Veterinarian visits can be stressful for cats and cat parents. We all want our feline friends to live long, healthy lives. Making sure your cat gets seen by the veterinarian for routine preventive care and checkups is vital to that goal. Many cats dislike leaving home and visiting their vet’s office. In this post, we’re covering some things that may upset them, and we have a list of six ways to help your cat love their veterinarian appointments.
Things that can upset your cat:
As cat parents, it’s important to recognize major stressors for your cat. So you can ease your cat’s transition from home to the veterinarian’s office. If your cat is in pain or not feeling well, that adds an extra layer of stress but these are the top three for a healthy cat.
- Carrier: If your cat only sees their carrier when you’re about to use it to take them out of their home environment, they will often come to associate it with negative experiences.
- Car: A car moves in unfamiliar ways, vibrates, bounces, and has many smells and sounds that many cats find upsetting.
- Other animals: The vet’s office sees lots of animals, sometimes animals of all kinds, and this kind of sensory overload can also be stressful to your cat.
Here are six tips to help your cat love the veterinarian:
- Carrier Acclimation. Bring out the carrier out a few days ahead so that your cat can become used to it. Leave the door open so they can explore it.
- Treats. Put some your cat’s favorite treats inside the carrier to encourage exploration and positive associations.
- Synthetic Feline Pheromones. Spray the carrier with a synthetic feline pheromone product to help decrease stress for your cat.
- Make Your Carrier Cozy. Place a blanket or towel from home and a favorite toy inside. You can also try covering some of the windows of the carrier to help block some of the noise and smells and visual cues of other animals.
- Practice makes perfect. Put your cat into their carrier and bring him or her into the car for a short drive. For many cats, the car trip to the veterinarian’s office is a frightening experience and can set the stage for a stressful vet visit. If they are able to get used to the sensation and experience of the car, that can help their vet visit go better, too.
- Home Visits. If everything else fails, consider having your veterinarian come to you. Cats that have a lot of trouble making the transition from home to their vet’s office often do better when they’re in their home territory.
It’s important for our cats to have routine examinations with their veterinarian. It’s easy for cat parents to miss early signs of illness in cats because the symptoms may be subtle. Preventative care is also very important to keep your kitty healthy for as long as possible. We hope these tips help you and your feline friend love the veterinarian.