I have decided l need to say a few words about restraint of animals in this case cats. This decision was made after last night. I am fed up with people that do not restrain animals properly. It is not only dangerous for the cat, other people and animals but shows a lack of respect for the cat, other people and animals. If you get ripped to shreds because you did not bother to place the cat in a proper receptacle l do not give a damm.
I do care that the cat may escape and get hurt or lost, that it may cause a dog fight in the waiting room or get bitten, or while escaping cause an accident from swerving cars.
We had a cat come in for a caesarean last night. She had one kitten and nothing for 4hours. A quick caesarean and we had 4 more kittens in the pile. They were determined not to live we were determined that they should. We won but it was a close call. After about 30minutes of rubbing, sucking out lung gunk and offering 02 they were alive enough to go in with Mum.
The owner and her friends came down to collect the cat and her new brood. I asked for their proper carrier. Blank stares. I explained that a flat banana box is not the recommended carrying box for a cat. Again blank stares. So l added that I could discharge her in a flat banana box but would not be responsible for when she ripped her owners hands off, or escaped.
I awaited an answer to my request. One of the owners or a friend not sure which was chewing gum like a cow chews cud. After a pause the cud chewer slodged the gum to the side of her mouth to say “Well get us a box then....please”
I was shocked she managed the please even though it was an afterthought it was there.
For the cat’s sake l went and found a cardboard box. I loaded the cat and warned them it was still not very secure, and she could still escape. They seemed to accept that and disappeared into the night.
People do not realise that the “cute” little cat is a killing machine of nature. They are hunters and very good at it. Don’t tell me your cat does not hunt. It may not but if it gets upset instinct will take over it has all its hunting tools. A scared cat is bloody dangerous.
Even an experienced cat handler is hard put to hold a cat that “goes off on one” And even the quietest and nicest cat can flip especially if it is scared.
If a cat does loose its temper and is being held we face it away from us, hang it by the scruff using one hand and keep our face, body and other bits well away from it until we can get it to a safe area or it fights out of our hands. Unless you are used to nasty cats you will NOT be able to hold it.
To a watching person it looks cruel, and people get the urge to intervene or help. They are told to back off (a lot less politely) The holder will also end up being damaged and while it would teach a lesson to the person that stuck their arm in l personally do not want to get hurt.
Holding an angry cat can be like an out of control ballet as the holder tries to dodge the waving legs, claws, twisting head, snapping teeth and writhing body while holding it at arms length in mid air, murmuring sweet words to it. The grammar and type of “sweet words” l shall leave to sordid imaginations.
The angry cat is able to turn in its skin, one hook of a claw and those backward facing claws will pull like a snapping clasp knife and drag the item towards it swinging round in mid air, clamping all its claws and teeth into the item and rip and bite it to shreds, with every claw and tooth at its disposal. The other thing is that at no point will it remove all of the claws to get a better grip there will always be one or two paws in you while the other re-adjust.
The person with the writhing devil in their hands, believe me, doesn’t want it there we would rather it was calm or in a safe area/kennel whatever but not in our hand. Cat bites and scratches can be very nasty due to the bacteria they carry, and put more veterinary staff in hospital or send them to Dr's for antibiotics than anything else
With the cat's hunting tools in mind, cardboard is not great as a carrier and although cardboard carriers are available, they should be for emergency use, as should canvas and other soft carriers.
Woven baskets can be used but often they have sharp bits sticking out and cats can get the bits in their eyes or generally stabbed, and they are prone to rotting. They are also very loud and rustle and squeak as the joints rub and this can cause stress. I forgot the wire cat boxes. Wire can be good but they can get you through the holes if they are a bit pissy over what's happening with them, also some cats feel insecure with all that open around so a towel over the top and hanging down over 3 sides can help them feel secure. A proper plastic carrier is still the safest item to use for (most)cats some prefer the all round visuals.
People complain that as soon as they get the box out the cat/s get scared as though this is psychic on the cat/s behalf. No a cat knows it will get locked into the box and dragged off on some scary trip.
Put the carrier in the lounge in a corner and make it part of play time. I advise if space is tight take the door off the cat carrier, although better to leave it on. Tie toys to the door so they pull them and so get used to the door opening and shutting, use the door every so often if it has been removed. Place titbits into the box, let them sleep in it if they want a sleep.
Then when they have to be taken anywhere it is a safe area for them, they feel a lot more relaxed and less stressed. You can spray it with Feliway as well to make it even more acceptable.
Taking a cat in a car in your arms or not in a proper carrier is dangerous and irresponsible. If it gets out it will stand a good chance of causing an accident as it fights to get under the drivers feet, or climbs nails out and in panic over the seats looking for a dark hideaway. If a window is open it will probably head for that escape route. And if it is over the driver to the window, well the cat doesn’t know any better.
Once at the vets, a lot of vets, but not all insist that the cat is in a secure basket. Some will lend you a basket.
In the waiting room there are all the dogs around and often a noisy one or two to liven the mix. So you managed to get to the vets. You managed to walk across the car park. Now you have all those dogs some with responsible owners, other with brain dead ones with dogs that jump up over everyone.
Well at least they are using leads (mostly as most vets insist dogs are on leads) let them jump saying terms like “ohh look a kitty Arnold”, Arnold being a 60kg Rottie of panting growling temperament.
Is it any wonder your cat will begin to panic and want to escape?
If he is not in a proper carrier you now risk loosing the cat in a room full of dogs, you scream abuse at reception that you demand the vet now your cat is upset. Duh and whose fault is that?
There is a separate cat waiting room at many practices but you generally still need to negotiate a room full of dogs.
Whilst waiting your turn, there are the people that have the cat in a basket, and either open the basket lid or remove the cat. Hello we have some bright people. No he is not more secure in your arms. Put him back in his carrier and lock him in.
A plastic carrier is not expensive. It is far more useful than the toys and treats that you stuff into your pet. Go without a couple of pints of beer or a box of cigarettes and go and do something sensible.......Buy your cat a proper plastic carrying box for all our sakes, please.