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I Couldn’t Catch Him!…And other reasons people don’t bring their cat to the vet.

Did you know that only about 40% of cat owners will bring their cat to the vet regularly? There are many different reasons for this, however one of the main explanations is – it’s hard to do! From getting your cat in the carrier to the stress of the visit, it can be a traumatic experience all around. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make it easier.

1. Get your cat used to the carrier: A few days prior to the vet visit, pull the carrier out. Spray down with Feliway (a calming synthetic pheromone), and put in some favorite treats. Leave it out until the day arrives for you to go to the vet.

2. Carrier Type: As much trouble as it is to get a cat into the carrier, it can be just as much trouble for us to get them out at the vet. We recommend a carrier that has snaps on the sides (rather than screws) or that will unzip so they can remain in their familiar place while we do an exam.  If your cat has had a bad experience in a carrier, sometimes getting a new one can help.

3. Helping your cat get accustomed to the car: Part of the stress of getting a cat to the vet is the car ride. Peeing, pooping, yowling – you name it! Similar to the carrier, you can help your cat get accustomed to the car by spraying Feliway and letting them sit in it for a bit, without going anywhere. You can also line the carrier with Pee-Pads so that if they do urinate it doesn’t go anywhere.

4. Medication: As much as possible we try to be Fear-Free. Often, this means that instead of fighting a cat to get vaccines in (without much of an exam), we will send home medication to give a few hours prior to the appointment. You may also notice we utilize treats and towels to help make the vet visit as positive experience as possible.

There are some cats that will never be good at the vet. In that case, be kind to both your pet and your vet and allow for full sedation. It makes visits easier, and grants us opportunity for a more thorough and complete evaluation of your pet.  Keep in mind that a sedated pet will need to be monitored when they go home for a few hours.

If you have a multi-cat household  you may have noticed some aggressive behavior towards cats that have been at the vet. Cats are very sensitive to changes in smell, so lining the carrier with something familiar from the house, or allowing a 24 hours separation between cats can help ease the transition back into the household.

Just remember! If you need help getting your cat to the vet please call us! We can offer lots of tips and tricks.


Catster. (2018, August 22). How to get your cat to the vet – even if he really, truly hates it. Catster. Retrieved April 24, 2023, from

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