We are a Cat Friendly Practice!
Broadview Animal Hospital is proud to report that we are a member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP). Being a Cat Friendly Practice lets you know that we have achieved certain standards, and that our staff understands the specific needs of your cat. We are committed to learning ways to make your visit more pleasant for your cats and our staff is aware of ways they can interact with your cat so that examinations and procedures will be less stressful.
We recognize that there are unique challenges and difficulties in bringing a cat to our veterinary hospital. The following tips will help make veterinary visits easier for you and your cat.
Understanding your Cat’s Behavior
Cats are most comfortable with the familiar, and need time to adjust to the unfamiliar. The visit to the veterinarian is often difficult because the carrier, car, and the veterinary hospital are usually unfamiliar. Respect your cat’s need for time to become familiar with new situations, people and places.
Cats can sense our anxiety or frustrations, which may cause them to become fearful or anxious. If you stay calm, your cat will most certainly sense this.
Cats do not learn from punishment or force. Give rewards to encourage positive behavior. For example, if your cat is sitting calmly in or near a carrier, give a treat. Likewise, rewards can be given to help your cat become familiar with the type of handling that may be encountered at the veterinarian (e.g., handling paws, ears and mouth). A treat is what is highly desirable to your cat, which may be in the form of food, play or affection. Remember to be persistent and reward every time.
Helping Your Cat Become Comfortable with the Carrier
The goal is for your cat to learn to associate the carrier with positive experiences and routinely enter voluntarily. Make the carrier a familiar place at home by leaving it in a room where your cat spends a lot of time and place familiar soft bedding inside the carrier. Bedding or clothing with your scent can make them feel more secure.
Place treats, catnip or toys inside the carrier to encourage the cat to enter at home. Often, you will first see that the treats are removed from the carrier during the night. It may take days or weeks before your cat starts to trust the carrier but remain calm, patient and reward desired behaviors. If you still have trouble, you may need to assess the carrier and try a different kind. Some cats like to see out, whereas others are less anxious when the carrier is covered with a blanket or towel to prevent seeing the unfamiliar.
Getting an Unwilling Cat into the Carrier
If your cat needs to go to the veterinarian right away, and is not yet accustomed to the carrier, start by putting the carrier in a small room with few hiding places. Bring the cat into the room and close the door. Move slowly and calmly~ do not chase the cat to get it into the carrier. Encourage the cat with treats or toys to walk into the carrier.
If your cat will not walk into the carrier, and your carrier has an opening on the top, gently cradle your cat and lower it into the carrier. Another option is to remove the top half of your carrier while getting the cat to go into the bottom half, and then calmly replace the top.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. We would be happy to help you and your cat in any way possible.