Advice – January 2013

Dear Sparkle,
I hate going to the vet, but my human hates it even worse! Every time I have to go (which thankfully isn’t often), she freaks out. She pulls out the carrier with shaky hands, and then runs all over the house, calling for me in her nervous voice. I hate when she is like that, and I can sense it a mile away so I hide, but she always manages to find me. She grabs me, shoves me into the carrier and I can just feel how tense she is the whole drive to the clinic. I yowl at her to calm down, but she just gets more upset. Then while we are at the vet, she acts worried the whole time we are there. Only when the vet finishes with me and tells her I am okay (usually) or need some medicine (happened a couple of times), does she start to chill out. Finally when we get home, she returns to her normal self, but geez, what an ordeal! I don’t know what her problem is, especially since I’m the one getting stabbed, manhandled and having a glass tube shoved up my you-know-what! Is there any way I can get her to stop being a freak during these trips? She is stressing me out.
Vet Fatigue

Dear Vet Fatigue,
The problem with humans is that not only are they high-strung, they live in their own little world and are oblivious to how they are affecting those around them. Your human is so busy fretting about whether she will be able to get you in the carrier, how you will behave at the vet, and creating doomsday scenarios in her head that I am not surprised she is stressing you out! We cats absorb the energy around us and you must feel hammered with all the bad vibes she is generating. I bet she tells her friends about all the trouble you give her every time she has to take you to the vet, when in reality she is causing 90 percent of the of the problem.

How do you solve something like this, when your human isn’t even aware she is the one at fault? There is no quick solution because you need to work on your human on a synergistic level. In other words, you can’t get her to calm down about your vet visits without working on her day-to-day behavior. You will have to spend a lot of time sitting on her and using purr therapy to reduce her anxiety. I also suggest urging her to join you in play sessions several times a week. If you double or triple down on your daily efforts to keep her relaxed and refreshed, then eventually it will make her a better partner when you have to take those trips to the vet. In a perfect world, she would figure all this out by herself and adjust her behavior on her own, but let’s face it, how often does that happen?

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Having problems with your human or the other cats in your house? As the internet’s “Dear Abby With Claws,” Sparkle had answers to many annoying problems in her two award-winning books! Visit her author’s page on Amazon to buy one or both of her awesome Dear Sparkle books!

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  1. says

    That’s some really good advice, Sparkle! I try my best to be calm when I take my babies to the vet, especially Carmine. Carmine gets so scared, it’s so sad to see. I talk to him and tell him it will be okay. I pet him and hold him on my lap in his little carrier. The vet we go to is sooo so nice. Everyone loves him there, and they understand how scared he is. He will literally shake the carrier because he shakes so much. Unfortunately, he has to go to the vet every three months :( I hate when he is scared. If you have any suggestions on how I can help him be less scared, I would love to hear them.

  2. says

    Great advice, Miss Sparkle.
    And Yep, totally do agree. kitty can sense it. But my situation is not stress because my mom always put the cat carrier in our living room. And I always play hiding with her in there. So I’m pretty get used to.
    When have to go to VET , nothing complicated. Mom or dad will grab me and drop me to carrier, zip it. Actually, I never mind to go to VET cause I know they will fix me. And I will feel better : )

  3. says

    I’ve been known to take some passionflower essence (drops in water) to calm ME down before hauling one of the cats to the vet. Or half a Gravol (anti-nausea pill) — especially when Annie was sick. Of course, either will make you a bit dozy, so you can’t drive. Not an issue for me, since I don’t have a car and have to take taxis, but certainly not to be done by anyone who will be behind the wheel.

  4. says

    This is a grat advice! Kitties do feel our anxiety when we feel it. They know when something is going on! My boys are very kind and give me purr therapy all the time..this sure works :-)

  5. says

    We must say our Mum starts to stress about visiting the vet before we do – we also purray the carrier is for “not me” but our sisfur. The most panic we have is when both carriers are out!
    We often take her mind off the visit when we pee in the carrier and she is more worried if it will seep onto the car seat than if we are upset!
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

  6. says

    That is terrific advice Sparkle. Our Mom has been to the vet with us so many times, she usually remains calm and has to remain calm when it comes to getting the feral cats in the carrier. That is always tricky. Playing with the cats is such good advice. It does help to get them to trust you.

  7. da tabbies o trout towne says

    this iz sum grate ad vise sparkle…we like ta tell R mom when her brings out de carrier…ewe go to the doctor furst…then we will talk …hay…haza grate week oh end :)

  8. says

    TW has figured it out and I have to read her very carefully. She is deliberately calmer than usual cos she knows I can read her “signals.” When I sense that fake calm, I freak cos I know she’s being calm for a reason and that reason isn’t good.

  9. says

    :))) I agree with you, humans can be strange indeed. I am a human myself and I can get freaky whenever my kitties or dogs gets sick , so please be more understanding towards your mommy. She is just so crazy about you :).

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