A trip to the vet can be a pretty stressful experience for a cat. It’s one of the few times they are placed into a carrier and have to travel in a car, so it’s little wonder that they find the whole ordeal pretty overwhelming.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a number of steps you can take to make a visit to the vet for your cat stress-free.
1. Get your cat used to being handled
Cats like being touched on their own terms, so being examined at a vet is a very off-putting experience for most felines. To prepare your cat for their check-up, have them get used to their ears being checked, mouth opened, and feet touched. Use treats to reward them, and to associate the experience of being handled with something positive.
2. Familiarise your cat with the carrier
If the only time your cat sees and gets put into their carrier is when they go to the vet, it’s little wonder that they fight you tooth and nail when you try to place them in there. In the week leading up to their visit, put the carrier out in an area where your kitty likes to play or sleep. Depending on the type of carrier you have, keep the door open or remove the top to make it easily accessible for some fun or rest.
3. Make the carrier a more inviting space
Cats like snuggly places to sleep, so make sure you add a nice, comfy blanket to the bottom of the carrier. Add a few of their favourite toys for further enticement to happily spend time in there. You can even feed your kitty’s meals in the carrier to make it a more familiar, positive place for them to be.
4. Ensure your cat feels secure once at the vet
A vet clinic waiting room can be a pretty intimidating space for a cat. The different smells, noise and inquisitive dogs can really make their anxiety levels skyrocket. Cats feel much more secure if they are at a higher level, so it is best to place the carrier on the chair next to you. If possible, maintain eye contact with your cat and talk to them to try and distract them.
At Cameron Veterinary Services, our half-hour appointments and smaller-sized clinic mean you’ll never experience a crowded waiting room when you visit us. We will also do our best to send you through to the consult room as soon as possible – even if your vet isn’t quite ready to see you – to ensure a calmer environment for your kitty.
5. Talk to your vet about other options to help them relax
If after all of the above steps your cat still finds a visit to the vet an overwhelming experience, it’s worth talking to your vet about additional measures to make them feel more relaxed.
A synthetic pheromone such as Feliway can help to make cats feel more settled and can be sprayed onto their carrier or blanket to help them feel a sense of comfort and safety. For more extreme displays of fear and anxiety, a mild sedative can be prescribed to enable the vet visit to take place.
Committed to a stress-free experience
At Cameron Veterinary Services, we’re dedicated to making a visit to the vet as stress-free as possible – for both you and your cat.
We allocate 30 minutes for all standard appointments so you will never feel rushed. This provides plenty of time for your kitty to get used to the unfamiliar surroundings of our clinic before we start examining them. We also try wherever possible to ensure your cat sees the same vet each time they visit, as we believe that really getting to know your pet – and you as their owner –allows us to provide the best quality care possible.
We see these measures as making a massive difference in providing a stress-free experience for our patients and allows us to provide truly personalised vet care for your pet.