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If You Ever Had to Leave Your Cat overnight at the vet's

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I am researching this topic for an article. Any tips or personal stories would be appreciated. Just post them here and I hope to be able to work at least some of them into the article. Thanks!
post #2 of 23
When Zoey was sick, it was suggested a few times that she stay overnight at the vet.

The first time, when her legs stopped working, was on a Sunday during the vet's emergency hour (yes, they were open for one hour). The vet suggested she stay overnight so they could do bloodwork in the morning, but did warn me that no one would be there after about 1 in the afternoon. He said he would come back around dinner time to check on the animals, but for the most part she would be alone. Since they weren't planning on giving her any treatments, I didn't see the point of leaving her all by herself when I could take care of her at home. So, I brought her home and took her in to the vet for blood work first thing the next morning.

The second time, at another vet, she was severely dehydrated and needed IV fluids, as well as a whack of other testing. So, she stayed overnight...almost for two full days, actually. The vet techs allowed me to call a couple of times and check up on her. When I picked her up, I noticed that someone had brushed her out, so she was obviously given a little bit of attention! After dealing with a few other vets, this really stood out! There was no "grooming" charge on my bill, so they did it just to spend some time with her. The vet said Zoey loved it.

Third time was at the emergency vet when she was having what looked like seizures. They ran blood tests and her electrolytes were fine and the seizures had stopped, so I took her home, as I knew it could be one of my last nights with her and I didn't want her to be alone. Plus, I wasn't too fond of the E-vet and I would have had to pick her up by 9am next morning (the E vet was 25 minutes away and closes during regular business hours). I was given some meds and told to call my regular vet first thing in the morning. Zoey was put to sleep the next evening, so I was glad that I kept her at home.

Belle and Delilah just spent their spay night at the vet. I thought about taking some clothing or a blanket with my scent with them, but I figured they had each other! I would have liked for them to be in the same cage, but they said they would be side-by-side, so that was second best. They were a little ticked off at me when I picked them up the next day, but seemed no worse for the wear!
post #3 of 23
Maggie has had to spend the night at the vets office twice. The first time when she was spayed. The second time recently when she had a fever of unknown origin. After she was spayed one of the vet techs held her the whole next day because she was too cute to resist. So when I had to leave her the second time I was not afraid at all. I knew that my vets office would take good care of her. They also let me come visit her after work and try to get her to eat. She would not eat, but I was the only person she did not hiss at. It was good to see her and know she was doing OK. I think if you have to leave your animal it is important to have the option to visit with the animal. It's comforting for both the owner and the animal.
post #4 of 23
When Ku Ku had a UT & had to have her checked at my vet, she needed to be sedated as she got extremely stressed - she hissed, growled, and was ready to attack my vet & her assistants. Nobody could even touch her for doing a check-up as she would not let anybody come close to her.

I was going to just bring her there & back home once the procedure was over but I had no choice but leaving her there over night as I'd still have to bring her back the following day for another test. Although "the travel" is mere 10 minutes car ride, she'd always get extremely stressed by this whole ordeal. I didn't want to add an extra stress on her by traveling back and force. She was already stressed enough, so I asked my vet if I could leave her there over night so she could be under the vet's care until next morning. Luckily she was sleeping through after she got a shot that initially helped her calming down. She must have been in an extreme discomfort of having UT for the first time in her life, she probably did not know how to react. When I went to my vet the following day after the procedure was completed, I could tell that she was happier. The assistant put her back into carrier and we were on the way. She didn't growl or hiss even after we got back home.(she usually either hisses at me or growls when I release her from carrier after a car ride from vet)
post #5 of 23
When Patches got spay... I went a Lil meowmy crazy

I made her an overnight bag , with her brand of food and typed instructions on how it was to be fed , including the next morning after it had been in the fridge that it needed a little warm water to take the chill off. I put in her favorite mouse , I also left an emergency contact list in case they couldn't get us.

yup I'm cracked.

