I Stay Within Her Sight
When possible, I stay where she can see me when shes in the crate. Im sure much of her anxiety comes from the unknown of being confined to a small space in a moving car zooming past a million new smells and sounds. Pip, though, came into my life because she was abandoned in the woods as a kitten. As heartbreaking as it is, I think a lot of her anxiety comes from a fear that I will abandon her.
For a few hours leading up to a car ride, I spend extra time with her. We play and snuggle extra hard. I want her to have strong memories of my love for her when I close the crate door and put her in the car. While were driving, I position her crate so she can see me and make eye contact with her when possible. When I can, I even sit in the back seat with her.
In The Consulting Room
Look for a clinic and for staff that are quiet, gentle and respectful when handling your cat:
- An;accredited Cat Friendly Clinic;has promised to make sure all staff treat cats gently, respectfully and with professional skill.
- Cats usually need time to get used to the clinic and to calm down this should not be a problem and staff should take the time needed.
- If your cat needs holding, the vet should ask a nurse or assistant, so you need not worry.
- If you dont understand what the vet tells you, ask for further explanation.
- If you are unsure about administering medications, ask a vet, nurse or assistant to give you a demonstration and talk to you. See;how to give your cat a tablet
Understanding Your Cats Behavior
You probably already know that your cat is most comfortable with the familiar, and needs time to adjust to things, people, or places that are unfamiliar. When you bring your cat to visit the veterinarian, it is often difficult for her;because the carrier, car, and the veterinary hospital are usually unfamiliar places and experiences.
Here are a few tips from our feline veterinarians:
Respect your cats need for time to become familiar with new situations, people, and places. Leave the cat carrier out and open in your home so your cat can become familiar with it. Consider taking your cat on short trips in the car so she can become familiar with it and hopefully learn that a car visit does not mean you are taking her to the veterinarians office. Give your cat rewards to encourage positive behavior. For example, if your cat is sitting calmly in or near a carrier, give her a treat.
Your cat perceives the world through her senses. Weve broken down ways to help keep your cat calm corresponding to the way your cat experiences her environment.
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Kitty Is Extra Aggressive
If your cat is aggressive for no known reason, anxiety might be behind kitty’s behavior. “A well-behaved pet wouldnât go repeatedly berserk on you without a solid motive, so try to discover the root of the problem and fix it for them,” iHeart Cats advised on its website. What’s more, “boredom can result inanxiety for a cat that needs attention, and taking out their frustrations on your belongings is one way they can express their discontent to you.”
You Cat Has A Lot To Say
In general, cats meow to communicate with their humans versus each other. If your feline friend is trying to get your attention with excessive meowing, and you’re not sure what kitty wants, they might be trying to tell you that they’re feeling dark and twisty. “If your cat has become excessively chatty in their meow language then this definitely means they are trying to tell you something,” iHeart Cats explained. “Often this vocalization will sound very troubled, something like a distress call that they need you as they are desperately trying to get your undivided attention.”
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What About Natural Medicine
Natural medicines, also known as complementary therapies, cover a wide range of products including herbs, nutraceuticals, supplements, and homeopathic remedies . Although the marketplace is full of products that claim to treat anxiety, these claims are largely anecdotal and there are few controlled studies that support their effectiveness in either humans or pets. One of the biggest concerns that many veterinarians have with complementary medicines is that there can be variability in their purity, quality, level of contaminants, and effectiveness from batch to batch. While natural products are often thought of as benign, this is not always the case, particularly when it comes to treating cats, who have different metabolic processes than we do.
“Pheromones, such as Feliway®, are natural alternatives that provide some sound scientific evidence of effectiveness and can have rapid action.”
There are veterinary products available on the market that claim to have generalized calming effects or treat anxiety disorders. Although these products generally meet a level of quality control and standardization that is similar to pharmaceuticals, studies on the effectiveness of these products are generally lacking. Most of these products are intended for use to treat behavioral problems and take several weeks to become effective. Pheromones, such as Feliway®, are natural alternatives that provide some sound scientific evidence of effectiveness and can have rapid action.
What Else Should I Know About Sedatives And Cats
Here are some additional important tips for sedating a cat:
- Staying calm yourself may help, since many pets react to emotions or stress they sense from their human companions.
- Many vets recommend a trial run for sedatives. For example, if using a cat sedative for travel, give your kitty a dose at home before the big travel day to make sure the medication works the way you want it to.
