Teach Your Cat to Love Riding in the Car

If your cat’s fear has to do with the destination — specifically, the veterinarian’s office — incorporate this into your training. Drive to your vet’s office and sit in the parking lot; have a short play, petting or treat session with your cat, and then leave. Once your cat is comfortable with the parking lot, ask the staff if you can bring her inside the office during a slow time to do some relaxation training in the waiting room or in a quiet, unused exam room. As always, treat her as long as she remains calm.

If your cat is having difficulty adapting to the crate or the car, talk to your veterinarian about her anxiety. Your vet may recommend a product such as Anxitane, a green tea extract, to help your cat relax in the car. The veterinarians I work with at the North Idaho Animal Hospital are also keen on using the Thundershirt for cats. To get your cat used to the Thundershirt, place it on loosely to begin with and make it snugger as the cat adjusts to wearing it.

Finally, remember that cats can quickly overheat if left in a car, even on a day that may not seem particularly hot to you. Never leave your cat unattended in a parked vehicle.

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