cat sitting inside carrier

As veterinarians, it’s something we hear all the time. People want to know what’s the best way to get a scared cat to the vet, or how to get a skittish cat in their carrier. They worry about their furry little friends, because trips to the vet can often result in fear and aggressive behaviours.

Here at Fisher Glen Animal Hospital, we know that the right clinic can make all the difference in your pet’s experience. Transporting cats in particular can be extra stressful, and we want to give your cats as calm and relaxing an experience as possible. Do not hesitate to let us know if we can help you prepare for your visit in any way! In certain cases we may even recommend a light cat sedative that you can give to your pet at home before you leave the house.

Now with all that in mind, here are some tips on getting your cat to the vet!

Getting Your Cat Into Their Carrier

Make sure that you select a roomy, sturdy, well-ventilated carrier, and only EVER one cat per carrier! Ideally the top should come off as well as having a front door. Try to keep the cat carrier out at home somewhere where your cat likes to spend time, with some cozy blankets or clothing items that smell like you, so they consider it a comforting place. It can really help to alleviate the stressful process of getting a scared cat into a carrier when it’s a common-place environment for them. Leaving treats or toys in the carrier helps too!

We actually have one cat who likes to just hang out in his carrier from time to time! As we all know, one of a kitty’s greatest joys in life is finding new and interesting places to nap. Ours has taken to dozing off in his carrier during the day, in between his frequent naps in random drawers and cardboard boxes, of course!

When it comes to transporting the cat carrier, always carry it with your arms underneath so that it’s stable, and not swinging around like a ride at the fair.

Travelling With Your Cat: The Car Trip To The Vet

How to transport a cat by car is another question we often hear from pet owners. Cats are very sensitive to noise, and car trips tend to be much more stressful for them than for their canine counterparts. However, classical music (at a low volume) seems to agree with them in the car. Cover the carrier with a towel that smells like them, and you can also use cat “happy” pheromone spray to make the car trip less stressful. Do not feed them for a few hours before leaving, to help with car sickness, and to make them more likely to accept our treats!

Once at the clinic put them in the cat waiting area in the special pod that we have built for them, facing outdoors so they can see what is going on, but not the dogs. We also make every effort possible to see them in our cat exam room, which has lots of extra accommodations to make them feel more comfortable.

Returning Home

It is not unusual for your cat to need to decompress a bit when they arrive home. Let them exit the carrier at their own speed, and if you have other pets you may want to keep them separate for a short period. Rubbing your cat with your scent or the scent of the other cats may help take away the “vet smell,” and speed reintegration into the family.

If you have any questions or you would like to book an appointment with us here at Fisher Glen Animal Hospital, feel free to Contact Us Today!