Regular vet visits for your cat are essential for a longer, healthier, and happier life! Many cats, however, do not travel as well as their canine companions! If you have a hard time getting your cat to the vet without a struggle, here are a few tips to make the trip to your veterinarian less stressful—for both you and your furry feline friend!
Happy carrier, happy cat. In order for you cat to be happy while in their carrier, they must associate the carrier with positive experiences! So, trips to the veterinarian should not be the only time your furry friend encounters the carrier. Leave it with the door or hatch open in a room where your cat spends lots of time. This will allow your cat to become familiar with it and enter and go as they please, making them more comfortable! Try adding some soft bedding inside for extra security.
Lure your kitty into the carrier. Placing treats, toys, or catnip inside the carrier will help to encourage your cat to enter. Be patient! It could take days, or maybe even weeks, for your cat to begin to trust the carrier. If your cat sits near or explores the carrier, give them a treat to continue to connect the carrier with happy things!
Pick the right carrier for your cat. There are a few factors you must consider to determine the right carrier: Your cat’s size, how well he or she tolerates handling, and which is easiest for your to transport. The carrier should be safe, secure, sturdy, and not too heavy for you to carry. Some of the best carriers are hard-sided and open from both the front and the top. An easily removable top allows a cat who is fearful, anxious, or in pain to stay in the bottom half for exams by your veterinarian.
Traveling to the vet. Your furry friend will be safest in the car if you secure the carrier using a seat belt. If your cat seems anxious, it sometimes helps to cover, either partially or completely, the carrier with a blanket or towel. There are many sprays and oils such as lavender that may help soothe your kitty on the way to the vet.
If you’re still having a hard time traveling with your furry feline, don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian for more ideas on how to make your cat’s travel away from home, whether it’s to see the veterinarian or not, more calm and pleasant, especially if your cat is very stressed!