the fear of the unknown and the motion of the car can be the sensation that sets them off.
For this reason, it’s important to secure the basket in the car with a seat belt, to avoid undue jolting, and keep movement to a minimum. Drive more considerately and be aware of junctions and roundabouts, so that you can anticipate them and negotiate them as smoothly as possible and avoid those sudden changes in direction.
Fresh air is important too, so keep the car well ventilated. Finally, always make sure to have the veterinary office emergency number handy in case anything goes wrong during transport.
You don’t need to put a litter box, food, or water in the carrier with your Ragdoll. Bring these items with you only if the trip is going to take more than an hour or two.
There are cats that can suffer from travel sickness, in which case it’s best to get the right medication from your vet before you travel. Do not use human medicines. For very stressed cats, you can buy a spray called Feliway which has been proven to help keep cats calm in stressful situations.
A drug-free solution that helps reduce signs of stress in cats, including scratching and urine spraying.
Makes vet visits, travel, new environments less stressful for your cat.
Mimics a mother cat's natural pheromones to promote a sense of calm.
What to expect during your first consultation with the vet
The veterinarian will ask about your cat’s health and behavior. When you take your Ragdoll kitten to the vet for the first time, you should ask for a complete examination. This may include taking a viral panel to rule out any possibility of a major feline disease. All responsible breeders will have no problem with this action, and some would even encourage it.
Your veterinarian will perform a physical exam which involves taking your Ragdoll’s temperature, checking its ears, eyes, nose, listening to its heart and lungs, and examining its teeth and gums.
Your veterinarian will want to see your kitten’s vaccination record, which the breeder should have given you when you purchased it, so don’t forget to bring it along with you.
If your breeder has given you instructions regarding the spacing of vaccinations and type of vaccine to use, make sure to give a copy to your veterinarian. Be aware that if you don’t follow your breeder’s instructions it could void your Ragdoll’s health warranty.
In most cases, your ragdoll cat will need to visit the vet at least once per year.
TAKING YOUR RAGDOLL CAT TO THE VET can be a daunting task, but following these simple steps will make it much easier.