Cats aren’t always the most willing participants when taking them to the veterinarian. And the last thing pet parents want to do is create a stressful experience that makes it more and more difficult to get their cat to the vet. Most pet parents find that putting their cat into the carrier is the most difficult and stressful task. Here are some helpful tips to make this task easier, reducing your cat’s stress, and hopefully, improving their experience at the veterinarian.
It is important to understand that cats are most comfortable with familiar objects, people, places, and situations. New stimuli must be introduced slowly in order for the unfamiliar to become familiar. Associating a positive experience with a carrier will require you to be patient, consistent, and calm. Cats sense our frustrations and anxiety, which in turn can make them fearful and anxious.
Having your cat become comfortable with a carrier will not happen overnight. It might take days or weeks before your cat starts to trust the carrier. To aid in this process, it is recommended that the carrier, with door open, is placed in a familiar room where your cat spends a lot of time. Place familiar bedding and toys inside the carrier or even an article of your own clothing that has your scent will make them feel more secure. Cats respond to positive rewards, not punishment, so place highly desireable treats inside the carrier.
Over time your cat should willingly walk into the carrier, making the trip to the vet a much more positive experience for both you and your cat.
Grooming Tip of the Week
Communication with your groomer is critical to ensuring your pet receives the haircut you envision. Do not assume that a groomer just knows what you want. Bring in a photo of your pet with a haircut you like. Avoid bringing in professional photos because those pets most often have show grooming cuts, which are typically not done in salons. If you switch groomers, make sure to be patient with the new groomer when being asked questions about how you want your baby groomed…he or she only wants to ensure your pet is groomed to your expectations. Finally, if you’re ever upset with a haircut, please let your groomer know so they may improve for next time. It may just be you did not communicate as well as you thought.