Visits to the vet can be stressful to your kitty. We hear of many cases where cats have escaped while being taken to or at the clinic. Here are a few simple tips that can make your kitty’s visit to the vet happy and secure.

  • For your cat, carriers are associated with stressful experiences like visit to the vet or moving houses. At home, occasionally place treats or toys in the carrier. This will help your cat see the carrier as a fun place.
  • Use a solid plastic animal carrier. Animal carriers are now available in most pet shops. While transporting your kitty, make sure the door and sides are securely locked. Plastic or wicker baskets can be used
  • but should be securely tied with a strong cord. Avoid using cardboard carriers as they can become wet and collapse. Also, cats can easily escape out of cardboard boxes.
  • The carrier should fit your cat snugly and be well ventilated. It should not be too enclosed or too large. A large carrier could make your cat feel insecure. It could be helpful to place some absorbent material on the floor of the carrier, in case of any pet accidents.
  • Always use a carrier for transporting your cat. Never let your cat run free in your car. The cat might escape if the door or window is open or she might get in the way of the driver. Never carry your cat in your arms while visiting the vet. The dogs and noises in the clinic might frighten your cat and she may get lost.
  • It is always advisable to transport your cat on an empty stomach. Feed your cat some hours before the journey.
  • If you are transporting more than one cat, use separate carriers.
  • Coax your cat to come out of the carrier or gently pull her out.
  • Make sure your vet’s clinic is also cat friendly. The examining room should be totally secure and your cat should not be able to escape.
  • The pet handlers should be able to handle your cat gently.
  • No dogs should be in the examining room when your cat is being examined.
  • Always reward your cat with treats and positive attention when you bring her home after a successful journey.

(Sudhersena is volunteer at the Blue Cross since 1998 and an avid animal lover, pet parent of nine cats and three dogs. She is associated with a number of animal welfare campaigns and programmes.)