MeOW Welcome to Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays. We’ve got a great topic today so stay tuned. And ‘member you can leave your questions or topic suggestions in the comments below or send us a purrivate email via our Contact page. And as always, you can get caught up on any post you may have missed by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page from our menu. Remember, we’re no longer listing names per reader request. There is no dumb question. Mommy says no one purrson knows everything about everything. We all have to start somewhere. By the way, you’ll notice a little different structure today. Let us know ifin ya’ like it.
The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Trainin’ Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. And to offur insight into your questions about Everything Feline. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.
One of the questions we get asked most is about taking kitty out in public and making sure kitty’s comfortable and calm. Whether it be to the VET or on an adventure, people want to know that kitty isn’t stressed out. We discussed preparations for taking kitty to the VET last week. If you missed it, you can read it here. Today, we’re going to follow up a bit on that topic. The question is, “Kitty appears/is calm during the initial VET visit and suddenly ‘goes nuts’ and bites when the VET/tech with metal mesh gloves takes his/her temperature. What caused this and can we stop it from happening in the future? ” Another question that goes along with this is: “How can I keep kitty calm during the exam itself? The VET and techs are concerned about bites and scratches and want to sedate kitty or wear gloves or other protective gear when handling kitty.”
Feeding off the Energy:
Let’s take a look at the first question. You’ve done everything right and kitty is nice and calm. Even the waiting room didn’t stress kitty out. So why then is kitty suddenly going “nuts” and biting? Remember, we always stress that kitty will feed off the emotions of those around him/her, so it’s really important that you remain calm and thinking positive thoughts. But, it’s also important for the VET’s staff to not only be professional but calm. If a kitty has never shown any signs of biting, then no one should be wearing metal mesh gloves during any part of the exam. Quite frankly we were appalled when we read the question. Mommy wouldn’t let anyone near us wearing such armor gloves. We suspect this kitty reacted to the tentative touch of the tech who most likely was also feeling a bit apprehensive. There was no initial signs that the gloves would be needed and should never have been worn. VET appointments are rarely fun, but mommy likes to keep them as stress free as possible, so that we remain calm each time we have to be in the office. All it takes is one bad experience to cause kitty to react poorly and stress at all future appointments. And YES, it is possible to change the behavior of a kitty who does have a history of biting, scratching or fighting with a VET/tech. It just takes a little time and patience and the cooperation of your VET and their staff.
You can see the purple calming collar in the foto.
We don’t have Feline only VETs in our parts, but, you might look into them in your area. Obviously, an office that caters to cats should be better equipped in knowing how to deal with them. Another option, is an office that has separate waiting rooms to help keep kitty calm. A lot of people have great success with calming sprays and plug ins. It might help every kitty/doggy if your VET had them in the rooms and waiting area. You might suggest them to your VET or gift them to your favorite VET’s office. Don’t forget, you can also spray kitty’s carrier and the towel or clothing inside kitty’s carrier as well. You might also want to look into a calming collar. They’re fairly inexpensive and can be used only when needed. While in the waiting room, you should speak calmly to kitty and remember to praise them and let them know how proud you are of their great attitude and calm demeanor. And yes, do this even if kitty is hissing or cowering in their carrier. Remember, the idea is to calm or keep kitty calm so the appointment goes off without any problems. And don’t leave kitty unattended at any time. We even go to the bathroom with mommy when all the time necessary.
During the appointment mommy makes sure to remain in our line of sight at all times. She stays calm and blows us kisses and slow blinks. When she has to hold us down for tests, injections, etc., she makes sure to calmly and quietly praise us for our good behavior. Yes, it’s usually the techs’ job to hold kitty, but mommy knows that we stay calmer when she does it. We know mommy’s touch and can feel the love radiating down thru her hands instead of apprehension from someone who doesn’t really know what to expect from us or how we’ll behave/react to certain touches, pokes and prods. At no time does mommy let us out of her sight. The office policy may be, no owners in the back, but if you’re a calming effect on kitty, exceptions will be made. If not, you may want to look for another VET. Mommy’s policy is: If they can’t do “it” in front of her, then they probably shouldn’t be doing it all. She’s seen perfectly calm kitties suddenly get written up in their file as ferocious/biter after a trip to the back for a blood draw or weigh in. And, she’s seen some pretty incompetent techs trying to find veins or restrain kitty. So she completely understands how a kitty can become stressed and lash out. That being said, if you can’t remain calm, you need to work on it and pray for a great office.
Mommy says more often than not, kitty will react the way people are expecting. Tech wears bite glove, kitty bites. Guess they got what they were expecting. So, if the VET/tech comes in the room clad in armor, kitty’s probably going to act out. Kitty is feeling everyone’s stress and reacting in kind. Our VET and his staff have a lot of shortcoming’s, but, they usually enter the room calmly and completely ignore kitty. We either start sniffing him or mommy presents us to him/her and then the exam begins. Unfortunately you can’t change a VETs personality or actions, but you can suggest ways they can deal with your kitty that will make kitty more comfortable. After all, you know your kitty better than anyone else. Remember, this is a relationship. Kitty can’t speak, so the VET is looking to you for cues on what is and is not normal with kitty. A good VET is going to want to make the visit as stress free as possible. Nobody wants to get bit or scratched.
Well, we’re gonna wrap it up fur today. We’ve covered a lot of infurmation, and we do hope it helps. Sometimes Training is as much about Training the human on how to behave as it is kitty. Always remember, calm is good and Training is best achieved with Repetition and Rewards. Teaching kitty to remain calm at the VET is just as important as Training kitty to use a litter box or where to scratch. Don’t furget to leave your questions or topic suggestions in the comments or send us an email via our Contact page. And, you can ketch up on any post in this series by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page. Join us here each Furiday to learn more about the mysterious feline in your life and what makes us tic. MOL We’re also joinin’ Comedy Plus fur Feline Furiday.
Don’t furget to let us know ifin ya’ like the new outline with sections??.
Till the next time………………………………………………….Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle