Minimizing Stress at the Vet’s Office

One of the harder things we have to do with our cats is get them to the vet. They might like their carriers, but they don’t like riding in the car, and they tense up the instant they smell the other animals, and the antiseptic scent, of the vet’s office. Minimizing stress at the vet’s office, and before, is paramount to ensuring your cat’s physical and emotional wellbeing.

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When being in the exam room is more stressful for your cat

According to Petplace, one thing you absolutely must understand is that your presence in the exam room might be more stressful for your cat. Minimizing stress at the vet’s office can sometimes mean you’re not in the same room while the vet, and his staff, are giving your cat her exam. If your cat is fighting, and your vet believes taking her to another room will help calm her, it’s best to listen. The last thing you want is to make your cat more anxious when you just want her calm.

If you’re in the room, be calm and quiet. Your cat can sense stress and anxiety from you, which, in turn, can raise her stress levels. That won’t help if you’re working on minimizing stress at the vet’s office. Your cat needs to feel your calmness, not your anxiety.

Minimizing stress at the vet’s office includes what happens when you get home

You should also have a safe, quiet place ready for her when you get home, with food, water, a litter box, and things she finds comforting. Petplace says that some cats actually fight their owners after a vet visit. This is called “non-recognition aggression,” and will pass. In the meantime, though, giving her a safe place to calm down will go a long way towards helping her trust you with future vet visits.

You might also want to try having a Feliway diffuser in the room, or spraying some Feliway on the carpet, or her bed or blanket. Beyond that, though, let her calm down on her own. She’ll return to her old self faster that way.

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As far as getting sedatives to help calm her down, that’s something you’ll have to discuss with your vet. If her behavior at the clinic is such that your vet has trouble giving her even a simple exam, then minimizing stress at the vet’s office may well include a mild sedative.

Minimizing stress at the vet’s office doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s more about trying to respect your cat’s boundaries as much as possible, as well as trying to give her associations that are as good as possible under the circumstances.

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