How to Handle Home Healthcare for Cats Without Making Them Hate You (a Vet's View)

Cater to Your Cat

Here are some more creative bits of subterfuge I’ve engaged in to help tempt cats into “enjoying” any potentially unwanted ministrations.

Try different tools. For example, if your cat hates a toothbrush, try a finger brush or start with your finger coated witha cat toothpaste.And for regular brushing, try a bunch of different cattoothpaste flavorsand brands to determine theone she likes best.


Make it quicker. Some cats just want things over with fast. In fact, some will hold no grudge at all as long as you can make the whole thing seem a) lightning quick and b) unavoidable. For example, if she hates being bathed, try using a cat-bathing bag to make the job faster. This tool keeps all four feet inside the bag so it’s easier to keep her in the tub. Easier = faster = less stress for some.

Outsource the stuff you can. Speaking of bathing, this is where plenty of cat owners draw the line. If you find this kind of interaction too stressful, outsource it to a professional.


Offer the right reward. This is all about trial and error. The good news is that almost all cats will respond positively to a reward. The hard part is figuring out what she loves best.

Fortunately, most cats don’t seem to hold much of a grudge. In fact, contrary to popular belief, cats are usually downright forgiving. After all, even after you’ve been gone all day, they’re still tracing pretzels around your legs at mealtime and snuggling up to your head at night, right? If that’s the case, you’re clearly doing something right. So try not to sweat the home healthcare too much. Just get it done so you can move on to the more rewarding aspectsof being a cat person.


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