If you have a skittish or anxious cat, taking them to the vet might be stressful for both you and your pet. One part of the trip that you can control to some degree is your cat's experience in the waiting room. Here are four tips that can make your cat's waiting room experience at the vet's office a little less stressful.
1. Invest in a Sturdy Carrier
There are a lot of different transport options for cats these days, ranging from those with soft exteriors to others that are more like a sling designed for carrying your cat. If your cat is insecure about the outside world, it might be best to invest in a plastic carrier with hard sides. This will give your cat the security and space to feel safe while waiting for their upcoming vet appointment.
2. Don't Show Up Too Early
There is no reason to make your cat wait longer than they need to in the waiting room at the vet's office. Show up on time, or even call ahead to make sure your veterinarian is running on schedule. There will be so many new sights and smells in the animal hospital in general, so there is no need to make your cat wait in this environment for too long.
3. Bring Along Toys and Treats
If your cat might be outside of their comfort zone in the waiting area, bring some of the things they love from home. You can distract them with treats or toys while they wait. If your cat is overly anxious or might try to escape their carrier, it's a good idea not to open their door in a way they can break free. If you can give treats or play with your cat through smaller openings their carrier might have, you can interact with your cat in a safe way.
4. Avoiding Other Pets
If your cat is an only pet, other pets might overly stress them out in the waiting room environment. Try to sit away from other cats and dogs and prevent interaction or eye contact. Some offices even have separate cat and dog entrances if you are worried that your cat might be scared of dogs.
It is important that you know your pet's comfort level and don't push them to do anything that can make them overly anxious if you can help it. Don't skip visiting the animal hospital for checkups just because your cat gets nervous. If you can make all parts of the vet experience a smooth one, this will keep your cat happy and healthy in the long run.