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Positive Cat Parenting™

by Rolan Tripp, DVM and Susan Tripp, MS

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Veterinary Visits

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Give your cat kinder, gentler veterinary visits

 

Why care about your cat's perception of a veterinary visit?

 

By taking proactive steps, you can protect your cat from experiencing physical or emotional pain during a visit to the veterinary practice. Too hard? Learn more.

 

Don't teach your cat that the veterinary practice is a dungeon of terror. Instead, make the veterinary practice the cookie place where fun things happen.

 

What to do

First, prepare in advance for the car ride to the veterinary office by taking your cat in the car for short trips that don't end up at the veterinary practice. Couple good behavior in the car with praise and treats. 

 

Second, act cheerful and calm around your cat when getting into the car to go to the veterinarian and when entering the veterinary office. 

 

Third, make sure your cat is hungry.  Bring your cat's favorite treats with you and use treats and toys to keep your cat's mind on you.

 

Fourth, help your cat to feel secure and comfortable by providing a fluffy towel or favorite bed inside of a portable pet kennel.

 

Add incentives


Bring in a baggie of favorite treats and toys to the veterinary office. Find out in advance what makes treats and toys make your cat do tail flips. Cats are individuals. Test your cat's attraction to cooked chicken, tuna fish, Cheez Whiz, and commercial cat treats.

 
Fast your cat the day of veterinary visits and bring in your cat's favorite foods and treats.


Use distractions

Let the veterinarian know you want to use treats and toys to help distract your cat from any
painful or scary experience.  If that's not possible, ask that your cat be sedated so there is not a bad memory of the treatment. It may cost more today but will be well worth it in the long run. Ask if vaccinations and minor treatments can be done in the exam room so you can help distract the cat.

Bring a big fluffy towel so you can hold your cat burrito-style wrapped tightly inside the towel to lower stress and help prevent escape. Just being able to hide under a towel flap may lower your cat's stress.



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