Cats consider your home as part of their Territory. With the sense of familiarity of your home and a predictable Lifestyle, most Cats live a very Secured Life in the safety of your Home that does not involve Travelling away from Home.
However, travelling with your Cat(s) becomes essential especially for Veterinary Visits as this is an integral part of every Cat Care.
As such for most Cats, a Car Trip especially to the Veterinarian Clinic can be an overwhelming or even frightening experience due to the lack of Travelling Experience and thus, making your Cat(s) uncomfortable of Travelling.
Just imagine yourself as your Cat:
- Being taken out of your familiar Home environment
- Roughly pushed into a Carrier
- Put into a noisy Car to be driven to the place your Cat Parent(s) want or even the Veterinary Clinic
And, if it’s a Car Trip to the Veterinary Clinic:
- Forced to wait at the Reception Area in the Carrier (where there are intense smells from many other pets and people)
- Then taken into an examination room where an unfamiliar person examines and administers various treatments
Any one of those mentioned things can cause more Fear or Stress and can get even worse, if all of above mentioned happens together! It’s no wonder that your cat feels Frightened or Stressed to even get in to your Car.
For a Stress-Free and Enjoyable Car Trip especially to the Vet, start by Training your cat to like the Carrier and get acquainted using the Carrier. Again, never rush and be patient with Training your Cat to like the Carrier.
Choose the Right Carrier for your Cat that has:
- Large enough to accommodate your Cat to stand in and turn around
- Easy access to Exit and Enter
- Both Top and Front Openings, or at least with a large Front Door (in order to help your Cat to get in and out of the Carrier more easily)
- Should have the ability to be taken apart for added flexibility for bringing your Cat in or out
- Should be Secure and Sturdy
After getting a suitable Carrier for your cat, follow the next steps in order to help your Cat associate the Carrier with good things:
- Leave the Carrier out in a place where your Cat likes to spend time
- Integrate the carrier into your home which then becomes a Resting Area
- If your cat is afraid of the carrier, then start with the bottom of the carrier and slowly add the Top and Cage Door
- Place treats, catnip, and toys in the carrier to encourage your Cat to enter the carrier
- Play with your cat around their carrier to help create a positive association
- Place familiar bedding in the carrier as the smells of home will be in the carrier
- Reward your cat for going into the carrier
- Stay calm and never use “Shhh!” (shushing) sounds as Cats will consider that like hissing
- Place a spare blanket and a plastic bag for any soiled bedding (just in case)
- Avoid the feeling of rushing for your Cat(s)
As always be patient and never force or chase your Cat into the carrier. Let your Cat choose to go into the carrier by their own will and encourage by rewarding for that behaviour.
While inside the Car, do the following carefully:
- To minimise the stress, cover the Carrier up with a Blanket or Towel or even your Jumper or Jacket
- Secure the Carrier using the Seat Belt to avoid moving around and to keep your Cat in a secured position
- Adjust the Car Temperature as per your Cats needs and be mindful especially during the Hot Weather or Summer Season not to leave your Cat in the Car for any length of time, as the Car can heat up to dangerous levels very quickly
- Ensure that your Cat is secured properly inside the Carrier throughout the journey and not to let them out inside the car as a scared cat may try to escape which can be dangerous for them in an unfamiliar environment
- Play calming/ soothing music in the Car and avoid loud music
The following simple ways are provided to help your Cat(s) with Stress-free and enjoyable experience of Car Travels especially to the Vets:
- Limit the amount of Food before your planning Car Trips with your Cat(s) and speak with the Vet in advance about the amount of Food to be given for any Trips to avoid the likelihood of vomiting
- If you are planning to bring your Cat along with you to the place where you intend to stay whether it is a Hotel/ Temporary Residence in another location, first book a suitable spacious accomodation for your Cat(s) that is also Pet Friendly and after reaching there, at the Hotel/ Temporary Residence Reception don’t put your Cat Carrier on the Floor but instead keep it up on a bench or table and after you enter the room you are staying, allow your Cat(s) to wander around the room in order to get familiar with the temporary surrounding
- If you are planning to bring your Cat to the Vet, first make the arrangement with the Vet to schedule for preferably a quieter day and once you are the Vet’s office, then don’t put your Cat Carrier on the floor but instead keep it up on a bench or table to help your Cat to avoid seeing strange Dogs
Verdict: Remember to keep your Cat calm for any Car Trips. By carefully following the aforesaid guidelines for travelling with your Cat(s), perhaps your Cat(s) will even enjoy the Car Trips with you.
If your Cat(s) continues to face problems getting into the Carrier, with Car Trips and (or) with any other stressful aspect, then kindly speak with your Veterinarian to seek further advice.
Wishing Everyone a Blessed, Peaceful and Prosperous 2021.
#Cats #CarTrips #Veterinary