If you live in a multiple cat household, sometimes bringing a cat home from the vet can seem to cause stress on all cats in your home. If you've ever had a seemingly random cat confrontation when one of your cats gets home from a vet check up, this actually can be avoided. Here are four way to avoid cat aggression when returning home from the vet.
1. Help with Scents from Home
The cause of your cats at home not welcoming back their family member from the vet might be foreign smells. Even if your cat was only at the vet for a few minutes, they still have picked up scents from outside of the home and your other cats may not recognize them. Bring along a towel or T-shirt for the cat going to the vet to calm them, and to help them keep a scent from home when they return.
2. Quick Separation for Acclimation
It is a good idea to have your cat that is coming home initially separated from other pets. They can get reacquainted with their home and all cats can sniff through the doorway without forcing this reintroduction. If you kitty coming home from the vet is on medication or is possibly coming off of anesthesia, they can be groggy and might act out. Make sure that your cat has a chance to rest and let medications wear off before interacting with other pets in the home.
3. Clean Out the Carrier
Your cat might be quick to get reintroduced with other pets at home, but the carrier is another story. It is a good idea to hose the carrier down and wipe off the smells from the vet's office. If this is plopped down in the living room along with your cat, other pets will associate the homecoming and your reintroduced cat with the carrier.
4. Keep Calm
Cats are going to take queues from you, and if you are stressed or overly excited for a homecoming, your cats might be on the defense. Don't rush this, especially if your cat was gone overnight or has had a procedure. You might be overjoyed to have everyone home and healthy, but your cats might need a little more time to acclimate and get back to normal.
Cats thrive on normalcy and routine, and anything that upsets this balance can cause stress in their life. Removing one cat from the home to go to the vet is necessary, but your cats won't fully understand what is happening. Take your reactions into account and don't introduce cats rapidly or in a way that might cause additional stress. If you're looking for a veterinary office in your area, visit Chester Valley Veterinary Hospital.