When Grace was getting spay last Monday ... we couldn't raise anyone on the phone at the shelter.... so after a while we called the vet ourselves .... not something the vet was used to. Mostly because we had not adopted her yet.
post #6 of 23
When Coco got very sick and almost died in 2001 right after the Wtc blew it was a sunday and she stayed overnight there then she went in our vet for a week. The Er put a flag bandana on her and we got updates. Meeko almost died at 3 months so she went to er and stayed a few days then she had to go to our vet for 3 or 4 days more. Something must have happened there because she hates vets so much. She had to be sedated last Dec to get blood tests and a shot because she got so mean. When she got very sick it was in 2000. The last time my Cat stayed overnight at the vet was Yoshi in 2007. He had so many tests and they didnt know what was wrong with him until the Fip test came back pos and they did xrays and found kidney stones. He stayed over a week. This is at the vet we go to now. Coco and Meeko was our vet before we moved. We got updates every day. I have had other Cats that stayed overnight also.
post #7 of 23
When a friends of mine had to leave her cat at the vets for a week she was discouraged from visiting. The vet tech said that as cats don't understand the concept of a visit, they don't understand why they have been left behind again, and it can set back their recovery. We didn't visit when Tilly broke her leg as we were worried she wouldn't adjust as well.

Also don't forget to warn the vet if your cat is likely to be noisy. I had to leave both cats at the vets overnight when they developed allergic reactions to their vaccinations. Tilly had been her usual noisy self on the way to the vets, but was quiet during the examination, so we just left her there without saying anything.
We went to pick her up in the morning. While we were still outside the vets we could hear a sort of shrieking noise, a little like a fox, coming from inside.
We went in. The receptionist looked frazzled, the vet and the vet techs looked tired, even the vet's cat that lives there looked the worse for wear.
It was then that we realized that we recognised that particular miaow, and swiftly had a shrieking Tilly handed back to us.
I had to raise my voice to be heard over the racket and asked the vet if she had been making that noise the entire time.
She said 'YES!' and glared daggers at the cat basket. Normally she's much more cheerful
I've never left a vet so quickly in my life, and we've never had Tilly stay there overnight again.
post #8 of 23
I had to leave Lil' Bit with the vet for 4 days when she was six months old. She was a stray that showed up on my porch a couple months earlier. I had become very attached as she was very small (4 lbs) and energetic. One evening I came home to find her sneezing constantly and the next morning she wouldn't move. I took her to the vet and she had a temperature over 104 and they kept her. It was very difficult for me to leave her there and I think I must have called them 10 times that day to check on her. The second day she was there they let me visit her and she still wouldn't move and her temperature was still high. I was beginning to think she wasn't going to make it but the third day when I went to visit her she reached for my hand with her paw. The last day she was up and playing and her temp was normal so I could take her home It was not only very traumatic for me but Saban, my other cat, missed her terribly. He wandered around the house the whole time looking for her. She was diagnosed with a respiratory infection brought on by hookworms and roundworms. It was amazing how much weight she put on when she was better. She looked like a completely different cat! The vet was great though! There is always someone with the animals 24 hrs a day so I feel a little better about leaving them now. But only a little!
post #9 of 23
I think I was more traumatized than Chase when he had to stay at the vet's for tests before we figured out what was wrong with him. I sat in the parking lot and cried for a few minutes before I could drive home. I was just scared with his condition deteriorating and then having to leave him on top of it and worrying about how he would fare all alone all night.. too much. He actually did better at the vet's than he did at the kennel where I work. He ate and used the box, and the vet said he didn't seem overly stressed, which surprised me since at the kennel he would hide under a blanket and not move the entire time.
post #10 of 23
i've only had to do this twice... both times were w/Mouse. the 1st time was the e-vet - she'd been vomiting, etc. & they administered fluids & anti-emetics... but she was still vomiting. the vet who had directed me there then wanted me to drive her to an animal hospital in the Arlington area for further diagnostics, etc. [this was at Christmas time]. my sister [in town for the holidays] found a hospital in the local area w/ultrasound capabilities, so we went there [it had started snowing]. he could find nothing on x-rays or ultrasound that would be causing her problems, so did an exploratory surgery & boarded her after that & for the following few days. even the surgery didn't show any info as to what was causing her problems, tho.
i had a trip planned, & he told me she wouldn't be ready to return home until after my intended return date, so i went. things seemed to be improving - she'd stopped vomiting, started eating again - but then i got a call from him saying she had passed.
personally, i think it was most likely from feline hepatic lipidosis - she was a bit on the heavy side, & hadn't eaten for several days due to the vomiting.
post #11 of 23
I have not had to leave Pixel or Bamf overnight at the vets yet. I believe that they will stay overnight when they are speutered.

