Cats, by nature, don’t love riding in a moving car. Unlike a dog when you say, “who wants to go for a car ride?” and your dog comes running, your cat will run the other way when you take the carrier out of the closet. Regardless of your cats fear of riding in a moving vehicle, it’s important to take your cat for regular veterinarian visits.
Taking your cat to the vet can be stressful, for you and for your cat. We have compiled some helpful tips to help you ease the stress and anxiety you and your cat feel when you’re heading off to the vet:
- Use a cat carrier. Keeping your cat in a carrier in the car will keep him – and you safe. A cat who is loose in the car could get injured in an accident, could jump out an open window or could get under your feet or the gas or brake pedal. To make getting your cat into the carrier less of a struggle, get him accustomed to it before you go to the vet. Keep the cat carrier in a location where your cat can see it, sleep in it and even play in it or eat some meals in it. When your cat is used to the cat carrier at times other than going to the vet, getting him into it won’t be a hassle. Make the cat carrier a part of your cat’s daily life. If he only sees it when he’s going to the vet he will be impossible to get in as his claws will come out and he will put up a fight.
- Take your cat for rides, other than to the vet office. If you take short jaunts with your cat, perhaps once a week, the car will not seem like such a scary conveyance. You don’t have to go far, maybe just around the block. Talk quietly to your cat as you drive. Stop frequently and give her a treat so she will associate the car with the treat.
- Pack necessary supplies. When you go to the vet, or even for a short ride, you will want to bring along supplies that include: a portable litter box, litter, a leash and harness, water and food. You want to prepare for a car breakdown, a construction delay or other emergency and you want to be prepared in case your cat needs to relieve himself.
- When you take your cat into the vet, carry his carrier securely rather than letting it swing back and forth if you carry it by the handle. Once you get into the vet’s office, locate a quiet corner if possible and wait with your pet until it’s his turn to see the vet. Leave your cat in his carrier until he is in the examination room and the doors are securely closed.
- Your vet and the vet tech will be the ones who perform the examination, but if your cat will be calmer if you help hold onto him, ask your vet. If you don’t think you can hold onto your cat if he starts wriggling during the examination or when he’s getting vaccinations, you will want to leave the holding to the professionals.
- After the vet visit is done and you have securely put your cat back into the carrier and secured him into the car, head straight home. Never run errands with a cat in the car.
Here at PetFirst, we know accidents and illnesses happen to all pets. PetFirst is here for every canine and cat. From a small cold to big health problems alike.
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Keep your cat healthy for a lifetime, make sure he gets regular vet visits. Prepare ahead of time and get him accustomed to car rides and the carrier so the vet visit won’t be as stressful… for either of you!