Take these steps to help reduce stress when preparing for your veterinary visit
1. Rehearse clinical examinations at home: Handle the paws, look into the ears, open the mouth and feel over the legs and body.
2. Leave the carrier out on a regular basis, not just the day of the veterinary visit: Put favorite treats in the carrier to make the carrier an inviting spot to visit.
3. Adapt cats to carriers: Take kittens and cats on occasional short car rides, beginning at an early age if possible.
4. Spray or wipe the inside of the carrier with Feliway, a feline phermone meant to relax the cat. If you call in advance of your trip, a Westgate Pet Clinic team member can mail you a Feliway wipe. Learn more about Feliway
5. Notify the veterinary team in advance if your cat may be easily upset. This will allow us to better prepare for your visit, for example putting you directly into an examination room when possible.
6. Bring items in the carrier that carry a familiar scent such as favorite bedding and toys. Hard sided carriers with a removeable top are ideal for veterinary visits because we can remove the top and allow the cat to remain in the bottom half of the carrier during the exam.
7. Understand the effect of your own anxiety or stress on the cat. Remain calm and reduce any outward display of fear and anxiety.
8. Some cats may benefit from a sedative before the veterinary visit. Consult with your veterinarian if you think this option would be appropriate for your cat.
For more tips, read the AAFP Brochure: Getting Your Cat to the Veterinarian
Video Resource: Clicker training your cat to get into the carrier
Westgate Pet Clinic also offers "Quiet Cat Appointments". These appointments are by request and are offered Monday-Friday between the hours of 10am-3pm. When you arrive, call the clinic and a team member can meet you in the front door and escort you downstairs to our Quiet Cat Room. This way your cat never needs to encounter another patient, canine or feline.