taking your cat to the vet can be incredibly stressful from getting them into the cage in their carrier in the first place through to traveling in the car to sitting in the waiting room it can cause an awful lot of stress and anxiety to your cat and also to you as their owner and I’ve certainly had plenty of owners come in with cats catches and bleeding and plasters on because of the difficulty of getting their cat to the vet so today I want to give you my seven tips for how to reduce your cat stress when you’re taking them to the vet Hi, I’m dr.
alex is the veterinarian behind our pets health.
Com where my aim is to help you and your cat live a healthier happier life so make sure you have subscribed if that’s something you’re interested in using the link down below and my first step to reduce stress is to choose a cage or a carrier that has got solid sides so that means that your cat could have come maybe peer out but they don’t feel like they’re being observed quite so intensely they can’t maybe seeevery thing that’s going on around them that could be causing them stress so you know that kind of includes dogs and things that might be in the waiting room now if you’ve got a cage with kind of wire sides or clear sides then you can just drape a towel or a blanket over the top it will just help your cat feel more sort more safe more secure and less exposed so yeah consider what the cat carrier that you’re using is like okay and tied to this my second step to reduce your cat stress and to just really make it easier to get them into their carrier and make them more accepting of that is to feed them in the carrier so it doesn’t have to be all the time but if you’re giving them the occasional meal in the carrier.
just means that that’s it’s their safe space it’s their space where they get to a reward so they’re more than happy to get in the carrier when it comes to going to the best you know very often people will get their carrier out and the cat will do a runner and won’t be seen for a day because they know that the cat carrier means that they’re going to go in the car they’re going to go somewhere that they don’t like but if instead they’re used to being fed in their cat carrier then actually it can make life very easy they’ll just walk in for you they’ll be more than happy and they’ll be quite content to be in there you know this again could have involves choosing the right carrier because it needs to have a door at the front if it’s a top-loading one then yeah your cat can jump in and get there but it might make it less likely that they’re going to do that.
so again choice of carrier is important here but consider feeding your cat regularly in their cat carrier okay so my third strategy is to use a pheromone spray so you might have heard me in my other videos about how to reduce a cat stress about something called fell away so fell away is the pheromone that is released when your cat rubs their cheek against an object and it’s a way of marking their kind of home territory their safe space so the Feli way spray is just in a little bottle that comes in a little pump and you can spray that in the carrier on whatever bedding that you’re using to line the carrier and it can just help your cat settle that a little bit more step number four to reducing your cat stress of taking them to the vet is to get them used to traveling in the car so that can involve taking them in lots of.
It’s very short journeys while you’re giving them treats it might be you’re just putting them in their carrier you’re placing them in the car and then taking them out so you then progress to putting them in the car and turning the engine on and then you just gradually increase the length of trip that that you’re taking your cat on you know you’re then going straight back home.
So they’re not then having something that they are also scared of at the end of that at the same time you can give them some high-value treats so you know whatever they like it might be the temptations that cats seem to like a little bit of chicken tuna whatever it is so just getting your cat used to the car can make a big difference because by the time you get to the vet what can it already be incredibly stressed just because of the journey if you can reduce that stress it will make their vet visit much easier much less stressful okay my fifth step to reduce the stress of a vet visit for your cat is to be on time for your appointment now this might go without saying but
you also don’t want to be too early because that could mean that you’re sitting in the waiting room for a long period of time and your cats getting more and more anxious there are more dogs kind of walking around and they’re just you know getting themselves worked up into a state so be on time equally don’t be late because it might mean that you miss your appointments and you have to kind of slotted in at the next available space now if you’re worried about your vet being on time and unfortunately
Sometimes we don’t run on time we have to deal with emergencies and we can’t kind of predict always kind of how busy we’ll be but you could always call ahead so especially if you live quite close you can call ahead and say you know is your is the appointment running on time so you know when to turn up also while you’re waiting you can keep your cat on you’re in a cage on your knee on your lap where you can raise them and lift them up on the chair next to you and that’s gonna bring them above the level of the dogs
You’re not going to have any dogs sniffing around equally you want to set the other side of the waiting room to the dogs if possible and some vets will either be kind of cats only clinics you get or they’ll have specific time slots when they only see cats so that’s another thing to think about and so my next step is to think about booking your cats in for a time when it’s going to be less busy and less stressful so that might be a cat only time it might go be at the start of the day when there are less people around um it might be at the end of the day just after lunch or some thing when there are fewer consultations being run it’s more likely that they’re going to run on time and your cats not going to be waiting for quite so long so consider the time of day you’re booking that appointment as well okay my final strategy for helping reduce the stress of a vet visit is to actually use medication.
Your cat is really anxious or if they become very aggressive at the vets then there are definitely things we can do for example and something like gaba pentin can be given and that can just help relax a cat and make them much more amenable to being handled make them much less stressed and that can make all the difference between a successful or a really difficult vet visits and vet’s examination and that again can have implications with how well your vet is able to examine your cats.
How well they’ll able to make a diagnosis or take any tests that they need so if your cat is really anxious and gets really stressed out consider talking to your vet beforehand about asking if there’s anything you can give your cat before you even put them into the carrier just to calm them down and to make the visit that much easier okay so those are my seven main strategies for reducing stress in cats when it comes to vet visits so I’ve also got a few other videos about reducing cat stress and I’ve got hand outs as well about all about cat stress and different ways that you can reduce stress in cats so I’ll leave a little link to that down below that’s a free PDF download the team can print off and and kind of work your way through a number of those different strategies so definitely check that out but until next time I’m doctor Alex from our pets health because they’re family.