Taking your cat to the vet can be a very stressful experience for both you and your cat. Most cats dislike changes in their environment and would rather stay home.
Here are a few tips on how to make your cat’s next trip to the vet hospital more manageable.
- Your cat’s carrier should be large enough that your cat can get up, stand, stretch and turn around if they want.
- Get your cat used to being in a carrier by keeping it in a place where your cat can see it every day and get used to going in and out of it when they want. Leave the door open and if it is acceptable to your cat’s diet, put some treats and toys in there.
- Let them take naps and play in the carrier. The carrier shouldn’t be a scary thing that only comes out on Vet appointment day.
- Take your cat on short five-minute trips in the car to start and then gradually work your way up to longer trips.
- You can try spraying Feliway spray (a synthetic copy of a pheromone specific to cats that makes them feel safe and happy) inside the carrier which may help to calm your cat. Many Veterinary Hospitals sell Feliway Spray. Feliway also comes as a diffuser that you can use at home.
- Try not feed your cat for a couple of hours before the car ride to help prevent motion sickness. Once you are ready to go and your cat is in their Feliway sprayed carrier, you should cover the outside of the carrier with a towel.
Once at the hospital, the waiting room can be a very stressful place for barking dogs and loud noises, having them covered makes them feel safe and hidden. Do not let your cat out of the carrier while in the waiting room as this will increase their stress and can be dangerous. Let the staff of the hospital know you have arrived and we will get you into a quieter exam room as quickly as possible.
Your kitty should have an exam once a year to make sure they stay happy and healthy. Teach your cat to tolerate being handled from head to toe and this will help make the actual exam less stressful. Hopefully, some of these tips will help on your next visit!
Written by Dana Broders, Veterinary Assistant