Guide to Fear Free Visits
Here are some tips to minimize the stress of your cat’s upcoming visit
1) Bring out the cat carrier several days ahead of the scheduled visit if possible to help your cat get re – acquainted to it. (You can also leave it out year round! ) Try putting some catnip or treats in the carrier or feed your cat inside. Putting bedding or some clothing in the carrier with the familiar smells of home will help to re-assure your cat and provide traction while travelling.
2) Prepare your vehicle ensure a comfortable temperature and airflow. Try to match to temperature inside house. The safest spot for the carrier inside your car is in the foot well behind the front seat. You can also secure the carrier with a seat belt on the back seat.
3) Choose your carrier wisely. Hard sided carriers that open from the top or can be disassembled are ideal. Make sure it’s roomy enough for your cat to turn around in.
4) A better way to transport: cradle the carrier in your arms instead of holding the handle of the carrier. This will prevent swaying back and forth and will keep your kitty on its feet. Cover the sides of your carrier so your cat can choose if they want to look outside or not.
5) Bring them in hungry! This will help prevent car sickness and make them more receptive to food or treats offered in clinic.
6) Feliway: Available in a spray and plug in diffuser, we highly recommend this ‘happy cat’ pheromone. It helps calm and comfort your cat and is great for spraying in the carrier and car before your visit. Allow 10-15 minutes between spraying and placing your cat in the carrier. We also use this product in our exam room!
7) Thundershirt This product is a snug fitting jacket that can be fitted at home and throughout the appointment! It activates pressure points and helps calm and re-assure your cat. Think of it as a ‘tight hug’. Call us to order or order online from our webstore: http://www.myvetstore.ca/centralcathospital
8) Chill pill. Ask us about Dr. Cheung’s ‘chill pill’ combo. We offer mild sedatives to help take the edge off!
9) Zylkene: Natural anti – anxiety nutritional supplement. Contains calming milk proteins. Best effects if started 3-5 days before visit. Great for boarding or travel too!
10) Relax. Cats can sense when we are feeling anxious, which can increase their own stress levels! Playing some calming music on the ride over can help ease the tension for you and your kitty.