Bringing your cat to the vet can be a stressful experience for you, your cat, the vet and the nurse.
Some cats yowl as soon as the car starts, others pee in the carrier every trip.
An upset cat is difficult for your vet to examine and stress skews some blood tests.
How do we make visits to the vet less stressful for all concerned?
Leave the carrier out permanently in your home. Many cats will rest or hide in it or use it as a play thing, particularly if it has been about since they were kittens. Pop some treats in the carrier so that your cat associates it with a pleasant experience.
Apply Feliway spray to bedding in the carrier regularly and just before transport. Feliway contains a natural pheromone that relaxes cats. Lining the carrier with a favourite person’s clothing may also calm your cat.
Withhold food before travel to prevent travel sickness and consequent negative feelings about car rides.
Short practice rides followed by a good experience such as a favourite food help some cats to relax in the car.
Cover the carrier with a towel or blanket, or place one over the cat in the carrier so that she can hide if she needs to.
In the waiting room place the carrier up off the ground on a seat or bench and well away from other cats. If your cat is wide-eyed, trembling, or huddled at the back of the carrier ask the receptionist to put her in a spare quiet room.
Because cats hide illness and pain so well they need regular, scheduled visits to the vet to ferret out problems like arthritis, thyroid and kidney disease and liver and heart decline. Annual visits are adequate for cats less than 8 years old. Older cats need checks more often, especially if any problems have been identified.
Unfortunately, cats often don’t show us they’re sick until it’s almost too late.
Reducing the stress of vet visits means more frequent checkups and a longer, healthier, and more comfortable life for your feline friend.