Cats tend to receive far less veterinary care than other household animals. Travel is a big stressor for many cats, and when a cat is stressed, their owner is stressed, too. The intense fear and anxiety related to traveling directly impacts routine care, as owners opt out of wellness visits (especially if cats appear and behave normally). With a little bit of effort, you can reduce your cat’s anxiety so he can get the veterinary care he needs.
All Quiet on the Feline Front
Cats are hardwired to minimize signs of pain or illness. This is a vital trait that keeps them alive in the wild—but it can keep them from getting important veterinary care when they’re domesticated.
Cat owners can mitigate this by staying on top of their cat’s regularly scheduled wellness exams. By adhering to a yearly or bi-annual exam, you prioritize early detection of age-related conditions, or other potential problems. A consistent approach means more opportunities to learn that we have their best interest at heart.
Crate training has far-reaching benefits. By acclimating your cat to their carrier, you impact how quickly you can evacuate your home in an emergency, among other important things. By quietly introducing your cat to their crate and positively reinforcing their exploration of it, you create a place for them that is uniquely theirs. Provide soft, squishy blankets, toys, and treats to seal the deal.
- Spray synthetic feline pheromone inside and around their crate to promote happy, calm feelings.
- Place their carrier in a quiet spot near the spot they typically prefer to nap, perch or play.
- Never force them inside their crate, or punish them for not entering it.
- If they feel safe and supported, they will grow curious about the crate and even elect to visit it for their mid-day nap.
Cat Stress at the Vet
By the time your cat’s wellness exam arrives, your cat might feel at ease inside their crate. Simply secure them behind the door and possibly cover it with a blanket.
Conduct several practice runs to reduce stress when it is time to actually travel to our hospital. Always reward your cat with praise, slow, soothing back strokes, and treats. Watch their body language closely and take their cues seriously. For example, cat stress at the vet rarely results in hunger, so treats may not be ideal. However, keep some on hand and offer them as soon as you return home.
On Your Cat’s Side
Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital is proud to be a certified Cat-Friendly Practice and part of the American Association of Feline Practitioners. We are dedicated to establishing and maintaining stress-free visits for all feline patients. We carefully handle them to reduce fear, and promote feline-centered strategies for overall safety and security. Your cat’s visit is designed with less time in the open lobby and more time in a quiet room far from any disruptions.
As your partner in feline health, we aim to reduce cat stress at the vet and assure you that your cat is in capable, compassionate hands. If you need help pivoting towards less cat stress at the vet, our team at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital is always here for you. Please call us at (732) 531‑1212.