Wednesday, October 29th is National Cat Day. We here at the Animal Hospital of Sussex County celebrate cats every day, with our Cat Friendly practices. Getting to the vet can be a stressful occasion for cats. They get put in little boxes that only come out for travel. Cars sometimes make them nauseous, and sometimes scared enough that they void their bladder and bowels. This makes for a stressed, messy kitty, who doesn’t understand why the strangers who pulled her out of her box are poking and prodding her!
We use the Cat Friendly Practices guidelines to minimize the stress of a visit. First, we use Feliway spray and diffusers around the clinic. Feliway is an artificial pheromone that smells like the scent markers that cats leave when rubbing their face on things. Each cat thinks it smells like their own pheromones, while it has no smell to people. This helps cats feel more comfortable around the clinic.
Second, all of our technicians and assistants are trained in the proper handling of cats. Proper restraint protects both the cat and the people handling them from harm. Most cats don’t understand why we want to get blood from them, look in their eyes and mouths, trim their nails, or palpate their abdomen. Knowing how to safely restrain a cat lessens the amount of time we have to spend restraining, and therefore lessens the stress of a visit.
Third, we have a treatment plan for the life stages of a cat. Kittens get tested for feline leukemia and FIV, as well as several intestinal parasite tests throughout kittenhood. They receive appropriate vaccines (3 FVRCP (distemper), 2 leukemia, and 1 rabies) in their first few visits. At 16 weeks of age, or if they weigh more than 4 pounds, we spay and neuter them. We recommend annual visits for healthy adult cats, with a yearly rabies vaccine and FVRCP vaccine every 3 years. The leukemia vaccine is recommended if the cat will be indoor/outdoors, or outdoors only. Once a cat is considered a senior, at 7 years old, we recommend exams and bloodwork every 6 months to catch any problems that may arise early. Frequent visits may lessen the stress of coming to see us, as the cats get used to the car rides, carriers, and vets.
To celebrate National Cat Day, our clinic is offering $10 off the cost of an office visit for any cat all week long. Please call or contact us to schedule your cat’s next appointment. We look forward to seeing you!
For more information, check out these websites:
About the Author:
Katie is a Veterinary Assistant who has been with the Animal Hospital of Sussex County for seven years. She is the clinic’s Cat Advocate. She loves working with cats especially, and the occasional zoo animal. Her cats are Armand and Culver, who pretty much run her household.