Does Your Cat Hate Going to the Vet?
15 January, 2013
As a cat or dog owner, we need to take our ‘kids’ to the vet annually for a check up or if they have some other ailment. While both dogs and cats aren’t fans of going to the vet, most cats dread it. In fact, they get so stressed out that it is sometimes an ordeal to even get them to go. Below are some tips to help you and your cat make the trip and the preamble to the trip that much easier.
Make your cat carrier a comfortable resting place
Try to make your cat carrier a fun, comfortable go-to- location. In order to do this, make sure that your carrier is out and accessible at all times not just when you’re getting ready to take your cat somewhere. Put a soft blanket or an old t-shirt of yours inside the carrier. Try putting some treats inside as well. If your cat plays inside the carrier and is comfortable there, he or she will be much less intimidated when you are ready to take him or her to the vet.
Cats love bags and hiding places
As all cat owners know, cats love to hide. As I mentioned above, put a blanket inside to make the carrier comfortable for your cat. You might even try placing another towel or blanket over the outside part of the carrier. Cats feel more secure when they have a place to hide. This could even help when you are waiting for your vet as your cat will feel more secure thinking he is hiding.
Give yourself plenty of prep time
Before heading to a veterinary appointment, give yourself plenty of time to get the cat into the carrier. If he or she hasn’t been accustomed to playing in it, take it out and let your cat sniff and explore inside it. Then, when your cat is ready, he or she will gladly walk inside it and you are on your way!
Make sure your cat is comfortable traveling
Get your cat used to riding in the car when he or she is a kitten. Start by getting your cat into the carrier and carrying it around your house. Then gradually get your cat into the cat carrier and take him or her for short drives around the block. While this seems like a lot to do for just a vet visit, it can be helpful if you ever move or take your cat on a road trip with you.
Make sure your cat doesn’t eat before your trip
Cats can get motion sickness. If you avoid feeding your cat before traveling, it will decrease the chance that your cat will get sick. Feeding your cat before the visit can also make him or her excited and energetic and then more resistant to getting in the carrier.
If none of the above work, consult your veterinarian
If your cat does not take to any of the above, your veterinarian might be able to give you some tips or check if there is something else bothering your cat. If your cat does not calm down when you are at the vet, he or she might prescribe a temporary sedative. However, this should only be done if your cat needs some extensive lab work that is being inhibited by your cat’s anxiety.
With practice and patience, you can get your cat to accept going to the vet. Who knows, one day, your cat might even enjoy it!