Cat Friendly Practice
As a certified Cat Friendly Practice, we’re dedicated to making your cat’s veterinary visits as comfortable and stress-free as possible! You’re also an important part of your cat’s healthcare team, and can be instrumental in helping your cat have more relaxed veterinary visits and improved healthcare. Here’s a few tips to help make veterinary visits easier for you and your cat:
- Most cats need time to adjust to the unfamiliar. The visit to the veterinarian is often difficult because the carrier, car, and the veterinary hospital are usually unfamiliar. Respect your cat’s need for time to become familiar with new situations, people and places.
- Stay calm. Cats can sense our anxiety or frustrations, which may cause them to become fearful or anxious.
- Help your cat become comfortable with the carrier
- The best carriers are inexpensive hardsided carriers that open from the top and the front, and can also be taken apart in the middle. An easily removable top allows a cat which is fearful, anxious or in pain to stay in the bottom half of the carrier for exams.
- Some cats like to see out, but many are less anxious when the carrier is covered with a blanket or towel to provide a place to hide.
- Make the carrier a familiar place at home by leaving it in a room where your cat spends a lot of time.
- Place familiar soft bedding inside the carrier. Bedding or clothing with your scent can make them feel more secure.
- Place treats, catnip or toys inside the carrier to encourage the cat to enter at home. Often, you will first see that treats are removed from the carrier during the night.
- It may take days or weeks before your cat starts to trust the carrier. Remain calm, patient and reward desired behaviors.
- If you still have trouble, you may need to assess the carrier itself.
- If you have a cat who is particularly fearful or anxious coming to the vet or becomes aggressive at the vet, your cat may benefit from a prescription anxiety medication, only given prior to veterinary visits. Often these kitties start having better memories of their visits and eventually no longer need their anxiety medications prior to appointments!
If you have further questions for us, we’re only a phone call or email away!