Going to the vets is not your cats dream day out! Unfortunately for them going to the vets can sometimes mean uncomfortable procedures happening... an injection, trimming fur, nail clipping etc. Even just travelling to the vets can be extremely stressful for a cat! 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:
On the route 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.
- 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 Spray, 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 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 15 minutes prior to putting it over their carrier with FELIWAY Classic Spray, 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 OPTIMUM 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 OPTIMUM 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 Spray. 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 favourite toy to the vet or nurse to go in their kennel with them. The smells of home will help them.
- A cat hide can be really help them feel safe in their kennel 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. FELIWAY CLASSIC spray last up to 4 hours and so it will only require a couple of sprays a day. Some practices will even have a FELIWAY OPTIMUM Diffuser plugged in, this ensures the cats are getting the reassuring messages constantly. Find out how FELIWAY OPTIMUM works.
What does it mean if my vet practice is cat friendly?
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 International Cat Care. What this means is they have worked hard on many requirements to ensure their practice fits into certain cat friendly requirements. These requirements include:
- A cat only waiting room
- FELIWAY OPTIMUM plugged in
- Fully trained on the correct way to handle cats
PLUS much more. Visit Cat Friendly Clinic to find out more.