Cat at the pet hospital being seen by a veterinarian.

tips for taking your cat to the vet

Cats are notorious for camouflaging their ailments. They’re stoic, noble creatures that often hide pain or sickness as long as they can. In other words: They’re pretty punk rock.  
But even though they’re hardcore, it doesn’t mean they don’t need medical care. In fact, preventive petcare is an important tool for staying on top of your pet’s health and wellness.

If you have anxiety around taking your pet to the vet, we offer some helpful pointers below. 

Tips for taking your noble cat to the vet 

In true punk rock manner, your cat might not go to the vet willingly or calmly. They might fight tooth or nail to avoid getting in the carrier, and if you don’t use a carrier, they might zoom around the car like a possessed toddler. We know that as your cat’s beloved owner, you might get agita when thinking about taking your sweet demon to the vet. Here’s what to do:  

  1. Pheromones to the rescue: If your cat gets stressed about vet trips, consider using pheromones to help chill their anxious energy. Common options include an in-room diffuser or manual spray. Consider spraying the towel you put in your pet’s carrier. These synthetic pheromones work by sending happy chemical signals to their brain. 
  2. Embrace the carrier: Cats are smart. When they see the carrier come out, they know something’s up and they might hide. The best thing to do is to leave the carrier out and open. Leave some treats or toys inside so your cat gets used to going in and out of it on their own. If you haven’t had a chance to prepare them, or they just don’t like the carrier, you can pick up your cat with the carrier out of view, and then place the cat in the carrier in the last minute, back end first. (This is best done with a second person.) A carrier will enable you to safely transport them to and from your house, car, and the vet. A less cumbersome carrier — one that is soft or smaller — might also help reduce stress. Interestingly enough, when it’s time to go home from the pet hospital, most cats are pretty quick to go into the carrier on their own. 
  3. Bring their favorite blankey: Does your cutie have a favorite blanket? Shirt of yours? Toy? Tiny stuffed animal? Put that in the carrier with them so they have something familiar. Oh, and don’t forget their favorite treats and a little spritz of pheromone. 
  4. Buckle ‘em in: Once you’re ready to drive to the vet, it’s highly recommended that you buckle the carrier in the car. This will help keep your pet safe if you should get into an accident or have any quick starts and stops.  
  5. Give them lots of love: This goes without saying, but be there for your cat throughout the entire process. Even if your cat is acting like a maniac, talk to them in a soothing manner and pet them if they’ll allow it. Your love and support can go a long way.  

If you have anxiety about taking your cat to the vet, let us know. Your Banfield veterinary team will help you and your furry friend through the journey. And for special needs cats, we have prescription solutions available too. Schedule your appointment today.