Our Veterinary Blog
6 Ways to Make Your Cat’s Vet Visit Less Stressful
Do you have a cat who is terrified of going to the veterinarian? If so, you’re not alone. It’s not uncommon for cats to be afraid of the vet, but did you know there are some steps you can take to help make your cat’s doctor visits a little more tolerable?
In the article below, you’ll find information about some of the best ways to help your cat feel better when it’s time to go to the vet. Even if your cat just needs to go in for their routine vaccinations and checkup, you can make sure the experience is as stress-free as possible by following these guidelines. If you have any questions, call Lakeland Animal Clinic at (863) 688-3338.
Stay Calm Yourself
First and foremost, stay calm. Don’t panic, don’t worry, and don’t yell at your cat. Take your time getting yourself and your cat both ready, and be sure to leave in plenty of time to get to the appointment without having to rush, too.
The calmer you behave during this type of situation, the more likely your cat will be to stay calm as well. Even if your cat begins to cry or try to claw its way out of the carrier, just stay calm. Try speaking softly to them or playing some gentle music or white noise on the drive.
Leave Out the Carrier
One of the best ways to help a cat feel better about a vet visit is to leave the carrier out as much as possible. If you can, try leaving it out all the time. This way, when your cat sees the carrier, they won’t think of it as a sign that something awful is about to happen to them.
If you don’t have the space to leave your cat carrier out all the time, you can instead try putting it out a few days before the vet visit. This will give your cat a chance to acclimate to the carrier’s presence before the day of the appointment.
Give Lots of Treats
As long as your cat is willing to eat when they’re stressed and doesn’t ignore food, you can give them plenty of treats to help her feel more comfortable in the crate. Provide treats while you’re working on putting her in the crate, and make sure they have a few more to munch on when they’re secured inside, too.
Just be sure you don’t overfeed your cat treats before you take them in the car. They may become upset about being in a moving vehicle or could get carsick, and they might risk vomiting the treats back up again.
Bring a Favorite Blanket
Some cats have a favorite blanket, pillow, cat bed, or toy. If this is true for your cat, you can bring along one or more of these items in the carrier to help them feel better. These items might smell familiar and help them think of home and comfort during this stressful time.
If your cat is fond of cuddling with you, it might work well to bring along one of your old shirts instead. This way, they can smell you when they’re in the crate and can be surrounded by something familiar as well.
Keep Other Pets Away
If you have other pets or noisy children in your household, keep them away while you’re getting your cat ready to go to the vet. This chaos might make your cat feel much more afraid and could cause them to run off and hide before you can get them into the carrier, too.
Other pets might also make your cat agitated and angry if they see them while they’re already worked up about the vet trip. It’s best to keep them away from an anxious cat until they are crated safely.
Consider a Smaller Carrier
Although not all cats may respond well to a smaller carrier, some may feel more comfortable in a carrier that is technically a little too cramped for them. If your cat is this type, just make sure you only use the small carrier to and from the vet, and don’t use it often for other purposes.
With any carrier you choose, regardless of the size, make sure you keep it strapped in with a seatbelt while your vehicle is in motion.
With the help of this information, you should be more prepared to help your cat feel better at their next vet visit. If you have any other concerns, you can ask your vet for more information. If your cat is already an established patient of the vet, you may even be able to call ahead and ask for some medication to give them before the day of their visit, in some instances. Call us today at (863) 688-3338.
Family is family, whether it has two legs or four. At Lakeland Animal Clinic, we've spent the last 40 years healing and caring for your pets. As a family-operated practice, we know that family is about more than simply being related. Animals give us the ability to develop strong bonds and feel great compassion for a fellow living creature.