Cats have very strong personalities. When they don’t like something, you’ll know it. Most cats have very specific feelings about going to the vet, and those feelings are often unhappy ones. 

Some nervous cats might scratch you while going into the carrier or cry the whole way to the vet. There are ways you can help calm your cat before a veterinary visit though. Oakland Veterinary Referral Services is here to help you reduce your kitty’s fears in time for your next vet visit:

Calm Your Cat: Start with the Carrier

In most cases, it is not easy to get a cat securely into a carrier. Because of this, many owners only do it when preparing for a vet visit. This automatically gives your cat an unhappy association with the carrier. Spending time getting your cat used to the carrier can help ease the stress of your next medical visit. Here are a few tips on carrier training your cat:

  • Ideally use a softer, cat-friendly carrier that allows you to put your cat in from the side or lower your pet into the carrier to avoid the classic wire-door battle. 
  • Leave the carrier open in a common area of the house. This gives your kitty the chance to get used to its scent and even explore it a little. 
  • Place a few treats inside to entice your cat to spend more time inside of it.
  • Every so often, close your cat in the carrier for a few minutes, then let your cat out. Try to repeat this at least once every few months to give kitty a chance to get really used to it.
  • Once your cat has adjusted to being inside the carrier, take your pet for short walks in it. Walking around the block will give your cat some fun things to look at while adjusting.
  • Take a short car ride (be sure to buckle the carrier into the seat).
  • Use a cat pheromone spray inside the carrier to further help calm kitty.

Changing your kitty’s association with the carrier from a torture chamber into a calm space will help calm your cat before your next vet visit.

Calm Your Cat: Look for a Vet Built for Cats

If you are worried about how your cat will react in the veterinary waiting room, you might want to find a hospital with a separate waiting area for cats. Eliminating smells and sounds from other animals like dogs can calm the nerves. 

You can also let the staff know that you have a nervous cat and wait outside or in your car if you think that will help. Many veterinary hospitals will spray pheromones in the office to help calm a cat. 

Hospitals that cater to cats set up an environment where your cat can feel as comfortable as possible. They may have places in the exam room where your cat can get comfortable outside the carrier before the exam. 

Calm Your Cat: Lean on Treats

Treats are a helpful tool when you are trying to get your cat to behave a certain way. Bring treats and give one to your cat when he or she is feeling really anxious. This can distract your cat enough to take the focus away from their fear. Be sure to give kitty an extra treat when you get home. Treats can help associate veterinary visits with a positive memory. 

Calm Your Cat: Ask for Help

If your kitty is still terrified of going to the vet, the staff might be able to suggest calming aids or medication to help. You do not want the experience of getting medical care to stress your cat out so much. With a little effort, you can help calm your cat’s fears so they can get treated.

OVRS is here for all your veterinary medical needs. From specialty and emergency care services, to helpful resources, we can enhance every element of pet ownership. To learn more, please call (248) 334-6877.