Friday, September 23, 2011

Taking your CAT in the CAR is stressful!!!!!

Let’s bark cats!  I happen to live with one and spend all day at work with others, (which makes me an expert).  I’ve noticed Crunch, that’s my cat’s name, is different than me.  Not just size and shape, but attitude and need.  Where I need my people to pet me 24/7 – I’ve noticed Crunch prefers smaller doses of attention.  Now, I go everywhere with my people, but Crunch stays home.  He doesn’t even try to go with us, he runs to the window and watches us drive away and he’s always at the door when we come home but what he does while alone is anyone’s guess and I’m pretty sure it involves a lot of sleeping and an occasional adventure to the top of the refrigerator where he is forbidden.

I have the privilege, although I don’t recognize it as such, of being at the vet’s everyday so if I scratch, cough or twitch spontaneously, I find myself the focus of 8 brilliant veterinarians determined to diagnose and fix me.  Crunch, on the other hand, stays home and therefore out of the center of attention.  My mom tells me that as long as nothing happens, Crunch only has to go to the vet once a year because he’s a healthy 2 year old.  When he gets a little older, or if he starts to have medical problems, he will have to come more often.  

Did you know that cats are the most popular pet in the U.S.?  I thought it was Golden Retrievers; I’d like to check these stats.  With stats like this, I’m concerned that I don’t see more cats here during my day.  Cats know how to hide their illnesses, so by the time we realize something is wrong, they can be pretty sick.  During an annual exam, our doctors check them from nose to tail looking for medical changes that might indicate problems, so I’d like to see more cats come to the vet for prevention and early detection.  

Mom says it’s stressful for cats to travel, especially to the vet, but it’s extremely important so she has a few tricks.  Getting Crunch to the vet is a week long production, but it can be done.  This is what I’ve seen my people do when Crunch has an appointment…

Out comes his carrier, like a week before the appointment!  My mom puts catnip and toys inside so Crunch runs in and out of it.  I’ve even seen her feed him dinner in there.  By the time his appointment comes around, he’s happy to be inside the carrier that holds treats and toys and a little nip.

A couple times a week we make short practice runs around the block in the car, this part I love because I get to go too.  I like to think I bring comfort to my brother cat, but that’s yet to be determined.

One time I noticed a new collar on Crunch and complimented him on it.  He said mom put it on him because it’s full of kitty pheromones that help him feel calm.  I thought that was pretty cool and tried acting all nuts so I could get a new collar, but it didn’t work.  You can also get kitty pheromones in a spray and mist the carrier 30 minutes before travel.  I heard her talking to the vet about sedatives, but Crunch seems to do fine without. 

I noticed we don’t feed Crunch for a couple hours before his appointment.  Originally I thought that was a horrible thing to do to my brother, but then he told me the car ride makes him nauseous and having an empty tummy helps him not throw up.

When we are in the car, my mom puts a towel over the carrier.  I don’t get this; because when I’m in the car I let my head hang out and catch some air.  But mom says Crunch might get scared if he sees all the fast moving scenery.  She also keeps the radio off so the car is quiet and that bugs me because I can’t listen to Lady Gaga – but I try to be understanding that this is what Crunch needs in order to trek to the Vet.

Crunch’s carrier has a door on top and in front so it’s easy for him to get in and out.  When we get to the vet, they let us go right into a quiet room so Crunch doesn’t have to see the dogs in the lobby.  I keep telling my mom he will be fine with dogs, look how much he loves me!?  But my mom told me that Crunch loves me because he thinks I’m a big cat – I’m not sure how I feel about that.

During his exam, my mom talks to him in a soothing voice, she pets him, lays out his favorite blanket, sprinkles more cat nip on the table and completely ignores me!  It’s a good thing Crunch only requires an annual exam; I’m not sure how much more of this I can stand ~ What a big baby! 

Me and Crunch are tight and I watch over his health and happiness.  But since I can’t do this for your cat, it’s up to you.  No one knows your cat better than you, so if you think you’ve noticed any of the following changes; it’s a good idea to discuss them with your vet. 

·         Behavior: Any personality changes such as being more moody, shy, not wanting to be held, hiding more than usual, becoming more aggressive.
·         Appearance: Unexplained weight loss or gain, fur thinner or more coarse, dull, not grooming, or excessive scratching.
·         Appetite: Decreased or increased food consumption or not eating at all.
·         Drinking: An increase or decrease in water consumption.
·         Elimination behaviors: Going outside the litter box, a marked increase or decrease in urine or stool, the presence of blood or mucus, or a strong or unusual smell.
·         Activity: Decreased interaction with you or other family pets, or hyperactivity.
·         Sleeping habits: Sleeping more than normal (16 to 18 hours per day) or signs that they’re uncomfortable lying down and/or getting up.
·         Vocalization: Increased howling could be a sign of pain or other problem.
·         Bad breath: Dental disease, problems in the mouth, or some other systemic abnormality.
·         Walking or movement: Walking more slowly than normal, limping, avoiding putting weight on a limb, favoring one leg, exhibiting stiffness when walking up or down stairs, not wanting to jump up or down from things.

At The Parkway Veterinary Hospital, everyone understands the unique nature of cats and their needs because I’ve trained them well.  So make that important appointment for your cat’s annual exam and call us if you want more help in preparing their trip to see us.


  1. Haha! It truly is! Our cat is moody… There are times when she likes it when we bring her along on our family road trips; and there are also times when she doesn't! It's hard to tell, especially if you have a cat like ours. LOL!

    Vannessa Gabbett