August 22nd is Take Your Cat to the Vet Day, a day which serves as a great reminder to cat owners everywhere to make sure their furry family members are up-to-date on their vaccinations and have had their annual check-ups.
That yearly car ride to the vet, though, can be very nerve-racking for a cat who is used to spending his or her life in the safety of a house! Here are a few tips to help make their next trip to the vet less stressful:
Keep the cat carrier out of the closet. All too often, cat owners are guilty of only taking out the cat carrier when it is time for a trip to the vet. Unknowingly, we are causing our cat to only associate the carrier with an unhappy experience—no wonder they want to run and hide! Instead, leave the cat carrier in a quiet room of the house, with the door open or the top off. Sprinkle treats or catnip inside on a cozy blanket. With time, your cat may start to enjoy sitting in their carrier at home, making the next trip to the vet more relaxing for them.
Keep movement to a minimum. Once your cat is securely in their carrier with their favorite blanket or towel, lift the carrier slowly to the car and avoid sudden movements or loud noises. Place the carrier in the backseat and secure it so there is no risk of it moving or falling during the trip.
Keep a dark and quiet atmosphere. If the carrier must be facing a window, cover it with a blanketto help avoid sensory overload for your cat. Play soothing music on the radio at a low volume until you reach your destination.
Give them rewards! During their vet appointment, make sure you shower them with love and affection to give them assurance.
After the appointment is over and you are back home, reward them with playtime, treats, a new toy, or best of all–a cozy nap with their favorite human by their side!