My cat is literally impossible to take to the vet

skylarrae

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Nov 22, 2021
Messages
7
Purraise
7
Okay so my cat is fine and healthy, she’s around 2-3 years old but we haven’t been able to take her to the vet since we’ve adopted her. We’ve tried desensitizing her to the crate but whenever we get her into the car she starts having panic attacks. We haven’t even been able to leave my driveway with her, then it’ll take her 30m or so to start breathing normally again. She’s super skiddish around other people too. When we first got her she was fine to take back to our house and was fine around us. She’s the most social cat ever around my bf and I! For some reason she just hates new things.
I just wanna get her to the vet so we can make sure all her shots are up date and that there’s nothing wrong with her since she’s TINY. She’s chunky but extremely small in size. She’s the size of a 6-7 month old kitten.
 

di and bob

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
13,857
Purraise
17,556
Location
Nebraska, USA
You could call your vet and see what they could give you in the way of sedating medication, I gave one of my cats calming med i got on Amazon and things went MUCH smoother. He used to almost have a heart attack at the vets.
 

sivyaleah

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
5,453
Purraise
3,856
Location
New Jersey
We have used gabapentin (prescription only) for our younger one. She used to be extremely adverse to car travel and the vet to the point where she'd be shaking in her carrier as soon as we put her in the car. So I empathize completely with your situation.

The gabapentin can take the edge off dramatically. While she's gotten better so we don't need it now, it was necessary most especially when we had to bring her for some minor surgery a bout a year or so ago.

Administering it has to be timed well though, as it takes a while to kick in. Depending on the dosage it can calm a cat down or render them pretty much out of it. We also would do this to groom her at home since she hated that too. Worked like a charm.

I'd ask your vet about sedation so that they can give her a proper exam. And maybe, afterwards start to desensitize her to the carrier and short trips in the car. That probably would be helpful too.
 

ArtNJ

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
4,191
Purraise
4,720
What do you mean by panic attacks? Its relatively normal for the cat to keep wailing. Wife and I call it the "universal sound of cat distress" because many cats wail exactly the same way. And many add pooping or peeing in the crate. And of course trying to paw there way out. So to call something a panic attack I'd need to see something extra?

As I understand it, medication is usually for when a cat is so freaked that a normal examination won't be possible due to fear based aggression.
 

mommytobuck

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
502
Purraise
127
I am in the same position and NO ONE understands. My cat doesn't have panic attacks but he lashes out as if for dear life and hurts himself. He has ripped his nails out and who knows what else happened. The get gave me gabapentin and it didn't work (frankly I have rarely seen home medication work on him in general) and now he is elderly and it is impossible to get him examined. Even if they come out to my house he runs away and lashes out so much he hurts himself.
 

daftcat75

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
Messages
8,560
Purraise
15,499
This is one place where CBD for cats may be beneficial if the cat is not taking any other medications. CBD is very safe on its own. But it does have the potential to interact with other medications. If uncertain about interactions, unfortunately, your vet may not be of much help because of the lack of studies and FDA approval. Most vets are still staying away from CBD.

You can search the Cannabis Interactions database. Even though this primarily refers to THC, CBD is chemically very similar and will likely have many, if not most of the same interactions.
Cannabis Interactions Checker - Drugs.com
 
Last edited:

Meowmee

TCS Member
Super Cat
Joined
May 2, 2018
Messages
1,131
Purraise
1,061
Have you asked dvm for a sedative to give her? We had to do that with one kitty years ago. She became super aggressive at dvm, so it made it a bit more doable. I think they have better alternatives now like gabapentin.
 
Last edited:

Shaunie

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Nov 22, 2021
Messages
38
Purraise
33
Location
Midlands, Uk
Okay so my cat is fine and healthy, she’s around 2-3 years old but we haven’t been able to take her to the vet since we’ve adopted her. We’ve tried desensitizing her to the crate but whenever we get her into the car she starts having panic attacks. We haven’t even been able to leave my driveway with her, then it’ll take her 30m or so to start breathing normally again. She’s super skiddish around other people too. When we first got her she was fine to take back to our house and was fine around us. She’s the most social cat ever around my bf and I! For some reason she just hates new things.
I just wanna get her to the vet so we can make sure all her shots are up date and that there’s nothing wrong with her since she’s TINY. She’s chunky but extremely small in size. She’s the size of a 6-7 month old kitten.
Hello, hope your well! I always put my cats toys inside when I took them to the vets, yes, for what others have said, maybe have you tried sedating her/him for when you take them? have you spoken to your vet about this? as, they might be able to help and give you some ideas! hope your well
 

