Getting cats to the veterinary clinic can be stressful.
Here are a few tips to help make the experience more enjoyable.
By nature, cats are most comfortable with familiar things. They require time to adjust to new situations. By remaining calm, this will also help cats to relax when in the exam room. They can sense if we are fearful or anxious.
Give rewards to encourage positive behaviour.
The entire journey starts with the carrier. We can help by having he carrier out all of the time. Have it out in the house, door open along with a nice comfortable towel/bed inside of the carrier. That way when your cat comes to the clinic they are bringing a bit of home with them. When you arrive, in the examination room, open the door and allow them the opportunity for your cat to come out and explore. If they are more comfortable in the carrier, they can stay right there. When cats are in a new environment it is a bit stressful for them, try to limit touch as this may heighten their anxiety.
For those cats that are very nervous and need some time to adjust to this entire process, other options are medications for the visit. We have had a lot of success with gabapentin. This does not sedate them so much that they can not walk, however it allows them to be less stressed and have a positive interaction.
Feliway is another product that can be used. It comes in a spray. You can spray the carrier 10-20 min prior to placing your cat in it, this will also help to calm your cat for the ride.