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Even cats can be stressed

The Build up to Christmas

Do you find this time of year a bit challenging?

We are all a bit inclined to try to do too much, and for some this can become stressful.

You might look at a cat and think, “They have such a good life, lying there on the sofa. No stress at all!”

But the reality can be quite different for some cats.

Cats are by nature solitary animals, who prefer to have large territories and to only interact with others on their own terms at the edge of their safe area.

Our enthusiasm for cat keeping forces some to live much closer to others than they might personally choose. Some cats would even prefer not to be part of a multi-cat family, and may find the proximity of others too much to bear.

If you think one of your cats is feeling stressed, talk to one of my lovely nurses, who can guide you on strategies to help calm things down for them.

Of course, many cats also get very stressed coming to see us at the Vets, no matter how nice and gentle we promise to be. For these, we also have some useful tricks up our sleeve, including cat carrier habituation, and a calming pheromone spray.

Problems really start if we need to check a cat’s blood pressure, but we think the cat has ‘white coat syndrome’. In other words, is her blood pressure high because she has hypertension and needs treatment, or is it high because she has got really stressed about travelling in to see us?

Again, our nurses have found ways to try to help with this too. We now set aside our quietest consulting room, furthest from the woofing dogs and ringing phone for cat blood pressure monitoring. And we encourage pet owners to arrive fifteen minutes early for these appointments, so that their cat can wander around loose and chill out before being tested.

Sometimes we have to do the blood pressure multiple times before we can be sure, but we know that they are worth it!

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