Mithril, on the other hand, was at the vets or the e-vets most of the short time that she was with us. We took her to the vets on Monday, brought her home, but then rushed her back to the vets that evening because of vomiting. They kept her overnight and she seemed much improved after being on the IV so we took her home on Tuesday. That was the worst night of my life, I think. I am glad that I spent it with her, so that she could know how much we loved her... But she spent the entire night just vomiting and vomiting and vomiting and the diarrhea was so bad that she lost control while she was vomiting. I called the local emergency number and they just told me to wait until morning. I wish I had thought to look up a real emergency vet that night and rushed her to Ft. Wayne, where we eventually took her later that week. She might have pulled through then... Anyway, she was at the vets the rest of the week. I visited her on Wednesday and Thursday, just to hold her and let her know I loved her. And on Friday we took her to the e-vet in Ft. Wayne. She passed that evening. She had Panleukopenia.

Soooo, my experience leaving kitties overnight at the vet is not such a great one.
post #12 of 23
Four years ago when Tommie was still alive and he bit me he had to be quarantined 10 days at the vets office. I remember being scared to get him in cat carrier (wore welding gloves to handle him) but his vet stay was uneventful-I visited every day on my way to work and the vet techs just loved him. Several months later after he was shot he spent a couple of days at the same place after his rear leg was amputated. Again the vets and tech were impressed how well (and calm) he was!!
The only other overnites were the spays procedures. They both did well-nothing comes to mind as a problem.
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for sharing your stories! This will be helpful for me when writing the article. I am going to link to this thread as well, to allow readers direct access to other people's experiences, so please, if you have more stories, do share them in the thread. Thank you!
post #14 of 23
There's not much of a story here; just an answer to the question.

My two most recent vet experiences were both dentals -- Mellie and Twinkie. My vet requires surgery patients to be dropped off at 7:30 am. That's very, very difficult for me, so instead I dropped them off around 5:00 pm the preceding day. One of the charges for the dental is "hospitalization" so the fee for the cage in the surgery is already paid, and a dental patient can't eat the evening meal, so that's not a problem. It didn't cost me any more and was a whole lot more convenient. Also, since my cats were already there, they were the first ones in, and the first ones out. I was able to pick them up at 3:00 pm.

I've boarded the cats several times there as well.
post #15 of 23
Ashley and Ni are the only ones who were confined at the vet for more than 24 hours. Ashley was due to poison and Ni to anemia and viral infection. Even though Ni was weak, he was always complaining (meowing non stop). The vet was ready to send him home just to shut him up.
post #16 of 23
I had to leave Annie overnight at the vet a few times. The most memorable one was when she had pancreatitis. She had to stay three days and three nights on fluids with reglan and cephazolin injections given twice daily, and she was having seizures, so she was on phenobarbital once daily. Her levels were off the charts for her amylase. I really thought I'd lose her. I visited her everyday... I thought the techs were getting sick of me... but she did well. Everytime I saw her, she pepped up. I think seeing me might have helped her. Now that I work at that veterinary hospital, I see how different the pets react comparatively when the owners visit or don't visit. They always seem happier, more peppy, and hopeful. They know mommy or daddy didn't leave them forever! I think it can make a difference.
post #17 of 23
Hannah spent the first week of her life with us at the vet's office. We'd adopted her from the pound on a Sunday afternoon and on Monday morning woke to find her one sick little girl.

I dropped her off at the vet's office on my way to work and went by after work to talk with the vet about a course of treatment for her. He wanted to send her home, but I insisted she stay so they could administer sub-q fluids, antibiotics, and be monitored during the night. I left a blanket from our house with them to put in her cage as well as a dirty shirt of mine so she could "smell" the familiar scents of home and me. I called every morning for daily updates and went by to see her every evening. She would always eat well while I was there, so the vet really liked it when I came to visit. I took her a clean towel everyday (clearly marked with my last name). She was released to come home on Friday, still a very, very sick kitty, but well on the road to recovery.

Once home, she stayed isolated for about 6 weeks until she got a clean bill of health from the vet and could interact with our other cat. We also made numerous trips to the vet during that time for follow up visits, progress checks, and to get different antibiotics. Several weeks later, the vet told me that no one expected her to live through that first night.

