Most every pet owner will agree that getting your pet to the veterinarian, at least once annually, for preventative services is a must do. So why then, if the average household owns more cats than dogs, do cats make it to the veterinarian less often? According to the AVMA in 2011, 44.9 % of cat owners did not take their cat to see a veterinarian, while only 18.7% of dogs were not taken to a veterinarian.
One reason for this is that the percentage of cat owners reporting their cat was too difficult to transport, was greater than that of dog owners. As written in Veterinary Practice News, “Fifty-eight percent of owners reported that their cats hate going to the veterinary clinic. The study found that most cats fear being placed into a cat carrier and transported by car”.
So here are some helpful hints of ways to get your scared cat into that terrifying carrier and into the vets.
- A very good first step is to find a veterinary practice that is cat- friendly; where the staff and the office provide a fear free and comfortable place for your cat to be in.
- An important tip that most people do not realize, is that cats are very intuitive and can tell when you, as their owner, are anxious about what is about to happen. Stay calm and act totally normal so they do not feed off of your energy.
- Leave the carrier out so your cat can get used to being around it. This way they do not see you take it out for one reason only…..going to the veterinarian. And when you leave it out, put something that they find comfortable inside, whether it be one of their blankets, an article of your clothing with your scent on it, whatever comforts them most.
- Once they are in their carrier and relaxing, offer some treats. Make it a happy place.
- One other tip to consider: using pheromone sprays or diffusers, such as Feliway, to help keep your cat calm and comfortable. You can spray in the carrier itself prior to your cat getting in so it has time to set in there. You can even spray it in your car beforehand.