Just about every cat owner knows how tough taking your kitty to the vet can be. From struggling to get it into a carrier to trying not let her run out of the office, there’s no question the whole experience can be a headache. But what if we told you this trip didn’t need to be a stressful one? We caught up with a few top cat experts who gave us some helpful hacks for making a cat’s visit to the vet easy as pie.
Get your cat comfy with a carrier.
Renowned cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy recommends creating a positive association with a carrier for your cat early on. One of the best ways to do this is to disassemble the carrier so that the roof and doors are gone and put a comfortable cat bed inside the open carrier. Then, sweeten the deal for your kitty. “Save your cat’s favorite treats for just getting in that one place,” Galaxy says. “So the only time they get that jackpot treat is when they’re in their carrier.”
After your fur baby has done this a few times, try re-assembling the carrier. Put the roof back on and see how your kitty reacts when he or she sees the change. Meanwhile, continue to reward your feline with treats whenever he or she goes inside. Keep repeating this method after you re-attach the door. While this method usually works best for young cats, Galaxy says you can also use it to train an older cat to see a carrier as a safe space. If your cat already decided the carrier is an awful place, you can experiment with other carriers with different shapes and features (e.g. one with a rounded shape rather than one with edges) until you find the perfect fit.