Happy Cat Transport
More than half of cat owners report that the reason they don’t bring their cat to the vet is due to the stress of the trip and transport. Neither pet owners nor cats appreciate trying to wrestle the cat into a kennel and driving to the clinic with the cat yowling in the back seat. But it is important for cats to get annual health examinations, appropriate vaccinations and treatment when they are sick. Here are some tips for making these trips a bit easier for you and your feline friend.
Leave your cat’s carrier out even when you are not using it. Cats like areas where they can hide, and they can get accustomed to the carrier and treat it as a bed, not a torture device.
Leave toys and soft bedding inside the carrier to make your cat as comfortable as possible. Familiar scents are reassuring to your cat.
Feed special treats in the kennel.
Once your cat is secured in the carrier, place a towel over the carrier to block out any scary sights.
While driving, try to avoid abrupt starts, stops and turns, and reduce the noise (honking, music, etc.) as much as possible.
To get your cat used to trips, try taking a drive around a couple of blocks and then returning home. The carrier and the car shouldn’t always be about the vet clinic. Try to feed special treats while driving to associate positive feelings with the carrier.
Make sure you are using the right size of kennel. Also, kennels that allow access from the sides and from the top (or allow the top to be removed) can make taking your cat in and out of the kennel easier and less stressful.
Feliway is a pheromone that can be used to decrease “environmental anxiety”. The pheromone used is a “territorial” pheromone naturally produced by cats. It allows a cat to confirm an object (like its kennel) as safe and secure. It is available in a spray or a wipe.
Remember it is important that your cat be seen for a health examination yearly (or more often, depending on its age and medical condition). Cats age differently; remember each year a cat goes without going to the vet is like you not seeing your doctor for seven years!