Tips for Traveling to the Vet with Your Cat

Taking your cat to the vet might not be the most fun part of being a pet owner, but it’s super important for their health. This blog is here to share some handy tips on making the trip a little easier for both you and your cat. We know that every visit to Mille Lacs Veterinary Group is an opportunity to ensure your cat is healthy and happy. If you have questions or need to schedule a visit, we’re just a phone call away.

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Making the Carrier Feel Safe

The carrier is often the first hurdle in traveling to the vet with your cat. To make it less scary, let your cat get used to the carrier as part of their everyday environment. Leave it open at home with a comfy bed inside. Occasionally drop treats or toys in it so your cat learns that good things happen there. The goal is for your cat to see the carrier as a safe space, not just the thing that comes out before a vet visit.

If they resist going into the carrier you can try to back them into it (instead of going head first). If this is still a struggle then tip the carrier up so the opening is facing the ceiling and gently lower your cat into the carrier. IF this is still a struggle take the door and top off the carrier, keeping the top on the floor right next to the bottom. Place the carrier opening against a wall and put your cat in the carrier then put the top on. Slide the door into place and reassemble the carrier.

Try Pheromone Spray

Using a pheromone spray, such as Feliway spray, can help make the ride more relaxing for your cat. Apply the spray inside the carrier and on a towel that you can use to cover the carrier during transport. Allow 15 minutes after spraying the pheromone so the alcohol carrier evaporates leaving just the pheromone behind.

The Right Time for Your Appointment

Choosing the right time for your vet appointment can make a big difference. Try to select a time when the clinic is less busy, so it’s quieter and there’s less waiting around. The ideal times are typically late morning to early afternoon appointments. This can help reduce stress for your cat and make the visit go more smoothly.

Familiar Scents

Cats are very sensitive to smells, and familiar scents can have a calming effect. Consider bringing a blanket or toy from home that smells like your cat or your house. This can help your cat feel more secure during the car ride and while at the vet.

Talk to Your Cat

It might sound silly, but talking to your cat in a calm, soothing voice can help reassure them. Cats pick up on our emotions, so staying relaxed and positive can influence how they feel. Tell them what’s happening and reassure them that everything is okay.

Additional Tips

  • Try to keep the cat carrier as level as possible when placed in the vehicle.
  • When you arrive at the clinic and are checking in try to keep your cat from having visual contact with any dogs or other cats. If possible place them on a chair or stand that is well away from other patients at the clinic. Try to avoid putting the carrier on the floor, as cats are most comfortable on elevated perches.
  • Don’t carry the carrier by the handle. Carry it in your arms so it is not swinging, making your cat feel more stable and secure

After the Vet Visit

After your vet visit, give your cat time to readjust to being home. Offer them their favorite treats or engage in a gentle play session to make their return positive. This helps them associate the trip with a happy ending.

Traveling to the vet with your cat can be a lot smoother with a little preparation and understanding. At Mille Lacs Veterinary Group, we’re here to support you and your cat every step of the way. Whether it’s your cat’s first visit or they’re an old pro, these tips can help make each trip to the vet a positive experience. For more advice or to schedule an appointment, please give us a call. Your cat’s health is our top priority, and we’re here to help make sure they receive the care they need in the most stress-free way possible.