Comfy Kitty: Take Your Cat To The Vet Without Stress

White cat in a cage at vet's office.If you think about it, it makes perfect sense that most cats despise going to the veterinarian. First they are grabbed and inserted into a carrier without warning, next comes the frightening car ride, followed by being made to stand on a cold metal table in a place that looks, smells, and sounds scary. Not to mention any poking and prodding that may occur during the examination process.

Although pet cats far outnumber dogs in the United States, they are brought to the veterinarian’s office much less frequently. Because your friends at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates want your cat to get the wellness care he or she deserves (at little to no personal injury to you!) we offer you the following tips for a safe and low stress trip with your cat to the vet.

Taking Your Cat To The Vet Begins With The Carrier

The battle over getting your cat into his or her carrier is enough to prevent many a frisky feline from getting the regular wellness care he or she needs. However, with a little patience and perseverance, it is possible to not only acclimate your cat to being inside the carrier, but to get him or her to actually enjoy it.

Choosing a carrier that is both safe and easy to get kitty into and out of is crucial to your success. Purchase a carrier with multiple access points; such as the top and front “door”, will allow you to get him or her into and out of the carrier with relative ease.

Try the following tips for getting your cat comfortable with his or her carrier:

  • Make the carrier a permanent fixture by placing it in an area where your cat likes to spend time, but where there are few hiding places. Leave the carrier door open and place kitty’s bedding, treats, and favorite toys inside.
  • Consider using a cat pheromone spray inside the carrier such as Feliway to make kitty feel even more comfortable.
  • Try gently lowering your cat into the carrier if he or she does not eventually enter on his or her own.
  • Once your cat has begun willingly entering the carrier, experiment with closing the door. Open it immediately if your cat shows signs of distress, and try again later.
  • When your cat is comfortable being in the carrier with the door closed, pick it up and walk it around the house, going for longer and longer walks over time.
  • Cats don’t respond to punishment, so reward him or her with treats or praise whenever he or she exhibits the desired behavior.

Smooth Ride

The stress of a car ride only adds to your cat’s, and your, misery. To reduce your cat’s anxiety on the drive to the veterinarian’s office, do whatever you can to keep the atmosphere inside the car pleasant, such as:

  • Maintain a comfortable temperature at all times
  • Keep windows closed and stereo on low volume to reduce excess noise
  • Drive smoothly and carefully

Reducing Anxiety In The Office

The waiting room is torture for many cats. Besides having your cat’s favorite bedding inside the carrier, you can also bring a blanket to cover the carrier with while you wait, to limit your cat’s exposure to the stimuli of the waiting room.

Take your cat gently out of the carrier in the examination room, and speak lovingly and reassuringly to him or her while the examination is taking place.

We look forward to seeing you and your feline friend soon! If you have any questions about bringing your cat into the office, or any other cat-related concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us.