Question: My cat hates to go to the vet. I have such a difficult time getting her into the carrier, and then when we get there, she hisses and spats at the vet and me. Is there anything I can do?
Answer: I am sorry to hear that your cat gets so anxious and nervous about coming in for a visit but there are some things that can make the experience better for both of you.
First, make sure to get your carrier out a few days ahead of time. Put it in an area that your cat enjoys. You can even place a few treats inside the carrier to encourage her to go inside and place a towel in the carrier to make it more comfy for your kitty.
I also recommend purchasing a product called Feliway. It comes in a spray as well as a diffuser. Feliway is a cat pheromone product that can help a cat feel more relaxed. About one hour prior to your veterinary appointment, spray the inside of the carrier with Feliway. About ½ hour prior to your appointment, place your cat within the carrier. Do not feed your kitty the day of the appointment, so that she will be more interested in treats.
When you’re at the veterinarian, check to see if there are any dogs in the waiting room. If there are, ask to be put into an exam room right away and once in, make sure to open the carrier right away. You can give your cat some treats to help make the experience pleasant. If you have a carrier that the top comes off easily, remove the top.
Many times the veterinarian can examine the cat while in the carrier. Let your kitty explore the exam room and encourage her with praise.
With these tips, your next visit should be a good one or at least better than the last.