Is bringing your kitty to the clinic a nightmare? Do you end up scratched and bleeding and still not have him in his carrier? This is an all too common problem for cat owners and the result is far too many kitties not receiving the veterinary care that they need.
We can make it easier for you and your kitty with a few simple steps:
- Make your cat love his carrier.
Leave the carrier out and open so your cat can go in and out whenever he likes. Put blankets in the carrier. Use pheromone wipes or sprays such as Feliway in the carrier and on the blanket. Put food and treats in the carrier and after he starts going in on his own close the door for brief periods of time. Then start taking your kitty for short rides in the car. Remember to never leave him unattended in the car.
- Choose the right type of carrier.
The carrier should be large enough for your cat to turn around in. It should have a door that locks and the top should be removable. You should not have to dump your kitty out of the carrier or stuff him into the carrier. Always use one carrier per cat.
- On arrival at the veterinary clinic do not place your carrier on the floor. Cats do not like to be on the floor and do not like other animals peeking at them through the carrier door. Place your carrier on a table or on the chair beside you if you are not put into an exam room right away.
- Let your cat explore the exam room if he likes. Offer him toys and treats and praise to help him relax.
- Your veterinarian likely has a cat specific exam room and will offer your kitty a blanket to sit on rather than just the cold table. They will also have treats and toys and will have a pheromone diffuser in the room. Pheromones emit “friendly scents” that only your cat can smell. They tell them to relax, everything is good here, and have no fear. Some clinics will have cat videos, such as birds or fish playing, that will interest your cat as well.
- If you are still having trouble, there are other products available such as Thundershirts for cats. These can sometimes make your cat feel more comfortable and secure. As a last resort you can ask your veterinarian for a prescription medication that you can administer at home previous to travel to help alleviate fear and anxiety.
- For more information please give us a call or visit wwwcathealthy.ca. This is a great resource for cats and their “staff” for all things feline related.