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Stress-free Vet Visits for Your Cat

Posted: 08/02/2023 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Behavior , Cat , Pet care

There are a few things that chill me to the core: Airplane turbulence, being in a strange place alone in the dark, and taking my cat to the vet. Of the three, that last one really gives me the most stress. And that’s because my cat is stressed and doesn’t act like my cat but like a feral animal off the street. It’s scary and it’s heartbreaking. If you can relate, keep reading to learn exactly how to create stress-free vet visits for your cat.

stress-free vet visits for your cat

Remain Calm Yourself

Admittedly, I would become stressed as I watched the minutes tick by, knowing I would soon have to try and get my cat in his carrier without hurting him or getting shredded myself. I would be a nervous wreck and of course he would feel this energy, which would only exacerbate his own stress.

Calm MUST start with YOU. Be as peaceful as you can and try your best not to get frustrated. And of course, never yell at your cat from frustration. Also, leave PLENTY of time for you both to get ready, in the carrier and in the car so you make it to your appointment on time. 

The bottom line is, the more calm you are, the more calm your cat can be. 

Make Their Carrier a Familiar Space

Most cats generally only see the cat carrier once or twice a year, and then they are shoved in it without warning, thrown in the car, and driven to a place where they will be poked and prodded. Make your cat’s carrier a space they actually like and happily spend time in by leaving it out for them all year. Take the little cage door off or prop it open and put a blanket or bed in there. Even if they never lay in it, their carrier will become a very familiar sight to them. Come vet visit day, the sight of the cat carrier won’t alarm them.

Use Feliway

Feliway is a synthetic version of the pheromone cat mothers produce when their kittens are nursing. This pheromone keeps the new kittens nice and calm. Feliway does the same. I can tell you from personal experience, this stuff is a game changer. It comes in a spray and plug-in diffuser. Get the spray and about 15 minutes before you need to get your fur baby in their carrier, liberally spray the carrier and any bedding in there with this stuff. Also, spray the inside of your car. You can even squirt a little on your fingertips and gently rub it on your cat’s fur. If you’ve never used Feliway before, you will be shocked and amazed at how this stuff can keep your fur baby calm.

stress-free vet visits for cats

Keep Chaos Away

Set yourself up for success by keeping your fur baby away from any chaos before their appointment. This means keeping them in a quiet area of the house away from screaming kids or other pets who may upset or agitate them.

Schedule Their Appointment for Slow Times

My vet gave me this tip a while back and it has really helped us. Ask your vet and/or front desk people when their slowest days/times are. Bringing your cat to the vet when it is less busy and the waiting area is less filled with other stressed-out animals can really help.

Ask Your Vet About Prescription Medications

Some cats will be much calmer just by yoou remaining calm and maybe spraying a little feliway. Others, however, are far more challenging and the only way you may safely get them to the vet is to administer some sort of prescription medication that will 100% chill them out. We’ve had to use Gabba on some of our cats and it was a Godsend. Gabba and other medications act like major tranquilizers on cats. Your cat will still be awake and alert, but they won’t really care much about what is going on. If you think your cat would benefit from this type of medication, speak with your vet.

How to help your cat be calm at the vet

FInal Thoughts

Taking anxious cats to the vet is simply no fun. For you or your cat. Try some of these tips out for stress-free vet visits for your cat. And if you think your cat is a good candidate for a prescription medication, ask your vet for advice.

Pet Insurance Helps Create Stress-Free Pet Parents

Taking our pets to the vet can be incredibly stressful, particularly when it comes time to pay the bill. This is especially true when we find ourselves at an emergency animal hospital with an unexpected accident or illness and a bill that costs thousands of dollars.

Pet insurance gives pet parents peace of mind. Monthly premiums can start as low as $10 and you can receive as much as 90% reimbursement. If you’ve been thinking about getting pet insurance but haven’t pulled the trigger yet, take a couple of minutes to get a free, customized quote from some of the top providers in the country.

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The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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