Regular veterinary care is important for all pets, but cat owners will tell you that a visit to the vet’s office is stressful for many cats…and their people.

Researchers at the University of California-Davis compared the reactions of cats during in-clinic vet visits vs. cats experiencing virtual veterinary appointments. Not surprisingly, the cats showed more signs of stress during in-person visits than during telemedicine visits.

30 cats at a local shelter were given simulated veterinary checkups, first in-person and then via webcam. They measured the cats’ pupils, respiratory rate, ear position, and lip licking. The cats experienced significantly less stress during the video visits.

The researchers say that cats are not taken to the vet as frequently as dogs, so telemedicine can be a good way to get veterinary care to skittish cats, as well as for cats in rural areas with less access to care.

They also say that vets can get a better idea of a cat’s normal personality and behavior during virtual visits since the stress of an office visit can cause a cat to act very differently than it does at home.

Of course, telemedicine can’t completely replace in-office vet care, but it can be useful for routine consults and to address an owner’s questions and concerns. Vets and owners can decide on in-person care based on the virtual visit.

For more information on how to reduce your cat’s stress during trips to the vet, check out the American Association of Feline Practitioners’ advice for bringing your cat to the vet.



6 thoughts on “Telemedicine is an Option for Cats Stressed by Trips to the Vet

  1. Thank you for this article. I hope this will soon be possible in The Netherlands! Especially for my dear little Annie, who has come a very long way in trusting me. A forced trip to the vet could be potentially devastating to her.

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