10 Ways To Reduce Your Cat's Stress When Going To The Vet
For some cat parents, the thought of having to take their cat to the vet makes their blood run cold. As you may know, cats generally aren't fans of crowded spaces, strangers, or loud noises. This can make visiting your local veterinary clinic quite stressful for your cat. That's why it's important to help your feline feel comfortable in order to ease both their mind and yours. You can help minimize your cat's stress and make the visit a positive experience with the following tips:
1. Try to make an appointment at a time when your cat is most relaxed. Morning is usually best, as your cat will have had more time at home and may be less stressed than if they have been in a shelter or boarding facility all day.
2. Keep things as familiar as possible. If possible, try not to change anything about your regular routine before going to the vet so that your cat doesn’t get confused by new smells and sounds. For example, if you normally take your cat out on leash walks every day but don’t do so on days when you have an appointment at the veterinary clinic, then this could cause confusion and stress for your feline friend when they see all those leashes hanging up in waiting areas at clinics.
3. Find out if your vet has an exam room that’s separate from the waiting room. If so, ask them to use it for your cat’s visit. That way there won’t be any other animals in your cat's line of sight when they come in.
4. Make sure your cat's carrier is clean and has fresh bedding inside. Cats prefer dark spaces, so make sure there is plenty of padding in their carrier so it feels cozy and comfy for them. Use blankets or towels for bedding instead of newspaper or other paper products; this will help them feel more secure and calm as well. You should also avoid using anything scented such as perfume or cologne when cleaning out their carriers because these smells can be upsetting for them as well.
5. Practice “Cat Therapy”. Before you take your cat to the vet and every time after that, make sure they get lots of attention from their favorite human. Petting and playing with them is a great way to ensure that they feel safe and secure before heading out on an important trip.
6. Prepare ahead of time by giving your cat a treat before leaving home. This will help your cat associate the car ride with good things so that they do not associate it with bad things.
7. Keep any music on low volume to avoid startling your cat. Ensure that there is no loud background noise like television or radio playing during the car ride so that your cat does not get scared by sudden noises.
8. Make sure your cat is up-to-date on vaccines and parasite prevention — including annual testing and treatment for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Your vet will also test for heartworms, which are spread by mosquitoes and can be fatal if not treated in time.
9. Avoid feeding your cat shortly before going to the vet; doing so will reduce vomiting during travel. If your cat gets carsick anyway, ask someone else to drive while you sit in back with them – this will help minimize any vomiting while driving!
10. Bring your cat's favorite blanket or toy. If there's something that comforts your cat, bring it along. This can make all the difference in how your cat responds during the visit. If you don't know what your cat's favorite item is, ask around at home — someone will know!
So, when it comes to giving your cat a stress-free experience at the vet, make sure you prepare them beforehand with these ten tips. This way you can relax knowing that your cat will be less stressed and more comfortable while at the doctor’s office.