Here are some easy steps you can take to keep your cat calm during a vet exam, whether you bring your cat to the vet or have a vet come to your home.
- Locate a veterinarian who is familiar with cats: Vets, like everyone else, are people, and some are more at ease with cats than others. (After all, not everyone has a preference for “dogs” or “cats!”) Before proceeding with the exam, make sure you visit a vet who spends time talking to and getting to know your cat. You could even go to a cat-only clinic if one is nearby.
- Schedule your appointment during non-peak times: “Ask the clinic when the least-busy times are and schedule accordingly,” advises Dr. V, a small-animal veterinarian and Pawcurious blogger. “The less time spent waiting, the better.”
- Bring a soft surface for your cat to stand on: “Think about bringing a towel or yoga mat to place on the exam table,” suggests Dr. V. “Stainless steel is popular among veterinarians because it is easy to clean, but it is also cold and slippery,” says the author. “Providing the cat with something to grip could make a big difference.”
- Bring items to distract your cat: Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM, of About.com’s Veterinary Medicine column, suggests packing a goody bag with treats, catnip, and your cat’s favorite toys. Bring a towel that smells like home with you if your cat likes to hide so she can rest her head beneath it.
- Experiment at home: Many veterinarians advise touching your cat at home in the same way that your vet might during a basic exam. “Look in your cat’s ears; open his mouth – gently and only if you know how to do it; and handle his paws – even introducing a clipper and tapping on a claw – to help make these health-examination basics less scary over time,” Dr. Crosby says.
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