Taking your cat to the vet can be traumatic and stressful. Even speaking about it in their presence can be tricky. Yep, we are that family that can’t actually say the word around our cats, instead we spell. Even so the oldest one gets suspicious-she’s pretty smart; like could be in the cat version of MENSA smart. We recently have had a couple v-e-t visits, taking only one cat at a time. Through these visits, we’ve learned a few techniques for making v-e-t visits a bit easier to take.
1. A few days before going to the vet, get out the cat carrier. This way, the cats can get used to seeing it, and it’ll be less threatening if it doesn’t need to be used right away. Our oldest has even taken to climbing on the top of the carrier and sitting down. Now that I think of it, maybe she was trying to wrestle it into submission. After the trip to the vet, consider keeping the carrier in a more visible place so seeing it regularly becomes the norm.
2. During the car ride over to the vet, put a small catnip toy or blanket in the carrier as an item of comfort. Small enough that it won’t restrict movement. This will help to calm your cat if they don’t enjoy car rides.
3. If your cat is prone to accidents while in the carrier being transported, consider putting down a small towel at the bottom of the carrier to make clean up easier. Take a plastic bag with you to put the dirty towel in. Ours are more likely to wee themselves on the way to the vet, so putting a towel down helps the vet not have to clean up the carrier, and we don’t have to worry about them messing themselves on the way home.
4. If you have more than one cat and only take them to the vet one at a time, be prepared for the one left at home to act out upon your return. We took our youngest to the vet last week, and when we got home, our oldest growled and hissed at the youngest. I could NOT figure out why. After doing a bit of research, the only thing I can think of is that the youngest smelled different. With some patience, and treats, the oldest finally calmed down after a day or so.
Taking your cat to the vet can be stressful. Hopefully these tips will help to ease the stress. You are not alone!
*meme depicting the feelings of a cat post v-e-t appears courtesy: icanhascheezeburger.com