Cats Scared of Vets - The Quickest and Easiest Ways to Stress-Free Vet Visits
Let’s be honest for a second here: nobody really likes going to the hospital. That applies not only to humans but also animals.
Cats especially become hypersensitive when the time to pay the vet a visit comes around. But here’s the thing: it’s not just the veterinarian scaring the cat. It’s everything—your actions, the process, and the surroundings. All these things are unfamiliar, which is why kitty’s instinct to fight and escape is triggered.
Fortunately, this is a problem that has simple solutions. While the whole process of getting your cat as calm as possible before and during the checkups may take some time, you can rest assured that in the end, your efforts will be rewarded. Your cats scared of vets will be able to come and go to the animal clinic without any pain for either of you.
How to Reduce Stress for Cats Scared of Vets
How exactly do you get your cats scared of vets acclimated? Here are six simple tips you ought to follow:
Grab a Friendly Carrier
Cats generally regard carriers as boxes of doom. This is because they are often forced inside the boxes when going for a vet visit and are left wondering nervously about the imminent danger that awaits them. To ease your cat’s worry, it is best to get a secure cat carrier. It doesn’t matter if it’s the old-school plastic type or a soft bag. What’s important is that it allows easy access from the top and lets veterinarians examine your cat without completely hauling her out. This way, your cat will have a thing and a scent she’s familiar with throughout the examination process.
Turn the Cat Carrier Box of Doom into a Safe Enclave
Cats immediately associate their carriers with the horrendous animal den with weird people when the carriers are only brought out for that specific purpose.
Instead of instilling fear, what you need to do is make the carrier a part of your cat’s everyday life. Bring it out in the open, put a cushion inside, and entice your cat into it with treats. You can also sprinkle catnip in and around it, and play with your cat once she’s inside, making sure you are using her favorite toys.
Go on Leisurely Road Trips
Unlike dogs that are often brought in cars for vacation or simply to go shopping, cats are unfamiliar with the huge roaring machine they and their carriers are placed in when going to the vet clinic. This new loud thing further makes them anxious and scared.
The easy solution here is to get them accustomed to the drive. For the first day, bring your cat and her carrier inside the car. Leave her there for a couple of minutes before bringing her back inside the house. After several days of this, get her in the car and go for a quick drive around the block. After that, you can go for drives around the city, making sure there are no stops in between. Eventually, your cat will become at ease going in and out of the car and at home with it while in her carrier.
Offer Treats for Good Behavior
You can also enhance the positive aspect of the veterinary visits by offering cat treats. That means every time your cat goes into her carrier for the trip as well as after she gets down from it after the checkup, you will reward her with her favorite munchies. This way, what was once a dreary experience will become one that signifies great food in exchange for doing nothing.
Schedule an Off-Peak Appointment
Cats are sharp; they easily pick up scents and emotions lingering in their surroundings. What you want is to get an appointment at the least busy times of the day and week. This way, the wait will be short and there will be fewer hostile smells to aggravate your cat.
A vet visit doesn’t only take toll on your cat. It does on you, too, so don’t go on an appointment with an empty stomach. Regardless if it’s a 5-minute check-up or a full body examination that spans hours, you will need enough energy to maintain your composure and reassure your cat, through simple talk and petting that everything, is okay.
Many cats scared of vets are only afraid because they were exposed to the negative facets of the checkup exclusively. Once you are able to make them see that the supposed evil things don’t actually pose any harm, your cats will feel more secure and perhaps even happy to go to the animal clinic
Are you cats scared of vet visits? Tell us your method for reducing their stress and assuring their safety in the comment section below!