Skip is awesome to take to the vet. Because he gets so hot in a cage, I simply place his break-away collar on him and use a leash. Skip is pretty much in a good mood the whole time at the vet’s office. The only thing he really doesn’t like is when they take his temperature from his hiney. I mean who can blame the guy? Personally, I wouldn’t like it either.
The vet’s and their assistants love to see Skip come in, because he is such a gentle giant. If there aren’t any dogs around, he gets to wander the office on his leash checking things out and they just laugh at him because he acts like a dog.
BTW, the key to leash training a cat…do it when they are just little baby kittens. Skip is fine on the leash, but you can’t lead him…he leads you. My Missy cat that I had as a kid you could lead though. We used to take her for walks around the yard and we used to let her play outside on her leash while we were working near by.
I think that Skip is so good at the vet’s office for three reasons: 1.) He has a good disposition, 2.) His first vet was awesome, and 3.) He knows he can trust me.
1.) He has a good disposition
Skip is a really large orange tabby cat that was really close to being a very rare male calico. When I say he is really large, I mean large is in tall and long. He is the same size as most medium size dogs, and is larger than some.
I’ve had Skip since he was 4 weeks old. I know that is really young to take a kitten away from his mommy, but at 4 weeks, he was the size of a normal 6 week old kitten and his mommy couldn’t produce enough milk for all the kittens. Plus they were all litter trained and eating kitten food.
I picked him out because he was really cute sitting on the foot stool with the hiccups that shook his whole body. So, I became Skip’s adopted mommy that spoiled him to no end, but didn’t let him get away with anything.
The only person that Skip doesn’t really care for is unfortunately my dad. My dad loves cats too. We have a sweet picture of dad napping with Skip on the day I got him. We have no idea why Skip doesn’t care for dad, but dad just takes it easy with Skip trying to get in his good graces.
Otherwise…people wise, Skip likes most people once he’s brave enough to come out for visitors. I remember once with a little 2 years old; Skip let the kid pull his hair without a peep and even brushed up against the kid and knocked him over. Skip checked to make sure the kid was OK because he didn’t mean to knock the kid over; Skip is just a big cat.
2.) His first vet was awesome
Skip first vet was an older gentleman that had a great office staff. When I would take Skip in as a kitten, they would play with him with their pens. The vet would even play with him. Skip just has a way about him that most people want to hold him or play with him.
Also, once when I took him to be fixed, they asked if they could play with him until the surgery. I told them sure. So, that whole morning, the assistant at the desk had him on her desk, playing with him. She told me when I picked him up that he “helped” her with her paperwork. She told me that she had an awesome morning with him. 🙂
It used to take me at least an hour and a half to get out of the vet’s office because everyone was playing with him. I never minded though, and I never scheduled anything afterward.
Skip now has a new vet’s office that just loves him to death. They know him by sight without me being there and Skip has a head bump for just about everyone there.
3.) He knows he can trust me
I learned with my Missy cat that cat’s can sense your feeling and if you are scared or upset. If you are either, then they will be as well. I make it point at the vet’s office to talk normally and try not to show any nervousness. I got tested on this last year, but did OK. Skip still knew I was worried about something.
I also became his protector at 5 weeks of age. I brought him home to my other cat, Socks, who was just a few years old. Socks was, in general, mean to anyone that she met. I spent a week of the standard let’s meet each other stuff and felt that Socks was ready to spend some time with Skip face-to-face with me there. All was good until I turned my back to make dinner. The next thing I knew, she had him down and was ripping his hair out. I broke it up and rescued him. He was terrified.
After a few more tries over a few months, I actually found Socks another home where she’d be the only kitty (I used to get Christmas cards from her owner), and I got another kitten to play with Skip. They were fine for 3 years, and we had a happy home. Then a neighbors’ outside cat visited and Mason beat up Skip pretty bad with what is called Transferred Aggression. Basically, Mason couldn’t beat up the outside cat, so he beat up Skip instead. Skip might be big, but he’s a lover, not a fighter. I imagine leaving his mommy at such a young age caused this to a certain degree.
After spending a year trying to get the cats over it, my parents said that they would take Mason because Mason and their cat Oreo were the best of buds. They didn’t like being separated any way.
Skip came to know that I would protect him as best I could. Now when we visit somewhere new, he knows that Mommy won’t let anything happen to him and that he always gets to go home with Mommy. There’s only been one time that I had to leave him over night at the vet’s and it about broke my heart.
All three of the above have contributed to Skip being a great cat to take to the vet. I don’t have as many privileges at this new vet as they still need to get to know me, but I’m working on that.
The last time, I got to help hold Skip, so that they could take a sample from a mass that he had. The vet was impressed that I wasn’t being a wimp about it and that Skip didn’t move a muscle even though I was barely holding his head. I just told her that I know my cat, and I know what to do to distract him. I think she was happy to not be bitten. 🙂
One thing that you can do with young kittens, so call your vet and just take them there for a visit. This does two things: 1.) They get trained to ride in their cage in the car, and 2.) They know that the car ride and the vet’s office is not necessarily a bad thing. I’m sure your vet would be happy to have you visit, but I would try to do it when they aren’t busy. 🙂