Are vet trip disasters worth it? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-07-2015, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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Are vet trip disasters worth it?

Do cats really need annual checkups and vaccinations? Getting my cats to the vet has always been trouble, and they always spend a day hissing at each other when they get back (they eventually calm down on their own but don't actually fight).

Today I tried to take my cat Max to the vet, but he hopped out of the carrier in a hissy/growly fit. My other cat, Puck, went to check on him and they got in a fight. Max ran away from the fight like a bat out of ****. Puck approached him again, they fought again, and Ma ran again.

Now Max is in his cat tree, occasionally quiet, occasionally growly or hissy if I get too close or Puck gets too close. And Puck is making these I'm-scared meows. I'm trying to sit on the couch and act normal, and I've given up on going to the vet today. But I'm not sure of a couple things:

1) What to do now. Should I just let them be and sort things out themselves? I plan to stay away from Max and act like it's a normal Saturday, and wait for him to come to me, but I don't know what to do about Max and Puck. They're just...looking at each other quietly right now, Max from his tree, Puck from under his table. But Max will probably get hissy and growly if Puck moves. It's the growling part that worries me.

2) How often do cats really need to go to he vet? It's always this huge ideal that freaks them out and makes them hate each other, but this is the first day they have actually fought. They are indoor only cats. Do they really need yearly vaccinations? Max is due for rabbies and FVRCP or whatever.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-07-2015, 10:31 AM
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I would separate them for several hours. Take a towel...rub on the one who went to the vet, then on the one who stayed home and then back on the first one. This will intermingle their scents. Then put a dab of vanilla extract on the back of both of their necks. This will help mask foreign odors. Vanilla is used because it's pleasant scent for cats and won't harm them. So don't substitute perfume or other types of scents.

As for needing to go to a vet...they should have periodic check ups, especially as they get older. Maybe you can find a vet who will do house calls...they are becoming more popular.

Rabies vaccine may be the law where you live. If you don't do it, you need to consider the risk you are willing to take if your cat bites someone or is possibly exposed to rabies (gets outside and is gone for a period of time, an infected bat gets in your house etc). You probably want to find out what the quarantine scenarios are for your area. It can range from10 days in the house to several months at a facility (at your expense). Then you need to decide whether you're willing to accept the consequences if something happens, even though the chances are extremely remote.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-07-2015, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Part of the problem is he is terrified of me right now. I have him in my room with the door closed. He is perched on my bathroom sink and he growls and screams if I go into my room. This isn't just hissing it's screaming bloody murder. He has never done this. He's freaked out at the other cat because of vet trips, and moving once, but he has never acted this way with me.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-07-2015, 05:06 PM
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I never have problems between the cats who have been to the vets and the ones who haven't but......

Last time we took Baz and Becky to the vets, their heart rate was so elevated that they were talking about echo cardiograms. By that evening with us checking their heartbeats in their home environment, they were normal. I reckon that shows just how much stress a vet visit can cause.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 08:19 PM
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I echo Doodlebug's comments.

Whenever I take one of Muffs or Abby to the vet, they always don't like each other for a few days afterwards. However, when I take them to the vet together, I never have a problem. Needless to say, where possible, I now take them together. Perhaps next time, you could try to arrange for both of yours to have their check-ups / vaccinations at the same time, to see if that helps.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 10:42 PM
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Perhaps not everyone does what I do, nor is it always practical, but like Susan says, when you take both cats to the vet, they won't have a problem with the other when you return home (since they'll smell the same, being in the clinic).

I take my two to the vet together, even if it's just one cat that has an issue. G is a curious, confident cat at home, and Maya is more of the skittish one. However, G gets very anxious and sometimes starts panting in his carrier during car rides to the vet (probably from stress as he had a few issues last year & needed more than a few vet checks) and hisses when he's being checked out, he just hates vet visits. Maya, on the other hand, is just the chillest cat at the vet's, was purring and rolling around on the table, when I pet her, and never makes a big fuss or hardly resists the check ups when she's there, though they may both meow in the car. For this reason, I take them both, as Maya's confidence seems to help G, and the vet tech always realizes one is there for "moral support".

As a side note, I also do try to make their vet visits as least stressful as possible. I use feliway spray in their carrier about 30 minutes prior to leaving, and take it with me to the office so I can use more if needed when they enter the exam room. I also leave their carrier out at all times in my home, put out their favorite goodies inside, leave a soft bed padding, so they can inspect and even take a retreat if they feel like it. They also don't freak out when I move it around the house or put them inside. I also take treats with me to the vet, even if they really aren't in the mood to eat right then, all to form more positive associations. Hopefully your next vet visit will be much better for you and your cats.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 11:04 PM
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I take both my cats to each other appointment. No issue when they get home. Plus I immediately feed them after they get home. Everyone is happy.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by arrowst59 View Post

Part of the problem is he is terrified of me right now. I have him in my room with the door closed. He is perched on my bathroom sink and he growls and screams if I go into my room. This isn't just hissing it's screaming bloody murder. He has never done this. He's freaked out at the other cat because of vet trips, and moving once, but he has never acted this way with me.
Maybe, just maybe, you might consider a different vet?

My old fuzzy pal "RJ" (now RB since last July) needed a checkup and I made the mistake of taking him to an alternate vet to save a bit -- my regular cat vet was pretty pricey -- and the vet people at the new place said they didn't want to treat RJ any more unless he was sedated first. And poor ol' RJ was a bundle of nerves when I brought him home -- ran and hid, which he never did.

And I thought, BS! RJ was the most gentle and easy going cat ever. Besides prior to my adopting him, he'd been declawed. So he couldn't even claw anyone and he never never bit anyone, ever. So someone at that vet was mean to him. And believe me, I passed on the news. My friends would say "Sedate RJ? That's crazy!"

I took him back to the first vet from then on, and he was happy when he came home.

Just my 2 cents.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 09:48 PM
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I have brought both cats for vet visits and have not had any behaviour problems when at home.

I also like the idea someone suggested already, about a home visit vet. I guess it could also depend on if your cats are ok with meeting new people in their territory.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-11-2015, 11:40 PM
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Finding a vet who makes house calls could work for you, as long as the vet is one who really understands cats (the one I had over wasn't). But it was a good way to get my stray his vaccines. While he's perfectly sweet with the vets, he fights tooth and nail getting into a carrier.

As doodlebug also said, not doing the rabies vaccination is a risk depending on the laws where you are. As for the vaccinations, I don't know how necessary they are for indoor-only kitties. I've stopped the FVRCP, since recent research seems to show that booster shots are completely unnecessary (and since my cat had an adverse reaction last year).

How old are your kitties?
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