Advice – January 2013
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.
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?