When Twitter user Ash shared a pic of a friend's cat, she probably didn't think it would go viral. However, the black kitty who got its front legs shaved for surgery was precisely what the Internet needed. Ash's tweet went viral and as of this article, it has over 470K likes.
The best part, however, is the replies. Other people whose cats are in a similar predicament started responding with their photos as well. From losing their pants to getting their out-of-shape bellies exposed, most of the shots are less than flattering, too. Something tells me the felines are already plotting a revenge plan to get back at the people spreading their photos.
According to Dr. Marci Koski, a certified feline behavior and training consultant, cats dislike going to the vet for a lot of reasons. "First off, cats are creatures of habit, and they have typically not been trained to enjoy car rides or going to new places," Koski told Bored Panda, acknowledging that sometimes there are exceptions.
"Cats are used to hanging out in their home or on their property (if allowed outside), and when they are snatched out of their familiar environment, shoved into a box, loaded into a car, bounced around, then brought into a vet office with lots of new smells and sounds of dogs barking and cats meowing, their fear and anxiety level skyrockets."
To make a trip to the vet less stressful, Natalie Cady Bishop of Cat Behavior Solved advises to get the critters acclimated to their carrier first. "You can do this by keeping the carrier out in the main area of your house," Cady Bishop told Bored Panda. "Many owners keep the carrier in the garage and only bring it out when they have to try to put their cat in it to take them somewhere. The cat then associates the carrier with scary experiences. Keep the carrier open (and if the top opens, keep that opened as well)."
Put your cat's bedding in the carrier, too. The scent is very important to these animals. You can also add their favorite toys or catnip inside. If your cat likes to hang out and even naps in the carrier, award it with treats. From time to time, you can even close the door of the carrier as well, following with more treats!
"When the cat is used to that, try taking her out to the car and going around the block - teach her that not all car rides end at the vet's office!" Dr. Koski added. "When you're in the car, Feliway spray (sprayed on a blanket in the carrier) can really help, as can soft music. Make sure the temperature of the car is comfortable before putting your cat in, too."
If at any point your pet shows fear or stress, take a step back and go even slower.
My cat recently had surgery. I hope his fur grows back quickly.
"Finally, there are many cat-only veterinary clinics; there may be some in your area," Dr. Koski pointed out. "These vets know how to create a calm and soothing waiting area (no barking dogs!), and know how to gently handle cats. Bring the surface and treats that you've previously used at home with your cat's treatment station, and your cat will have a sense of familiarity about the process and the environment since there will be familiar smells, tastes, and textures. Many veterinarians are also Fear Free certified!" To find them, simply go to FearFreeHappyHomes.com. There's also a ton of videos and articles that show you how to teach your cat that going to see the vet and getting treatment or care isn't something to be feared.
Our little buddy had to have a few surgeries. His haircut was... Less than flattering.
My 16 year boy looking like he is the toughest cat on the block after his tooth removal surgery.
A couple of months post-surgery and Nugget is finally getting his fur back.
My kitty lounging on the floor after his surgery... Yea, he's still a little high on pain killers, but he's a champ.
Apollo made it through 3 weeks at the hospital and a surgery after somehow catching tonsillitis. The beast is finally back to his usual self.