Tips to Keep Your Cat Calm During a Vet Visit
Taking your cat out of their normal routine and environment can cause major stress – to you as cat parent and to the cat. Vet’s offices and visits can be hard for everyone involved with loud noises, various animals and weird smells, and then there is the exam itself. It’s enough to make you think about avoiding it altogether, but that’s really not in the best interest of your cat either. Here are some tips to keep everyone a little bit calmer during visits.
Talk to them before you bring in your cat to find out their policies about waiting rooms and how long your cat might need to be around other animals/noises. Also, picking a Vet that specializes or only deals with cats makes them more likely to be able to deal with scared or skiddish felines, be able to talk to them, calm them down, and make them more reassured during visits and exams. Your cat will be able to tell that they are around cat people and hopefully that will minimize freak outs.
Carriers and putting cats in them can be a huge concern and area of stress for pet parents. Starting early, make sure you leave the carrier out and open around your house so the cat can explore, play, crawl in and out on their own so they aren’t scared when it comes out for a trip outside. They will already be aware of the carrier. Leave toys in the carrier, treats, and a soft blanket or towel while it’s open and out and when you need to actually use it, leave the soft items in there for comfort. These can also be used once you are at the vet’s office.
Once in the exam room, put your cat’s carrier on the floor and open the door. Let them explore, or not, for awhile while you discuss issues or concerns or ask your questions with the vet before you introduce cat to doctor or vice versa. If your cat hears you being calm, talking normally, and just chatting with the vet, this will help keep your cat calm and allow them to acclimate to the environment on their own terms.
Don’t Make the Vet the Bad Guy
If you can, you should take the cat out of it’s carrier if they haven’t come out on their own. Don’t make the vet coax, drag, or deal with your scared cat or they become the evil one and your cat will remember for next time. Bring your cat out, cuddle, put something soft down on the exam table and place your cat there and then have your vet take over. If your vet has a lot of experience with cats, they should be able to take over and keep your little one nice and calm during an exam.
Remember, your vet wants to make sure you and your cat have the best possible exam experience. They should work with you to alleviate issues, come up with a plan when possible, and make the whole appointment as stress-free as possible. If you have questions or concerns, speak up and ask – they are there to help you and your cat and everyone just wants what’s best for the sweet feline.