You just had a lovely breakfast served by your devoted human. You've settled
in for your morning nap in the fist sunny spot of the day, and are dreaming of
chasing mice and being revered as a Goddess by all humans. Life is good.
Suddenly, your favorite human wakes you up out of your deep sleep and gives you
Okay, not something you really need to have right now, but you love your
human, so you tolerate it. But wait - what is happening? All of a sudden, your
formerly loving human turns on you! You're shoved into a small container,
you're bounced around, and next thing you know, you're in a loud, rumbling very
small room that actually moves! You know immediately know where this is headed.
Yup - it's your bi-annual visit to the vet's office.
For most cats, going to the vet's is stressful, and for some cats, it's so
upsetting that they turn into snarling, hissing, scratching, biting little or
not so little terrors. Going to a veterinary clinic where the doctors and staff
understand cats can make the experience less stressful. What should you look
for to determine whether a veterinary clinic is feline-friendly? Ideally, look
for a feline-only practice. You will find more and more of these practices in
large, metropolitan areas, and even in some smaller, rural areas. If this is
not an option where you are, look for the following:
? Does the practice have separate cat and dog waiting areas? Most cats,
especially cats that don't live with dogs, hate the noise and smell of dogs.
Cats do much better if not having to deal with a dog's face in front of their
carrier while waiting for the dreaded exam.
? Does the practice have cat themed decorations as well as dog themed ones?
This can be an indicator of which species a practice prefers to deal with.
? Does the clinic have separate exam rooms for cats? Since most cats don't like
to smell dogs, this can help keep cats calmer.
? Do the doctor and the veterinary staff speak calmly and move slowly when
introducing themselves to you and your cat?
? Do the doctor and staff take their time with your cat? Your cat has just
been through the stress of a car ride and possibly a short wait in a crowded
waiting room. Having a doctor or staff member come at him with a thermometer,
stethoscope and needles without first giving the cat a little time to get used
to the environment will not make the exam go smoothly. Veterinary staff who
know and like cats know this and will act accordingly.
? Do the doctor and staff acknowledge your cat's anxiety or do they make
? While cats need to be handled different than dogs, restraining a fractious
cat with unnecessary roughness is never okay. These are just some of the things
to look for when you're choosing a vet for your cat. Be your cat's advocate and
don't be afraid to ask questions and speak up if you don't like how your cat is
These are just some of the things to look for when you're choosing a vet for
your cat. Be your cat's advocate and don't be afraid to ask questions and speak
up if you don't like how your cat is being handled.
Ingrid King is the author of Buckley's Story - Lessons from a Feline Master
Teacher. She publishes the E-zine News for You and Your Pet. Ingrid is a Reiki
Master Practitioner, owner of Healing Hands and provides Reiki treatments
for pets and people. For more information, please visit http://www.consciouscat.net/.