PREPARING FOR YOUR CAT'S APPOINTMENT
One of the primary benefits of in-home veterinary care is that it is less stressful for most pets than going to a traditional vet’s office. This doesn’t, however, necessarily mean that the experience is entirely stress-free - especially for cats.
If you have a cat who tends to be skittish around strangers or doesn’t particularly enjoy being handled, having us come to your home to perform an exam can still be a bit frightening or overwhelming for your feline friend. To ensure that the appointment goes as smoothly as possible for everyone, keep these tips in mind.
Scheduling Your Cat’s Appointment
Schedule your cat’s appointment as far in advance as possible. While this isn’t possible in emergency situations, there is no reason to wait until the last minute to schedule a routine appointment. Scheduling early makes it easier to secure a time that works well for your cat. If your finicky feline tends to be friendlier in the morning, schedule a morning appointment. If he or she is more of a love bug later in the afternoon, schedule the appointment during that time. It will be much less stressful for your cat if we visit at a time when they are feeling open to attention.
Be as specific as possible about why your pet needs to be seen. We will use this information to determine if your cat needs urine, fecal, or blood testing. If such tests are needed, we will let you know what you need to do to prepare before my arrival.
If you expect that your cat will be aggressive or especially difficult to work with, please let us know so we can plan appropriately.
The Day of the Appointment
Try to keep the day of kitty’s appointment as stress-free as possible. Consider spraying a pheromone product - such as Feliway - in your cat’s environment to help keep stress at bay. Determine where in your home we will be performing the exam, and make sure there is a clean surface - such as a table or countertop - and plenty of light.
Thirty minutes or so before the appointment, place your cat in a secure area, preferably the same area where you plan on having him or her examined. If you need to place them in a crate, give them a blanket or a shirt with your scent on it to help them feel more secure. If you are able to secure them in a small room without a crate, make sure there is nothing that they can hide inside, underneath, etc. Having to remove your cat from a cupboard or pull them out from under a bed immediately before their exam is a certain way to increase their stress level and make the appointment more difficult for everyone involved.
Keep the area as calm and quiet as possible. Turn off televisions, stereos, etc., and consider dimming the lights until we arrive. Do not allow other pets or young children into the area as they can increase stress levels.
During the Appointment
In some cases, in-home veterinary care is less stressful for cats when their owner is not in the room. If you are not present, your cat will be more likely to bond with us rather than looking to you for help. While you may want to stay and comfort your feline friend, doing so could have the opposite effect.
Keep in mind that animals can pick up on our energy, too. If you are stressed out, your cat will likely be able to sense this and become stressed themself. For the sake of your kitty’s well-being, try your best to keep your emotions in check.
To avoid stress to your kitty and yourself, make sure to put him/her in the carrier well before you need to leave for your appointment. That way there is no hide and seek, less stress and no missed appointments.
Using a pheromone such as Feliway will help your kitty to be relaxed or Catnip can also be used to keep him/her calm.
Using a favorite comfy blanket in their carrier can help to keep them calm.