In a study by the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), it was found that 52% of cats in the U.S. had not been taken to the veterinarian in the past year for necessary checkups. They also found that only half as many cats receive annual exams as dogs.
These disheartening numbers are largely due to cat owners anticipating unpleasant experiences while taking their cats to the vet clinic. The survey showed, as high as 58% of cat owners said they believed their cat hated visiting the vet. 38% of cat owners also said they get stressed out at the thought of veterinary visits.
So, what can be done to help our feline friends be happier about visiting the clinic and therefore make the experience less stressful for both them and you?
A recent study showed that gabapentin given 2 hours before a vet visit reduced fear associated behaviour in 77% of cats compared to a placebo. This means the cats could be examined more easily and had procedures like blood sampling done without having to be fully sedated. To be even more effective it can be combined with products like Calmex for cats or Feliway pheromone spray which both help reduce stress naturally.
If you stress about bringing your stressed cat to the vet, there are options available to reduce stress for everyone to ensure our feline friends don’t miss out on important vet visits. Ask our vets when you are next in the clinic.
Dr Nikki Frost BSc BVSc MANZCVS (Medicine of Cats)