View Full Version : A Visit to the Vet

11-20-2001, 06:43 PM
Yes it's that time of the year again. A postcard from the vet, with a sweet kitty and puppy on the front reminding me, "It's time for our checkup!"

I face this moment with all the joyful anticipation of root canal without the benefit of novocaine, but, alas, responsible pet ownership and love for my kitty win the day, and the appointment was made.

"Ritz?" the vet assistant's voice on the phone seemed pensive....it could be my imagination...but I would not be surprised if there was one of those giant green yucky face stickers, like on the poison bottles, stuck on her chart.


The last time we ventured to the vet, she was a mere 8 pound kitty....now at 13 pounds, she is roughly the size of my most recent Thanksgiving turkey, only decidedly more lively, complete with well-honed claws and teeth. She has also apparently been pumping iron - a fact exhibited when it took two of us to muscle her into the cat carrier (mental note, need a bigger cat carrier)

I also read somewhere that cats do not have an enormous long term memory. I beg to differ. The view of the cat carrier, which has not been used since February, resulted in a disappearing act - and was followed by a painful extraction from under the sofa(painful only for us, not her).

(13 pound kitties can somehow defy the laws of physics and miraculously wiggle their way under a sofa-a space for all practical purposes only a little more than half the width of a full grown pussycat, but coaxing them out would make you think they had the ability to "puffup" at will and turn their entire body into instant velcro)

My sweet, dear companion, that kitty that curls up next to my side at night and purrs and kneads and falls alseep, that friendly cat that greets us at the door every day, that darling tuxedo-clad dear reverted to a snarling, growling hissing terror, so much that the vet had to employ the use of "the towel" to cover her up and pick her up.

Ritz made noises I have never heard come out of her before. The vet swabbed her with alcohol and she squawled pathetically. ..imagine the annual booster shot itself. Oh dear!

"She's honestly such a nice kitty" I said apologetically. I'm guessing they didn't believe me.

Once back home, she hops out of the carrier, rubs around our ankles, purrs and carries on as if nothing happened...although she is now sulking under the sofa....she knows this gets to the mommy cat..paybacks are heck.

Can anything be done to relieve the stress of the vet visit? I always feel so guilty - I'm guessing this isn't uncommon, but I have had cats that were quite docile at the vets. Not so with Ritz - she is a kitty not happy with change!

[ November 20, 2001: Message edited by: tuxluvr ]

[ November 20, 2001: Message edited by: tuxluvr ]

[ November 20, 2001: Message edited by: tuxluvr ]

11-20-2001, 07:37 PM
I laugh at your description of the trip to
the Vet for your kitty, a laugh of true
recognition ! I have 4 kittys,all completely
different in personality types.The one cat
(Blackie) that is the 'peacemaker' and hates
conflict between his kitty brothers is the
complete opposite when it comes to going for
a visit to the Vet's office. This sweet guy,
a complete purr machine at home, actually
growls like a dog at the Vet!!All the while
I'm telling them what a 'sweetie' he REALLY is. I don't think they believe me...Really
DREAD having to take Blackie in for anything.

11-20-2001, 07:58 PM
LOL!! :D :D So enjoyed reading your prose, and every paragraph rang sooo true to personal experience.

The only suggestion I can offer is the possibility of enlisting a mobile vet (assuming there is one in your area) to make a house call next time routine stuff is needed . . . of course, given Ritz's keen memory, that blindsided move would only work ONCE with her. ;) But at least it would throw her a curve and possibly eliminate utter panic the next time her carrier becomes visible. You could also try putting her in the carrier and taking her for a drive. Upon returning home, lavish her with affection/playtime/treats; whichever is her favorite! Consider it "Puttin' on the Ritz" :cool:

11-20-2001, 08:51 PM
Your post made me laugh so hard. I know exactly how you felt, before and after the visit to the vets.

Magic (Rainbow Bridge) used to put all four paws out sideways - stiff as a board - try to get that bundle into a cat carrier.

I finally tried putting the cat carrier on its end - and putting Magic in the carrier, rear end first. That worked, but only for a few times.

The part I also love, is after the examination and shots - you open the cage door to the carrier and they practically run into it.

Rascal, my large orange tabby has turned out to be a wonderful surprise. He isn't thrilled, but goes into the carrier very easily. He is so curious once he gets to the vets he is well behaved. In fact, the vet said that it was the friendliest cat he had seen all day. Since it was only 10:30 in the morning, I didn't get overly excited about the compliment. Once he gets home he looks at me with a "was all of that necessary?" look.

