Tips for Easier Travel with your Cat
Click here for a pdf version >>
The Ideal Cat Carrier
* Carriers with a removable top allow your cat to feel more secure by remaining inside the base throughout the examination.
* In addition, carriers with both top and side openings have versatility when placing your cat inside.
* Carrier size is important- avoid crowding your cat. Only cats in the same social group (groom each other, sleep in close contact) should be placed together in a carrier and if this is done, an extra-large carrier should be used, so they have the option of their own personal space.
Practice at Home
* Leave the carrier out for several days before the appointment so your cat gets used to it.
* Put treats, toys, blankets and a favourite person’s clothes in the carrier for a comfortable and familiar environment.
* Reinforce your cat’s positive associations with the carrier using calm praise.
* In the longer term, you can help your cat to see the carrier as a safe place. Leave it out and open permanently in your home to become a 'cubby' of sorts, rather than a box that only comes out of the shed (with spider webs!) when it's time to go to the vet.
* Always put your cat in a carrier when traveling in the car – it’s safer for you and your cat.
* 'Feliway' is a synthetic feline pheromone spray that relaxes cats and may help your cat stay calm during transit. Feliway is continuously diffused in our waiting room, but if you pop down with a towel before your appointment, we are always happy to spray it with Feliway.
* Drape a blanket or towel (particularly if it has been sprayed with Feliway) over the carrier.
* Ignore your carrier's top handle & instead steady the cage by carrying it underneath with both arms.
* After each successful car trip, reward your pet with positive attention and treats.
At the Clinic
* Reward good behaviour with treats and ignore bad behaviour – never speak harshly or use punishment.
* Ask us on arrival if we have a consultation room available and you can take your cat directly in to avoid dogs in the waiting room.
* Ask a staff member if you can open the carrier so your cat can choose to explore and adjust to the consultation room.
* Never dump your cat out of the carrier – either let her walk out or gently remove her from the carrier.
* Speak in soft, soothing tones but avoid whispering. If you remain calm, chances are your cat will too.