Hopefully these tips will make it less stressful getting your cat to the veterinary hospital.
Help your cat get used to their carrier in a positive way:
- Have the carrier sit out many days prior to appointment (In fact, it’s best to leave it out all the time!)
- Place carrier in a place the kitty already likes such as high places, or places where they sleep or rest
- Place your kitty’s favorite things around the carrier
- Play with your cat around the carrier
- Feed in or near the carrier
On the day of the appointment:
- Make the carrier smell good with the use of pheromones (Feliway™) or a soft clothing item with your scent on it. Be sure to apply the pheromone 15 min prior to using the carrier to allow adequate time for the alcohol in the product to evaporate.
- Avoid pulling your kitty from a hiding space to put him/her into the carrier
- Try to coax them in voluntarily using toys or food treats
- If they will not go in voluntarily, watch this video with additional tips using low stress ways to get them in the crate.
When in the car:
- Avoid loud startling noises and/or loud music
- DO use a crate; do NOT allow your cat to roam free
- Cover the crate with towel or sheet to try to block visual stimuli if they would otherwise be able to see out the windows.
- Make sure the crate is secured so it will not slide around or tip over.
Once you arrive:
- Keep your cat away from any dogs that might be in the lobby.
- Avoid setting them on the floor (cats feel safer when up high). Place them on the seat next to you or on the counter instead.
- Be sure the crate is facing away from any dogs (no visual contact)
- If there are a lot of animals in the lobby, or if it is noisy, request that we immediately place you in a quiet exam room.