You are a cat owner. You love your cat companion dearly, but when the time comes for a veterinary visit, you begin to feel that familiar sense of dread in the pit of your stomach. You look down at the scar you have from the last time you had to get your precious companion into the carrier. You pause for a moment and debate whether to cancel the appointment and avoid the drama all together. But you pass on that option and begin the process of digging the carrier out of the depths of the basement to drag it upstairs. You are unaware that, as you make your way upstairs, your cat has already clued into the upcoming activities that you have planned and has retreated to beneath the king sized bed, just out of your reach. After 30 minutes of calling, promising treats, and looking everywhere, you find your fluffy friend and realize that you will again need the broom to extract her from her hiding spot………
This may seem all too familiar, but there are many things that can be done to reduce the drama and stress that both you and your cat experience with a trip to the veterinarian. You can begin preparing for a visit well in advance of the actual day. If you have an area of the house that a carrier can be left out, that would be best. You can put a familiar blanket, bed, or towel in the carrier and you can add treats, catnip, or a favorite toy. This can help to make your cat feel comfortable with the carrier. You can also consider using Feliway spray – a feline facial pheromone spray that can help to calm an anxious cat. This can be found at various pet stores and online. It should be sprayed on a towel or blanket about 15-30 minutes prior to transport.
When it comes time to load your feline companion into the carrier, be sure to have cat and carrier in a closed room with no hiding spots. Some cats will enter the carrier eagerly for treats or a favorite toy. For others, removing the top from the carrier or having a top loading door can be very helpful. It is important not to chase your cat around and cause extra stress before a visit, as this will make handling at the clinic much more difficult.
Upon arrival to the veterinary clinic, you can request that you and your cat be placed in an exam room right away to avoid sounds, sights, and smells in the lobby area. If you know that your clinic is typically very busy, you can call from your car to let the receptionist know of your arrival and have them call you back when a room is ready.
Throughout the entire process of preparing, loading, driving, and arriving at the clinic, it is best for you to stay calm and avoid loud noises and fast movements. Cats are very tuned into their people and thus your stress becomes their stress.
Please call our clinic for additional suggestions on making the process of getting your feline friend to the clinic less stressful. We would be happy to answer specific questions and make specific recommendations for your situation.