Video: Vetophobia Or Why Are Cats Afraid Of Doctors?
Cats are creatures more attached to their habitat and very dependent on their environment. Once taken away from their home, even not far from their home, they often feel insecure, anxious or outright frightened. And if you add to this the memories of humiliating, sometimes painful procedures during previous visits to the veterinarian, then there is a real cause for concern.
Here you call the vet to make an appointment. Experienced cat lovers say that cats have amazing intuition - after all, the pet can suddenly disappear before the owner puts the phone back in place. These people suspect, not without reason, that their cats can read minds. Such a supernatural feline ability is not yet available to human understanding, but it unites cats who, having barely heard the word "veterinarian", instantly leave their favorite resting place on the couch.
The unexpected appearance of a cat carrier in the hallway will perceive the tailed darling as a betrayal. Many owners bring carriers a few days before the vet visit, in the hope that the cat will get used to it and will be easier to put there at the right time. Others don't bring a carrier in advance, they just try to lock the cat in the room.
Having an idea of the eyes, ears, nose and feet of a cat, one can easily imagine what a trip in a car would be like for them. Cats are known to have poor vision, except for short distances when sneaking up on game. The vague pictures they see from the window of a moving car must be appalling to them. Their sensitive ears are deafened by loud unusual sounds, and their nostrils are attacked by unknown and some kind of threatening odors. It's no wonder that cats tremble in the car and can't find a place for themselves. And they get to the veterinarian in complete horror.
The situation finally deteriorates in the clinic. There is a smell of fear in the air, which animals feel very well, and for sophisticated and majestic cats it is humiliating just that they were shoved into a cage and brought to some unfamiliar biped. However, the bullying continues: they are weighed, their temperature is measured, their teeth and sensitive ears are examined, they are vaccinated, they are touched. What could be worse?!
Cats try to resist these misfortunes in three ways. They either freeze, shrink, or run away, and sometimes rush into battle. For a veterinarian, the nicest cat patients who freeze in confusion. They can stay in one place for a long time. These cats look calm on the outside, but the treacherous heartbeat tells the vet that the animal really feels. These cats can be immobile for a long time and, as far as possible, they behave well, but they manage it with difficulty. An experienced veterinarian will tell by subtle signs when a cat's patience is at the limit and should be careful.
The animals that try to escape are terrified. "Runaways" are able to slip away from the most vigilant owner and hide where no one can reach them. Many of these cats are so terrified that they might try to break a window pane to jump out into the street.
Panic cats are unpredictable and dangerous. You can expect anything from them before they get comfortable and agreeable. Most of the injuries sustained by veterinarians, their assistants and their owners are due to an attempt to restrain an escaping cat. Holding by force is also dangerous for a cat: a panicked animal is strongly pressed to the table, and because of this, the cat may die.
There are few cats that try to fight, but they are the ones most remembered by veterinarians. The physician needs to reckon with the agility, speed and "weapon" of the common domestic cat - and this inspires respect. The cute kitties are armed with thirty teeth, sharp as a dagger, twelve claws, cutting like a razor, as well as the speed and strength of the muscles. Cats are very intelligent and not too far removed from their wild relatives. Realizing the threat, the domestic cat instantly turns into an angry wild animal.
Feline fighting is almost always accompanied by voice intimidation (cats usually prefer this weapon in internecine struggle). At first they hiss, as if saying: "I don't like you!" This is a warning, so you need to be careful. Then the hiss turns into a growl, which means: "Look, I warned you!" From growling, the cat can go on to real screaming, a worthy deterrent to someone who tries to touch the cat.
Cats rarely attack humans seriously. They mostly only scratch or bite, trying to break free and run away. Fortunately, they are not interested in hurting people, although cat scratches and bites can be very painful and even dangerous.
It is important that a person learns to understand the "language" (postures and sounds) of cats. Vetophobia is very common among cats, but avoiding a veterinarian is not the best solution, as these pets need vaccinations, examinations and other routine procedures.
If a cat is stressed while waiting for a trip to the veterinarian, then it can put psychological pressure on its owner, and then the visit may be postponed. Cats perfectly understand our speech, posture and facial expressions. Moreover, they are very sensitive to this, and the owner should try to behave calmly, even if he has to pretend. The loud voice and agitated movements seem dangerous to Murka.
Check with your veterinarian if the use of tranquilizers is necessary before going to the clinic. Basically, cats are prescribed the safe drug acepromazine maleate. The usual dose is from 2.5 to 10 milligrams, given 1 hour before the trip, the drug lasts 6-8 hours. It is good to use it during the first trip - the cat will relax, the vet will not seem too "terrible" to her, and in the future his visits will not scare the pet so much. For very "problem" cats, anesthesia is used. General anesthesia for examinations and minor procedures may seem like overkill, but it is often the best option available. The danger of modern anesthesia is minimal and, of course, less than the danger of insufficient examination or procedures that have to be done in a hurry.
Based on materials from the foreign press, the text was prepared by Elena Pugacheva, the newspaper "Cat and Dog"