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Making Vet Visits a Breeze for Your Feline Friend

Updated: May 25

It's not unusual to dread the potential stress and anxiety our feline companions might face during a trip to the vet. But what if there were ways to make these visits less daunting for you and your cat? Here are some of our tips to transform a potentially stressful experience into a smooth, positive adventure.

1. Carrier Comfort: Your Cat's Mobile Safe Haven

The journey begins with the carrier, your cat's temporary mobile home. Ideally, opt for a solid carrier with a removable top section. The sturdy design of these carriers gives your cat extra security during travel. It also makes our vet's job easier, as the top half can be removed easily during the consultation and your cat can stay in the base during the examination if they'd prefer.

A fluffy grey cat inspecting a cat carrier
A sturdy carrier that can have the top half removed makes it easier to examine shy cats

The carrier also shouldn't just pop up out of the blue on the day of the visit. Introduce it to your cat days or even weeks in advance. Place it in a common area, leave the door open, and encourage exploration and positive associations by placing treats or toys inside. Spraying the interior with Feliway®, a synthetic 'happy cat' pheromone, about 30 minutes before the journey can also make the carrier feel familiar and safe.

2. The Journey: Creating a Zen Travel Experience

The car ride to the vet is often where stress levels can peak.

  • Covering the carrier with a light blanket shields your cat from the flurry of unfamiliar sights and sounds, helping to maintain a calm environment.

  • Keep the car's interior quiet and peaceful, too – this means saving the rock concert for another time!

  • Don't forget to secure the carrier with a seatbelt so that it doesn't slide around.

A tabby cat looking out of the front of a cat carrier
Remember to secure the carrier well in the car and keep the noise levels low

3. At the Vet: Comfort in New Surroundings

Upon arrival at our clinic, you'll find a warm welcome awaiting you and your feline companion. Please feel free to elevate the carrier to a more secure height, perhaps beside you on a waiting room side table. Once in the consultation room, your cat can explore their new surroundings at their own pace. The room is designed to be a tranquil space, with mood-enhancing Feliway and soft, cuddly towels, adding an extra layer of comfort while your cat is being examined.

A fluffy tabby cat lying on a bench
Your cat is encouraged to explore the consultation room

4. Gabapentin: the game-changing anti-anxiety solution

Many very anxious cats will not allow examination or important procedures such as blood test collection. Administration of the medication gabapentin 2 hours before the visit can be very helpful in calming fearful felines. Our vets can assess if this is the right strategy for your cat. Feel free to contact us if you think this would be helpful for your kitty - and stay tuned for an upcoming blog post on the benefits of this very useful drug.

Remember, our primary goal is to ensure you and your cat have the most stress-free experience possible. Always communicate any concerns you might have – every visit should be as pleasant and calming as possible.

Taking these steps not only eases the stress for your cat but also makes the entire process smoother for you. So, next time you're preparing for a vet visit, remember these tips. With some preparation, together, we can turn a potentially stressful outing into a calm and manageable experience for your beloved cat.


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