Getting your cat to the Veterinarian
The average domestic house cat leads a comfortable, routine life. A typical daily agenda might involve sleeping in a prime sun spot, chasing a favorite toy, or playing with that vase of fresh cut flowers. What is NOT on a cat’s preferred agenda? —–a visit to the veterinarian. A trip to the veterinary hospital can be quite stressful for both the cat and cat owner. The stress often begins with the introduction of the cat carrier and escalates from there. Frequent trips to the veterinarian are essential for maintaining optimal health for your cat. The following tips will aid you in making the trips less stressful for all involved.
It all starts with the carrier. In order to acclimate your cat to the carrier, begin by leaving the carrier out in your home. Place familiar bedding in the carrier and encourage the cat to enter the carrier on his or her own by feeding of treats or a favorite toy. Making the carrier a familiar part of your home will make loading the cat in the carrier less stressful. This process takes time; be patient, remain calm, and reward positive progress with food, play, or affection.
Carrier selection is also important. We recommend a hard-sided carrier with a removable top. Often these carriers have a front and top opening. Use familiar bedding in the carrier. Spraying Feliway on the bedding 30 minutes prior to loading your cat can help reduce their anxiety. Remain calm; cats can sense our own stress and anxiety. Do not chase your cat. If your cat will not enter the carrier on his or her own, place the carrier in a small room with few hiding places. While remaining calm and relaxed, bring the cat into the room and gently place him in the carrier, removing the top of the carrier if needed. Carry the carrier gently to the car with minimal bouncing and movement and buckle the carrier in place in the seat. Cover the carrier with a towel if visual stimulation stresses your cat and keep noise in the car to a minimum. Consider taking your cat on short frequent car rides so that a trip in the car does not always equal a trip to the veterinarian!
Check out this link for additional tips. Feel free to call us for additional advice prior to your appointment. We are happy to help in any way we can!