I find that he doesn't mind the appearance of the carrier - but he knows what those little tubes of Advantage are - and I can count on him running and hiding. Once I track him down and give him the dose - he is very angry with me until it dries.

11-21-2001, 06:52 AM
Gini, I had to laugh when you described Magic's "stiff as a board" act...our Valentine (rainbow bridge) did the same thing!!
I think it helps if you leave the carrier out for about two or three weeks PRIOR to the vet visit. The cat(s) gets used to seeing it, even crawls in it so it's sudden appearance doesn't instill apprehension.
I also put an article of my clothing in the carrier so the cat has my scent as a comfort.

11-21-2001, 07:01 AM
Gini, I asked the vet why my cats hate going into the carrier at home but can't get in there fast enough when they're at the office, just like yours. He said to think of it this way....the carrier is sort of a tunnel to them. On the one end of the tunnel is their home and at the other end of the tunnel is his office. They can't wait to get into the tunnel to come home! :)

11-21-2001, 07:05 AM
I did put the carrier out a few days ahead of time - her disappearing act occurred when we opened the top lid. Smart kitty.

The vet also pulled the "unescape" trick when he was done with her - set the carrier down, opened the front, positioned Ritz with head facing carrier, lifted towel and VOILA! Straight into the carrier.

I like the "tunnel" analogy!

Edwina's Secretary
11-21-2001, 08:38 AM
Oh the hissing and growling, the spitting and yeowling! However, this year we switched to a "cat only vet" and, while not WELL behaved, Edwina was far better than she had ever been at her previous vet.

11-21-2001, 09:01 AM
I know what you mean, tuxluvr. Our two hate going to the vet. Borded them there when we went on trip. When I went to pick them up though they were not ready. I had even phoned to say that I was 10 minutes away. We had pre-apid the bill. The staff said that they could not get them in the carriers.

I went back to the kennel area and Lamoni recognized my right away. I said, "Want to go home?" No response. "Want to go see mommy?" "Meow!" (I get NO respect) he hppoed down and walked over to his carrier. He looked back at me and just stood there. "Trust daddy, Lamoni." He put his head in an sniffed. I helped him in and petted hime until he lay down before I close the door.

Fifi was ANOTHER matter ENTIRELY. I could pet her in the kennel cage OK, but the moment I tried to lift her it was like sticking my hand in a blender. No problem, realy. I had brought my gloves.

I used the "Torro" technique. Had the assistant cover the front of the carrier (door open) with a towel. I picked up Fifi and threw her (shoved mostly) in the direction of the carrier. The assistant whipped the towel out of the way at the last second and momentum did the work. Olé!

My buddy, "ThunderingBull" has lots of cats.

Inside cats = 5
Outside cats = 17 to 23

He also has two birds in the house (African Gray Parrot and a Nandea (SP) Conyer), along with a rabbit. The dog (Blue Heeler) comes in and out. He also raises eggs so he has about 40 chicken that are all over outside. The two horses never come in the house though.

Imagine his vet bill! I asked him how he gets them to the vet and his vet makes house calls. Well, farm calls actually.

Cindy and "ThunderingBull" went to school together at Kansas State School for the Blind. TB's wife is also blind and teaches piano and organ.

11-21-2001, 11:04 AM
I can totally identify with the vet situation. My Mir is such a loving mommy's girl at home and turns into "Satan, the cat from hell" at the vet. She is so bad that they tranquilize her. It really works well. They use gas instead of a shot because: 1. You can't touch her to give her the shot and 2. The gas works faster, wears off faster and has no side effects. It's much less stressful for Mir, the vet and me.

11-21-2001, 01:38 PM
My daughter's ragdoll is the Cat From H***! They have a sticker on his chart at the vet indicating his rather unpleasant personality. He doesn't mind going into the carrier but when he arrives at the vet's he lets everyone know he is not pleased about being there. They have suggested she pop a little pill into his mouth (which they have provided) before his appointment. She will do this on his next visit, which she is not looking forward to. :eek:

11-21-2001, 01:56 PM
I refer to my cat carrier as "The Big Blue Instrument of Torture." ;)

11-21-2001, 02:32 PM
Oh, the horror! Even though my two had vet visits in July (not even a month before I adopted them), I still decided to take them again for a checkup. My roomie works with a vet = free vet visits. :) :) :)

Danny has already gone, and he was an angel. Charlie used to be an angel too. Didn't even flinch when he got his shots. Just sat there like a good boy. :)

My first cat, Sydney, would turn the vet's office upside-down. He would hiss and scratch and carry on like he was being tortured or something. :rolleyes:

I have a feeling Elvis will be the same way. Judging from the way he acted when we gave him the worm medicine, taking him to the vet is going to be quite an ordeal. We also had to use the evil towel in order to give him the de-wormer, and Rachel and I still ended up with battle scars. :eek:

11-21-2001, 07:27 PM
I did put the cat carrier out about a week ahead, and put a towel inside that had familiar scent. I was thinking she would grow comfortable with its presence...she would walk over to it, turn and give me that "stink-eye" look (you know, ears back, glaring...), like, yeah, right, mom, how stupid do I look to you??

