3 Ways To Help Your Cat Adjust To Vet Visits

You have probably seen many videos of cats going to the vet. In some cases, they can respond to veterinary staff in an aggressive way or are paralyzed in fear. To minimize this response, it is imperative to start acclimating your cat when they are kittens.

Use A Harness

It is best to start harness training when your cat is a kitten, but some older cats respond well to wearing a harness. Typically, owners place the harness on their kitten and allow them to go through their day normally so they become accustomed to the feeling. As your kitten becomes accustomed to wearing a harness, you can try adding the leash to the harness and see how they respond. Guide them around the house and allow them to play and explore while somewhat restrained by the leash. Your next step is to take them out, whether it is the hallway of your apartment building or outside. Frequent exploration and small steps can prevent them from becoming overwhelmed and anxious at new sights and smells, which can make vet visits a little easier.

Create A Comfortable Carrier

Your cat carrier can also be an intimidating environment if your cat only uses it when it is traveling to the vet. Make the carrier accessible throughout the day by keeping the door open. Adding fun and familiar items will also make the carrier less frightening. A blanket with their scent, toys, and a treat can remind them the carrier is not a bad place. Once your cat feels comfortable regularly entering the carrier, try closing the door periodically to see how they react. Over time, you should be able to pick the carrier up and carrying it around without a fight. You should also prepare your cat for car rides in their carrier, even if it is simply driving them around the block a few times.

Meet New People

To minimize the aggressive or panicked response at the vet, it may help for your cat to be exposed to different people. If you have friends or family who like cats, allow the cat to interact with them to see how they respond to visitors. Usually they will slowly approach the visitor and sniff them, but will quickly warm up if the person seems friendly. If they are constantly fearful of visitors, you might need to try different tactics to help them feel more comfortable around different people. You might ask your visitor to give the cat a treat or shake a favorite toy and see if your cat responds positively.

Although cats seem to respond negatively to vet visits more than other pets, it is often because they are not accustomed to various experiences, such as using the carrier, car rides, and strange people. Acclimating them to unique experiences earlier in life can make vet visits less of a nightmare. For more information, contact specialists like Reabe Kevin C.