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-   -   How to deal with a cat who hates the vet? (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=80694)

Kopite1763 April 4th, 2012 07:01 AM

How to deal with a cat who hates the vet?
 
Hi, I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts or ideas on how to calm my cat, when she has to visit my vet.
I have two young cats born on the 9th Sept 2011. Sadly their mother was run over but fortunately, someone found her kittens, who were only a few days old, and handed them to a shelter, where they were hand reared. At 10 weeks old, I adopted two of the litter. When I took them for their first vaccinations, Pumpkin was as good as gold and very inquisitive, however Poppy was a different story altogether. Even before she came out of the carrier, she was hissing and spitting at my vet. She was absolutely fine with me but as soon as my vet went to stroke her, she was aggressive.
Now I've just had them both spayed, and oh the trouble my vet had with Poppy. She had to give her a different kind of anaesthetic to Pumpkin as the usual method couldn't be used on her.
When I went to pick them up, Poppy was still hissing and spitting at the nurses, but again, when I went near her she was absolutely fine.
Once home we tried to get the buster collar on Poppy as she was pulling at her stitches as soon as she came out of the carrier, but she is a little wriggler, and we couldn't manage it (she didn't hiss or spit, just wiggled, a lot). My vet suggested I take her back and they would put the collar on. Well, what a saga that turned out to be! It took 4 nurses and 20 mins to get the collar on her. At one point they thought they might have to sedate her to get it on.
5 days have passed and this morning, with the help of her sister, Poppy managed to get out of her collar. So far she hasn't been biting or picking at her stitches, and she seems so relieved to finally get "that thing" off her head, I'm reluctant to go back to my vet and put both Poppy and them through that ordeal again. I'll keep a close eye on her, but if she does start picking and biting, I'll have to take her back.
So what I'd like to ask you kind folk is, if anyone has any ideas as to how I can calm her down when I have to take her back to have the stitches removed. Will she always be aggressive with my vet?
She is such an affectionate cat at home, and has never spat at anyone before, not even when people visit or say when the tv repair man visited (in fact she took a real shine to him).
She has only been to my vet 4 times and already she has been dubbed the devil cat, such is her aggression, yet at home, she is the loveliest, sweetest cat.

Marty11 April 4th, 2012 07:12 AM

There is a lot of cat people here to give you advice! :thumbs up Cats do not like vets.....so your cat will probably never stop hissing. I know you can give them a drug that relaxes them for the visit. If she is a great cat at home I wouldn't worry about it. As for the stitches, I bought a bitter spray from my vet that tastes really bad, spray the area. Whenever you do something with her, wrap her is a taught large towel to help keep her contained, cats can put up a huge fight!!!

14+kitties April 4th, 2012 07:23 AM

Does your vet do home visits? Maybe it isn't the vet so much as it is the strange smells at the vets. I've taken a lot of cats to the vet and have not had that reaction unless it's from a feral.
One vet I used to go to would take the top off the carrier and work with the cat still in the carrier rather than drag it out of the carrier and immediately set it on edge. It worked for the cats that were less than happy to be there. Most of mine when I take them huddle against me where they are happy and the vet does what needs doing. There are calming meds but I wouldn't use them unless absolutely necessary.
The incision from the spay should be healed enough that a little licking won't hurt. It may even help with the itchiness kitty will be feeling. It's normal.

Jim Hall April 4th, 2012 07:32 AM

sorry to laugh but i have been there. It is usually fear the only thing i found that even works a little Book the exam 15 minutes before the vet comes in open the carrier but dont let her out. Have the vet put a scent on her hands that poppy likes, cat nip if she is into that. When the vet comes in, ignore poppy for a few minutes and have a conversation with the vet in a nice calm manner.

Of course dealing with cats this may also be a complete waste of time. At least she isn't as bad as one of mine i had who would sink her teeth into the vet at first chance and never got out of doing that.

Melinda April 4th, 2012 07:33 AM

14+, if its the smell, would she be able to dab a bit of perfume or some other smell, (tuna perhaps) under her kittens nose to mask the smell of the vets?

Longblades April 4th, 2012 07:50 AM

I've never used them but some folks report success with Rescue Remedy or there is a DAP for cats. Maybe someone here will talk about them, or you can google. Friends with a cat like Poppy avoided the Vet for all but the most dire reasons and then they had to sedate the cat first, sorry I don't know how they did that but I think it was a pill.

We are lucky, our feral just freezes at the Vet's, she's too terrified to move. Except after a stay for an undiagnosed illness when she was to go back for final bloodwork. Not nice of me but after years of me warning them about this cat she'd finally had enough and went straight up the Vet wall, somehow clung to the top near the ceiling then had to be fished out from under a piece of furniture. They gave her back to me saying they were going to skip the bloodwork, she seemed to be quite recovered. Perverse of me but I couldn't help thinking, "see, I told you."

marko April 4th, 2012 09:13 AM

Good ideas here! I'd say a trial home vet visit might be best, but the likelihood of a random vet doing a home visit is near nil. In my experience very few vets do home visits anymore and the ones that do have no office, So if the Op's vet did do home visits, the OP would likely know this already.

I'm with marty11 on this one - some sweet calming drugs BEFORE the vet visit.

pbpatti April 4th, 2012 09:42 AM

There is a product that has been developed that works well to calm cats that are very stressed. It is called Clipnosis, it is a clip that gently scruffs the cat and makes her calm instantly. They are a bit costly right now but work extremely well.

You can also do some Tellington TTouch on her, try some Ear Touches; gently slide your fingers from the base of her ear to the tip, do gentle circles on her ears. Do these touches regularly not just when she needs to go to the Vets.


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