Cats are very easily stressed out by loud noises, unfamiliar smells, and sudden strange movements. A vet clinic can be a scary place for a cat with having to be in the car, hearing dogs barking, vacuums going, machines beeping, etc. We know how important it is to keep your cat as low stress as possible, that’s why we do everything we can to make our vet clinic a safe and welcoming place for felines! To start, we have one exam room that we try to use exclusively for cats. This keeps the dog smells at a minimum for our scared cats. In this exam room, we use a Feliway diffuser to release pheromones clinically proven to reduce stress. We also have Feliway spray and wipes that we can use on the cat’s crate to make them feel more safe and secure. We use a rubber mat on the exam table to help give our patients better traction and support while they are being examined.
There are also many things that owners can do to prepare for a stress free vet visit! First, start by getting your cat used to their crate. Try feeding your cat in the crate and keep soft blankets inside for your cat to snuggle up in. Introduce the crate to your kitty at least 1 week before your visit to the vet. Drape a towel over the crate for transport to shield from scary sights and to muffle noises. When waiting in the lobby, keep their crate elevated and away from any other animals who may want to investigate. Go slow and speak calmly when taking your pet out of the crate. If possible, ask to schedule an appointment in the morning (before noon) when the office is a little bit quieter.
Next time you make an appointment for your cat to see the veterinarian, keep these ideas in mind and try to make the event less stressful for your furry friend!