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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-25-2011, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Aggressive at the vets

Firstly, apologies for the long post. I thought I would give you as much information as possible with the hope somebody may be able to help.

Last week we took our cat Honey to the vets to get her booster jabs. She was fine in the car on the way there but we had to wait for around 10 minutes in the waiting area as the vet was running late. She sat pretty patiently in her carry case until a puppy came out and was in the waiting area whilst his owner paid. The puppy didn't acknowledge Honey but she was intensely staring at him.

When we went through the consultation room we took the top of her case off and tried to coax her out so she could be weighed. She wouldn't budge so the vet tipped her out. After being weighed she went back into the base of her case and the vet stroked her. Honey was looking a bit apprehensive at this point. The vet started to exam her with her stethoscope and after about a minute Honey hissed and took a swipe at the vet. She then got her back up, puffed out and hissed and swiped at the vet every time she time tried to get near to Honey. In the end it took myself, my boyfriend and the vet to get the lid back on her case. The vet then asked us to wait outside whilst she got the nurse to help her. She brought Honey out to a short while later. She had managed to give Honey her jabs but not managed to carry out a full health check. She told us Honey was the most aggressive cat she had ever dealt with and that if we ever needed to take her for treatment or examination we will need to pay to get her sedated. The whole time Honey was sat in her case making a deep growling noise which she kept up until we got her back into the car.

About Honey's Background...
We think Honey was taken from her mum too early (although we are not sure how early). Her first home after this was with people we don't know who had other cats and small children. After about 2 weeks she was given to my boyfriend's sister as she was getting bullied by the other cats. She lived with my boyfriend's sister for around 6 months. Although she had good intentions I don't think she really knew how to look after Honey properly. Her daughter was also only 2 at the time and although she loved Honey, she was a little heavy handed with her and they got into a few fights. This lead to Honey being locked in the kitchen a lot of the time to keep them separate. Honey would also get locked in the kitchen over the weekends when nobody was home. We live about 100 miles away and the weekends we would visit we would always go round to visit Honey, feed her, change her litter etc. It used to be really hard for us to leave her there. She also hadn't been vaccinated and we were worried that as she was getting older she would be coming into season and potentially would run away. Eventually after about 6 months we offered to take and she's now been with us for just over a year.

Honey's history at the vets ...
Her first 2 visits to the vets were uneventful. She went for a general check up, her first two courses of jabs and microchipping. This was with a male vet.

The 3rd visit was for her to get spayed. Unfortunately this did not go well ... she apparently went crazy when they tried to sedate her and in the end she needed to be given a stronger sedative so they could carry out the operation. Coincidently (or maybe not) this was with the female vet who she saw at her latest appointment.

Has anyone else's cat freaked out like this at the vets? I didn't really know what to do, felt like we had been an inconvenience to the vet and felt awful for putting Honey through so much stress!

The only thing the vet could suggest was that we spray feliway in her case before we take her next time.

Has anyone got any suggestions? I don't like the thought of her becoming so stressed out everytime we have to take her to the vets.

At home she's generally very good. She can sometimes get a bit aggressive when playing and sometimes nips if we pet her for too long. She went to stay at my parents for several days when we went away and was fine. However, because of how to reacted at the vets the last 2 times we're very wary of even putting her in the best of catteries.

Finally thank you to everyone who's managed to get to the end of my essay!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-25-2011, 02:53 PM
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I think you need to find another vet with more experience with cats.
Most of the Vets I've dealt with have had a calming effect on my cats. they're afraid but know that the Vet is a good person trying to help them.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-25-2011, 04:25 PM
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Hard to believe that such a sweet brown tabby and white girl could be Miss Nasty with the vet. Since she didn't like the female vet, it seems she behaves better with men, so I would get a male vet the next time. It's possible she may behave better if the vet made a house call, rather than you taking her to the clinic. It's more expensive, but may be less stressful for Honey, you and the vet. If she still acts up terribly, you should ask your vet about a tranquilizer before her vet visit. Might help?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-25-2011, 04:30 PM
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I wouldn't say your cat is the "most aggressive cat" ever, no.
If your cat freaked out when she went to the vet before, she would have recognized that vet when she went back, remembered what happened before (spaying = pain/discomfort) and well, not been too happy about it.

I would take her back to the male vet and see how she does. If she is aggressive with him, then we can deal with that.

The dog may be wonderful prose, but only the cat is poetry. - French Proverb
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for your replies.
I felt so awful when we left the vets - to be honest I don't think she really likes Honey. I think she may have been wary of Honey as of how things went last visit and maybe Honey sensed that.
We asked her about tablets we could give before we brought Honey but she just told us about the feliway spray. I was more thinking of the kitty equivalent of a small dose of diazepam seeing how stressed out she was
I think we may look for another (male) vet - possibly see if we can find one near us with an interest in cats.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 04:15 PM
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Emmz, you're right about that...cats do sense when someone doesn't like them, lacks confidence, or is afraid. I remember at shows the occasional cat would really act up for some judges and not at all for others. A lot has to do with a confident, loving approach.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 05:00 PM
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When you call the different Vet's offices tell them your problem and ask if there's a Vet there who has a way with problem kitties.
My Meme would barely get into the carrier and would cry all the way there, but the vet I had at that time had a calming effect on her and she would sit still on the examine table and not even flinch when given a shot, of course once out of the office and back in my car she would cry all the way home.
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