How to prepare your cat for the vet trip
How to prepare your cat for the vet – Tips
Often cats find trips to the vet frightening; they start by having a negative association with the cat carrier. How often do you get out the cat carrier in preparation for the vet visit and as soon as your cat see’s the cat carrier they quickly make themselves scarce.
What if you could teach your cat to love their carry cage, car travel and the vet visit? The following steps will improve your cat’s chance of having a positive experience at the vet clinic.
First to change the cat carrier to a pleasant experience:
- Put the carrier in a room at home where your cat spends most of their time and put a comfortable bed/blanket inside.
- Have the door open at all times.
- Put random treats/biscuits in the cage throughout the day.
- Start feeding meals next to the cage
- Put the bowl next to the door
- Put the bowl inside the cage, so they can put their head inside to reach the food but still have most of their body out of the cat cage still
- When the cat is relaxed with this you can gradually start putting the bowl further back in the cage (encouraging the cat to willingly go right into the cage)
- If the cat is relaxed, with his whole body inside the cage you can start to close the door (while they are distracted and eating out of their bowl)
- The duration of the closed door can gradually increase from short to longer periods
The cat must be comfortable eating food in the cage and its best for your cat to choose to randomly enter the cage and rest.
Cats and dogs should be securely restrained in the car. Cat carriers should be secured using a seat belt across the cage. Try bringing your pet in the vet on an empty stomach this will reduce car sickness and they may be more willing to eat treats during the car ride and at the clinic.
Repeat short car trips often so the pet becomes comfortable during the car travel and gradually extend the duration. Cats also like to hide so covering the cat carrier with a towel can make them feel safe and will reduce anxiety.
Feliway can also be sprayed in the car or on the towel that covers the cat cage (ideally 15 mins before you want to use it, as it has a strong smell initially). Feliway is a pheromone, which you can purchase at Port Road Vet Clinic as a spray or a plug in diffuser, that acts as an aid to help cats feel at ease and less stressed.
Please give us a call on 08 8340 0388 if you want us to put some Feliway on hold for you to pick up, to make your cat’s journey less stressful.
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