Taking Your Cat To The Vet
Also, the dreaded cat carrier comes out, which can be a battle to get in and this is even before the car journey or the vet! But there are a few things you can do to help.
1. GET YOUR CAT USED TO THE CARRIER:
Before you even need to go to the vet: get your cat used to their cat carrier, either leave it out all the time so it becomes a normal item or get it out regularly and get your cat used to going in and out of it. Always keep the experience positive by providing treats as rewards. For more detail on how to do this well, read our article on everything you need to know when travelling with your cat.
- Getting your cat used to the motion of your car is useful. Start by taking them out on short round trips, keep this positive by rewarding them when they get home. This way they will not always associate being in the car with going to the vets.
- Spray their carrier with FELIWAY® CLASSIC, by doing this you are marking it as a safe and secure area.
2. IN THE VET CLINIC:
If you go to a Cat Friendly Practice® or a Fear Free Certified® Practice they may be set up already to help provide your cat with the best experience possible. But if not here are a few tips of things to try:
Place a towel/cover over your cat carrier. Cats will feel safer when hidden away, not being able to see what's going on around them. Spray the towel/cover 10 minutes prior to putting it over their carrier with FELIWAY® CLASSIC, this will mark it as safe and secure and help your cat relax.
- Cats like to be up high, some practices will have special ‘cat units’ which you can place their carrier on. If not, place the carrier on a chair...and make sure it is safely positioned.
- Sit in the cat waiting area. Lots of practices split their waiting room to have a cat friendly section. Here there will be no dogs trying to approach.
- Some vet practices will also have a FELIWAY® CLASSIC Diffuser plugged into the waiting room to provide any cat entering with a safe and secure message.
3. DURING THE VET CONSULTATION:
- Getting your cat used to being taken out of the carrier will make your vets life a lot easier. Again, practice this at home and make it a positive experience with rewards. Many cats prefer to be given some time to walk out themselves and at ground level, so try this first. Equally top opening carriers can be very useful. Click here to see how
- Some vet practices will have a FELIWAY® CLASSIC Diffuser plugged in their consultation rooms, this will naturally provide your cat with a reassuring message.
- Your vet may also spray their consultation table with FELIWAY® CLASSIC . This will directly communicate safe and secure messages to your cat as the pheromones are in a precise area.
4. WHILE IN HOSPITAL:
If the unfortunate time comes where you have to leave your cat overnight, there are a few steps that can make their stay more comfortable:
- Give their bedding/blanket and favorite toy to the vet or nurse to go in their kennel with them. The smells of home will help them.
- A hiding box can be really help them feel safe in their cage and many vets will have these already. Even a cardboard box (with 2 holes cut into its side) will do! So ask your vet if they want you to bring a box in with you.
- If your vet practice does not spray FELIWAY® CLASSIC into their kennels, provide them with your own supply and ask them to spray inside their kennel as often as possible but at least twice daily. FELIWAY® CLASSIC spray last up to 4 hours and the clinic should use 8 sprays every time they are spritzing up the kennel. Some practices will even have a FELIWAY® CLASSIC Diffuser plugged in, this ensures the cats are getting the reassuring messages constantly.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF MY VET PRACTICE IS A CAT FRIENDLY PRACTICE® OR FEAR FREESM?
Many vet practices will make their practice as cat friendly as possible but there are some that go through the full process in order to obtain the official ’Cat Friendly Practice’ status from the American Association of Feline Pracitioners. What this means is they have worked hard on many requirements to ensure their practice fits into certain cat friendly requirements. Fear Free Certified Practices embrace a similar commitment but also extend that commitment to dogs too. These care suggestions include:
PLUS much more. Visit Cat Friendly Clinic to find out more.