Whether your cat is a planned family member or an unplanned visitor or a delightful present, It’s important to ensure you become part of your pet’s healthcare team.
Because our pets age quicker than we do, preventative care check-ups are a very important part of a healthy lifestyle which requires regular vet visits.
Your Vet team can often detect health conditions that may influence your cat’s health prior to it becoming a significant issue so they can manage or cure them before pain sets in.
Ask your vet care team for an examination report after each visit to recap the healthcare plan for the next 5-10 years.
Transporting Your CAT to the Vet Clinic – 5 Simple steps
Many owners like yourself are reluctant to visit the vet clinic in case they cause undue stress to their cat or break their unconditional bond. Reduction in clinic visits means reduced preventative healthcare, diagnosis of early disease and consequently reduced Quality of Life.
These 5 simple steps will help you transport your cat to the vet clinic with minimal fuss:
- Consider purchasing a brand-new comfortable carrier of adequate size.
- Learn and teach your cat to LOVE their new carrier.
- Place your cat’s accustomed bedding and toys in the carrier, it will help associate it as a positive place to be in and they will feel more secure and relaxed.
- Practice lifting and placing the carrier in / out of your car prior to the vet visit and remember to cover the carrier with a blanket and seat-belted it into the car.
- Breathe, Think Positive, Relax, Stay Calm and Leave the rest to your Vet care team.
Which type of Carriers are Most Suitable?
- Use carriers made out of robust plastic material that prevents escape and easy to clean.
- Carriers with lockable door allows your cat to be stroked and treats to be offered through the secured door while preventing breakout.
- Plastic carriers with roof access offer an alternative entry and exit if your cat is anxious or uncomfortable.
- Having slats on the side of the carrier allow air ventilation and the opportunity to feed your cat treats.
- Carriers which enable you to remove the top half allows your cat to be examined in the base of the carrier eliminating handling.
Training your Cat to use a Cat Carrier – 4 Stage approach
The aim is for your cat to associate the carrier with a positive and happy experience and to enter and exit the carrier voluntarily.
Training your cat to use the carrier can be undertaken in 4 easy stages:
- Stage 1 – Place a familiar and comfortable blanket near the cat carrier and reward your cat for relaxed behaviour on the blanket – this teaches positive association.
- Stage 2 – Progressively, over multiple sessions move the blanket closer towards the carrier and reward when your cat is on/off the blanket. Slowly move the blanket into the cat carrier with the top removed until they feel safe and comfortable to sit on the blanket with the roof attached. Reward once more with treats for positive behaviour.
- Stage 3 – Once your cat is relaxed and spends 3-5 minutes in the carrier, you can teach it that door closing is all right. To build confidence, when your cat is inside or approaches the carrier, it should be opened immediately.
- Stage 4 – This is the final stage where you teach your cat to accept the carrier being lifted and moved. Reward your cat each time with treats and praise while you practice this step. Once you are ready to let them out, try not making a big fuss, it’s vital to encourage positive behaviour whilst they are in their carrier.
Cat Carrier Training should be a routine practiced at least once a week or once a fortnight. If your cat spends lots of time outside, use the cat carrier to take them to the garden. Above process will make loading into the carrier less distressing for you both.
For additional resources and how to train your cat to use a cat carrier videos head to https://icatcare.org/advice/how-guides/how-train-your-cat-use-cat-carrier
Making your Cat feel Loved and Cherished – Choose Cat Friendly Clinic!
Cat friendly clinics pride themselves on the highest achievement of Bronze, Silver or Gold Star Accreditation
- They provide a dedicated cat-only waiting room, your cat will avoid visual contact from other cats, humans, dogs and if there are any barking dogs, they will provide access to a dedicated cat consult room.
- They ensure routine cat appointments are scheduled separately from dog consulting times.
- Their reception area is catered for cats – upon arrival you can place your cat carrier at an elevated area ensuring your cat is comfortable and safe.
- They offer blankets and towels which you can place on your cat’s carrier or you’re welcome to bring yours from home.
- They never leave you waiting for a long time, they do their outmost to ensure your visit is anxiety and stress free at all times – both yourself and your loved cat.
- All their staff are fully qualified and trained with feline friendly handling techniques and Feline Nursing.
- Their clinic utilises Feliway – synthetic feline facial pheromone sprays and diffusers to help patients remain calm, provide a relaxed atmosphere and have a positive experience.
Returning Home – Harmony in a Multi-cat household
If you’re lucky to have more than one cat, we recommend bringing them both to the vet clinic at the same time to eliminate failure of recognition due to scent change.
Don’t hesitate to contact Pet Nurture or your vet care team for helpful tips and advice.
Individual blogs and tips are based upon the opinions of the specific author, who retains full copyright. The material is not intended as medical advice, it’s intended as a sharing of knowledge and information.
We are not veterinarians and do not diagnose any conditions, perform surgery or prescribe medications. We encourage you to make your own pet health care choices in collaboration with a certified pet health care professional.
Care, I. C. (2018). What standards can you expect from a Cat Friendly Clinic? Retrieved December 10, 2018, from Cat Friendly Clinic: https://catfriendlyclinic.org/cat-owners/what-you-should-be-looking-for/
Ellis, S. (n.d.). Training a cat to use a carrier: a four stage approach. (F. Focus, Compiler) UK: International Cat Care. Retrieved December 15, 2018
ISFM, A. a. (2011). Feline-Friendly Handling Guidelines. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 13(May 2011), 367-368. Retrieved December 10, 2018, from www.catvets.com
ISFM, A. a. (2014, June 13). Getting your cat to the Veterinarian: Reducing the Stress of Veterinary Visits for You and Your Cat. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 682-683. Retrieved December 16, 2018, from jfm.sagepub.com/content/13/9/681
Marcus Brown, E. C. (2013). VET Cat Visits solutions. 4-9. Hillsborough, NJ, USA: American Association of Feline Practitioners. Retrieved December 20, 2018