Some people seem to have a flare for handling cats but we all know that
Some people seem to have a flare for handling cats but we all know that actually bringing your cat to the practice can be fraught for many clients. Here are some of our favourite cat handling tips.
- Ensure all staff know a few tips to pass on to clients bringing their cats for an appointment, such as suggesting the best types of top opening carriers.
- Advise owners to keep the carrier out all the time – rather than hauling it out the cupboard and letting the cat know it’s time for travel. There’s also a good argument for keeping them in for 24 hours before the visit to prevent those mysterious disappearances that happen as soon as the word ‘vet’ is used in their vicinity.
- Make sure that clients know they must keep their cat safely in its carrier in the waiting room – ideally have a quiet area where the cat can de-stress before the consultation.
- Think about odours and bright lights – a frightened cat can be placed in an empty consulting room with the lights off and a towel covering the carrier for a little time before the appointment.
- We all know who the cat whisperers are in the practice. Those who really ‘get cats’ are often the best at handling them. Give them to the opportunity to share their skills with other members of the team.
- Gentle handling and avoiding direct eye contact works well with cats.
- Give them the opportunity to approach you first.
- Make sure you provide a non-slip surface for them to stand on.
- If you use a towel for gentle restraint it can also be used for the cat to hide under, helping them feel safer.
- Consider using YuCALM Cat prior to planned visits – it takes around a week for results and 3-8 weeks for the full effect to be shown.