When I first adopted my cat Parker from my school as a former practice cat, I would have assumed that he would be used to handling and the clinic environment that he was exposed to at a young age. But upon taking him home and bringing him to my new clinic I was working at, he was the exact opposite from his usual cuddly loving self in this new setting.
Parker really dislikes coming into Markham Veterinary clinic for an annual preventative exam with vaccines, or if any testing needs to be done. In order to keep everyone on staff safe and to decrease his stress levels, I now administer two capsules of Gabapentin. One is given orally the night before his appointment, and the other is given orally 2 hours before I bring him in for the day. Without the medication, he was basically unable to be handled and examined by any of the vets. But there is a drastic difference in his personality with the medication in his system, he is less scared and anxious and less likely to injure any staff handling him.
Gabapentin is something I use for him regularly and I have had no issues nor unwanted side effects after the medication is administered. In fact, he is more snuggly and loving with the medication in his system, which I didn’t think was possible.
Markham Veterinary Clinic has been Feline Friendly for many years- in fact we are celebrating over 10 years of being certified a “ Cat Friendly Practice!” We book separate appointments just for cats and use Feliway to reduce anxiety in exam rooms. For some cats, they get extra special treatment with antianxiety medications like Parker!
by Ash Quelle, RVT