Some cats just hate going to the veterinarian. Whether they’ve had unpleasant experiences at the medical office before or simply don’t enjoy a typical examination, when cats stress out about going to the vet, it makes the whole experience more difficult. Of course, your cat may prefer to skip the trip altogether, but regular veterinary care can be critical to the health of your feline friends. Here are a few simple tips to keep your cat calm and have your veterinary visit go off without a hitch.
1. Try a mock visit
If your cat only associates your veterinarian’s office with painful procedures, they’ll hate going there. However, as Stephanie Belanger, a veterinary technician at KC Cat Clinic in Kansas City, Missouri, explained on DVM360, you can bring your cat to the veterinarian for a mock, “happy” visit.
Schedule this with your veterinarian to make sure it’s OK, then bring your cat in to experience the sounds and smells of the clinic without any negative aspects such as vaccines or surgery. Your cat will hopefully not associate the office with pain or negativity next time you two come for actual care.
2. Master car travel
Often, the stress of a veterinary visit is tied to the car ride that brings them there. If your cat struggles with car rides and becomes easily stressed, USA Today had some great advice.
Start off by finding the right carrier for your cat’s size. Not only will the carrier help protect your cat in the case of an accident and offer them comfort in the car, but it will also provide the feeling of safety at the veterinarian’s office. Leave the carrier out in your home with towels, treats and toys to let your cat become comfortable with it. Once they’re OK with the carrier, try a few short, five-minute car rides in the carrier to ensure that they’re fine with the ride. Then, you’ll both be ready for a calm ride to the vet when the situation arises.
3. Facilitate a friendly relationship between your cat and your vet
Animal Planet explained that the relationship between a veterinarian and a cat is no different than a human patient and their doctor. Ask your veterinarian to take a few minutes to meet your cat if they don’t do it already. Being at least somewhat familiar with the vet can help alleviate your cat’s stress. Once your cat is calm, the entire appointment will go more smoothly. If they have to stay overnight for a procedure, leave your cat a toy or item from home for added comfort.
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