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Cat carriers and travel to the Vet

Coming to the vet clinic can be stressful for cats. There are some things we can do to minimise the stress associated with being put in the carrier and coming to the vet.

Firstly the choice of carrier is important:
- Large enough that the cat can stand and turn around
- Sturdy and able to be opened from top and front
- A carrier that the top half comes off is good. The cat can be left in and the carrier disassembled to save dragging them out through the front opening
- Soft familiar bedding and pheromone sprays can help

Getting the cat familiar with the carrier can minimise stress:
- Having the carrier in the house, open and in an area where the cat likes to rest
- Feeding the cat in it will enable them to feel relaxed and more likely to enter willingly
- An elevated site is often attractive to cats and may become a resting spot as they also like being enclosed
- Soft bedding and pheromone spray will also make the carrier more attractive

When travelling to the clinic:
- Cover the carrier with a towel to make the cat feel less vunerable
- Carry the carrier securely – don’t carry like a suitcase and avoid swinging the carrier
- Place on the floor or on a rubber mat to stop the carrier sliding once in the car.
- Pheromone spray can help if placed on the bedding of the carrier and in the car.
- Avoid loud music and noises on the way to the clinic.

Contact the clinic for advice if you would like help to minimise the stress associated with travel to the clinic. For some cats, medication given prior to visiting can help reduce stress. Our nurse Annie Russell in the Amberley Clinic has a special interest in cat behaviour and is happy to assist over the phone with cat behavioural issues.

About the author

Kate Anderson

Kate Anderson

North Canterbury Veterinarian

Our Clinics

North Canterbury Veterinary Clinics operates four clinics throughout the Hurunui region.