Today's Veterinary Practice

TVP_JUL-AUG2018

Today's Veterinary Practice provides comprehensive information to keep every small animal practitioner up to date on companion animal medicine and surgery as well as practice building and management.

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PEER REVIEWED 30 JULY/AUGUST 2018 todaysveterinarypractice.com Most cats prefer to stay within their carrier, and the majority of the examination and a portion of the diagnostics and treatments can be performed with the cat facing away from the veterinary professional and hidden within the carrier. If the cat still displays fear, cover it with a towel. Remove the cat from the carrier one time only, to complete all necessary remaining procedures that could not be completed while in the carrier. Providing other hiding options in the exam room, such as towels and high-sided cat beds, facilitates completion of the exam ( FIGURE 6 ). The Option to Hide Hiding is an important coping strategy when a cat feels threatened, such as in an unfamiliar environment. 40,41,42,43 A hiding place provides a safe haven and sense of control, increasing their security. Cats provided with the option to hide during appointments, hospitalization, and boarding have reduced negative emotions and distress. 42,43 Good options that allow the cat to feel hidden are carriers, high-sided or igloo cat beds, toweling, and hiding boxes. When cats are hospitalized or boarding, hiding options in cages help cats to cope better, sleep more peacefully, and approach people more frequently rather than retreat. 40 If a hiding place is not provided, cats will attempt to find one either within the litter box, behind it, or under bedding placed on the floor of the cage. If the cat's carrier fits into the cage, it is best to use it or a sturdy box. RESPECTFUL HANDLING Handling techniques based on an understanding of the cat greatly reduce feline negative emotions and are much safer for everyone involved. While greeting the client, do not look directly at the cat, FIGURE 6. Cats often do not like to stay on the scale. Always provide a towel to stand on or a hiding place for them to feel more secure. FIGURE 7. Note the doctor positioned to the side of this patient being examined within its carrier. FIGURE 8. This cat is facing the client as the veterinarian greets them both. FIGURE 9. The semi-lateral position, with the cat snuggled by the technician, allows the cat to feel hidden during blood collection. Lower left: Courtesy of the AAFP. Top right: Courtesy of the AAFP.

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