Veterinary visits are an important part of caring for your feline companion. With a kitten you can start preparing for these visits by giving a head to tail exam during play time. This includes rubbing their neck and belly as well as gently looking in their mouth and ears to help them grow accustomed to your touch. Brushing their coat and trimming their nails can be a part of this experience. Using patience and treats this bonding time will yield rewards as your kitten enters into adulthood.
A great way to alleviate stress for your kitten is to make the carrier a safe haven. The carrier should be made of hard plastic with top and front openings as well as easy open sides. It can be tucked into a quiet corner with the door removed and have familiar smelling bedding and treats inside. Your kitten should feel completely at ease with this travel device. If it can’t be left out all the time try to place it out for at least two weeks before the trip to the veterinarian. If treats are placed in the carrier you will find that in the morning the treats are generally gone. This tactic allows your kitty to become familiar with their carrier instead of only seeing it when a vet visit or car ride is to ensue.
Most cats do not care for car rides and associate this with their veterinary visit. Consider taking Kitty on short joy rides peroidically. Some kitties do get car sick so it is advisable to not go on a ride when your kitty has had a full meal. Once your kitty is used to the carrier and the short rides the only stress factor will be the sounds and smells at the vets’ office.
Once in the vets’ office holding the carrier in your lap, talking to your kitty, and haveing a towel that you can place over the carrier to provide privacy will help with stress; other pets coming near your companion may upset them. Once you are escorted into an exam room with your companion you may remove any covering. It is advisable to let your feline companion relax in the safe haven until a veterinary team member greets and assists you.
These simple steps can help make your feline companion’s visit (and yours) stress free and enjoyable.
In case of an Emergency: If your companion is not acclimated to the carrier and he or she must be transported immediately, place the carrier on the floor in another room. Open the top of the carrier or if you do not have a top opening carrier place the carrier on its end and open the door. Gently wrap your companion in a towel, and carry them to the carrier (not letting them see the carrier). Place them bottom first into the opening and close the door.