Argüelles, J., Echaniz, M., Bowen, J. et al. 2021. The impact of a stress-reducing protocol on the quality of pre-anaesthesia in cats. Veterinary Record 188(12), e138.
Introduction: Transport to the clinic is a major source of stress for cats. The process involves being put into a carrier, driven in a car and handled. Cats are therefore removed from the safe-haven of their territory and experience many stressful stimuli and interactions. Methods: In the present study, 31 cats were transported to the clinic following a low-stress transport protocol and compared with a control group of 36 cats whose owners did not follow the protocol. This protocol involved preparing a cat carrier basket with F3 pheromone and keeping it covered and stable during the car journey from the home to the clinic. Pre-anaesthesia information was recorded for cardiac rate, respiratory rate, tolerance to handling, time for sedation to be achieved and dose of propofol required for induction and endotracheal intubation. Results: The group exposed to the low-stress transport protocol took less time to reach sedation and needed a lower dose of propofol for induction than the control group. Conclusion: These results suggest that, in cats, pre-anaesthetic and induction requirements are influenced by lower-stress transport and handling.