Etiquette on Coming Home After the Vet Clinic

How many times have we heard about problems in a multiple cat home after a veterinary visit. We humans are often to blame! When we come home from a hard day of work, we walk in and announce our arrival. Cats do not do this and never appreciate abrupt returns in any form. Not even the matriarch gets to come home loudly.

I have been educated by two girl kitties, that have disliked each other for almost 15 years now, in the same household. When one goes to the vet, her return home will be the worst part of the experience! I was doing things all wrong. I noticed by watching barn cats here in Georgia that when one returns to the group after a kill and a solo meal, they hang on the periphery and almost sneak back into the group when the opportunity presents itself. The most amusing part is that they do it several times a day and the colony seems to debate accepting the departed member on every return.

Now, when I take one of my girls home, I do not make my initial entry with the offender. I first enter the home and feed and greet the girl that stayed at home. When I used to come in and announce the arrival, the cat coming out of the carrier always bolted out of sight and seemed very embarrassed. I had them breaking a well-established cat code! After a little time has passed (very little, 1 minute or 2), I will covertly exit the home and then re-enter through a different door when possible. I will then sneak the cat into the home and make the carrier disappear. When the cat is seen next, it is almost like she was stuck in the closet for the day. They still do not like each other, but they are instantly back to normal with none of the drama that used to accompany the return.

So now you know! Do not make abrupt entries into the home with your kitties. No one in fur appreciates the move. If you are able to help any visitors to your hospital with this advice, just send thanks to Lilly and Delilah!

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