Veterinary visits don’t have to be stressful for you or your cat. Happy visits to the vet start well before the big day. Ideally we should acclimatise our cats to carriers and cars while they are still kittens.
How can we minimise these stresses here and now though?
- Ask reception to book you at a quiet time or when no dogs are around if possible
- Socialise cats to the carrier and car:
- Leave the carrier out permanently in your home. Many cats will use it as a comfortable resting or hiding place or play around it, particularly if it has been about since they were kittens
- Withhold food before travel to prevent travel sickness and consequent negative feelings about car rides
- Short practice rides in the car followed by a good experience such as a favourite food help some cats to relax about cars
- Apply Feliway spray to bedding in the carrier regularly and just before transport. Feliway contains a natural pheromone that relaxes cats. Familiar clothing from a favourite person before a visit or hospital stay may also calm your cat
- Cover the carrier with a towel or blanket or place one over the cat in the carrier so that she can hide if she needs to
- In the waiting room place the carrier up off the ground on a seat or bench and well away from dogs