Going to the doctor is a routine part of life for people. We don’t like to visit them, and they usually don’t have much to say unless you have something serious going on with your body. Imagine how your cat feels, though, when you take them to the vet. They have just as much stress, except they cannot communicate with the vet and they have no clue why they are there. This can be extremely stressful for your cat and also for you. To make it less stressful, prepare yourself early and take a few steps to help get your feline friend ready for the visit.
The most stressful part of going to the vet is transportation. The carrier you take them in can set the tone for the entire trip. Fighting your cat to get them in a carrier is possibly the worst idea you could have. Instead, choose a carrier that is easy to get your cat in and out of, or one that they can get themselves in. After choosing a carrier, leave it out at your house and let them roam in and out of it. This will make it easy to coax them into it later and make your cat more comfortable with the carrier in general. Do not, however, let your cat wander free in your car. This can be extremely dangerous for both you and your cat.
Next on the list of stressors is the actual visit with the vet. To avoid problems here you should bring along some favorite treats and toys from home to play with your cat while you are waiting on the vet to come in. You can also help make your cat more comfortable by going through some of the actions that a vet may take during an exam to see how your cat reacts. This includes touching their ears, toes and mouth, and gently squeezing different areas of their body.
You may also want to call ahead and check with your vet to see if you need to bring anything from home or whether vaccinations may be necessary. Many vets will ask to see a stool sample, for example, especially if you have any concerns with worms or digestive issues. Plus, if you know ahead of your appointment that your cat will need to be poked with a needle for vaccines or to take blood samples, you can also better prepare yourself and pack extra treats or thick clothing to protect yourself from scratching.
The more comfortable your cat is and the better prepared you are, the easier the vet visits will be for you. Your cat can also detect your stress, and if you are feeling stressed, so will they. By being as well prepared as possible, both you and your cat will be more relaxed and ready for the annual vet visit.