If your cat doesn’t like change or new environments, she’ll like going to the vet even less. Unfortunately, most vets don’t make house calls, so your cat will have to make the trip and it’s up to you to make that trip as stress free as possible. This calls for a little prior training on your part, so even if your next vet visit isn’t for another year, consider taking these steps now. You and your cat will enjoy the results later.
Get a cat carrier and use it
If you don’t already have a cat carrier, buy one and use it to transport your cat anywhere outside your home. This is a must as you really don’t want your cat to get loose in an area that could expose her to traffic or other dangers. Choose a carrier that will give you more than one option for entry or exit (some open from the top or the front), so you can lift her out or let her walk out.
Turn your cat’s carrier into a comfy home
Help your cat get comfortable with the carrier. Put some of her favorite toys in it and line it with a towel or blanket and then leave it open on the floor for her to explore while at home. When she seems more comfortable, carry her around the house in it a few times.
Give your cat a passport to travel
If you only use the carrier for vet visits, your cat will quickly put it on her “no fly” list. Turn her into an experienced traveler instead, by taking short trips with her. She’ll get used to carrier travel as you take her around the block, around the neighborhood and if she’s ready, to your local Pet Supermarket! Keep a blanket handy as you may want to drape it over the carrier to make her feel more secure.
Avoid motion sickness
Since cats are prone to motion sickness, avoid feeding her before traveling. Keep in mind that her hunger might actually make her more receptive to the vet, especially if he has treats.
Get touchy feely
While getting your cat more comfortable with the carrier and the car, don’t skip another important step-getting her used to being touched and examined. Start by brushing or playing with her and slowly get her used to having her body, feet, mouth and ears checked. If you do it consistently and reward her with a treat, she’ll be a calmer kitty when it’s time to visit the vet.
A visit to the vet’s office with strange animal smells and noises can be scary for your kitty. We hope these tips will help you choose a cat carrier and reduce stress for you, your cat and the vet.