- Many airlines dont allow sedatives during travel, due to safety risks. This is especially true for pets flying in cargo who cant be monitored, and for short-nosed breeds who are more prone to respiratory distress and at a higher risk with temperature extremes.
- If you have difficulty giving your cat a pill, talk to your vet about other options. They may recommend using injectable sedation at the vet clinic instead. Some medications also come in other forms, such as a transdermal formulation you apply to the skin. But these special formulations must be ordered well in advance. And some medications can be added directly to your kittys food so they ingest it on their own but check with your vet on this first.
As you can see, there are many different situations for which cat sedatives can be used and many different medications to choose from. After consulting a veterinarian, most pet parents can find an option that works well for keeping their kitty relaxed, happy, and safe.;
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How To Calm Down A Cat: 5 Herbs For Cat Stress Relief
Some cats are naturally stressed and anxious as part of their demeanor, while others save their freak-outs for car trips and vet visits. This leaves many pet owners wondering how to calm a cat to them a little stress relief in any situation. Fortunately, effective remedies are available that are both natural and easy to administer. Try these herbs and flower essences to help calm down your cat.
Natural Ways To Ease Cat Anxiety
If theres one thing any cat owner wants to avoid, its a stressed out cat.
Whether its a trip to the vet, moving to a new home, or too much noise, stress can result in a number of unsettling feline behaviors. Hiding, excessive grooming, not eating, and aggressive actions such as hissing,;;growling, and even biting are just some of the classic symptoms of cat anxiety.
And then theres the number one behavioral issue that veterinarians see in stressed cats peeing outside the litterbox.
But the stress doesnt stop there. These behaviors also tend to cause anxiety for cat parents, who just want to know how they can help their pets relax, without resorting to Kitty Prozac.
If the situation is litterbox related, and youre a multiple cat household, the solution may be as easy as getting more litterboxes. Other behaviors may pose more of a challenge. Getting a cat to calm down is often easier said than donebut with a little trial and error, and a healthy dose of patience, it;can;be done. Here are a few natural approaches to cat anxiety relief that I recommend trying:
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Causes Of Cat Anxiety
Like previously mentioned, cats are creatures of habit. If there is a change to their normal routine, they will likely be curious and may act differently. While changes in their behavior are normal, anxiety is not and must be monitored. Some things that may cause feline anxiety are:
These are just a few of the reasons why a cat may be feeling anxious, and the causes of feline anxiety will depend on the cat and their typical behavior. If you sense that something is off with your furry friend, visit your vet.
Cat Anxiety Versus Fears & Phobias
According to petMD, cat anxiety is defined as the anticipation of future dangers from unknown or imagined origins that result in normal body reactionsassociated with fear. These anxieties are different than fear, which is an instinctual, normal behavior, and phobias, which are excessive fears of a specific situation.
For example, many cats are scared of loud noises, such as fireworks or the vacuum. They view this situation as a fight or flight scenario, which is their innate survival mechanism. They may hide under the bed if they feel like they are threatened, or hiss at an intruder if they think they need to fight.
In contrast, cat phobias are habitual fears of a specific situation or object. Some cat experts argue that once a phobia is realized, anything associated with that phobia will result in a similar response. An example of this would be an abused cat who fears loud voices. Every time they hear a loud voice, they remember their past phobia and automatically register the same behavior. These phobias are not always rational, but illicit a response in a fearful kitty.
Lastly, anxiety is often manifested in long-term behavior or behavior in advance of a situation. The most common form of anxiety that cats experience is separation anxiety, which is when cats become stressed and act up if their owners are gone for extended periods of time.
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Can I Give My Cat A Sedative Or Anti
If your cats stress or fear is profound, AND she has no health concerns, your veterinarian may recommend giving some sort of prescription medication before the;visit. However, most sedatives have side effects, and using them may not be in the best interests of your cat. Please see the handout Medications to Reduce the Stress of Veterinary Visits for Cats for more information.
With regard to complementary medicines, the marketplace is full of products that claim to treat anxiety. While natural products are often thought of as benign, this is not always the case, particularly when it comes to treating cats, who have different metabolic processes than we do. Please speak to your veterinarian for more information.
