August 18-25 is Take Your Cat to the Vet Week! Research by the CATalyst Council and the American Humane Association estimates that cats only go to the vet about half as often as dogs do, even though they require just as much preventative care. Many cat parents dread taking their cat to the vet for a variety of reasons, such as hissing, screaming, growling, biting and having bathroom “accidents.” Check out this month’s Here’s What You Said post to see some examples. But there’s a product that may help make your next trip to the vet easier –- making it more likely that your cat will get the care she deserves: Thundershirt.
What is Thundershirt?
Thundershirt, which is a partner of Petfinder, makes a shirt designed for dogs and now cats to help them relax and overcome anxiety and fear. The Thundershirt applies a small amount of pressure to the torso, which is believed to have a calming effect on the nervous system. It is essentially used the same way a parent uses swaddling to calm a newborn baby.
Try a Thundershirt to Improve Vet Visits
For some cats, a Thundershirt may make getting into the carrier easier and reduce the hissing, screaming, growling and biting that accompany vet visits. A testimonial on Thundershirt’s website from Soren W., a Durham, NC-based veterinarian, says, “Thundershirt is helpful in terms of making the trip to the vet hospital and while at the clinic. We have seen that positive effect here with cats that we put Thundershirt on. They relax almost immediately from the stress associated with a vet visit. I even use the Thundershirt at home to help calm my cat while trimming his nails.” (Get five more vet-recommended tips for keeping your cat calm at the vet.)
Last year, our own staff writer Joan wrote about her experience with Thundershirt for dogs and how it helped her dog with his fear of thunderstorms. Have you used a Thundershirt during your pet’s vet exam? Tell us about your experience!