Stress Free Cat Check Ups
By Dr. Anne Ray, Veterinarian
Reducing stress for cats coming for a veterinary check up starts at home. They should ALWAYS be transported in a cat carrier for their safety as well as yours. Most cats can be placed into a carrier rather easily. But for those cats that are resistant, totally wrap Kitty in a towel (including head) treated with a pheromone spray and then place in the carrier.
It can be helpful to for those nervous cats to use a calming spray /collar. Cats deposit F3 feline pheromones when they rub there their cheeks against surfaces and reminds them later that the marked area is safe.Therefore it makes sense to try a calming spray that mimics the F3 pheromone for those cats that are easily stressed. Feliway is the most commonly used brand although there are others on the market. Use 8-10 pumps of the spray in the carrier, on the towel as well as the car 15 minutes prior to introducing Kitty into the carrier. The spray lasts 4-5 hours and can be re-applied if needed. Not all cats respond equally to the pheromone spray so for those, a situational ant-anxiety medication can be most helpful. Ask your Kitty’s doctor for more information if you think this might be a good option for you.
In spite of all this preparation, some cats can be a challenge. I recommend carriers that are easy to get Kitty in and out of. My favorites are carriers than can open from the top AND the end. It can be hard to get a reluctant cat in or out of a carrier with just and end opening. Carriers that allow you to take off the top half are great when trying to remove petulant Kitty. And remember to place a clean towel in the floor of the carrier as it can absorb urine if Kitty has an accident during the car ride.
Once at the veterinary hospital and in an exam room, one of our doctors or technicians can gently remove Kitty from the carrier (this is where the top opening of the carrier is most helpful).
We at Rocky Gorge Animal Hospital are always striving for the most stress free experience for your kitty companion.