Cat vaccinations

How you can make your cat’s visit to the veterinary hospital less stressful (for both you and your feline friend!)

By Cat vaccinations, Pet Transporting

Did you know that Cats are the #1 owned pet in North America?



If you are one of the millions who share their homes and lives with a cat then you probably also know that traveling with your cat to the veterinary hospital can be stressful for both cats and their owners.

Cats pick up on the smallest change and run and hide somehow knowing it is that time of year again.  They make you chase them around your home and then hide in the farthest corner just out of reach to avoid getting into that dreadful carrier.  Then there is that awful car ride with the final destination the stressful veterinary hospital.  It is just a fact that cats hate change and they will make every attempt to not get into that carrier.

My name is Judy and I have been a  Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) for 19 years (16 of those years have been at Royal York Animal Hospital.)  Together with my husband, I share my home with 4 wonderful cats: FELIX is 18 years and our grumpy old man, LUKE and LEIA at 3 years, are a brother and sister duo that I adopted from Royal York Animal Hospital and are named for characters in my husband’s favourite movie, Star Wars.  GABY is our newest addition and she is a very talkative 2 year old.  Since I live with four cats I have taken a keen interest in feline medicine and behaviour.  I am always intrigued with how they act, show affection towards each other and individually to my husband and I.  Each one is different and certainly has their own personality!  I believe cats are unique creatures and should be treated as such.

I wanted to talk about two different topics but they really one and the same.  Are yearly checkups important for your cat? and how to make the visit less stressful for yourself and your cat??




MYTH:  A lot of people are under the impression that Indoor cats don’t get sick and therefore don’t need routine check ups.

THE TRUTH: Indoor cats still get sick  with many diseases such as renal disease, metabolic diseases, and cancer with the same risk as outdoor cats who may live a high risk lifestyle.

MYTH:  Vaccines are not as important for indoor cats

THE TRUTH:  This is absolutely not true.   feline vaccines provide protection from many horrible and preventable diseases.




I speak from personal experience when I say I know how difficult it is to get a cat in a pet carrier.  Sometimes they run away or  they cry and carry on.  Some urinate and defecate in the carrier. Each time it can be so dramatic.  I  do understand what other cat owners go through to get their cat to the Veterinary Hospital.   It is very stressful for both  the cat and the owner and this is the number 1 reason why people delay or don’t bring their cat to the veterinarian for regular checkups and/or when they are ill.     Cats (even indoor ones) do need veterinary care on a yearly basis it is important learn some practical tips to make veterinary visits easier for both cats and their owners.

Here are some helpful tips on getting your cat to the hospital as stress free as possible:



  • All cats should have their own carrier and should be transported in that carrier
  • The best carriers are sturdy plastic and open from the top and the front, and that can easily be taken apart.
  • Bring the carrier out at least 1 week before your scheduled visit to the veterinarian.
  • Place the carrier in an area where the cat spends a lot of time.
  • Make the carrier comfortable, place big plush blankets, a piece of your own clothing, fluffy towels.
  • Feed your cat in and around the carrier, so it is familiar with it.
  • Spray or wipe your carrier with FELIWAY (a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone, used by cats to mark their territory as safe and secure)
  • Take short trips with your cat, for non veterinary related destinations so they don’t associate the carrier and car rides with always going to the veterinarian.
  • Start at a young age and travel frequently with kittens.

Visit the following link for more Feline Behavior and Care Tips


Did you know that Royal York Animal Hospital has the designation of being a FELINE FRIENDLY hospital? Layout 1

This certification from the American Association of Feline Practitioners means that our Hospital and our staff have exceeded the standards they have set out and that we continually have to maintain and uphold our commitment to this designation.  Among other qualifications, we have a special exam room for Felines Only and this room has the calming effect of a plug in Feliway diffuser.

Are you putting off Fluffy’s yearly checkup?  No more I hope!



John with Yorki (tech student Rachel's dog)

Dog Attack……both Owner and their pet dog were bitten

By Cat vaccinations, Pet Vaccination, Uncategorized, Vaccinations, Vaccines and Exams, Veterinary Exams

Several days ago, Penny, a seven year old female Papillon, was being leash walked by her owner when out of no where, a 70lb Labrador Retriever appeared and within a few seconds had picked Penny up in his mouth and was shaking her.

Penny’s distraught owner tried to frantically pry her small dog from the Lab’s mouth, and was successful, but Penny received two puncture wounds and bruising to her lower back.  During the rescue, the owner inadvertently was also bitten by the panicked Penny.

Penny was rushed to RYAH for treatment where her wounds were shaved, cleaned and sutured and she received antibiotics and pain medication.  With her resting comfortably and her medical needs attended to, the staff then directed their attention to gathering information about the circumstances and the other dog in question.

Penny’s Rabies vaccination was up to date……but what about the Labrador that bit Penny?  Was that dog currently vaccinated??  Was Penny bitten by an unvaccinated dog and what were the risks if she had been?  Thankfully, we were able to get the contact information from the Labrador’s owner and contacted the veterinary hospital who confirmed Rabies vaccination dates.  In most bite or dog fight situation we cannot prove Rabies vaccination dates usually due to the fact that a medical emergency is being dealt with and often proper contact information is not exchanged about the dogs involved.  In the absence of information, a veterinarian has to assume that the other dog was unvaccinated and treat their patient accordingly.

When a HUMAN has suffered a dog bite there are further rules to follow.  Since Penny’s owner was bitten by her own dog, who was current on her rabies vaccination, she does not have to worry about Rabies.  However, if she had been bitten by the other dog and we had not been able to verify that the dog was up to date on its rabies vaccine it would have been a different story.

It is a veterinarian’s responsibility to advise any person who has been bitten by her own or any other dog to seek immediate medical care as a dog’s mouth is very dirty and bacteria can easily be transferred to the person causing infection.  Antibiotic therapy would likely be recommended for the person too.  The physician, in turn, is obligated to report any bites to a Public Health Officer.  A bite involving a vaccinated dog……in Penny’s case….means an in-home quarantine for about ten days with limited people contact.  A bite involving an unknown or an unvaccinated dog involves a much more involved process for both the dog (if it is ever identified) and the person who was bitten.

I am happy to report that Penny and her owner are recuperating nicely!

Dr. John


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