Thanks to some advance medication help, our cat’s visit to the vet wasn’t nearly as traumatic as they’ve been lately

Our cat Teena, whom we adopted in late October 2012, had to see the vet Saturday. It was nothing serious — just a couple of vaccinations.

But because her last several vet visits for various needs have been *really* traumatic — including growling, hissing, caterwauling and biting attempts that necessitated the use of an inhaled sedative to calm her down — we took steps to “prepare” her this time. On those other visits, it was impossible to even get Teena out of her crate without protection — and on one occasion, taking the crate apart — much less try to examine her, give her shots or do anything else with her.

In short, a nightmare.

This time, we took measures that may seem drastic to some — but after what we’d been through during those other appointments, not to us. On a recent visit with our dog Maisy, I asked the vet for something we could give Teena beforehand to calm her down for her upcoming visit. He gave us a medication called gabapentin and told us to put some in her food the night before and two hours before Saturday morning’s 9:30 appointment. The medication is typically prescribed for seizures but also can be used as a sedative, from what I’ve read.

Getting Teena into her crate at home wasn’t the struggle it usually is. On the nearly 20-minute drive to the vet, she cried some but not much. When we got into the examination room, she seemed much calmer than usual. We had to wait about 10 minutes for the doctor, but Teena didn’t seem overly stressed inside her crate.

Teena at the vet’s office today, before she came out for her vaccinations. All in all, it turned out to be a much less stressful visit than the past several.

I opened the crate gate after the vet arrived and, amazingly, Teena walked out on her own. But she jumped down from the table meowing a bit and immediately started looking for a way out of the room (both doors were closed). I couldn’t corral her, so the doctor did with a towel and got her up on the table. She started hissing and growling a bit, but nothing even close to what she’s been doing at the past few appointments. He gave her the two shots and was able to do a brief exam, even looking at her teeth and gums.

Without the advance medication, there’s no way we could’ve gotten through all that. The rest of today, Teena seems to have been more lethargic than usual (although she always sleeps her days away anyway), so we figure the medicine hasn’t quite worn off.

Teena will be 11 this year, which, according to a chart in the vet’s office, will put her in the senior category and the equivalent of a 60-year-old human. She joined our family — we’re really dog people — because our oldest wanted a cat to cuddle with. Teena didn’t turn out to be that kind of cat, but she can be loving and snuggly at times. She’s *extremely* vocal, especially when she wants food.

And at dinnertime, our 15-ish-year-old terrier mix Maisy runs around the house excitedly, which makes Teena run away, so Maisy thinks she’s trying to play — the furthest thing from Teena’s mind. Teena gets exasperated — OK, pissed — and starts hissing and batting at Maisy. Again, Maisy thinks it’s play, and since she’s lost most of her hearing, she has no clue Teena’s mad. It’s really quite a sight.

Taking a dog to the vet is never a problem. Sure, they can be squeamish and don’t want to be there, but they don’t go bonkers like a cat can, right? Or maybe it’s just our cat!?

What’s it like when you take your cat to the vet? I figure some of you who have cats have similar vet visit trauma issues, and I’m curious what steps you take to ease your cats’ anxiety in advance and if medication like this is one. Seeing how much it helped today, we’ll definitely be making it a routine for Teena.

6 thoughts on “Thanks to some advance medication help, our cat’s visit to the vet wasn’t nearly as traumatic as they’ve been lately

  1. It’s great that it went well with the gabapentin. My cat Lizzie, who is twelve soon, is a demon at the vet. We tried gabapentin as well. She was lethargic, and couldn’t even walk properly. But at the vet’s, it’s like the shot didn’t happen. We had to throw a horse blanket on her. Cats.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh geez, that’s awful Michelle! Maybe they need to do the inhaled sedative like our vet tried a few months back. I felt bad for Teena when we did that — it totally knocked her out. But you’re right — cats! 😅 Thanks so much for the follow. I look forward to reading your posts. Are you in the U.S.? We’re in Arlington, TX. Give Lizzie a chin or back scratch for us! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I will. She’s being a racer this morning, jumping and leaping everywhere. I’m in Abbotsford, BC, Canada. Texas is on my list of place to visit. It looks fascinating – it contains such variety.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, that’s so cool! We’ve only been in Vancouver, and that was a brief stay when we were going on an Alaska cruise in 2002, lol. Yeah, Texas has pretty much everything you could want in terms of outdoor recreation and scenic vistas, and lots of culture. And of course it’s HUGE! Then again, it’s crazy conservative and sometimes we wish we could just up and move somewhere less red. But we’ve been here our whole lives (except for the first year of mine, when I was in West Virginia), and being in our late 50s/early 60s, we’re probably too old to move now, haha. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s