Bringing your cat to the vet can sometimes be a trialling experience. Cats can stress and show signs of anxiety much more than dogs do. You may not have to take your feline friend to a specialist cat hospital. But knowing that our hospital at Wahroonga is a cat care specialist gives a lot of our regulars peace of mind.
Car journeys for cats are not usual. Cats are creatures of habit and a visit to the local vet hospital can really upset the apple cart. Examinations and unfamiliar or infrequently visited surroundings can compound this anxiety.
In my previous blog, I talked about how Fox Valley Animal Hospital we strive to improve your dog’s vet clinic visit.
Now let’s take a close look at our feline friends and what we do to give them the best experience possible when it’s time to visit cat hospital!
Getting off on the right paw
It’s harder for cats to build up a positive association with a cat hospital or vet clinic than it is with say a dog. It doesn’t mean we don’t go all out and try.
The initial consult begins with lots of attention to your cat, usually in the form of vet nurse’s cuddles. Vet nurses love nothing more than to cat-nap a new kitten or cat for a quick smooch session.
The close contact and affection can really help reduce your cat’s anxiety. It also allows them to transfer their scent onto us, the unfamiliar, making them feel happy.
Tell me is that feline cologne you’re wearing?
As if a good pat wasn’t enough, all our vets and vet nurses wear the latest feline cologne. This has a relaxing effect on any scared kitty.
Feliway is a mist that we spray not only ourselves while handling cats but also during animal hospital stays in plugin form. This mist doesn’t smell much to the human nose but to your cat it’s like a kitty Prozac. The artificial pheromone is a replica smell that is produced by a cat’s scent gland as they mark their environment.
The ferocious lion dressed as a kitten
We do come across the occasional scaredy cat that just doesn’t cope with a visit to the local vet hospital. Sometimes they’d prefer to unleash their inner battle-cat and take on the vet and nursing staff. Other times, they’re so overwhelmed a visit to the vets takes days for them to recover.
If this is the case we can come to you. House calls are something we offer not only to clients that struggle with transport, but also to pets that struggle with us. A house call provides all the care and attention in a familiar environment.
No stressful car journeys or carry cages to fight with. And no anticipation or built up anxiety. House visits work well for annual vaccinations and you can even request your regular doctor, Dr Alex or Dr Katie, to attend to your pet. We even bring a vet nurse to assist so you can sit back and relax. Much like kitty does.
Who’s holding who?
As a cat hospital with cat rescue, we’ve made it our business to know our feline friends. All our vet nurses are very skilled at reading your cat’s body language. We can tell when your pet is scared, relaxed, or playful sometimes just from the shape of their pupils!
We know when your cat will respond to a “less is more” approach when restraining them for blood sampling or treatments. And we can draw on our years of nursing experience with animals and adopt a personalised approach to your pet.
What works for one cat may not work for another. Some cats like to be held close or hide under a blanket while being examined. Others need a very hands off approach with minimal contact.
We can usually tell within the first 5 minutes of a consult what will work and with our regular felines we are all over it.
Reading your cat helps reduce stress and improve the experience of what’s happening. It makes it far more enjoyable for pet, pet parent and the pet professional.
The “S” word and why we don’t use it
I had only been nursing for a few months when I experienced Boris. Boris was a 7kg, ginger short haired who had been roaming the back alleys of
Thanks to a lovely lady from ‘The Cats Protection society’ Boris was now the idol of her life, a real superstar. And an absolute nightmare when it came to his annual vaccinations.
I was working in Gravesend trying to assist Boris and calm him down so the vet could give him his vaccination. I made a rookie error and one I won’t forgot. I said the famous words “susssh” like you would to a baby.
Boris turned round and ripped into me!He didn’t think susssh was a great sound at all. I learnt that day from a senior vet nurse that susssh sounds similar to the sound of hissing cats preparing to fight.
Boris taught me a valuable lesson. I’ve never repeated that sound and I’ve shared the message far and wide. After the Fox Valley Animal Hospital team (who found it highly amusing) understood the impact, it’s become another piece of knowledge to help improve your cat’s vet hospital experience. And cut cost on staff band-aids.
So there you have it just a little insight to how your local vet hospital, Fox Valley Animal Hospital, has cracked the cat care code during consultations.
We may not see cats bounding through the door but we do pride ourselves on how we manage to treat the feisty, vet eating cat. Or soothe the timid new kitten with love.
We are always trying to improve our service and experience your cat receives. If you have any ideas we can work on let us know.
We are open to any suggestion and want to work with pet parents to understand your feline friends better.
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Or pick up the phone and give us a call on 02 9489 4805.