• Be aware that your behavior influences your cat’s behavior. If you are nervous or on edge, they are likely to be also. Offer your cat plenty of love and affection before preparing to leave for the visit, as this can help both of you stay calm.
  • An important stress reducer is getting your cat to feel comfortable with her carrier. If she only ever gets in it to go to the vet, that will be her only association with it. Incorporate it into your daily lives-make it a comfortable nap space, and offer treats when he’s inside for positive reinforcement.
  • The type of carrier you use is also important-it should be large enough for your cat to be able to stand, stretch and turn around in. Hard carriers with a top-loading option make it easier to lift out a fearful cat. You can also try covering it with a familiar towel from home to help block out some of the frightening stimuli of the vet’s waiting room.
  • The car ride can also be a negative association for your cat. Cats like things to be familiar and predictable, and a car ride is definitely not part of their daily routine. Once she’s used to the carrier, try taking her for shorter car rides every once in a while, just around the block or down the street. While your cat may never grow to love riding in the car, if a trip doesn’t always end up at the vet’s office, it may become less stressful.
  • Not feeding your cat prior to the visit can help prevent any motion sickness caused by the car ride. An added bonus is that your cat will be more interested in any treats the vet offers.
  • Handle your cat often. Give your cat regular head-to-toe checkups at home. Even if you aren’t sure what you’re looking for, it will help your cat become more comfortable with being handled. You’ll also notice any potential issues more quickly if you’re checking your cat frequently.