There are a number of things you can do to reduce Fluffy’s anxiety for a vet visit. Most of them even start at home!
- 1. A pet carrier is the safest way to transport your cat. The best ones have easy snap clips (rather than screws) to attach the lid. These lids can be lifted off so your cat can be gently put into the kennel, and covered, or lifted out. Your cat should be on a harness and leash if he or she is not kennelled.
- 2. Keep your cat’s kennel in the house, somewhere accessible where kitty can use it occasionally. If it is available, it can be used as a “safe” space away from visitors, or a quiet corner to have a nap in. It can also be used as a place to file all those cat toys that aren’t currently in use! If it is part of the environment on a regular basis, it is more trustworthy a space to your cat. If your kennel is kept tucked away (eg. the garage), bring it into the house, clean it up, and put one of your blankets or towels in it so it smells like home.
- 3. In the car, strap the kennel into the seatbelt system, or wedge it into the footwell. Ensure that there are enough blankets in the kennel to provide some buffering as you turn corners. Your cat will be happier for the security of the extra padding! Sometimes a blanket over the top of the kennel helps, too.
- 4. To avoid motion sickness, try not to feed your cat in the few hours prior to your car trip. Especially if you are training a young cat, going for regular short car rides will help get your cat used to the feel of the car. Time for an ice cream run? Take Fluffy! Drive steadily, taking corners carefully.
- 5. At the clinic, keep the towel over the kennel, and look for a quiet corner for your cat. Sometimes, there isn’t one obvious! Make sure you tell the receptionist if you need one, and they will find some quiet space for you.
Remember that our pets are very “tuned in” to our anxiety level as well, so it is important to be relaxed yourself! If your furry friend is particularly concerned about a vet visit, please make us aware so we can best help! Often it is the pets who see us more frequently who love to visit us, because they know good things can happen at a vet clinic! Sometimes something as simple as regular weigh-ins through the year can make the visit more “boring” and less concerning. There are also some calming scents and homeopathic supplements that may help make the visit more pleasant. Talk to us to see if those might be appropriate for your pet.