I'm sure I don’t need to tell you there are huge differences between cats and dogs and never is it more evident than when they spend the day with us. Most animals intuitively know (before they even enter the building) that something is up. Can you blame them? It’s stressful. They are in a strange place with strange folk who are about to do strange things to their nether parts. Further complicated by the fact that each gets a pre-surgical sedation injection that makes dogs loopy and the cats pissy. Yes, I said pissy.
The dogs generally lie in their kennels and howl for their mommies. It’s written all over their faces. They wake up enough to realize that they don’t know where they are and don’t want to be here, then lift their heads and howl… Moommmm, Mooommm, where are you? I need you…. “ then whomp, back to sleep they go. Dogs generally figure.. "if I just do everything they want, exactly when they ask (and look as cute as I can) they will let me go home.” Submission is the plan.
Most cats adopt the exact opposite strategy. No surprise here. The medicine we give makes it worse. The cats figure "if I just act as awful as I can maybe these hostage takers will just get fed up and throw me out the door.” Basically they act like they want to kill you. Picture Kujo with a Charles Manson complex. Some lie in wait in their kennels hissing and spitting. If they could speak, most would say, “if you let me out of here I am going to come over there, claw your eyes out, eat you and then pee on the remnants.“ It can be quite scary. We call it being "gorked.” Generally it takes at least fourteen to twenty-four hours for them to get all the medicine out of their systems and return to normal (of course anyone who owns a cat can attest that “normal” is a relative term for the cat-kind). This is why we like to keep them overnight. We prefer that you think of your darling little ball of fur as the sweet and loving creature it is in your home not as a homicidal maniac.
-Cary Bernstein, Executive Director