Most cats don't exactly love going to the vet, but they tolerate it alright. Some cats, however, become very anxious when it's time to head to the vet clinic. They may cower in the backs of their crates and even lash out at you when you attempt to pet or soothe them. It's important to realize that this reaction is born of anxiety — not anger — and to treat it as such. Here are some ways you can help ease your cat's anxiety when visiting the vet clinic.
Spray the crate with pheromones
Pheromones are hormone-like compounds that are released by animals as a way to communicate with others. Cats, for example, release certain pheromones when they are calm, and those pheromones help keep other cats around them calm. You can buy a pheromone spray at a pet store, and you can then use that spray on your cat's crate or carrier before you take them to the vet. This will help keep your cat quiet and less anxious when you're getting ready to put them in the crate and transport them to the vet. Be generous with the pheromone spray; you really can't use too much.
Cover the crate with a blanket
Sometimes owners think their cat will want to look around and see where they are, but actually, the unfamiliar and busy setting of the vet's office can make your cat feel even more anxious. You're better off covering your cat's crate or carrier with a thin blanket so they cannot see outside. Don't worry; they will be able to breathe through the permeable blanket. You can pull the blanket back when your cat is in the car but put it back over the crate before you take them into the actual vet's office.
Ask the vet to book you at a less-busy time
When you make your cat's vet appointment, tell the vet you expect that they will be nervous, and ask for an appointment whenever the clinic is the quietest. This may be first thing in the morning or at the end of the day. This way, there will be fewer other animals around, so you don't have to worry about dogs barking or other cats meowing and making your cat's anxiety worse.
Vet visits are still important for anxious cats, so make sure you don't avoid taking them to the vet due to their behavior. If you use the tips above, the visit should be manageable. Reach out to a clinic like Animal Emergency Clinic for more tips.