It’s no surprise that most of our feline friends aren’t particularly fond of the vet’s office. After all, what cat wants to be poked, prodded, and probed in the presence of unfamiliar people and pets? Use these tips from a Portland, OR veterinary professional to try and keep your cat calm during her next office visit.
Many cats become anxious before veterinary appointments because they associate their carrier with one thing: a trip to the vet! Use your cat’s carrier often and go on short trips so that she becomes acclimated to the carrier ahead of time. Give her plenty of tasty treats during her carrier ride to help her associate good feelings with the experience. With luck, your cat will come to realize that the carrier doesn’t only result in anxiety and stress.
Just as your cat may associate bad feelings with her carrier, she’s probably not too keen on the car, either. Try going on short car rides, securing your cat safely in the carrier while doing so, in order for your cat to become desensitized to riding in your vehicle. You can go on short drives around the block or simply sit with your cat in the car while it idles in the driveway.
Here’s a fun tip for helping your cat remain calm during veterinary visits: try setting up mock examinations at home. Place your cat on a tabletop in a quiet, well-lit room, supporting her with one hand and offering treats as you go along. Next, poke and prod her gently to simulate the sensations she may feel during her real office visit. Perform these fake exams several times in the weeks leading up to your cat’s appointment, and she’ll hopefully feel far less anxiety when the real thing comes along!
It’s highly recommended that you keep your cat secured in her carrier while in the waiting room. Not only will this prevent your cat from darting away, she’ll most likely feel much safer in the comfort of her own carrier. Bring along a few of your cat’s favorite toys, a soft blanket to line the carrier, and several cat treats to help your cat remain calm.
Does your cat need veterinary attention? Do you have further questions on Fluffy’s healthcare needs or behavior? Make an appointment to see your Portland, OR veterinarian today.