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Albuquerque VetCo

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Tips to Make Your Cat’s Visit to the Vet Less Stressful

Cat_TrainingFearfulCatDid you know that cats are taken to the vet far less than dogs? The biggest reason for this is anxiety. Cats experience a lot of anxiety when visiting the vet, which can lead to a reluctance by cat owners to bring their cats into the clinic.

Here are some great tips to help reduce stress on your cat during their vet visit.

  1. Learn to love the carrier
    If you cat only goes into their carrier for vet visits, then the carrier becomes associated with anxiety.  Turn your carrier into a place of stress relief. Turn it into a bed for them and make it a place they can escape and get away from the hustle and bustle of the house. Leave it in a sunny spot so she will be more likely to lay in it. If the carrier is a stress free zone then she will be more comfortable getting into it to go to the vet.
  2. Car rides! You don’t have to reserve car rides for the dog, bring your cat too. Sometimes the car ride is stressful too, but if you take your cat in the car regularly she won’t think anything of it.
  3. Reduce waiting room stress.  Our walk-in shot clinic has a lot of animals in the waiting room. If this is too stressful for you cat, call and make an appointment instead of using the walk-in clinic. Another option is to bring someone else with you. Then one of you wait in the car with your cat and the other stay in the waiting room. Then come get the person with your cat when it is your turn.
  4. Handing your cat. The way the vet handles your cat can be upsetting to him. Lifting his tail, looking in his ears and mouth, and touching him all over can feel unfamiliar. Practice doing this at home. If your cat is used to be being handled this way, it won’t feel unfamiliar when the vet does it. Don’t forget to give him treats when you are practicing. Rewards are good behavioral reinforcement.

Even if your cat has anxiety, it is important to bring them to the vet for their vaccinations and checkups. If you are concerned, talk to your vet beforehand about her anxiety and your veterinarian may be able to offer some additional advice to quell the anxiety.