What Do You Do When Your Cat Hates the Vet?

two people holding cats

Whether he’s not feeling well or due for his annual wellness visit, getting your cat to the vet can be stressful for both you and your kitty.

Cats are the masters at hiding signs that they don’t feel well, so it’s very important for cats to visit the vet for their annual exam and as soon as you notice any changes in behavior, appetite, or energy level.

Getting them there doesn’t have to be a disaster! In honor of Happy Healthy Cat Month, we have some simple tips to make every trip to the vet happy so you can keep your cat health

1. Get the right kind of carrier. We recommend a carrier with two exit points – top and front. Look for latches that allow the top to be easily removed. We can often perform the majority of your cat’s exam from the comfort of their carrier.

2. Once you have the right carrier, you’ll want to help your cat acclimate to it. We all know that familiar scene of trying to wrangle the cat in the carrier. This can elevate your cat’s stress levels before they even leave the house. The trick here is to eliminate the negative association cats may have with the carrier. Leave it out so your kitty can play and sleep in and around it, so it’s just another part of their home environment. Tuck their favorite blanket or a warm towel inside for an additional source of comfort. You can also offer treats or even meals in the carrier. The carrier will begin to feel familiar to your cat, who will be much more accepting of being placed inside for a trip to the vet.

3. Feliway is also helpful for soothing crate anxiety. The spray contains a compound that mimics a cat’s own facial pheromone, making the carrier seem instantly more familiar and comforting.

4. If your cat gets carsick, you may need to spend some time desensitizing them to being in the car. Keep the air cool and comfortable, play some soothing classical music, and take a short trip around the block. Gradually extend the duration of each trip until your kitty is comfortable being in the car. Some cats even learn to love it and look forward to taking a ride!

5. Cats can be sensitive to the presence of other pets, especially dogs and especially if they enjoy their status as the only pet at home. Talk to our client care specialists and we can help you pick an appointment time that suits your cat’s particular needs.

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