In my experience, cats prefer familiar surroundings, people they know, warm soft surfaces, the ability to go wherever they please, and exactly as much petting as they want (and absolutely no more than that. Or else. Seriously human, you have been warned.)

By contrast, when a cat goes to the vet they get confined in a small box, taken to a strange new place, let out onto a cold hard surface, and controlled firmly by a complete stranger. What’s more, this stranger may give them pills, shots, and what I’ll delicately refer to as “surprise thermometer.”

So why do I see so many videos of cats adoring their vets? Like this one.

How on earth do vets achieve this? If I pet a cat even slightly wrong I risk losing a limb. Are vets taught secret kitty-control techniques? Ancient ways passed down over the centuries by the wise kitty-masters of Mu? Can I learn these techniques? Or is it just a knack, which you’ve either got or not got? (I have not got, apparently.)

Or is it not the norm at all, and just something that people post videos of because it’s unusual (and adorable)?

  • 4
    I think this is a false premise tbh. Not all cats like their vets at all.
    – user6796
    Jan 24 '20 at 11:05

Most cats do NOT like going to the vet, largely for the reasons you listed. However, cats hiding in corners, under furniture, or in their carriers aren't much fun to either watch or film, so you won't see many videos like these.

There are cats who don't mind vet trips, or may even enjoy them to a degree, but these cats are already more social than average and tend to not mind outings in general. To them, this is just another outing, with someone who's paying attention to them, and as long as the experiences remain largely positive (nothing more traumatic than shots or temperature being taken), they'll generally continue to enjoy them. And, as their interactions with the vets are pleasing to watch, those are what you'll tend to see represented in videos.

  • 2
    Allison is right, some vets even offer kitty appointments where the young cats just get brought to the vet and get some pets as a positive experience since most cats associate the vet with bad memories.
    – SerenaT
    Jan 25 '20 at 14:30

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