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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-31-2011, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Your vet practices w/ 2 cats?

So, as some of you know, my husband I recently adopted two adorable kittens named Tumbler and Juice, a brother/sister duo. We've had them under 2 months and they've been to the vet 4 times. Since they were shelter cats, they had a bunch of minor issues that have now been taken care of.

Well, the first 4 times I took them, they went together in their double cat carrier since the appointments were always for both of them. Today, Juice had her follow-up appt for her eye corneal ulceration (poor little girl!) to make sure it had healed properly. It is the last of their visits and the appt was only for her.

I worried about splitting them up, as they haven't been apart since birth. They were together in the same cage at the shelter for the first 7 months of their lives. We adopted them at 7 months and they've been together at our home or in their carrier for a car ride/vet visit ever since. They had a third brother who died very young at the shelter, so it's always been just the two of them.

Anyway, long story short, since today was just a visit for Juice I worried about Tumbler getting on without her. As some of you may know, Tumbler is very "special needs" and he relies on her a lot. Juice is a playful sister, but also like a pseudo-momma for him. She cleans him, cuddles him, and takes care of him. He is mentally challenged and physically has cerebellar hypoplasia (wobbles and falls over - even has a ramp for stairs!).

Well, when I put Juice in the carrier, Tumbler put his little paws on the caged door and licked her face from outside. It was pathetic and I assured them both that we'd be right back. Tumbler was FINE without her while I was gone - he was sleeping in a chair when I got home and greeted her with happiness. BUT JUICE - she was TRAUMATIZED. I think she thought I was taking her away from her brother forever. She practically played dead. She laid in the carrier without moving or fighting. She had to be pulled out of it by the vet. She laid like dead on the table. Depressed. Sad. Didn't respond a bit or purr at all when I pet her to comfort her there and she is a VERY purr-y kitty. She was so pathetic it broke my heart.

Good news: her eye is healed and she's fine now. When I brought her home she was OVERJOYED to see Tumbler and greeted him like she had won the lottery. But she did not love me anymore. She ran when I went to pet her. She was afraid of me and very sad to be around me. I don't think she trusted me for a good several hours. When I came home tonight late (I go to grad school after work) she was her loving self again.

This whole long story is merely to ask: Do any of you bring BOTH cats to the vet even when an appt is for one sick one? Simply because they don't like to be apart?

Is it weird/overprotective of me to consider that?

Should they learn to cope apart in small doses like that (very infrequently obviously) since one of them will inevitably die before the other one day?

As I keep saying in various threads, I am a brand new cat parent - these are my first and they are quite the unique pair as you can tell from my stories, video, etc.

Your thoughts would be much appreciated as I am not sure what is best for them in the event I need to take one to the vet again.

Thank you!!! I love getting perspectives and everyone is so kind here.

<3 Arielle

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Tumbler, my little tumbling boy & Juice, my sweet orange girl - the precious brother/sister duo
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 12:15 AM
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I DO bring both twins when only one needs to be brought in. They hate being separated. AND I put them in the same big carrier.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 12:36 AM
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Yeah, if it were me in your situation I'd probably get a carrier big enough for two and just take them together. It sounds like she needs him just as much as he needs her.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 12:44 AM
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My girls are close, but I just take whichever of my two needs to go. Abby doesn't mind being at the vet's office, but she hates car rides. Muffs is fine in the car, but she hates being at the vet's office. So, either way, if I took both cats each time, I think I'd just be stressing them out for no real reason.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 03:12 AM
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My thought would be, that this episode should have started that process of showing Juice that when she goes in the carrier and tumbler stays, she WILL be brought home again and Tumbler will still be there, all's well that ends well. My worry with cats who aren't every allowed to be apart at all is, what happens when, God forbid, one gets sick and has to be hospitalized. It will be hard enough on the sick cat without also having a severe, crippling, separation anxiety to deal with on top of it all.
Just another perspective, but I would make an effort to get them comfortable with being apart for short periods for that reason.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the input, everyone. I do have a carrier for two and have always taken them together until yesterday. Some folks have said as you say, Kobster, that if one of them has to have surgery or God forbid dies younger, that the other must learn how to cope. Others have said that they should stay together if possible. Just wanted to get some perspectives, so I appreciate it, guys!

<3 Arielle

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Tumbler, my little tumbling boy & Juice, my sweet orange girl - the precious brother/sister duo
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 01:40 PM
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Thanks for posting this! Apple has an appointment in a couple of weeks and I was planning on taking Pedro with her just for comfort. They seem to enjoy being in the car and don't mind (maybe even like!) their vet. I figured while I was there I could get an up to date weight for Pedro without having to take him for a full visit.

Then I read Kobster's post. I hadn't considered that possibility since they are both young, BUT Apple does have a heart murmur so the possibility is there. Also, my sister would be here with him while he waits for our return so perhaps this is a good opportunity to practice without being too stressful on him to be home without Apple and Apple would be with me so she'd be fine.


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 03:48 PM
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Eric and Ernie were litter mates, and were always very close - part of the reason I took them both, rather than just the one I intended. While they've gained their own independence, they do look for each other. Eric injured his shoulder in a fall from a tree (some Forest Cat, hey?), and had to be taken to the vets on his own. Ernie searched the house while I was gone, crying until he returned. They have this funny call they use, like a quiet trill, sort of echo-location - they only use it when looking for each other. (Do cats have twin talk?!)
We took them to the vets for castration at 6 months - by this time, they were already too big to go in one carrier so had to be separated. They nearly took the doors off the cages until the carriers were turned to face each other, then they calmed down and were happier. I'm not sure what to do if they have to go to the vets again.
On another note, I also have 3 basset hounds, who all have to go to the vets together even if only one is sick. But that's more because they like riding in the car, and get jealous and moany if 1 gets to go alone
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 07:42 PM
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When I take my cats I take them in pairs, but each has their own kennel. The boys used to go together, but they are just too darn heavy together! (Muffin, 15lbs and Doran 10lbs)

As a sidenote I always recommend seperate carriers. Cats can have redirected aggression. I would be very nervous that if one got too stressed they might take it out on the nearest thing, aka their sibling. Admittedly I do tend to be over catious, but I know that even though Jitzu loves her brother she gets very upset at the vets. Not a chance I'm willing to take.
My solution? Since there's four of them I take them 2 at a time, seperate kennels.

I haven't had a problem yet.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 08:01 PM
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Yes, separate carriers if you do decide to take them together. I had two cats who got along just fine unless one was upset by the presence of a strange cat. Then he was killer cat to his buddy. No sense taking a chance for a cat who couldn't get away.
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