Choose A Suitable Carrier
Make sure your carrier is warm, comfortable and large enough for your cat to stand up and turn around. Plastic carriers are ideal for easy cleaning if you fear there may be mess and;top and front opening carriers allow the cat to be carefully lifted in and out. If you think your;cat would feel happier sitting in the base whilst being examined that will be fine, just let your vet know. ;
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Causes Signs And Treatment Of Stress In Cats
Stress is fairly rampant in today’s world. While it can be a good thing when we need to fight or flee for our lives, it can have adverse health impacts when it’s chronic and doesn’t let up. It can also negatively affect a person’s behavior and relationships.
Stress can have negative physical and mental on cats, and it can negatively affect their relationships with other pets and humans in the home. While they don’t get upset about the same things we do, our cats can experience chronic stress, which isn’t good for them.
Provide Playtime And Enrichment
Start a daily routine of exercise and play with your cat. Even 15 minutes a day with a laser pointer or wand toy will help your cat get the exercise he needs while reducing his stress. Similar to creating a safe space, youll want to make sure your cat has enough environmental enrichment while youre away to stay distracted from ensuing anxieties. Keep him stimulated with catnip toys, food puzzles, cat grass, and window-watching spots.
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Know When To Call Your Vet
Vomiting is considered acute when it doesnt last for more than two or three days, and this problem will typically go away on its own. But if the vomiting becomes chronic or severe, it might result in other problems, such as electrolyte imbalances or dehydration. So, if the vomiting doesnt stop, its best to call your vet to figure out whats going on and get your cat the help that she needs.
Keep in mind that vomiting might be caused by something minor, such as your cat eating something that she wasnt supposed to consume, but it might also be a symptom of something serious, such as poisoning. Also, conditions that might cause vomiting include intestinal or urinary tract obstruction, thyroid disease, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease , infection, or liver disease. So youll definitely want to consult with your vet ASAP if the vomiting doesnt resolve with simple home remedies like the ones discussed above.
Bottom line: if you try some home remedies but your cat continues to vomit, if the vomiting gets worse, or other symptoms arise, such as lethargy or inappetence, call your vet right away so that you can have your kitty examined and treated appropriately.
Kitty Is Pacing Or Can’t Sit Still
Cats sleep a lot, so if your cat is spending more time pacing than sleeping, it’s a sign that kitty is anxious. “For an animal that sleeps up to 16 hours on almost any given day, a restless cat shouldnât be a difficult sign of anxiety to spot,” iHeart Cats noted. “Humans who suffer from anxiety are known to pace or have difficulty sitting still, and this is true in cats as well. Anxiety triggers sensors in the mind that can cause your cat to feel stressed, nervous, and uneasy for no reason at all.”
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Does My Cat Need Medication To Help With Their Problem
Some cats will need medication to help with their anxiety alongside behavioural treatment plans. There are a number of different medications that are licensed or recommended for cats.
Never use human anti-anxiety medications on your cat. They can have side effects and some could be dangerous to your pet. Speak to your vet if you think your cat may need medications to help with their fear.
Why Is My Cat So Stressed When I Take Her To The Veterinary Clinic
For most cats, a visit to the veterinarian is an overwhelming experience. The cat is taken out of its familiar home environment, usually roughly pushed into a carrier, put into a noisy car, driven to the veterinary clinic, taken into the reception area where there are intense smells from many other pets and people. Then they are taken into an examination room where an unfamiliar person examines them and administers various treatments. Any one of these things can be stressful, and when they are all combined together, it is no wonder that your cat is so frightened or stressed.
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Taking Your Cat To The Vet
24th July 2018
All cats should have at least an annual veterinary check, but some will require more frequent visits, and most are likely to need at least one operation during their lives. For many cats, a veterinary visit is a stressful experience. However, there is much we can do to reduce this stress.
However, there are simple things that can make a big difference:
How To Reduce Stress In Cats
This article was co-authored by Brian Bourquin, DVM. Brian Bourquin, better known as Dr. B to his clients, is a Veterinarian and the Owner of Boston Veterinary Clinic, a pet health care and veterinary clinic with three locations, South End/Bay Village, the Seaport, and Brookline, Massachusetts. Boston Veterinary Clinic specializes in primary veterinary care, including wellness and preventative care, sick and emergency care, soft-tissue surgery, dentistry. The clinic also provides specialty services in behavior, nutrition, and alternative pain management therapies using acupuncture, and therapeutic laser treatments. Boston Veterinary Clinic is an AAHA accredited hospital and Bostons first Fear Free Certified Clinic. Brian has over 19 years of veterinary experience and earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, several readers have written to tell us that this article was helpful to them, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 290,184 times.
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