danteshuman

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Messages
4,215
Purraise
4,700
Location
California
Oh I understand. Some kitties turn into hell kitties at the vet. So decades ago my mom had this small little female cat who was a bottle baby (& declawed in the front.... don’t worry my mom’s against declawing now!) That cat was incredibly sweet, calm, friendly to strangers & intelligent...... until you got her to the vet. Then all hell broke loose!!! My stepdad had to take her to the vet without my mom. The vet wound up having to use a pole grab around her neck and. Another pole grab around her back legs .... & she still bit a vet tech! She had a red warning label on all her files for a decade! My mom had to board her at the vet for a week a few times and it got her over her fear of the vet (well most of it.) So I completely understand what you are talking about. My mom now has a cat that hides everytime he sees the crate out. She has to lock him in a bedroom before breakfast or the night before to get him to the vet!

Given how extreme your cat reacts I would either get a mobile vet come to you (lock the cat in a room beforehand) or describe your problem to a vet (& her weight) and ask them if they can prescribe a sedative for her; so you can bring her in. Ask for a few pills, just in case she spits one out or in case you need to take her to the vet again within the year. We can give you tips on giving cats pills and you can always try pill maskers.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

skylarrae

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Nov 22, 2021
Messages
7
Purraise
7
What do you mean by panic attacks? Its relatively normal for the cat to keep wailing. Wife and I call it the "universal sound of cat distress" because many cats wail exactly the same way. And many add pooping or peeing in the crate. And of course trying to paw there way out. So to call something a panic attack I'd need to see something extra?

As I understand it, medication is usually for when a cat is so freaked that a normal examination won't be possible due to fear based aggression.
She starts literally hyperventilating and can’t move. She will pee herself and then be super stiff. She will then freak the hell out and there’s nothing we can do to calm her and her breathing gets worse and worse. It’s nothing like I’ve seen in my other cats. It’s not safe to take her to the vet like that in case she hurts herself
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11

skylarrae

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Nov 22, 2021
Messages
7
Purraise
7
Oh I understand. Some kitties turn into hell kitties at the vet. So decades ago my mom had this small little female cat who was a bottle baby (& declawed in the front.... don’t worry my mom’s against declawing now!) That cat was incredibly sweet, calm, friendly to strangers & intelligent...... until you got her to the vet. Then all hell broke loose!!! My stepdad had to take her to the vet without my mom. The vet wound up having to use a pole grab around her neck and. Another pole grab around her back legs .... & she still bit a vet tech! She had a red warning label on all her files for a decade! My mom had to board her at the vet for a week a few times and it got her over her fear of the vet (well most of it.) So I completely understand what you are talking about. My mom now has a cat that hides everytime he sees the crate out. She has to lock him in a bedroom before breakfast or the night before to get him to the vet!

Given how extreme your cat reacts I would either get a mobile vet come to you (lock the cat in a room beforehand) or describe your problem to a vet (& her weight) and ask them if they can prescribe a sedative for her; so you can bring her in. Ask for a few pills, just in case she spits one out or in case you need to take her to the vet again within the year. We can give you tips on giving cats pills and you can always try pill maskers.
Thank you for this! Yeah based upon what everyone else has said I’m gonna ask for some sedatives. And it’s atrocious getting my cat in the carrier… we’ve had to buy her a new carrier every time we’ve attempted to take her to the vet lol
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12

skylarrae

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Nov 22, 2021
Messages
7
Purraise
7
Hello, hope your well! I always put my cats toys inside when I took them to the vets, yes, for what others have said, maybe have you tried sedating her/him for when you take them? have you spoken to your vet about this? as, they might be able to help and give you some ideas! hope your well
I’ve talked to the vet about why I wasn’t able to bring her in but they didn’t mention any medications. I’ll try bringing it up to them and maybe seeing other vets too. And toys would not help at all, poor baby freaks out so much.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13

skylarrae

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Nov 22, 2021
Messages
7
Purraise
7
I am in the same position and NO ONE understands. My cat doesn't have panic attacks but he lashes out as if for dear life and hurts himself. He has ripped his nails out and who knows what else happened. The get gave me gabapentin and it didn't work (frankly I have rarely seen home medication work on him in general) and now he is elderly and it is impossible to get him examined. Even if they come out to my house he runs away and lashes out so much he hurts himself.
Yes! I’ll ask about the gabapentin. A lot of people have told me to get a home a vet but I’m worried that may even be worse! My cat was feral so I just think she’s scared about new or different situations or people.
 

