There are many reasons why cat owners dread taking their favorite feline to the vet. It is actually difficult to safely get a cat to the clinic. All cat people will agree on that. Cats are smart and they will try to sabotage the operation in any way they can. Placing your cat in a carrier is not a simple task. First, you have to find the carrier, and since you use it once a year, chances are you forgot where you hid it last time. By the time, you locate it, your cat is gone, alerted by the not so discreet search through the house. Now you have to find your cat. He will most likely be hiding in a dusty, dark spot. Do not worry, the vet will not judge you when you show up at the clinic, your clothes covered with cat hair and dust, a strong smell of cat urine (and/or vomit) coming out of the carrier. We understand. We are just happy you were able to bring your cat in! You would not believe the numbers of phone calls we get saying "I have to reschedule my appointment for tomorrow, I can't find Tuna Breath! I have been looking all over the house!" So back to the cat hunt, you will probably have to extract him from underneath the bed, by crawling or using a broom to gently push him to the other side of the bed. Now you have the cat. Run to the carrier that you left downstairs off course. Go fast. Use gravity to actually dump your kitty head first in the standing carrier (well known technique used by 99% of cat owners). Close the carrier. Oops, the other side of the carrier is not secured. Your cat just escaped. Repeat. This is just the typical experience cat owners go through about once a year. However, over the years, my clients have come up with some variants to make the experience even more memorable. Here is are some different approaches to the classic plastic carrier... Place your cat in a covered (preferably empty) litter box. Duct tape the front opening, several times, all around the box. Great technique. Usually followed by a 30 min session to unwrap the box and get the cat out. Don't forget to bring duct tape with you. Redo the whole thing for the trip back. Don't forget to free the cat when you get home. Place your cat in a pillow case. Actually very effective. Place your cat in a Victoria secret pink bag. Dress him with a baby outfit to match the said bag. Place your cat in bread basket, complete with soft napkin. Only available for very young kittens! Place your cat in a covered baby stroller. The nice kind, the Jogging stroller kind. Place your cat in your bright yellow Mustang automobile. Drive to clinic. Park close to the entrance. Get your cat out of your yellow Mustang into the waiting room. Travel in style. Place your cat in a rusty metal cat trap that you borrowed from the local shelter. Pretend he is a stray you found in your backyard. Try to get the "feral cat sterilization" discount. It may fail if your "stray cat" comes out of the trap purring and loving on everybody. Place "something that smells like home" in the carrier to soothe your feline. Blanket, checked. Stuffed animal, checked. Cat toy, checked. Sweater, checked. Female underwear... Checked. That's right. Size 8, blue thong. Note to our vet staff, do not forget to put gloves on Before digging through a carrier. Because you never know... To this day, I do not know if the cat dragged it in to sabotage the exam, or if the owner intentionally placed it in there. I like to think the cat is to blame. Medelita Guest Blogger: Julie Pearson, DVM. Julie is currently working on the East Coast as a small animal veterinarian. She was born and raised in France, where she got her degree before getting licensed in the USA. She enjoys being a general practitioner, and feels privileged to be there for her patients, whether it is for a wellness visit or a serious medical issue. Julie has been wearing Medelita since August 2010, and is seen here wearing her scrubs.
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