May 292012

Unlike dogs, cats are more reluctant and more difficult to handle when it comes to visiting their vets. They are also more stressed out and tend to fight the vet staff harder, as compared to dogs. Because of this, many pet owners hesitate to bring them to the vet, only taking them to the pet clinic when there is no other choice. However, your pet cat needs to be seen regularly by his vet, so it is very important that you prepare him for his first visit.

Get Him Used to Human Handling

The best way to get your cat used to human handling is to stage mock vet exams. You can do what the vet usually does, like inspecting the paws; inspecting the eyes, ears, mouth, etc.; and placing him on his back and palpating his body and extremities. You should also get him used to regular grooming, such as clipping nails and brushing his coat. Once he gets used to all these, he will no longer be that reluctant to let somebody else handle him.

Get Him Used to His Carrier and Your Car

Cat by a fence

Now, since you will be using his carrier to take him to the vet, you also have to make him feel comfortable in it. If you immediately place him inside the carrier and take him to the vet, he will associate the carrier with discomfort and fear, causing him to panic every time he sees it. To avoid this, you can start introducing him to the carrier days, even weeks, before the vet visit. You need to place him inside the carrier for a few minutes at a time with some of his favorite toys and treats.

Once he feels comfortable inside his carrier, you need to start making him accustomed to car trips. What you can do is place him inside his carrier, load it into your car, and drive around the block. You have to let him know that there’s no big deal to traveling in a car. If he starts panicking, soothe him with reassuring words. Cats also respond very well to the attitude and feelings of his owner.

Your Aura and How It Can Help the Situation

As mentioned above, cats are also very sensitive when it comes to the feelings and the attitude of his owner. If you start making a very big deal out of the whole vet visit situation, then the cat will pick up on your mood and start exhibiting some of what you are feeling. If you feel panicky and stressed out at the thought of the imminent vet visit, then the cat will also feel the same; and if you feel relaxed and carefree, then he will also feel more relaxed and think of the whole situation as nothing out of the ordinary.

Choose the Pet Clinic Very Well

Another very important factor that can help your pet cat feel comfortable is to choose a good pet clinic. Make sure that the clinic is cat-friendly, and make sure, too, that the clinic staff knows how to deal with a panicky cat. Remember, your cat’s first visit will create an impression for him, so make sure that he has a relaxed and stress-free first vet visit.

Jennifer Dantes is a part-time vet assistant to a reputable and trustworthy Sugar Hill veterinarian. She hopes to become a veterinarian someday, so, along with her part-time vet assistant job, she invests most of her free time in her pet blog to help her with her education.

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