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Cat owners are being warned not to ignore their pet’s health needs just because their feline friend hates car trips to the vet.

During Animal Pain Awareness Month in September, Pawssum WA state manager Louisa Fenny said many owners failed to ensure their cats had an annual health check simply because they struggled to get them into the clinic.  “The simple fact that cats are hard to get into a cat carrier – many of them have a phobia about them – to transport them to the clinic means they can be at extra risk of health issues which can be painful for the pet and costly for the owner – both emotionally and financially,” said Dr Fenny.  The veterinarian said she hoped the worrying trend could be reversed with the expansion of mobile vet services, like Australian app-based mobile vet booking service Pawssum, which she’d recently signed up to treat pets through.

“One of the reasons I’m passionate about being able to visit cats in their own home is because I know that if I wasn’t doing that, many of these cats wouldn’t be a seeing a vet regularly at all,” she said.  “It’s a worry because cats are, for example, commonly affected by kidney disease and upper respiratory infections, both of which can be hard to discover without vet checks, and cats are also often very good at hiding their health issues, meaning it can be easy to miss them until the issue is advanced.”

Mobile vets that come to the family home – or workplace – can cover 80% of a pet’s health needs without having to head to a clinic and can also allow for a better diagnosis.  “It can be difficult to make an accurate medical diagnosis when a pet is stressed or over-excited; the physical examination itself becomes challenging if the pet won’t relax or becomes aggressive secondary to stress, and these reactions will also affect their vital signs so being more relaxed at home can reduce stress and improve the accuracy of diagnosis,” Dr Fenny explained.  “It’s also easier to review diet, check if outdoor spaces are adequate, and observe the pet’s behaviour in their home environment too.”

Pawssum can help with urgent medical check-ups, vaccinations, dental, heart, eye and ear checks, taking blood and lump samples, in-clinic follow up, dog training and telephone or video chat check ups.   The Pawssum app also keeps your pet’s complete health records handy at any time, meaning any vet can access them without the hassle of contacting another clinic or vet.

Appointments can be made using the Pawssum app or website.

The company also donates $2 from each booking to a pet-related charity.