Hello! Nigel, here. As you can see, I have just gotten back to the doctors’ house. Time for another exciting weekend of chasing the dog and stalking the toes of some of the smaller humans living in that household! I am writing to you today, to discuss just how it is that I get from For Cats Only to the doctors’ house. I ride in style, of course….in my very own “cat carrier.”
Many of you may not be aware of this, but I can see quite a bit from inside of my office. The view out over the reception area from the top of my cat tree is quite wonderful, and I am privy to the goings on of the patients coming to the clinic. Many patients arrive in appropriate receptacles, but there are quite a few who have not informed their human slaves (ahem…I mean human caretakers) on how to transport them safely to see their medical advisors. Luckily, you humans have me, Nigel, to help you with this most important responsibility.
When cats come to the clinic they should always be in some type of pet carrier. This is a MUST as a scared patient can easily jump out of their human’s arms and into the busy street. Even if they are already inside of the hospital, a frightened cat may get loose and anger or scare another patient. More importantly still, is the fact that driving with a cat loose in the cabin of your car or truck is quite hazardous to the driver and could result in a traffic accident. Traffic accidents on the way to the animal hospital make for an even more expensive outing…don’t you agree?
Carriers come in many varieties, and while all can do the job of transporting cats, some styles are just simply better than others for veterinary visits. The soft, duffel bag style carriers look very comfortable, but they are not the best for a veterinary visit. We cats can do a great job of avoiding extraction by the clinic staff while in one of these bags. It is much better to transport your cat in a hard, plastic style carrier as pictured above. One that has a top-loading mechanism is really best as frightened cats are usually much more amenable to being removed from above as opposed to the slanting of the carrier and the humiliating “shake the kitty out” maneuver that frequently occurs during a visit. If you have a hard carrier, they also usually have screws that are easily undone so the entire top can be removed from the carrier if need be. This is also a much safer and less stressful way to have the patient exit their transport.
“But my kitty doesn’t like to go in the carrier! It’s too hard to get her in there!” I hear you, I hear you. There are many ways that you can make this process easier for both you and your feline overlord. For starters, always leave your carrier out in an area of your home that your cat likes to visit. Leave the door open and offer your cat some of her meals inside of the carrier so that she starts to associate the carrier with “good things.” Allow him to walk in and out of the carrier freely. Occasionally, if you see that your cat has decided to take a bit of a rest inside of the carrier, just gently close the door and then slip your kitty a treat through the bars. After 5 minutes, open the door again and allow the cat to walk out if she would like. This will teach her that there is nothing scary about being enclosed in the carrier. She will also learn, that getting in to the carrier doesn’t necessarily mean that she is going to be taken to the veterinarian. This will make her less nervous about the carrier in general, and easier for you to get her in when you need to.
Lastly, you may want to try some Feliway. Feliway is this wonderful, magical spray that the staff at For Cats Only uses to help cats relax. They say it is made from a “pheromone”, which really…I have no idea what that is….but I can tell you, it makes me feel very nice. You can purchase little wet wipe packets at the clinic that you can use to wipe down the inside of the carrier 20 minutes before you are leaving for your visit. Most cats find that this pheromone helps to relax them. You can even buy it in a little spray bottle if you prefer, and spray it on blankets or towels that you use for your cat. The staff at For Cats Only uses Feliway in the boarding room in this way, to make the guests feel more relaxed during their stay at the resort.
Well, I hope that this information has helped you out. Next time you stop in to the clinic, be sure to have your kitty in a wonderful transportation device. It will be better for kitty, for you and for the wonderful staff at For Cats Only!
Nigel, signing off! Meow!