Some simple cat tips for those clinic visits to your veterinarian will make the trip – and visit – more pleasant.
Getting Your Cat Into The Carrier
- If you don’t already own a carrier, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind when buying one. Be sure it is convenient for you, your cat and your veterinarian.
- Keeping the carrier out in your home and putting treats inside helps you train your cat to see the carrier as a safe place.
- While there are many carriers on the market, be sure to choose one that has a top opening. Top-loading carriers are not only helpful in easily placing your cat into the carrier, but also allow the cat to be examined while remaining in the bottom half of the carrier.
- Always carefully remove your cat from the carrier. Never dump the cat out of the carrier.
Adjusting to Car Rides
- When traveling with your cat in the car, always put the cat in a carrier or other protected container. This is safer than allowing the cat to roam freely.
- To make your cat comfortable when riding in the car, take the cat to places other than the veterinarian’s office. Start with short rides at first, then gradually extend the length of the drive.
- Because cats travel best on an empty stomach, do not feed your cat for several hours before traveling.
- After each successful car trip, reward your pet with positive attention and treats.
Pleasant Veterinary Visits
- To make your cat feel at home in the veterinarian’s office,bring the cat’s favorite treats and toys with you.
- When at home, practice regular care routines like grooming,nail trimming and teeth brushing. This will make these activities more familiar at the clinic.
- Pretend to do routine veterinary procedures with your cat. You can do this by touching the cat’s face, ears, feet and tail. This should help your cat adjust to the veterinary hospital and any needed home care.
- Make trips to the veterinary hospital for visits involving no examinations or procedures, such as checking the cat’s weight. It gives the staff a chance to interact with your cat in a non-threatening way.
For more information on caring for your cat, visit the cat wellness web site.
Adapted from Feline Behavior Guidelines from the American Association of Feline Practitioners. ©2004 American Association of Feline Practitioners. Used with permission.