Veterinarian visits are a crucial part of our cat’s care. Many cats detest traveling and being in carriers. Given that the majority of cats have little to no experience traveling and that when they do, it usually isn’t in a positive way, it is clear why many cats don’t enjoy it. Although moving around can be difficult for your cat(s), there are lots of things you can do to make it less stressful and even enjoyable!
It All Starts at Home
The first step to a good travel to the vet is teaching your cat to like the carrier at home.
The first step is to choose the best carrier for your cat. In the carrier you selected for your cat, it should be possible for them to stand up, turn around, and have easy access to exit and entry points. A large circular aperture or both the top and front holes will make it simpler for you to place and retrieve your cat from the carrier. The carrier should be removable because dragging cats out of their carriers is improper and because it allows them to be checked out at the bottom of the carrier if they become frightened. The carrier should also be sturdy and secure.
Adapting the carrier in a positive way and educating your cat to enter it
Helping your cat associate the ideal carrier you bought for it with good things is the next step. This will prevent it from being interpreted as the menacing box that only appears in the garage when they go to the vet. To reward your cat as soon as it enters the carrier on its own, be sure to keep some of its favorite treats nearby at hand.
- In most cases, you should leave the carrier available for your cat to use where you spend most of your time. By being integrated into your house, the carrier is changed from a disturbing traveling cage into a relaxing place. If your cat is afraid of the cage door or top of the carrier, start with those parts first.
- Place food, toys, and catnip inside the carrier. This will encourage your cat to enter the carrier while still at home. While your cat is in its carrier, you can play with it to deepen your bond.
- Put some cozy sheets inside the carrier. All the scents of home will fill the carrier, giving it a cozy feeling. Consider placing something inside that also has your perfume on it.
- Give your cat a treat as it enters the carrier. The following tips will enable your cat to develop a love for its carrier.
- Show tolerance. Attempt not to chase or force your cat into the container. Encourage the cat for entering the carrier on their own after letting them decide whether or not to do so.
Make every effort to form a favorable opinion of the carrier. When your cat needs to be transported in a carrier to the vet, you can use treats and toys to encourage them inside so that they choose to do so. Instead of shoving them through the little door, which frequently doesn’t work well for you or the cat, you can take the carrier apart and carefully place the cat inside if you need to transport one of your cats.
Set up the car in a way that promotes serenity.
Everybody gets ready for challenging circumstances in their own unique way. Others of us could take a brisk walk around the block or groove out to heavy metal, while some of us meditate or appreciate classical music. Our cats, like other cats, rely on us to keep things quiet around them. Here are some methods you can use to make the travel for Kitty less stressful.
- Play cat-friendly classical music or purring noises. Excellent options include apps like Through a Cat’s Ear and Purr.
- Ten to fifteen minutes before your cat is expected to enter, spray Feliway, a calming pheromone, in the carrier and/or your automobile.
- Be cool and refrain from hissing at vocal cats because “shhh!” sounds very much like hissing to cats.
- Make sure the car is the right temperature before letting your cat inside.
Practice being a respectful cat carrier.
Yes, using a cat carrier properly requires certain actions to be taken. Support the carrier when you’re carrying your cat from the bottom, pressing one side of it against your chest rather than the handle. The idea of going on a roller coaster is not appealing to your pet. Your cat feels more secure and at ease when you carry the carrier this way. Since a carrier won’t collapse and the cat won’t accidently escape, it is safer to carry a cat from the bottom up.
Secure the Carrier Properly in the Vehicle
Many cat owners may be tempted to secure the carrier with the seatbelt in the front seat. Although we might think that being around us will make our cat feel safer, this isn’t the ideal option. On the floor of the automobile, behind the driver’s or passenger’s seat, we should instead set up carriers. This area is the safest because there is often the least movement there.
Cover the carrier with a Feliway-infused towel before leaving, leaving one side exposed. As a result, the cat has less visual stimulation and has the choice of hiding. The crate should have a non-slip surface inside and underneath it. Last but not least, to prevent motion sickness when driving, gradually increase your speed after a halt, provide more room between other vehicles to prevent abrupt braking, and take slow corners. Remember that allowing your cat to roam freely inside your car can be dangerous. This can interfere with your travel plans and cause an accident.
Steer clear of rushing.
When you visit, bring your cat’s medical records with you. It’s a good idea to leave a bit early as well, so that you can get there on time and without feeling rushed. When we’re rushing, our cats pick up on our fear and anxiety since we have a tendency to feel these emotions more.
Tell the workers at the veterinary facility when you get there.
Instead of immediately bringing your cat inside the vet clinic after arriving, phone the front desk to let them know you are in the parking lot. They can call you or SMS you as soon as the exam room is ready. It will decrease any pressures that might arise in a lobby (dogs barking, dogs walking by sniffing the carrier, etc).
Cats need five to ten minutes to feel comfortable and adapt to their new surroundings. If you can’t avoid waiting in the lobby, place your cat’s carrier on an elevated platform and cover the front and two sides with a pheromone-infused cloth.
Consult your veterinarian about scheduling your cat’s checkups during less hectic periods of the day. Your cat will be less likely to experience potentially disturbing sights, sounds, and smells when fewer people are present.
In addition to the previous guidance, you may train your cat to enter carriers on demand and accept trips in cars by breaking the behavior down into little steps and gradually raising the bar at a speed the cat is comfortable with. Ask your doctor about anti-anxiety and anti-nausea medications if your cat is particularly anxious while traveling.
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