Anyone who has had to take their cat to the vet knows just how stressful it can be for our feline friends. Cats, as opposed to dogs, generally loathe leaving their places of comfort, and their stress is exacerbated by the special “attention” they get from the vet.
It’s important to know how to make vet trips less stressful for your pets! In this blog series, we’ll provide tips on how to do just that. In part one, we will talk about cats, and part two will focus on dogs.
How to Make Vet Trips Less Stressful For Cats
Make the Carrier a Place of Comfort
Cat carriers are often a stress trigger for cats, because every experience they’ve likely had with it involves them getting stuffed into a small space, locked inside, and transported somewhere scary and unfamiliar. So, your cat may be stressed from the onset just by seeing the dreaded carrier.
One great way to make vet trips less stressful is to incentivize your cat to use the carrier as a place of comfort over the long-term. Make it a comfy bed, put treats inside, and make it a desirable space for them around the clock. If they are happy inside their carrier, you can at least avoid the initial stress of putting them inside and transporting them.
Acclimate Your Cat to the Car
Unlike dogs, who are content to stick their head out of the window for days and days, cats tend to despise car rides, and just being inside a moving car can cause severe panic, causing your cat to pant — which is a sign of major stress.
So, similarly to the cat carrier, it’s good to acclimate your kitty to the car. This, obviously, is something you’ll have to work on over time, but if you make a habit of getting your cat used to your vehicle, it will help a lot. We suggest putting treats inside to help them associate the car with good things, and then taking tiny trips, going a little farther each time to ensure they get used to it.
Cover the Carrier With a Blanket
Even if the cat handles the carrier and car relatively well, there’s still one more nightmarish phase of their journey before they meet their vet — the waiting room. Waiting inside the veterinary clinic’s lobby can be extremely difficult for your kitty. It’s a bombardment of unfamiliar scents, and dogs are often not far away.
To save your cat some stress, consider covering their cat carrier with a blanket or a towel. Your poor little kitty will still be very panicked, but trust us when we say it would be worse if they were able to see their surroundings. Covering their carrier puts them in an isolated space which helps to insulate them from their surroundings to a certain degree.
Cat Care in Charlotte
Finally, the last thing you can do to make the vet visit less stressful is to talk to your local veterinarian. Your vet technician can be made aware of your cat’s personality, which will help them to handle your pet in the way that’s best.
If you’re in or around the greater Charlotte area, there’s no better veterinary clinic you can bring your cat to than West Ballantyne Animal Hospital. We offer an incredible variety of cat care services. Whether you’re coming in for a preventative checkup, a major health issue, or routine surgery such as spaying and neutering, we’ll be glad to help. Contact us today!