Feline Anxiety: De-stressing Your Cat’s Next Vet Visit
Preventive care check-ups for your cat are an essential part of good pet ownership. Cats need to visit the veterinarian at least once yearly in order to be thoroughly examined and so that your veterinarian can discuss with you a long-term plan to keep your pet as healthy and happy as possible.
Visiting the vet is a scary, intimidating experience for many cats, though. That is why Springbrook Animal Care Center is dedicated to being a feline-friendly practice, making vet visits a little less stressful for your pet and helping mitigate feline anxiety.
At Springbrook ACC, cats are kept separately from our noisier dog patients, making them feel a little more comfortable in a strange environment. Our staff and doctors also have lots of cat handling experience and have many tricks and techniques to help our scared patients feel at ease.
You can also help to make your cat a little less stressed about visiting the vet. Here are a few tips to try with your feline patient:
- Always transport your cat in a carrier. Cats are often very scared to be taken out of their normal environment, transported in a noisy car, and brought to a new building with strange smells and noises. Give your cat a safe place to “hide.” Use a hard-sided carrier with a removable top. This will allow your cat to remain in its carrier during much of the examination! This is also handy to get an unwilling participant into the carrier.
- If your cat does not like its carrier, be sure to bring it out well ahead of your appointment. Leave it in a place in the home where your cat feels comfortable. Put familiar objects such as bedding or clothing that smells like you inside. You might want to put treat or toys inside to encourage your pet to explore the carrier and associate it with positive things before your actual trip to the vet.
- Remain calm. Cats definitely will pick up on any anxiety you have. Be sure to give yourself lots of time to get to your appointment. Consider using a feline pheromone product such as Feliway to help to calm your pet.
- Don’t try to force things. Give your cat plenty of space and never scold or yell at your cat for not behaving like you expect.