Friday, May 24, 2013

Cat's Who Need Crate Rest - Really?!?

I am a vet.  I make recommendations alllll the time that I realize are being ignored.  Either completely ignored or partially ignored, but I continue to make these recommendations.  Why? Because it's the right thing to do.  And because a lot of the time my recommendations can make the difference between a positive outcome or a lot of frustration.

One example is crate rest.  The concept of the crate with dog people is pretty easy to get across.  Many dogs had crates when they were puppies or first adopted, and often they are a continued presence in the home into adulthood.  Dogs often *like* their crates, and seek them as a safe haven or stress-free zone. So if I recommend that you crate rest your dog, both you and your dog kind of understand the concept. You may not like it, but you get it.

Cats who need crate rest...that is a much more difficult concept.  Cats don't appreciate being confined, or being told what to do in any capacity, really.  Plus they go to the bathroom in a box, on their own schedule, so that box needs to live with them in the crate and get cleaned A LOT.  And while cats typically sleep 22 out of 24 hours in the day, for some reason it tugs on our heartstrings to see them sleeping in a crate all day.  Finally, people just don't understand putting a cat in a crate - it's a foreign and weird idea.  Because of these reasons, and others, I will sometimes suggest a bathroom or laundry room - somewhere small and confined but not a true crate.  And sometimes it works!  The problem with this is that it's not strict rest.  If a cat can jump onto an object (toilet, sink, washer/dryer, etc) they will; and if they can't jump onto said item because of an injury, they may still make the attempt, often with disastrous results.  And when the cat is not getting better and I have to insist on the crate we've already delayed the healing process and frustrated everyone.  The short of it?  If your vet tells you to crate your cat, listen.


The owner of a cat who needs to live in a crate for the at least 8 weeks, and the wife of a man who asks daily if she can come out yet... (At least Bina has sympathetic Trouble to keep her company!)

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