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Visiting the veterinarian is an essential part of any cat’s life. Beginning from a young age, it’s critical that your feline friend goes for a check-up every year. Though these appointments don’t occur frequently, it’s possible that your cat may still experience anxiety during their visit. Learn more about why your cat may be feeling stressed, how you can help them feel more comfortable, and tips for transporting your cat to the veterinarian.
Whenever it’s time to take your cat to the veterinarian, pay attention to their behavior—they may be displaying signs of anxiety. These symptoms can include increased vocalization, having accidents outside of the litterbox, swatting or nipping, getting sick, and hiding away from people. You may also want to pay attention to your cat’s body language. Chances are, if they are feeling nervous, they will display body language such as lowered ears, darting eyes, stiff posture, and their tail may be flicking quickly.
Just as there are many signs of anxiety, there can also be multiple causes. For instance, your cat may begin getting stressed out before you even leave your home. If you are running around trying to catch them, picking them up when they don’t want to be, and then putting them in their carrier (which they may or may not like), these can each cause your cat’s mood to turn for the worse. Not to mention, if you are running late and, as a result, are feeling anxious and stressed, your cat will undeniably catch onto those feelings and most likely begin feeling that way themselves.
The next part of your journey is driving to the veterinarian’s office. Although car rides can be fun or soothing for some animals, if your cat never goes for rides or is prone to motion sickness, your commute can further affect their mood, leading to more anxiety.
Once you are at the veterinarian’s clinic, there are still many new experiences that can cause your cat to be scared: a new, loud, hectic environment, different people and animals, and unfamiliar smells. During your cat’s examination, it can be scary for them to be out of their carrier, handled by people they don’t know, and given shots that may leave a little pinch.
Numerous elements can raise any cat’s anxiety level when visiting the veterinarian. When all of these things occur at once, it’s no wonder so many cats can become stressed, nervous, and anxious—similar to how people get a knot in their stomach before their doctor appointments. However, just as people have learned ways to control their anxiety, pet parents have many options to help their cats with theirs.
There are many ways to go about easing your cat’s veterinary anxiety. Though it will be a process that requires some time, patience, and persistence, the result of your cat being comfortable at the veterinarian is incredibly rewarding.
Taking an anxious cat to the veterinarian, learning how to get your cat ready for the veterinarian, and putting a cat in a carrier safely are all tasks that cat parents should become familiar with. Plus, working on socialization throughout your cat’s life can also play a significant role in managing their anxiety in social settings. If you believe that your feline friend’s anxiety level has become so high that medication is the best treatment option, talk with your veterinarian and hear their professional opinion. However, it’s crucial that you never give your cat any human medication as there could be deadly consequences.
It should not be overlooked that a great way to reduce the stress of your cat’s veterinary visits is to keep your nerves relaxed. Cats are intelligent and perceptive creatures that can pick up on their parents’ moods. If you begin feeling hectic getting ready for your cat’s appointment or become stressed once there, your cat will most likely pick up on your mood. Instead, try to stay calm and positive, showing your cat that they do not need to be anxious.
The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.
title: Easing Your Cat’s Visits to the Veterinarian
author: Emily W.