Help, I hate taking my cat to the vet!
According to the AVMA https://www.avma.org/Pages/home.aspx, 45% of cat owners decline bringing their pet in to the vet for regular care because they “hate taking their cat to the vet”. Unfortunately, cats are very good at hiding it when they are sick, and you will not notice any symptoms until the illness has significantly progressed. Your veterinarian, through a complete physical exam and routine blood work, can catch symptoms much earlier.
So, what can we, as veterinary professionals, do to make it easier on you and your furry family member?
Here at Gentle Touch Animal Hospital, we work hard to make every visit fear free and stress free. https://drsophiayin.com/low-stress-handling/. How do we do this?
You, and many other cat parents, hate taking your cat to the vet. We advise our clients to put the cat carrier out well ahead of the appointment day. We can provide you with a Feliway wipe to put all over the carrier. This is a pheromone that is proven to attract and calm the cat. She will want to enter the carrier to “check it out”. You can even put treats in their to make it rewarding to her.
- If she is more comfortable staying in her carrier, we will simply remove the top and examine her in there. Hopefully, she will be so interested in the reward, she will not pay attention to what is being done to her.
- When you arrive to our hospital you are immediately put into a room so that your cat does not have to wait in the lobby and feel stressed with all of the sights and sounds. Our cat specific rooms are equipped with non-slip mats, Feliway, and music boxes with calming, cat specific music. Our entire staff is trained in stress free handling and your cat will get as many treats as she wants to during the visit. This is called counter conditioning. The idea being she will be so interested in the reward, she will not pay attention to what is being done to her.
- Cats are not known for loving a car ride so it is important to make it the least stressful as you can for him. Make sure he is in the carrier, with Feliway and treats (unless he is sick). Place the carrier on the floor in the back seat. More often than not, the less they can see the more secure they feel. You can also cover the carrier with a towel to make him feel more secure.
- If all of the above is unsuccessful and your cat is too stressed, we will offer a light sedative to “take the edge off”. This will calm him and allow us to complete the exam without a negative effect on your cat or the staff. And don’t worry, we know that Fluffy is a wonderful pet at him, he is only acting out here because he is scared!
As always, do not hesitate to contact us with any questions at email@example.com or 303.691.3720
Are you traveling with your pet this holiday season?
If so, there are important steps you should take to make sure that it is a smooth ride.
- The safest place on an airplane is in the cabin. If this is not possible and Fido must go in cargo, make sure you are prepared.
– Check with the airline well before your trip to find out if a health certificate is required. You will need to make an appointment with your veterinarian if it is. You can refer to the FDA for more information on travel requirements. http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/default.htm
– If you are worried that he might not be a great traveler your veterinarian can prescribe some medications to help. Test them out prior to the trip so you are present to watch for any potential reactions.
– Practice making sure she is comfortable going in to the carrier with lots of treat rewards.
– Make sure you find out what the temperature will be in cargo and DO NOT put your pet in there if it will be too hot or cold.
- For car rides, make sure he is confined. A loose pet in the car can be a hazard to both of you.
- Limit the amount of food and water she receives. A full tummy can be an upset tummy. It is best to feed her a meal 2-3 hours prior to the trip.
- Frequent potty and exercise stops are a must. You should also offer him water at these stops. Pack a nylon, collapsible bowl with you to use. We like to purchase products from the retail area at our local shelters such as the DDFL here in Denver, CO. http://www.ddfl.org/
- Carry all medical history with you at all times.
- It is critical that your pet is micro chipped in case of the worst case scenario happening. Make sure all of your information is current with the site you are registered with.
Of course this list is not all inclusive so do your research and be smart. As always, if you have any questions, you can always contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303.691.3720.
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