Taking Your Cat To The Veterinarian: Ways To Help Calm Your Cat And Make The Experience Less Stressful

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16 Responses

  1. Thankfully I have a cat that believe it or not, doesn’t terribly mind going to the Vet. One thing I have done for years (and started doing it for my first cat), is that I leave the carrier out ALL of the time. Not weeks ahead, not a few days ahead but ALL of the time. Because it is a fixture in our living room, Cody often naps in it and does not associate it with going to the Vet at all. Not a fan of Feliway because I do not think it works, I think it is a gimmick. My Vet has it in their office and I see no difference in Cody with it whatsoever. As for the type of carrier, the best one that I found opens from the top and front (without having to remove the top half). Having a carrier that opens from the top is a godsend for the Vet and for me. For me it means I can put Cody in it feet first, without having to screw off the top and then screw it back on. The top door just opens and all is good. For the Vet it means that he doesn’t have to bother with a top half either. It’s a “win-win” for all.

  2. Hi Caren. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I think that it is a great idea to leave the cat carrier out all the time so that your cat will feel comfortable with it. As I mentioned in my post, Feliway may not work for all cats, but it works very well for many cats. I have had a number of clients tell me that Feliway worked very well for their cats for various problems including anxiety and urinating outside the litter box. Feliway worked well for my cat when she was very scared when I first adopted her. She was afraid of my dog and stayed under the bed all the time. I plugged in the Feliway plug-in and within 24 hours she was out from under the bed, relaxed and sociable, and she never went back.

  3. Yael Ben-Ari says:

    Thank you for this. We use Feliway during times when fireworks are set off and when large numbers of people visit, but we have never used it before vet visits. This is a good idea.

  4. Thanks for sharing, Yael!

  5. Ali Isaac says:

    I wish I’d heard of Feliway when I had cats! It was a struggle getting my cats into their carriers and I hated listening to their piteous cries all the way to the vet and back. I think if I had cats again, I would leave their carriers out all the time so they could use them for naps and not be afraid. I also think covering them with a towel is a great tip.

  6. Thanks, Ali. My cat Chessie loves boxes and snooping around in places like closets, so I think she might like having her carrier available all the time. I just put it out for her to see if she will eventually hang out in it on occasion like she does when I leave boxes out for her. 🙂

  7. dexterkelly says:

    I don’t have cats but this article had some great advice!

  8. 15andmeowing says:

    Excellent post. I love Feliway, it is miracle worker.

  9. Thanks for sharing, 15andmeowing!

  10. Valentine says:

    Thanks for that, Rachele! Mom leaves my carrier in her bedroom closet with the door open and blanket in it, which allows me to use it if I want at any time and not just for going to the vet. In this way, I know it is place I can go to to feel safe. She also, as you suggest, puts a blanket over my carrier when she takes me to the vet to calm me. It also helps to keep out cool drafts.

  11. Thanks for sharing, Valentine! I put my cat Chessie’s carrier out for her today and put some pieces of her cat kibble inside. She LOVES to eat, so I suspect that she will be venturing into her carrier soon!

  12. Robin says:

    My kitties seem to know when we are going to the veterinarian. I do take them out to other places (like the pet store) and they don’t mind. The best thing I’ve found when bringing the kitties to the vet is to make sure I have treats on hand.

  13. That’s great that your cats are fine with traveling in the car, Robin. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Lori Hilliard says:

    Thanks for the excellent tips. My senior cat recently went blind, and we’ve been making many trips to the veterinarian’s office. Although I’ve always tried to make it easier on her, you had some great ideas I hadn’t thought of!

  15. Thanks, Lori! I am happy to have given you some ideas for making trips to the vet less stressful for your cat (and you!).