What should I do if my cat doesn’t like going to the vets?


Regular health checks at least every six months are important for identifying health problems that cats are very good at disguising.

This can sometimes seem a little daunting given a cat’s natural aversion to ‘change’ however there are lots of techniques that can be implemented to make their trip ‘fear free’.

The development of anxiety regarding a veterinary visit is often an escalation of multiple factors and therefore implementing appropriate techniques starts at home:

Cat carrier:

  • Keep it out all the time so your cat becomes accustomed to it and hopefully even uses it as a bed.
  • Choose a carrier that has an exit out the top and the front and that the lid can be removed easily, cats like options.
  • Use plenty of bedding so that your cat can get snuggled up in and feel secure during travel.
  • Spray the carrier with a pheromone such as ‘feliway’ to create a positive, relaxing vibe around it.

The journey:

  • Try not to use the handle of your carrier, in general cat’s don’t like a rollercoaster simulation experience. Hold it underneath with both arms.
  • Play calming background music not drum and bass FM.
  • Place your cat carrier behind the front passenger seat so it is secure.

The practice:

  • Find a veterinary practice which has a cat friendly waiting area (separated from dogs and elevated cat carrier shelves).
  • Find a veterinary practice with a cat consulting room so they aren’t surrounded by the smell of dog.
  • Find a veterinary practice with a cat only hospital ward.
  • All of the above are covered by ‘cat friendly clinic’ awards by ISFM and Ferndown Family Vets was designed specifically to be as cat friendly as possible and is the only cat friendly clinic in Ferndown.

The consultation:

  • Ideally you want a veterinary practice with extended consults, allowing your cat to get out and have a nose for a while before the examination begins. Ferndown Family Vets runs 20 minute appointments as standard.
  • Have somewhere elevated where they can settle.
  • You want veterinary staff who understand the intricacies of a cat’s thinking and handle them with respect they deserve. After all we are all cat minions who are on this earth to do their bidding.


Expert Advice

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