Here are excellent tips to make transportation as stress free as possible!
It all starts with an appropriate carrier!
Always, always, always transport your cat in a carrier! This should be a hard top carrier with an easy to remove top. This allows the staff to remove the top of the carrier and still have access to the cat. Many times we leave fearful or reserved felines in their carrier for their entire exam. Not only does this allow the cat to remain feeling secure but it also removes the need to “drag” the cat out of its safe zone and create stress.
Make the carrier a favored resting or eating spot
When cats see their carriers as a safe, enjoyable environment they’re happy to enter them on their own will and feel more safe even in scary places like the car!
- Leave the carrier out in your house, high off the floor on a steady surface away from high traffic areas in the home. This way the cat can have access to it at all times and s/he won’t be “on to you” and vanish when you bring it out for the yearly trip to the vet!
- Make the carrier inviting by putting a favorite blanket, toy, catnip or treats inside.
- Place part of your cat’s daily meal in the carrier.
When it’s time to transport your cat simply throw a favorite treat inside the carrier and your cat will gladly oblige!
Other Stress reducing tips:
- Spraying or wiping the carrier with Feliway Calming Pheromone product 15 minutes before travelling
- Feeding a Composure Pro treat 30 minutes before travel to reduce stress
- Taking your cat for short car rides around the block throughout the year. This helps to reduce the chance for car anxiety if the only time s/he travels is to go to the vet!
- Use a cat carrier cover (blanket or store bought) to help your kitty feel more secure. Sometimes this is just needed for travel but some kitties like to have a little “cubby hole” to rest in during the day.
- Secure your cat carrier in the car from sliding/rocking-place either on the floor or strapped in. Turn down the radio volume and refrain from opening the car windows (the noise from wind and traffic is frightening!)
- Carry the carrier in your arms instead of by the handle. This reduces unnecessary rocking motion and helps the cat feel more secure.