All too often cats can find their Veterinary visits a bit stressful. We love to see cats that come out of their carrier purring and stroll around as if they own the place. If your cat is not quite so keen you may find that the following tips can help to improve your cats experience.
- Make sure that you have a suitable cat carrier. Top opening boxes allow for much easier access to your cat and make getting them in and out much less stressful. Even better are the carriers which also come apart in the middle which often mean we can examine your cat whilst they remain in the lower half of their box. A simple wire cat box can be made much more cat friendly simply by covering it with a big towel so that your cat feels more secure.
- Preparation is key. Don’t just produce the dreaded carrier on the day of the vet visit, instead leave it out with the door open and some comfy blankets inside. Let you cat get used to it, put a few treats in there every so often, let them use it as a bed. Make the cat carrier a really great place to be!
- When you book your visit request a cat only clinic so that your cat can be assured of not having to deal with dogs whilst in the practice. Let reception know that your cat can be anxious so they can book you a longer appointment and fit you into a less busy time.
- On the day of the visit make sure the cat flap is locked (and visually covered so that your cat doesn’t try to get out through the locked flap and become stressed!) in plenty of time. A last minute panic that the cat has escaped doesn’t help anyone’s stress levels! Spraying the inside of the carrier with Feliway (an analogue of a feline facial hormone which can help cats to feel more relaxed) 20 mins prior to loading the cat can be helpful.
- Next make sure the carrier is securely fixed in your car and cover it with a big towel (even better if this towel has been in your cats favourite sleeping place for a few days so that it smells reassuringly of them and home).
- If your cat is motivated by food consider bringing some of their favourite treats with you to further enhance their experience.
- When you arrive at the practice take a seat in the cat waiting area. This further ensures that your cat does not come into contact with dogs. Place your carrier on one of our benches so it is off the floor and turn it so that your cat is not looking at any other animals in the waiting area.
- Finally let the vet know that your cat can be anxious.
We look forward to seeing you and your chilled out cats soon!