I think, oftentimes, leaving a kitty at the vet is a much more traumatic experience for the humans than it is for the kitty.

post #18 of 23
I have had quite a few at the vets overnight, Pebbles ended up at the e-vets twice, as well as 2 nights when her leg was amputated. Tiger had to be at the specialist for 2 nights, and the rescues vet open at weird times, so I have to drop them off the night before and pick them up the night after, I dont like doing that though. Spays come home the same day in the UK. I only visited Pebbles once though (I didn't have a car the first time she went), Tiger was too far to visit.
post #19 of 23
I had to leave Mary overnight at the vet 3 times and it was all due to the same illness. Although she was vaccinated against panleukopenia she was exposed to another cat with the dreaded virus for a prolonged period of time.
Her behavior changed rapidly. She stopped eating, drinking or playing at first then she began to hide. I knew it was serious and rushed her to the ER vet. She spent the night one night and then was transferred to our regular vet at the time. She stayed for 3 nights on antibiotics, fluids and medicine to stop her vomiting. They thought she was stable so we brought her home.
Again she went downhill and we returned to the ER. This time I told them I wanted her to stay for as long as it took for her to get well. But again they sent us home telling us the only thing we could do is give her medicine and they thought at home she may decide to eat since the environment was more familiar for her. I was uncomfortable with this because I had lost a cat that same year to FIP. I knew Mary enough to know that she had to be very sick to behave the way she did.
When she would not eat the last time we rushed her back and this time they kept her for a week in ICU. She almost did not make it. I told them money was no object and once I told them that they began to run more tests and try more aggressive treatment. One day the vet tech called to say that Mary was out of the woods. She had been eating and drinking that morning and even greeted the techs with a meow. I cried tears of pure joy.
Around this time Cleo and Seldon had been home with us for only a few weeks. They were around 14 weeks old and both had come home with URIs from the shelter. They were both on antibiotics but Seldon did not respond. Cleo was the biggest kitten in the litter and has always been heartier than his brother. He got well very quickly. Seldon went to 2 different day vets for opinions but one night he seemed like he was not going to make it. He was barely breathing. Cleo was dragging him around the room trying to get him to respond but he was listless.
We went to the ER and he was admitted to ICU for pneumonia. He weighed only a 1 pound at this time. He was there for 5 nights and techs were constantly cleaning out his nose. I was able to bring him home after his fever went down and he started to become more energetic. He was medicine for 10 days and afterward he was like a new kitten. I had learned how to clean his nose and to this day he likes it when I rub his little nose with my fingers.
post #20 of 23
Most times when I have left a cat at the vet's it has been OK. But one tip I would give from a horrific experience that I still feel guilty about. When my Napoleon was rushed into the vet from poisoning, I left him there for monitoring and meds. At 7PM that evening I visited him and he was still alive and holding his own. At 8 AM the next morning when I went in he had died during the night. Only then did I discover that he had not been looked at between midnight and 7 AM as there was no one actually there overnight. It had never occurred to me that there would not be an assistant on duty. So he died alone, in a strange place and in pain. Always ask who will be looking after your cat during the night and how often it will be checked. Needless to say, I do not use that vet any more.
post #21 of 23
I have that problem with my normal vet, they dont stay on site overnight, and I did have a go when Pebbles had her leg amputated. The emergency vet is staffed 24 hours a day, so much happier wehn they go there.
post #22 of 23
In April I had to leave Chynna at the vet's office for 2 nights. 24 hours pre surgery for hydration prior to her surgery, and 24 hours post so she could have more hydration and pain control.

I was really worried, but they told me that I could call them anytime for updates, and even though I did call a few times, their office manager and techs called me in between to let me know that she was doing well and eating a little, and loving up on everyone.

They were really good with her. I would have no problem leaving another pet with them overnight.
post #23 of 23
Originally Posted by jennyranson View Post
Most times when I have left a cat at the vet's it has been OK. But one tip I would give from a horrific experience that I still feel guilty about. When my Napoleon was rushed into the vet from poisoning, I left him there for monitoring and meds. At 7PM that evening I visited him and he was still alive and holding his own. At 8 AM the next morning when I went in he had died during the night. Only then did I discover that he had not been looked at between midnight and 7 AM as there was no one actually there overnight. It had never occurred to me that there would not be an assistant on duty. So he died alone, in a strange place and in pain. Always ask who will be looking after your cat during the night and how often it will be checked. Needless to say, I do not use that vet any more.
Yikes! That's awful. When I've had to leave my cats there was nobody between 10pm and 6am and it really upset me, but they had to be on IV and I had no choice, all be it their situations were not as life threatening or they would have been at emerg. I can't believe they didn't tell you nobody would be there!
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