Tips on How to Bring your Cat to the Vet Office

As we all know, bringing our friendly felines to the vet's office can be a struggle.  
Between the carrier, the car ride, and the actual hospital visit, there are many
stressing parts to the whole ordeal.  Here are some tips to maybe help alleviate
the stresses:

Make the carrier your cat's second home.
Cat carriers are typically associated with many unpleasant things.  Many cat
owners keep the carrier in a closet or in the garage, so the cat hasn't rubbed on it
or slept inside it.  Cats who haven't transferred their scent to the carrier,
therefore, see it as a foreign object.  So give your cat time to mark the carrier
with facial rubbing - they'll feel like it belongs to them, and you may find it easier
to place her inside.  If you have room, make the carrier part of your family room
furniture.  That means leaving it out all the time with the door open.  Place a soft
towel inside to make it a little more cozy.  Pretty soon, your cat won't think twice
about entering the carrier.

Turn the carrier into a meal center.
Put part of your cat's daily food in the carrier to help your cat associate
something good with the carrier.  Even better: Use a bit of especially yummy food,
like canned food or even a little tuna.  Or try tossing your cat's favorite treat in
the carrier when she wants to be left alone.  This will reward her for seeking
solitude in the carrier and continue to reinforce the notion that the carrier isn't so
bad after all.

Try a different carrier.
If you have an emergency, and don't have time to let your cat adjust to the
carrier, try using a pillowcase as a carrier.  With the cat on your lap, slip the
pillowcase over her body, head first.  Knot the top of the case and support the
bottom when holding your cat.  Alternately, you can use any type of item your cat
likes to nap in - two laundry baskets connected together could also work.  These
items aren't a trigger for fear like your standard carrier might be.

 Consider using a synthetic product.
Using a product that contains a feline facial pheromone can help calm cats during
stressful events.  These products can be sprayed on blankets, towels, or
bandanas before you head to the veterinarian.  Many cats become less agitated
when their owners use these sprays, so purchasing one could make your life easier
when its time to take your cat for a car ride.

Regular wellness exams are crucial for keeping your cat happy and healthy.  Use
these tips the next time you head to your veterinarian to make it much easier on
both you and your cat.