My cat has a few behavior problems that I would like to discuss with a veterinarian. Should I just verbally describe the problems during the visit, or are there other steps I should take before bringing my cat to the vet?
BY: The Daily Cat experts
A helpful book on
this topic is Canine and Feline Behavior Therapy,
Benjamin Hart, Lynette Hart and Melissa Bain. They advise that you do a few
things in advance of your visit.
First, maintain a journal/online log where you note your cat’s behavior issue,
the circumstances, and the day and time. If you are fast enough with your cell
phone or camcorder, you might also try videotaping your cat in the act.
Sometimes, just keeping track of bad behavior can help you identify the causes,
which will make finding solutions easier.
The authors also suggest that, when you go to the veterinarian or to the feline
behavior expert, you bring all family members who interact with your cat. Our
pets, as we know, act differently around particular individuals, so someone in
your household might be triggering the bad behavior in your cat. (Or,
conversely, your cat could be bothering the person!)
If you are going to a behaviorist and not to your regular vet, be sure to bring
a copy of your cat’s medical records with you. Often, behavioral problems are
really health issues. For example, a lot of litter box mistakes can be symptoms
of kidney, liver and other health problems in cats.
Certain feline behavior therapists will have you fill out a survey before your
appointment. Your log, if you’ve kept one, can come in handy for that. A good
source for finding a cat therapist is the International
Association of Animal Behavior Consultants