Cinema Veterinary Centre
Creating Low-Stress Vet Visits for Your Kitty!
Posted on Sep 13, 2016 by kaitlin
Cinema Veterinary Centre strives to create a low-stress atmosphere for both you and your pet! If you have a kitty, we all know they can get very stressed the moment you bring out the carrier at home! Here are a few tips, thanks to DVM360, to help create a low-stress veterinary visit for you and your cat!
1. Transport your cat in a carrier: This is extremely important as cats are often startled by loud noises or other pets and you might not be able to hold onto them if they try to get away.
2. Choose a hard, plastic carrier with a removable top: Some cats (most cats!) resist being put into a carrier. Having a removable top makes this easier! It eliminates the need to force that cat inside, which makes the cat - and you - more relaxed. Also, when at the vet, the staff can pull the top off and leave your kitty (for most treatments) in the bottom half of the carrier where their familiar smells are.
3. Make the carrier a favorite place: Some cats come to love their carriers. When cats see their carriers as safe, enjoyable places, they are happy to go into them and feel more safe in a scary place (like the car). You can help your cat love their crate by leaving the carrier out in the house so they can access it at any time. You can make the carrier inviting by putting a favorite blanket or toy in it. You can also lay a few treats inside the carrier from time to time.
4. Have a few "happy visits" to the vet! Not every visit has to be for an exam or vaccine! Bring your kitty by to say hi, get a weight, have a snack, meet the ladies, etc! This free-of-charge "happy visit" allows your cat the chance to get used to the sounds and smells of the clinic without having to get poked or prodded!
Positive reinforcement is the best way to modify feline behavior, so making car rides and veterinary visits pleasant will help decrease your kitty's anxiety!
We also use Feliway pheromone spray in our exam rooms for cat exams to help calm kitties. By mimicking the cat's natural facial pheromone, Feliway creates a state of familiarity and security in the cat's local environment. As a result, Feliway can be used to help comfort and reassure cats while they cope with a challenging situation. It comes in spray, diffuser or wipes!