We understand that trips to the vet can be especially stressful for cats. Our goal is to make your trip to YAH as stress free and enjoyable as we can. That’s why we are taking special means to ensure that our clients and their companions are the most comfortable they can be when they come visit us. To ensure of this, we’ve set up a few resources specifically geared toward making your feline friends as relaxed as possible. Of course, you can also always contact us before or after your visit with any questions!
Special Cat Exam Room
Our Exam Room #3 is designed and set up specifically for feline-friendly services. This room is specially designed to keep the canine traffic in this area of the office to a minimum so that cats are given priority in their comfort zone while at the clinic. We use diffusers and spray as well to promote a calm atmosphere for our feline friends.
Below is a checklist of items you can review for preparing your crazy critter to come see us. You’ll see tidbits that you can do before you come, what will happen while you are with us, and some post-visit suggestions for making this experience the most satisfying possible for you and your kitty! If you’d like to have a copy of this, you can click here to download a .pdf version of this list that will save to your computer for you to print out.
Before the Visit
- Practice physical exam techniques at home to get your cat comfortable with being handled
- Rub his/her ears
- Gently massage his/her paws
- Rub his/her face
- Carrier training
- If able, leave your cat’s carrier out at all times. If not able, pull it out a few days before it is needed so he/she can get use to it.
- Place a familiar towel in the carrier.
- Feed your cat treats/meals in the carrier.
- Get your cat accustomed to car rides
- Make sure the carrier is placed securely and level in the car.
- Drive your cat around the neighborhood.
- Take your cat through the carpool line.
- Bring your cat in to the hospital when an exam is not needed to have them get weighed and get some treats and attention.
- Feliway is a cat pheromone that can be sprayed in the carrier, on a towel, or in the car to help decrease anxiety associated with travel.
- Play soft “cat” music at home and in the car. We’ve provided you a 30 minute sample music file you can preview and download by clicking here. (Clicking on the link will take you to a new page where you can preview the music. If you like it, you can right click with your mouse anywhere on the page and choose “Save As” to save the music to your computer as a .mp3 file. You can then upload that .mp3 just like any other music file for use on your smartphone, Ipod or any .mp3 player).
- Withhold food the morning of the exam so your kitty will be more apt to eat our treats during the exam.
- Bring familiar towel in your carrier and over the carrier.
- Bring favorite treats for your cat to eat during the exam and ride home.
Once you arrive at YAH
- We try to take kitties directly into exam room so they can get out of the carrier and explore without seeing other pets.
- Emergencies happen so sometimes you may have to wait for an available kitty-only exam room. Should a room not be ready, you can either wait in your car with kitty and we can come get you or you can set your cat’s carrier on a chair with a towel over the carrier in the waiting area.
Once in the exam room
- We have tried to make our kitty-only room as home-like as possible by:
- Using soft lights
- No pictures of other cats/dogs
- Playing calming music
- Exam table covered with soft blanket
- Feliway is diffused in the room.
- We are willing to examine your cat where he/she is most comfortable if able (in your lap, on the floor, in the carrier, on the covered table).
- Allow your cat to roam around the room and sniff tools.
- As much of our exam and diagnostics will be performed in the cat room as possible so sometimes we may ask you to leave.
- Light sedation is sometimes need for anxious cats.
- We try to use minimal restraint but some cats require clipnosis or being wrapped in towels.
After the Exam
- Some cats may need a light sedation for the ride home if stressed.
- Allow your cat to relax when he/she gets home before reintroducing to other cats.
- Rub your cat with familiar towel
- Open carrier in a closed room