Are there different safe forms of cat sedation for vet exam/visit and travel?
My cat is 13 and has not been to a vet or held by any human in 11 years. We found him (just a baby) crying in a bush, took him right to a vet. When we tried to feed it water or food, the kitten was so young we needed a nipple or eye dropper. We nursed it, carried him in our backwards hoodies for months until he specifically only preferred to be handled by our older male cat. Soon, we were no longer able to approach him. The vet visits stopped as we felt the stress it caused him was more harm than good. He has had a loving home and safe backyard-happy life.
The older cat died and the younger cat, then 12 year old, began to tolerate our smell and wants rubs, but still will not let us pick him up. He has become clingy and we love it. But he has drastically slowed down this month, had trouble climbing and jumping high, so I MUST GET HIM SEEN. He has 4 sets of claws, he trusts me and I’d hate to lose his trust. I don’t want the first time I pick him up to be [me dropping him off at curbside to go in to vet alone]. I think he’d rather die. My elder cat was sedated by the vet once (probably unnecessary) and when they brought him back to me, his disposition was odd and violent. In his 16 years I had never seen him that way. Sedation scares me now. The elder cat had regular vet visits all his life, developed thyroid issues and then cancer.
Now I’m at a loss on how to get my 13 year old cat examined as soon as possible. I don’t want him to suffer a car ride and strangers and strange smells and sounds and lights after 11 years of never going to a vet, but I know he must be seen. I’m afraid that if he has cancer, the stress of the vet visit will make it worse.