Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Cats are one the most popular pets, but they’re taken to the vet
far less often than dogs. What gives? Well, if you’re a cat owner, you probably already know one of the top reasons: Many cats experience anxiety during the visit — and getting them to the veterinary clinic can be quite an ordeal.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though — August 22 is
National Bring Your Cat to the Vet Day, which is a perfect excuse to call up your veterinarian and schedule your cat’s
annual exam. To help make the visit less stressful for your cat (and for you), we've gathered our top seven strategies for visiting the vet.
We know that just the mention of the cat carrier causes a lot of cat owners — and cats — to feel instantly stressed. There’s a good chance your cat has been pushed and prodded into this little box and then transported to an unfamiliar and scary destination, like the vet or groomer. No wonder she’s terrified! Instead of just using her carrier as a means of transport, start treating it as a kitty refuge. Put comfortable bedding inside and leave it in a place where she likes to hang out (in a sunny spot or in the room where you like to spend time), so she can rest and relax in it whenever she likes. After all, many
cats already prefer
sleeping in small spaces, so there’s a good chance she’ll enjoy resting in a carrier. And don't miss Vetstreet trainer Mikkel Becker's great tips on
teaching your cat to love the carrier.
cat learns to love her crate, you can teach her to love the car. This should be a gradual process:
Mikkel Becker recommends placing your crated cat in the car with the car door open, giving her a treat, then taking the carrier out of the car. Do this several times, and when your cat seems comfortable, you can close the car door and then open it again. Next, you can turn the car on then off. Eventually, you’ll work your way up to driving short distances, like around the block, and your cat will learn that the car isn’t so scary after all.
For many cats, synthetic pheromones are like a relaxing feline perfume. Spray them inside your kitty’s crate and spritz some on a towel to toss over the top (so she won’t see unfamiliar sights such as
dogs in the waiting room or the inside of your car). Take some to the veterinary office with you to spray in the exam room (with your vet’s permission). Dr. Marty Becker says he
sprays so much of the stuff, it’s like his aftershave. Synthetic pheromones won’t work on all cats, but it’s worth trying. You can find this product at many national and online pet retailers.
waiting room can be a cat’s worst nightmare. It could be filled with strange
dogs, cats and humans. Instead of waiting in the waiting room, ask the vet clinic staff if it is OK for you to wait in the car with your cat until the exam room is ready (as long as it's not too hot or cold in your car). If that’s not an option, make sure you cover her carrier with a towel, so she can’t see the other pets in the waiting room.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
An Indiana shelter with a soft spot for
seniors is making life better for a Golden
Retriever with terminal cancer.
From bringing in your puppy or kitten to
telling your friends about him or her, there
are plenty of ways to make a…
Minimize the risk of a bad trick-or-treat
interaction by brushing up on your dog’s
manners before October 31.
Dr. Jenna Ashton shares how to
determine your pet's water intake and tips
for encouraging him to drink more.
The Schapendoes (aka Dutch Sheepdog)
is known for his incredible jumping skills
and cheerful personality.
Parasites are no fun for dogs. Learn how
to protect your canine from heartworms,
hookworms, whipworms and more.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.