Did you know that there is such a thing as a certified Cat Friendly Practice? Yes – there is! And, we are proud to be one of the first veterinary practices to achieve this distinction in Ontario.
But, what exactly does this mean? Aren’t all practices “cat friendly?” Well, we are letting the cat out of the bag, so to speak, on what this distinction means for you and your kitty at Summeridge Animal Clinic.
The Cat Friendly Practice program is a global initiative that is designed to elevate cat health by reducing the stress of veterinary visits for cats and their caregivers. There are multiple ways that we can work together to do this, from your home, to the veterinary clinic, and back again.
A brief look at cat behaviour tells us that cats are creatures of habit who intensely dislike change in their routine. Since we know that preventive care is an important component of good cat health, our goal is to make your trip to see us as painless as possible. In reality, few cats like to visit the veterinarian, so the team at Summeridge Animal Clinic has compiled these tips to help.
Before Your Visit
A trip to the cat vet is at about the bottom of your cat’s list of preferred activities. At home, you can let the carrier become less stressful by leaving it out as another place your kitty can get cozy in on a regular basis. Feed them treats inside, make a warm nest for them inside, and spritz it with pheromones to help make it a safe and inviting space. They will be less stressed to get into it when time to visit us.
Reducing Stress During the Visit
Cats need a chance to get acclimated to new things. Giving you cat a short ride in the car and returning home before the veterinary visit can help them fear car rides less. A “fun visit” to see us can also reduce stress. Call us to schedule a time to bring your cat into the clinic for nothing more than pets and treats. No poking, prodding, or temperature taking! Just hugs, pets and treats.
Cats like to be up high – to them, this means safety. When you get here, and upon check in, don’t place the carrier on the floor or anywhere that is low enough for dogs to peek in at them. We’ll help by bringing you and your kitty into a cat-only exam room immediately, reducing the noise and stress of the waiting area.
Our team has been highly trained to handle your cat safety and with the least amount of stress possible. We have the knowledge and resources to understand cats’ unique needs and behaviours. You can help by keeping a calm demeanour yourself. Your cat trusts you and is highly attuned to your emotions, so if you are anxious they will be too.
Reducing Stress After Your Visit
After returning home from your visit to see us, don’t let your cat out of the carrier right away, especially if you have other cats. Let them stay in the carrier for about an hour in the house, to allow your other cats to acclimate to the strange smells your cat has brought home. Then, take your cat out, and wipe them all over with a towel. Wipe your other cats with the same towel as well. This mixing of scents can reduce fights and stress for all your cats when you return home.
Give your cat a chance to rest. Just as you may need rest after an illness or procedure, your cat needs quiet time too.
Although your visit with your cat may not be completely stress-free, following these tips can help to reduce stress significantly. If you have more questions or concerns about how to make your cat’s visit less stressful, please don’t hesitate to contact us.