She was peacefully resting on the sofa,she didn't even SEE us pick it up and open it, she just HEARD it, that sent her under the sofa (this is also her hiding place during storms)

I'm trying to decide if the rides in the car that don't result in vet visits...someday, when I'm in the mood to hear her whine and cry, I may try it. (liked the "puttin on the ritz" comment--that is how we came to name her, we had just watched one of our favorite movies, YOung Frankenstein) :)

:cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

[ November 21, 2001: Message edited by: tuxluvr ]

11-21-2001, 07:33 PM
Edwina's S: I've seen some "cat only" vets...what makes them different, other than the obvious? Is it just that there is cat scent in the office, or do they have some special knowledge of cats? I've always wondered if it would be worthwhile.

Having said that, our vet has been so good for so many years, it isn't his fault that Ritz has some lineage to Linda Blair. :)

Edwina's Secretary
11-26-2001, 10:16 AM
Tuxlover - sorry to be so long responding -- was gone for the holidays. I'm not sure what makes it different but certainly the catcentric "bedside manner" we encountered from vets and technicians alike, no dogs in the waiting room to get Edwina's blood pressure up. I will be a true believer when she goes in for her teeth cleaning. This has been a HORRIBLE experience for her in the past -- so bad last time I almost suspected abuse (on both parts!) I spoke with the cat vet about how they administer aenesthesia etc. and feel more comfortable. We'll see.

It is interesting though. This was one of the first cat clinics and was started by a woman vet many years ago. It supports four :eek: vets and the waiting room was full. Since then, other cat clinics has been established. A successful idea!

11-26-2001, 12:42 PM
You know what, I think a cat's only vet has the advantage of one major thing, no barking dogs. I would imagine that the atmosphere is much calmer there. We have one nearby, and I would like to consider it, but right now, I trust Dr. Robinson too much to make a change.

BUT, I missed this post initially, and I can promise each of you that I feel your pain. That cartoon Pam posted over the weekend said it all. My Butter literally freaks at getting in the carrier, and takes every ounce of strength I have to force him in. In fact, I really need to people to do it right (and I don't have two people most times). Dr. Robinson has told me that if I ever can't catch him, we'll tranquilize him, then bring him in. Now someone just needs to tell me how to get a pill down that boy's throat!!! :eek:

The funny thing is that he turns into mush, literally, when he gets there. And like most of you, he goes right back into the carrier when its time to go home. Aren't they funny? Mimi, is such a nice patient. Her only problem is that her fur falls out by the handfuls!

I love this message thread. Can't believe I missed it for 6 days! :D

And Big Charles, it is nice to "meet" you. I have read two posts from you today, and somehow missed your "entrance" to Pet Talk. But I welcome you!!! Nice to have another "guy" around. I'm sure Spencer and Phred and some of the others will agree! :)

[ November 26, 2001: Message edited by: Logan ]

11-26-2001, 03:38 PM
Logan, Ritz also goes into "autoshed" at the vet as well. She hardly sheds at all at home....you would think she was molting during a vet visit. Poor little stressed out kitty!

11-26-2001, 04:01 PM
One day while apologizing to the vet for the heavy blanket of fur that was adorning his shiny silver table, deposited by my Trevor, he explained to me that stress causes intense shedding. :D That said, though both of my cats seem to take a vet visit in stride (once we get them in their carriers) it is very apparent to me now from their fur loss that do feel some stress. I guess they are just trying to live up to that old deodorant commercial, "never let them see you sweat" but the fur loss gives them away! :D

This is the cartoon Logan was referring to:


[ November 26, 2001: Message edited by: Pam ]

11-26-2001, 04:11 PM
Vet visits cause my guys to both shed and sweat!! Apparently stress makes them sweat through their paws. They leave damp pawprints on the shiny steel table along with prodigious amounts of fur -- my vet said "yep, white coat syndrome!"

11-26-2001, 04:42 PM
The last two times I have taken the girls to the vet, Weezie has flattened herself against the very back wall of the carrier. Thelma (having no place further away to go) has proceeded to lie ON TOP of Weezie! :rolleyes: :D