It is a well-known fact in the veterinary field that cats are seen less often by aveterinarian than dogs. There are many reasons contributing to this fact, but one ofthe main reasons cited by clients is the stress suffered by both the owner and thecat leading up to and during the veterinary visit. A colleague of mine once equateda cat’s view of a vet visit to an alien abduction. Think about it. Your cat getsscooped up and pushed into a box that’s swung from a handle as it’s carried to amachine on wheels with harsh odors and loud noises, not to mention the motion.Once out of the car, the box is then carried (swinging from the handle) into a noisy,smelly clinic lobby with dogs and other stressed cats for an undetermined wait time.It is no wonder that most cats are too fractious for staff to adequately examine in aveterinary clinic setting.
Stress doesn’t just make it hard to handle your cat at the clinic, it also affects yourcat’s health – especially if he or she is already sick – and can cause changes in yourcat’s diagnostic results making it hard for the veterinarian to determine therelevance to your cat’s overall health. For instance, stressed cats often have higherblood glucose values, which are solely related to stress or could indicate diabeticcondition.
A study done in 2015 monitored difference in stress hormone values and stress-related behaviors in cats during home visits and clinic visits. The study found that,although cats had elevated cortisol levels in both settings, their stress behaviorswere decreased in the home setting. Incidentally, the study also found that theremay be a connection in stress reduction with familiarity of the cat with theveterinary staff. While there is no way to make a veterinary exam 100% stress freefor your cat, stress can be greatly reduced when your cat is allowed to stay withinhis familiar territory (your home) without the ramp-up of anxiety caused by justgetting to the clinic. By allowing your cat to stay in his or her home setting, you arereducing your pet’s fear, anxiety and stress, allowing the veterinarian to perform ahigher quality exam.
Neighborhood Vets Mobile Vet Care is the best of both worlds, providing a calm,quiet environment with all the tools necessary for a thorough physical exam anddiagnostics. The convenience of having us come to your home at a time you choosealso reduces your stress and allows you to focus on your pet’s health. TheNeighborhood Vets mobile unit is augmented with Feliway, a synthetic calmingpheromone targeted specifically to cats. In addition, we use Fear Free Cleaners thatare free of volatile organic compounds to eliminate harsh chemical smells thatcause “nose blindness” and further stress to your cat.