By Dr. Liz Dailey
The Staff at Winding Hill Veterinary Clinic loves cats and dogs! We also realize cats are not little dogs. Here, we make every effort to meet your cat’s unique needs. Our goal is to ensure your cat has as easy an appointment as possible.
Feliway, a cat specific pheromone, sprayed about 15 minutes prior to placing your cat in the crate for travel, will decrease the stress the car ride may cause. This pheromone encourages a feeling of familiarity and security. It helps generate comfort and reassurance while cats cope with challenging situations.
In an effort to meet these goals and ensure the best experience for your cat, we follow specific cat friendly parameters. The veterinary visit begins at home, placing your cat in the carrier. Cats love dark, small places. A carrier crate is perfect in affording a safe, comforting spot. Place the crate in a room your cat spends a lot of time, add comfortable bedding, treats, toys and a towel over the crate, your cat won’t be able to resist. Allowing your cat access to the crate at all times will facilitate an easy transfer for travel.
The safest place for your cat in the car is on the floor behind the passenger seat with the front seat moved as far back as possible, wedging the crate in place. Once you arrive at WHVC we do our best to get your cat into the exam room as quickly as possible. We realize the waiting room can be stressful.
Once in the exam room, the veterinary technician will take apart the carrier, if possible, allowing your cat to become comfortable with the surroundings. Cats may remain in the carrier, hide under a towel, or explore. During the appointment we attempt to move quietly, slowly, gently and deliberately. We keep our voices down. Our goal is to provide a safe, non threatening environment where cats can be examined calmly and effectively. We strive to avoid reaching “the threshold” beyond which nervous cats become angry, frightened or aggressive. After all, we understand cats do not realize that restraint, examination, and drawing blood are an effort to help them.
Our staff also regularly attends continuing medical education sessions. We utilize the most current feline research to best understand feline body language and facial and behavioral cues. When you reach home remember that your cat smells very different to other household cats and conflict could ensue. If necessary, place the opened carrier in a solitary space to allow the feline patient to eat, rest, and smell “right.”
We strive to keep your cat healthy in mind, body, and spirit.