Do you have a scaredy cat? – How to reduce your cats stress at the vet

The American Association of Feline Practitioners recommends all cats should be seen by their veterinarian at least once a year for a routine wellness exam. This annual check-up draws a baseline of the cat’s normal physical condition, which lets your vet easily spot differences in the cat’s condition should illness or emergencies arise.

All cat owners know that you cannot force your cat to do something they don’t want to do. Many owners pull out the cat carrier and their feline goes running. So how do you convince your cat to like the veterinarian? Catoctin Vet has a few tips that we have found successful for our feline

friends over the years. 

See the veterinarian early and often. Take your kitten to the veterinarian

while he or she is still young and impressionable. 

Bribe your cat. When you take your cat to the vet, make sure you reward him or her with their favorite treat to associate seeing the veterinarian with a positive experience. Bring their favorite treat, a can of wet food, or catnip – anything to help them pair the vet with something positive. 

Hot towels. Ask your vet assistant for a hot towel. Running a towel in the dryer for a few minutes and wrapping your kitty up in it can help him or her feel safe and lower blood pressure.

Coming in the back door. The lobby is usually a very busy place; barking dogs, small scary humans, loud conversations. All these unknown noises can increase your cat’s stress level the second they walk in the door. We find it best that cat owners call the front desk when they park in the parking lot. This way a vet tech can meet you at the back door and quickly get you into a quiet room.

Cat room. Catoctin Veterinary Clinic strives to create a fear free environment. We try to designate one room each day for our feline friends and run a plug-in Feliway diffuser. Feliway diffusers are a proven solution that mimics natural feline pheromones to decrease urine spraying, scratching and hiding in new places. 

Something from home. Bringing your cats blanket from home, a shirt with your scent on it, or a favorite toy can help him or her feel more


Medicate prior if necessary. Speak with your veterinarian if there is a medication or small sedative you can give to your cat prior to the visit. There are multiple holistic and natural alternatives as well which may help take some anxiety away and lead to a less stressful vet visit.