Cats are Wonderful

Dr. Majeski and Erika show one way of gently restraining a cat

Dr. Majeski and Erika show one way of gently restraining a cat


Ask anyone at Lien, they will agree that I am a cat lady; whether or not I'm classified as a crazy one depends on who you ask, but I embrace the moniker wholeheartedly!  I love cats and am passionate about caring and advocating for them.  Cats are complicated creatures, with many differences from dogs that can make them challenging to handle or care for, so we do many things to make our practice more cat-friendly and fear-free.

I visit the cats in kitty boarding for cuddles daily, sometimes dispensing catnip or letting out the more confident ones for individual recess time.  We have Feliway plug-ins that disperse aerosolized synthetic calming pheromones, and anxious cats are given "privacy curtains" on their kennels to hide behind; the same goes for surgery and dental patients.  I also like to visit those patients to give them some love—most are happy to receive, even when anxious!

Sarah and Erika show how we can restrain without scruffing

Sarah and Erika show how we can restrain without scruffing

Sometimes, when cats get stressed, we wrap them in a towel to make them more comfortable

Sometimes, when cats get stressed, we wrap them in a towel to make them more comfortable


Handling and treating cats comes with its own set of challenges - they are often tired of being poked and prodded by doctors, then they have to deal with even more invasive procedures after the exam!  We do our best to bring treatments to an anxious cat, as keeping it in the room can greatly help.  Unlike dogs, cats often give very few or no warning signs before their fuse runs out, and they can strike out fast and hard, so knowing how to minimize stress and maximize safe handling is essential.

We always restrain animals in a gentle and supportive manner - some cats can be restrained by being held on their side by their scruff, while others do better wrapped in a towel, burrito-style.  Most cats are best for blood drawn from a back leg, but some will do very well for a jugular blood draw, usually performed on dogs.  We always prioritize diagnostics and treatments over things like toenail trims and anal gland expressions so that we accomplish the most important tasks in case the cat runs out of patience.

Another aspect of being cat-friendly is premedication.  We have some feline patients who are too fractious (aggressive) to handle or treat, and the mere prospect of wrangling a furious feline to get them to the clinic is enough to deter some owners from annual exams, only bringing the cat in when it is sick or injured.  Believe me, I know the feeling - my Bengals caterwaul and scream on the way to and at the vet, making visits unpleasant for all of us!  In order to minimize stress for the cat, owner, and clinic staff alike while simultaneously maximizing quality of care, our doctors will often prescribe a pre-visit sedative.

Gabapentin, a pain medication with excellent sedative and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties, has become a fast favorite among our doctors.  When assistants and technicians perceive that a patient is particularly stressed, we will often ask a doctor to prescribe a pre-visit medication so that the next visit will go more smoothly.  The combination of sedation and anti-anxiety can calm a cat, preventing the fight-or-flight response that leads to aggression and prevents treatment.

Cats are strange and wonderful creatures, and deserve our love and help.  They are often much more discerning and hard to please than dogs - no offense to either species! - but I think this is what makes them special.  As anyone who has met me knows, I am thrilled to meet every cat, whether or not they reciprocate the sentiment!  I have been sent to the ER with my share of cat bites, but I am not deterred from caring for them to the best of my ability, nor will I ever be.  I am glad to be practicing at a clinic like Lien, where we constantly strive to be cat-friendly and fear-free.

Erika Price, Veterinary Assistant

To see Erika and Mckenzy, a member of our kennel crew, in kitty boarding, visit:

Hands On Experience

Sydney works hard at Lien Animal Clinic

Sydney does not always love mornings

Sydney does not always love mornings

It is 6:50 in the morning and Sydney gets her fleece on. It's going to be another long day at work for her. She's preparing for a day of ultrasound training, teaching restraints, nail trims, and getting far too many treats.

She comes to Lien Animal Clinic most days with Ayla, one of our Licensed Veterinary Technicians.  Sydney calmly allows us to train and learn new skills as long as we promise to reward her--she also likes her mom to be present when training is in process.

While in school, Ayla used to practice restraints with Sydney (such as holding a dog safely for toenail trims and blood draws, gently laying a dog on their side or back for X-Rays, etc.) so she's become rather use to it.  Since she is accustomed to these procedures, our team has the opportunity to gain hands on knowledge before working with your pet(s).  Even our own Dr. Majeski had Sydney as her patient during her final exam in becoming certified in Ultrasound!  


At the end of the day Sydney leaves with a full tummy and lots of love from the staff.

To see Sydney demonstrating toe nail trims visit:

Or to see her showing how a pet is restrained for ultrasound visit:



Thank you Sydney for giving us the opportunity to gain hands on skills!

Ayla Wannamaker, Licensed Veterinary Technician