Shaunie

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Nov 22, 2021
Messages
38
Purraise
33
Location
Midlands, Uk
I’ve talked to the vet about why I wasn’t able to bring her in but they didn’t mention any medications. I’ll try bringing it up to them and maybe seeing other vets too. And toys would not help at all, poor baby freaks out so much.
sorry. hope your both well
 

mommytobuck

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
502
Purraise
127
Yes! I’ll ask about the gabapentin. A lot of people have told me to get a home a vet but I’m worried that may even be worse! My cat was feral so I just think she’s scared about new or different situations or people.
My cat wasn't feral but he has always had this fear of even ME touching him. He will put up with a few things from me but I couldn't do very much. So the issue is someone touching him and taking the control away from him. He is fine with people as long as they don't touch him or try to confine him. All things he gets very scared about. There just doesn't seem to be a reasonable option. The last time I took him to the vet they knocked him out with Kettimine and he came back to me with a nail ripped out and completely messed up and scared... if I had to take him back to the vet.. I am not even sure I could. He was growling at himself.
 

tarasgirl06

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
19,195
Purraise
49,984
Location
Glendale, CATifornia
I would suggest leaving your cat's carrier out, open, and lined with a soft cat bed or towel. Spray the bedding or towel with Feliway spray, available wherever cat supplies are sold including online. This was what we did to airlift cats internationally, starting with several miles over sand and boulder roads and a journey of 100 miles to the airport. They didn't let out a peep the entire way there or at the airport during checkin. And they arrived safe and sound on the other end.
 

ArtNJ

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
4,191
Purraise
4,720
She starts literally hyperventilating and can’t move. She will pee herself and then be super stiff. She will then freak the hell out and there’s nothing we can do to calm her and her breathing gets worse and worse. It’s nothing like I’ve seen in my other cats. It’s not safe to take her to the vet like that in case she hurts herself
If the cat is violent at the vet or you absolutely can't get the cat in the carrier, thats a another thing, but if the cat is just terrified, probably safer to just ignore it than drug the cat. When my daughter was 2, she used to get stiff as a board and scream nonstop till she was red in the face if she didn't want to leave a friends house or something like that. She didn't have a heart condition, so we ignored her and low and behold, she was fine. Not trying to make light of this, I know its probably aweful to watch, but sometimes a parent has to do what they have to do.

Many many cats get very stressed and cleaning up cats that have peed or pooped themselves is an every day part of the vet tech's job.
 

mommytobuck

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
502
Purraise
127
This might take a while but can you introduce a harness and see if you can train her to go out on her own with you? I mean my cat is ok learning and doing new things as long as it is on his terms. So I tried doing that with mine but it was very hard to do when I work full time and have little time to get him used to going out. But at the start he was into it... as long as he got to decide when and how far he got to venture out. I also gave him treats to get him out.
 

LTS3

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Aug 29, 2014
Messages
16,637
Purraise
15,753
Location
USA
Once the cat is inside the carrier, you can loosely drape a towel over it to prevent the cat from seeing out. This often helps calm cats because they're not stressed out by what they are seeing.

A mobile vet who comes to your home may be an option. Put the cat in the bathroom or other room with the door closed maybe half an hour before the appointment. That way you and the vet aren't chasing the cat around and stressing the cat out even more.
 

noani

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Oct 3, 2021
Messages
262
Purraise
311
You could try something natural first, like zylkene, if you're on the fence about meds.
I've caught ferals to take to the vet and they do freak the hell out, of course! One would throw himself into the side of the carrier like he was possessed.
It's very hard to watch, but it's for their own good.
You could try a different carrier, like a soft one, so there is less risk of the cat injuring himself?
 
Top