5 Tips to Make Vet Visits Less Stressful for Your Cat

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Animal Planet

Much of what sets cats on edge during vet visits is the journey, not the destination. As a general rule, cats hate cars. This is because cats like things to be familiar and predictable, and cars are not a typical part of any cat's daily life. Cats' aversion to cars is reinforced by the fact that, for many, the only time they go inside a vehicle is on the dreaded vet visit. This creates a strong association between two potentially negative events, which may make each seem worse than it actually is.

Some cats will never relax inside a car, but most can get used to the driving drill with a bit of practice. Start by taking short drives (e.g., a 5 minute trip around the block) and gradually increase the length of your excursions. You might try stopping by the vet for a visit even if you don't have a check-up scheduled, especially if your vet has friendly staff that will make the trip an enjoyable experience.

The goal in acclimating your pet to car travel is to dissociate it from the vet experience. If you can teach your cat to relax during car trips, your little purr machine is more likely to arrive at the vet in a calm enough state to cope with the experience, which inevitably begins with an extended stay in the waiting room of doom.

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