How to take the cat to the vet

How to get your cat to the vet?!

Cat behaviour:
Most cats don’t like new situations, and need a lot of time to adjust to new situations. Visiting the vet can be difficult, because the basket, the veterinary clinic and the bike/tram ride are all new! Always try to remain as calm as possible yourself, if you are angry or frustrated, your cat will feel this and become angry or scared themselves. Don’t punish your cat if they do something they are not allowed to do, but always reinforce positive behavior with praise. Positive behavior is for example when your cat is relaxing in the transport basket that is already in your living room, or if you are practicing certain examination techniques the vet also uses, like klipping nails, looking into ears and eyes etc.

Getting used to the transport basket:
Our goal is to let your cat have a positive association with the carrier. This is usually not the case if it is only used to take the cat to the veterinarian.
Make sure the basket becomes a familiar place for your cat. Place it in a nice quit area somewhere in your living room. Put a nice blanket inside and reward the cat with treats when it goes into the basket. Or you can leave a treat in the basket, and you may notice that is has “disappeared” overnight. It may take some time before your cat will accepts the transport basket as fun and safe place, so stay patient and take your time. Reward every step in the right direction. If you really don’t succeed, you may try to use a different type of carrier basket.

How to get your cat in the transport basket if they don’t want to:
You have to go to the veterinarian for an emergency consultation, and have not had the time yet to let your cat get used to the basket. Then there are still a few tips and tricks you can use.
Put the carrier in a small enclosed room, where the cat cannot hide. Let the cat walk into this room, always remain calm and confident yourself!Don’t chase your cat into the room, but try to do this in a calm manner, by talking quietly to the cat or maybe with a treat.
Try to let the cat walk into the carrier by placing a treat in it. If this does not work, you can use a towel or blanket and place this softly over the cat, and then place the cat in the carrier, this is easiest if the carrier can open on the top side.
Beside all these tips, you can also use Feliway, this is a synthetic feline facial this gives them a comfortable and familiar surrounding.

Getting home- Keeping the peace in a multicat household:feliway3
Cats are very sensitive to smells, especially unfamiliar smells can cats to not recognize another cat, this can happen after a trip to the Veterinarian. Cats can become aggressive because they think the other cat is a stranger. The tips below hopefully help to make sure your cat is accepted back in the group after a visit to the Vet.

  • Leave the cat that has come back from the Veterinarian in the carrier basket for a little while after returning home, to see how all the other cats react.
  • If all the cats remain calm and peaceful, let the returning cat out of the carrier.
  • If you see the other cats are agitated or even aggressive towards the returning cat, or previous vet visits have resulted in conflict. Take your cat into a separate room where he is safe from the other cats. Make sure there is food and water available and an extra litter tray in the separate room. If you do this for a period of 24 hours, the returning cat will have gotten the familiar “home”scent back. You can also exchange some blankets from the carrier to the rest of the house and vice verse. In this situation you van also use Feliway as an extra tool.

Another trick is to use a moist cloth and brush of all the cats, then they all have the same smell again.

Future Veterinary Visits:

  • Always use a blanket from home in the cat carrier. This ensures the scent of home is better kept.
  • Use Feliway on the blankets of the carrier, this reduces stress.
  • You may also bring your cats to the vet together, then they both carry the scent of the clinic in this way.

The ideal cat transport basket/carrier:kattenmandje
The best carrier are sturdy plastic baskets that can be opened on top and at the front. It is also good if the top can be separated from the bottom, in this way the cat can stay in the bottom half during a vet visit. We can usually do most diagnostics whilst the cat is sitting in the bottom half of the carrier, and this can give them an extra sense of security. Please don’t buy a carrier that your cat has to pulled or shaken out of, to get them on the treatment table. It is usually also more difficult to get cats into these types of carriers. It may also help to put a blanket over the carrier, but some cats prefer to be able to look around, a matter of trial and error.

We hope the following information helps you to get your cat to the vet. If you don’t manage, we also do home visits.