How to have a stress-free visit to the vets with your cat

Posted by Nurse Whiskers. October 14th 2014.

Cats are unpredictable creatures. If your cat has to go to the vets, you may find it impossible to catch it to put it in its basket or they may curl up as good as gold. Vet visits can be stressful for both cat and owner but here are our tips on how to have a stress-free visit.

Cat at vets

First steps to cut down on stress

It’s a good idea to introduce your pet to its carrier basket in advance of any trip. Even if the animal isn’t ill, why not spend some time introducing it to the basket; you could always tempt it in with a snack.

If you only use the basket for vet visits, your pet will associate the carrier with nasty things and soon go on the missing list when it really needs to receive medical treatment.

Allow plenty of time before a journey with your cat

It’s a good idea to leave as much time as possible before the appointment for preparation for your trip. Your cat will soon pick up if you are stressed as a result of leaving everything to the last minute.

If you’ve introduced it to your carrier basket in advance, then just leave the basket overnight with its door open and you should find that your cat might enter this conveyance of its own accord, with a minimum of fuss.

A cat in a cage

Acclimatising your cat will reduce stress

Another exercise that you can carry out to prepare your cat for a visit to the vets is to actually take it on a short ride in its basket. This will accustom the pet to the movement of a car and as long as the basket is safely secured, the yowling and grumbling will stop. Talk to your pet throughout the journey. The sound of your voice should act as reassurance that nothing nasty is going to happen and all is well.

How to prevent accidents en route to the vets

Sometimes the actual vet visit itself will go like a dream … it’s the actual transportation process that will prove a nightmare. Make sure that you don’t feed your cat before you go on your journey. You can always pad out the bottom of the basket with some old newspapers and a towel, so your cat can be more comfortable should an accident occur.

If you don’t have access to your own car and have to use a taxi for transportation, remember to ask the taxi company in advance if it’s all right to take your cat in the car.

Alert your vet

If your cat is nervy, then it’s always a good idea to alert your vet practice to this fact. If possible, the staff at the practice will be able to place your cat apart from any dogs or other pets which may enhance their feelings of stress. Petting your cat will also reduce your stress and minimise the tension in your cat.

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