Our Guide to Stress-Free Vet Visits for Your Cat

feline vet visists

Does the idea of taking your beloved feline friend to the veterinarian fill you with dread? Are important vet check-ups delayed because the stress of bringing your cat to the vet is just too much?

Visiting the vet can undoubtedly cause stress and anxiety for your cat, and it’s a common reason for avoiding vet visits. This becomes particularly problematic as your cat ages, and attending geriatric clinics as part of preventative health care becomes crucial for ensuring a longer and more comfortable life for your furry companion.

However, the challenge remains: we can’t provide the necessary care if you don’t bring your cat to see us! Cats, being independent and territorial creatures, thrive on control over their environment and are sensitive to unfamiliar scents. The dislike for travel arises from the sudden removal from their familiar territory, exposure to new noises and odors, and the experience of unfamiliar movements. All of these factors can heighten stress during vet visits, which, in turn, can stress you out. Luckily, there are several things you can do to make these trips more pleasant and ensure your cat receives the medical attention they deserve.

1. Keep calm:

  • Stay calm and speak to your cat in a gentle, low voice. Your cat can pick up on your anxiety, so take the time before the journey to shower them with affection, play, and treats. This not only calms your cat but helps you relax too.

2. Choose a suitable carrier:

  • Ensure your carrier is warm, comfortable, and spacious enough for your cat to stand up and turn around. Plastic carriers are ideal for easy cleaning, and top and front openings allow for careful handling. If your cat prefers sitting in the base during examinations, inform your vet.

3. Get your cat used to the carrier:

  • Combat the aversion to the carrier by using it at home. Leave it open for your cat to sleep or eat inside. Make it familiar by adding bedding that smells like home or rubbing a cloth with your cat’s scent inside. Consider using a pheromone spray 30 minutes before using the carrier.

4. Avoid feeding:

  • Withhold food for at least 6 hours before the journey to prevent nausea or vomiting.

5. Wrapping & Covering up:

  • If your cat resists going into the carrier, wrap them in a thick blanket and place both inside. Once inside, cover the carrier with a towel or blanket that carries the scent of home or is sprayed with Feliway to maintain calm.

6. Carefully does it:

  • When transporting the carrier by hand or car, avoid swinging or allowing it to hit objects. Secure it in the footwell or a seat with a seatbelt to prevent movement during the drive.

7. Accidents happen:

  • If your cat soils the carrier, inform us upon arrival. We understand accidents occur and are happy to handle the cleanup. Bring spare bedding with familiar scents or Feliway spray, and leave the rest to us!