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Ways We Cater to Cats
Getting cats to the hospital is often a struggle in itself. Avoiding extra stress during the hospital visit is not only beneficial to your cat but also helpful to our veterinary staff. Because cats tend to hide sickness, we recommend twice yearly examinations and periodic baseline diagnostics to reveal potential problems before your cat becomes dangerously ill. We want these visits to be as low stress as possible for everyone.
1.) Reducing stress of transportation
We recommend that owners introduce their cats to carriers in a non-threatening way, preferably as kittens. A couple of suggestions to familiarize your cat with the carrier: leave the carrier out in the house for casual investigation by your cat and put food, treats, or catnip inside the carrier. Owners should ALWAYS use a carrier for transportation. If your cat is nervous, we recommend covering the carrier with a towel in the car or in the clinic to reduce visual stimulation. Carriers should be secured on the seat with a seat belt. Do not place carriers on the floor near the drive shaft because this area gets too hot. We absolutely recommend purchasing carriers that can be unscrewed and opened by lifting off the top. We examine many cats while they are in the bottom of the carrier, which helps them to feel more secure. (We call this examining "cats on the half shell!")
2.) Home visits
For especially nervous cats, arrange a house call visit! Our doctors will gladly arrange a visit to your home to care for your feline friend.
3.) Calming your cat before and during travel
Some of our owners ask about using sedatives to "calm" their cats. We typically do not recommend using any sedative before transportation because your cat cannot be properly monitored during the drive, and because sedatives can be unpredictable in their effects. Place an item from home, such as a recently worn t-shirt, into the carrier with your cat and talk calmly to your cat while transporting it. Cover the carrier. In addition, we carry an all-natural calming drop that can be given to your cat or placed in your cat's water prior to transportation. We also recommend using Feliway Spray, a natural cat pheromone, on the carrier and towel. The pheromone will help calm your cat safely. Most importantly, it is crucial that you remain relaxed and calm during your visit and do not convey your own stress or anxiety to your cat.
4.) Once at the hospital
Let our staff know that you are here. Ask for a towel to cover your carrier if you forgot to bring one. Place the carrier on one of our tables rather than the floor- this will make your cat feel more secure. Ask our staff for Feliway to spray onto the door of the carrier. Try to keep your cat separated from other animals that may be in the waiting room. One of our staff members will escort you into the Cat Exam Room as soon as possible. Once your cat is in the exam room, place the carrier on the table, stand behind it and don't stare at him/her eyes. Stroke the head and back of the neck and speak soothingly to your cat.
Aggressive or panicky cats may be gently wrapped in a towel during examination. This restraint will calm the cat and minimize struggling. We never "fight" with cats because it will only make the next visit worse. If we cannot calm your cat enough to perform a good physical exam, we will ask permission to mask anesthesia with isoflurane gas.
For boarding cats, we have a unique quiet cat boarding area, complete with cat condos and play area!