It’s true! Most cats would rather do anything than visit the vet clinic. The American Association of Feline Practitioners reports that 60% of cats ‘hate’ going to the veterinarian; that the very idea is stressful for both the cat and the owners. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to reduce the stress of coming to the hospital. Many of these can be employed by YOU, starting at home.
- Familiarity with the carrier can make a huge difference. Keep your carrier in a part of the house where your cat feels comfortable, place treats in the carrier, and soft blankets that smell like home. This helps your cat associate the carrier with normal, everyday life, and will feel comfortable and safe inside even when going for a trip to the vet. After all, what regal feline creature wishes to be moved around in a carrier that smells like the basement!
- Taking short trips in the car can acclimatize your cat to the motion, as well. You might try buckling the carrier into the seatbelt, or leaving the carrier on the floor, so there is less movement. Some cats like to look around and see what is happening during travel, while others feel safer with a blanket over the carrier.
- If you’re shopping for a carrier, aim to get the style that has pop-off lid. This makes it easy to remove the cat from the carrier. If your cat is more comfortable partially enclosed, exams can be preformed with your cat still sitting inside the bottom half in the kennel.
- Feliway pheromone spray and wipes can be used on the carrier at home before travel. Be sure to apply the products at least 30 minutes before your cat enters the carrier, so the alcohol vapour can dry and dissipate.
- We will do our best when your cat arrives to move you both directly to our cat friendly examination room. We want to reduce stressful contact with barking dogs, as well as reduce exposure to the hustle and bustle of the clinic. Take advantage of our ‘cat parking’ table in the reception area, cats appreciated being above ground level!
Blog by Patti Green
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