As any caring cat owner knows, a routine visit to the vet is anything but routine. Regular examinations are the right thing to do, but try telling that to your cat. Stress levels run rampant. Emotions are on high. This can be especially true for senior cats that are showing signs of changes in their behavior. If only there was a way to help tame the entire vet experience. The following steps should help you plan and prepare the next time your senior cat is due for an appointment.
- Be sure to always use a carrier, or substitute with another safe container for safe transport.
- If your senior cat keeps refusing to enter the carrier, help get your cat acclimated to it by placing it among your home’s everyday environment. Place any treats, favorite toys or blankets inside to make it more comfortable and inviting for your cat. And be sure to keep them inside once your cat enters.
- Top-loading carriers are less stressful for your senior cat, as they allow for easier removal. And if needed, your cat can be examined while remaining inside the carrier.
Car Ride Tips
- Don’t limit car rides strictly for visits to the vet. Start taking your cat on regular rides in the carrier to help your cat get used to the motion and the surroundings of your vehicle.
- Avoid feeding your cat for at least one hour before transport to keep your cat from getting carsick.
- Give your cat a treat or verbal praise to reward good behavior in both the lobby and veterinarian’s office.
- Always speak in a soft voice to help your cat remain calm.
- Never resist a trained veterinary professional from handling your cat. This will raise your cat’s anxiety and cause him to bite or scratch.
- Be sure to discuss with your veterinarian ways to make your next visit even more comfortable for both you and your senior cat.