So it’s that time of year again. Your cat is hiding under the bed. You’ve dragged the carrier out of the garage and wiped it off. You’re hoping to come away from this event with minimal wounds. It’s the day you and your cat go to the vet!
If you dread your yearly vet visit you are not alone. In a recent survey 58% of cat owners said they did not like taking their cat to the vet and only 46% of cat owners took them in for their annual visit. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some helpful tips to make your next visit a little bit easier.
- Crate training – We’ve all done it: taken the crate out of the garage or basement 10 minutes before you have to leave, wipe off the dust and try to put your cat in. Instead, leave the carrier out so your cat can get used to it beforehand. Give him or her treats and food in the carrier. Now it can be a more positive experience. Choose a carrier that can easily be accessed: a two-door top-load carrier and one that unclips so that the entire top can easily be removed is best.
- Take your cat for regular car rides – most cats only leave the house once a year to go to the veterinary clinic. Instead take you cat for short car rides regularly so they may get used to the both the carrier and the car. Make sure when your carrier is put in the car it is secured. Consider the boot well so it won’t shift, especially if you have to stop suddenly.
- Plan ahead – if this is your first visit to the veterinary clinic make sure you know your route and how long it will take to get there. Give yourself plenty of time; no need to feel rushed or frazzled.
- Consider a pheromone spray or calming supplements if your cat is particularly anxious.
- If these tips are not enough, talk to your vet about anti-anxiety medications that may be appropriate for your pet.
It doesn’t need to be so stressful to go to the veterinary clinic. More importantly, cat owners should not skip their cat’s annual visit, even if they are indoors. Try these helpful tips and hopefully your next trip to the vet will be a less stressful one.