BRINGING YOUR CAT TO THE VETS
If your cat gets stressed by dogs there is a corner by reception where you can sit and wait away from them. Covering the basket with a coat can keep the dogs out of sight. During Covid we have been encouraging people to wait in their cars to avoid mixing and for many cats (and exciteable dogs) this is a very good option.
Cats are less used to travelling and meeting strangers than dogs so taking your cat to the vets can be a potentially stressful experience. Thankfully the vast majority of cats we see cope with the visit very well. As there is no such thing as a stroppy cat just a misunderstood one we aim to understand them to minimise upsetting them by understanding them!
A strong robust pet carrier is essential to bring your cat to the vets. A loose cat in a car is dangerous and bringing your cat to the vets in your arms is a recipe for disaster. A panicking cat will succeed in escaping and can inflict serious injuries in the process.
Cardboard boxes are no match for a feline escapologist and tend to fall to bits if wet.
Top opening carriers are easier to get a cat in and out of due to the size of the opening and being able to approach the cat from the top rather than the front. Handy tip - some cats can be put in a front opening box backwards without realising what is happening to them!
We use open wire baskets in the surgery as they are easy to disinfect and it is important that we can see the cat especially if it has been sedated. However for travelling and in the waiting room, a box with solid sides, and the use of a towel or coat over any see-through opening means that the cat is less likely to see strange people, dogs or other cats which may wind it up.
The use of familiar bedding or bedding sprayed with Feliway may help settle a cat in a basket and leaving the basket open in the living room may make it more familiar and acceptable to the cat who has been able to get in and explore it before having to travel.
A solid bottomed carrying basket is important in case your cat urinates or vomits whilst travelling. A layer of newspaper at the bottom of the box is absorbent and disposable should the worse happen.
The vast majority of cats surprise their owners as to how easy they are to handle in the consulting room. For the truly petrified cat we take steps to avoid injury to ourselves, you and the cat by using towels, a nurse to handle the cat or in extreme circumstances sedation.
This link may help you get your cat in a basket