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We have a separate area in the waiting room for cats to help reduce the anxiety they may feel over being stuffed in a box, placed in a noisy machine that moves and makes their belly feel sick, and brought into a strange building that is NOT home. This area is located to the left as you enter the door. If you look above the front desk, you will see two giant pictures – one of a cat with an arrow pointing left, and one of a dog with the arrow pointing right. Also, on the cat side you may see kittens playing or sleeping in a large cage. We have allowed an area cat rescue group, to house pairs of kittens for 2 weeks at a time in order to give our clients the opportunity to adopt these cuties and give them a furr-ever home. We also have a dedicated “cat” exam room to the far left on an outside wall which is mostly devoid of strange doggie smells and noises.
Handling a cat takes skill and patience. All of our technicians and assistants are schooled in the proper technique for causing the least amount of interference when the doctor is doing an examination. However, they are also alert to any changes of temperament in the cat that would indicate the need to apply more gentle restraint. When your kitty has to spend the night here, our cat condos offer separation from our K-9 boarders and offer a “bird’s-eye” view of the bird feeder just outside the windows. (By the way, we do have a few “cat whisperers” here at LCAH)
Your precious cuddle-buddy will get lots of loving – if that is something they like. We realize that cats are very territorial and uncomfortable outside familiar surroundings. So we try to reassure them that all is well with the world and “Mommy & Daddy” will be back soon to take them home.
What about the “problem child” you ask? Yes, we do have cats that do not want to be here under any circumstances, and they can protest that very sentiment with enough volume to make you think they are dying. At LCAH, we pride ourselves on using a professional fear-free approach to minimize your cat’s stress. We will do what needs to be done as quickly and efficiently as possible and return them to you, their carrier or their cage. We don’t want your cat to be stressed and we work hard to that end to make their visit as pleasant as possible. We also use feline friendly pheromones such as Feliway to help calm your cat.
All these things allow us to provide the best care for your precious feline because it is just as important for cats to have regular check-ups as it is for dogs. It is just a bit more of a challenge on your part to get them here. But know that once you have arrived, we will take the lead and make sure that you and your kitty get the best care and attention necessary to attend to your baby’s medical and physical needs.
TIPS FOR TRANSPORTING YOUR FELINE FRIENDS:
1. Let your cat get used to the carrier. Leave it out in an area of the home where the cat is likely to spend time and get used to its presence.
2. Make the carrier comfortable and inviting. Put toys or blankets that your cat enjoys inside the carrier.
3. Don't make the veterinarian your only destination. If your cat associates the carrier ONLY with going to the clinic it will be more of a challenge to get him/her in when the time comes. Take small outings throughout the year, either to a friend's house or even just out for a drive around the block. You could even go to the veterinarian's office just to visit or get a treat.
4. Allow plenty of time to get out the door. Don't rush the process, locate your cat well before the time you need to leave so you aren't rushed and stressed.
5. Travel light! Don't feed or water your cat right before entering the carrier.
6. Stay calm! Your cat can sense your anxiety so as long as you stay calm, he/she is more likely to stay calm also.