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Bringing Your Cat to the Veterinarian

The General Practice at the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine has recently achieved the Silver Status from the American Association of Feline Practitioners. This status recognizes practices that offer additional facilities, handling and care to their feline patients. We are also very fortunate to have our feline only exam room available in the General Practice. This makes a big difference to the comfort of our feline patients when in for their veterinary visits.

Traveling to the Clinic

Taking cats out of their home environment can be very stressful.  Cats are most comfortable with their own, familiar environment and need time to adjust to new surroundings and experiences.  The feline room provides a quiet and safe environment that is designed to encourage cats to feel at home in the clinic.  There are places to hide and explore and a feline pheromone diffuser (feliway) is used to help provide a calming and reassuring atmosphere.

We know that often the most stressful part of the veterinary visit is not the actual visit itself but the journey to the clinic and especially trying to convince your cat to go into its carrier. There are some useful links below with ways to help make the veterinary visit less stressful for you and your cat including videos on how to train your cat to accept the carrier.

We can also help to reduce the stress of travel by providing calming medications for you to administer to your cat prior to the visit.  Please contact the General Practice for more information about this.

During your Visit

When you arrive at the Health and Wellness Center we will try to minimize any waiting time so your cat does not become distressed in the waiting room by directing you straight to the feline exam room.

If the exam room is not available for any reason and you would prefer to wait in the car with your cat until your appointment is ready, then please let the receptionist know and your technician will let you know when they are ready for you.

It is a good idea to bring a towel or blanket to cover your cats carrier when transporting it into the exam room in case of other animals in the waiting room.  Direct visual contact with other animals can be very distressing.

The use of Feliway which is a feline pheromone product can be very useful for veterinary visits.  It is designed to have a calming effect on our feline patients and as mentioned above, it is used in the feline exam room in the form of a plug-in diffuser.  It is also available in a spray that can be used in the carrier or car prior to travel.

After your appointment you can leave your cat in the exam room while you check-out or if the waiting room is not busy you can place your cat in a quiet corner of the room on a chair while you are checking out.

We also have a feline only ward in the Health and Wellness Center where your cat can stay before and/or after your appointment.  Your cat needs to be up to date on his/her vaccinations.  There is bedding, bowls, litter and litter boxes available.  Your cat can stay in its carrier in the pen for comfort and feliway spray is available for use in the ward.

After the visit

Cats are very sensitive to smells and acclimation back into the home can also be a source of potential stress if there are other cats.  The cats at home may be confused or upset by their friend smelling differently.  It is a good idea to leave your cat in its carrier for a few minutes and see how the other cats react. If there is any tension or conflict then leaving your cat in a separate room with food, water and a litter box for up to 24 hours can help to make the re-introduction smoother. Feliway can also be helpful in this situation.

Please feel free to contact the General Practice if you have any questions or concerns about your visit, we are always happy to help.