Although cats have often been referred to as America’s “Most Popular Pet,” with an estimated 94 million living in U.S. households, they receive less veterinary care than their canine counterparts. As part of June’s Adopt-A-Cat Month®, American Humane is working to solve some of the unique challenges and issues facing cats and cat owners. One issue that came up repeatedly among families with felines? Taking their cat to the vet.
We reached out to American Humane Veterinarian Dr. Kwane Stewart for tips on making your cat’s next visit to the veterinarian easier on you and them:
- The carrier is always the most daunting part of the veterinary appointment journey. Getting your cat into his or her carrier without injury (to either of you) always crosses your mind. Task number one is to get them comfortable with the thought– not frightened – of the carrier. Start by bringing the carrier out in the open days in advance of the scheduled trip to the vet.Use plenty of treats to entice your cat into entering the carrier and try to make it feel like home. Put blankets or toys inside, using anything that is familiar to your pet.
- Synthetic pheromone sprays, which have been shown to decrease stress in many felines, are another option that may make your cat’s trip to the vet easier. Before your appointment, ask your veterinarian if synthetic pheromone sprays are right for your cat.
- Give it a trial run! Before the actual veterinary visit, try placing your cat in the carrier and going for a short car drive.
If none of these tips are working with your cat and they are still exhibiting high anxiety when you’re trying to get them to the veterinarian’s office, ask your vet about sedation for the trip – or see if they do home visits! For more tips on how to make your pet’s first veterinary visit a success, visit this blog post by Zoetis Petcare, one of American Humane’s trusted partners.