If you are wondering why it has to be you whose cat makes a big-time fuss about visiting a veterinarian, trust us when we say it, you are not alone. For most pets, visiting a vet is a stressful experience. They tend to do everything in their capacity to avoid this situation. Our cats specifically are used to living in a predictable sheltered situation within homes.
The experience of a vet visit is stressful and unpredictable for them. And it is not even the experience of what happens on the vet table. Most of the unpleasant occurrence takes place before they even meet their vet. From getting into that compact carrier that comes out only when they are to be taken to unfamiliar places, to car rides, to unfamiliar smells of outdoors and at the vet, to being handled by unfamiliar people, it all gets overwhelming for them.
Here we have tried to offer some tips you can take into consideration to make vet visits a stress-free experience for your cats.
Before Visiting the Vet
A few things that you need to keep in mind while preparing to visit the vet include being calm yourself, making the cat carrier a safe place for them, getting calming anti-anxiety supplements or sprays, etc. This is because experience with the vet is often far less stressful as compared to the time before that.
- Make Their Carrier a Safe Place for Them:
Does your cat come across its carrier only when you are taking them to the vet or any other unfamiliar place? If yes, this needs to be changed. The first job to have a stress-free vet visit is to get your cat familiarized with the carrier as a safe place where they would want to spend time. You can keep a blanket in the carrier and put some toys too. Feeding your cat in the carrier also serves well. This way, your cat will be accustomed to the smell of the carrier and the space, and the fear factor would reduce significantly.
- Keep Your Cat Calm:
You can use calming pheromones or sprays to calm your cat. Start the administration of that spray a day before the appointment and spray on the said day too. This would induce a calming effect on your cat and wouldn’t create too much of a hassle for you. For this, you can also use other calming products or formulas like anti-anxiety supplements or herbs like catnip.
- Get Your Cat Accustomed to Being Handled:
A few days before going to the vet, occasionally handle your cat in a way as if you are examining it from head to tail. The idea is to make them accustomed to that type of handling and examination so that the time when the vet examines them, it is not that stressful of a situation for them.
- Make Your Cat Familiar With Car Rides:
Your cat likely experiences car rides only on their way to the vet. This will make their car ride experiences more and more stressful every time. While some cats might not be accustomed to car rides easily, for others, it just takes a few car rides that don’t end up with vet appointments to make them calm and relax. It is thus useful to take them on a ride now and then to some other places, preferably the type they might enjoy, to disassociate their minds.
- Choose Your Vet Wisely:
Not all vets are the same. Some of them have specialized in cats’ behavior and have taken proper training and additional courses to take better care and focus on the needs of the cats. They tend to understand the unique needs and behaviors of cats and offer better, lower-stress environments that your cat can get easily accustomed to.
At The Vets’
- Carrier is Safer Than Unrestricted Area
It is advised that once you reach the vet’s office, it’s better to keep your cat in the carrier itself. With so many unknown people, other animals, and unfamiliar places, they would feel much safer if you kept them in their carrier itself, which they are comparatively more familiar with.
Keep the carrier above the ground, possibly close to you so they can feel safer. Also, see to it that other pets like unknown cats and dogs are not peeking in and frightening your cat. Following some of these steps will prevent them from suffering from stress before getting into the examination room.
- Try visiting During Slow Hours
Before visiting the vet, during the appointment, ask the vet about the times of the clinic when the rush is comparatively less. Try scheduling an appointment during such time. This would ensure that the cat doesn’t have to come across many unfamiliar encounters and would help in reducing their stress to an extent.
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- A Little Something From Their Day-To-Day Life
Making their carrier feel familiar is one of the important things to do. And if there is a situation where your cat might have to stay a night at the vet’s clinic, you must take that extra effort to make them feel at home. The best way is to bring some items like blankets or toys which they generally use. That would offer a familiar smell and would help ease their minds and calm their nerves.
Following the aforementioned steps before getting to the vet and when you are visiting the vet is important if you wish to create a stress-free environment for your cat. These steps assist in making it easier for the cats and for you when you are taking them for their checkups. If you are worried about them stressing even after these, you can talk to the vet before the visit. They would recommend awesome supplements or medicine that might induce a calming effect in your cat.