Yesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of meeting Doctor Tarina L. Anthony, DMV. She is part of City Cat Doctor in River North and she came to give a talk about cat care in my building. Dr. Anthony spoke in particular about methods in which we can alleviate stress for our cats when taking them to the vet.
Did you know that a stressful event for a cat can linger in their system for over 72 hours?! Did you know that as soon as you take that cat carrier out from the top shelf, your cat is already starting to feel stress?!
Following are a few tips I learned from Dr. Anthony for every cat parent to help their furry family member feel less stressed.
1. Always have the carrier out in visible site OR take the carrier out over a week before you need to use it. Your cat cat start feeling stressed the moment they see the carrier.
2. Don't feed your cat for a few hours and then bring their favorite treat with you to the vet. This allows the cat to start to associate the vet with a positive feeling.
3. Have the cat carrier covered when driving to the vet. Most cats will feel safer in the dark.
4. Use a product called Feliway. It releases synthetic cat pheromones which is clinically proven to help your cat relax. This product sounds very helpful and can be used for many other scenarios in your home such as spraying, scratching hiding etc. When using it in travel to the vet you can spray/ rub it into the cat carrier and your cat will feel good when inside of it.
Dr. Anthony shared with us that there has been a huge shift in Veterinary Care which now focuses much more on the experience your cat is having at the vet. Many procedures have been changed to allow for your cats to feel less stressed when undergoing a check up or procedure.
Also, as a pet parent you should always feel in control of the situation. The vet (if a good one) should be telling you what exactly he/she is doing with your cat and you should always have the right to be present when drawing blood. NEVER feel like you cannot ask the vet a questions during your appointment. The vet is there for you and your cat and will do their best to make you feel comfortable.
It is always a good idea to write down your questions before going to the vet. It is easy to forget them while at the appointment and although Dr. Anthony says she is more that happy to answer questions via phone, an in person approach allows for more personal time between you and your veterinarian.