Pets need to have comfortable surroundings, which they choose instinctively.
Original Image taken by jussiecatwriter
Just as humans do not look forward to going to the doctor or the dentists, pets find visits to their doctors, veterinarians, more traumatising. I mean, we at least are told why we are going, or we hopefully are not that sick that we choose to go of our own volition.
In addition we are not stuck inside boxes, enclosed, or cages.
Cats experience the extra discomfort of (on the whole) not liking car rides.
However, there are a few things I have found to make my cat, Suzie's visit to the vet a less miserable experience for her.
1. I try to limit the time she has to be inside the box, popping her in just before she goes. When she comes home, I let her out as soon as possible.
2. I try to make the distance between where we Iive and the vet as short as possible. For cats, they appear to like smooth roads and being placed on a flat car seat rather than lap preferable.
3 . While the cat is at the vets, Suzie seemed most relaxed when I also brought in my neighbour who's house is like a second home to her. She was left to wander the tables comfortably.
4. Animals can pick up on feelings, and so we made the experience as natural for her as possible, just talking normally to her. Giving her a pat, but yet letting her wander.
5. When your pet arrives home, give them a treat, just as a child might like a lolly pop after going to the doctors.
6. I believe just as people form rapport and trust with their doctors over time, so do pets. Each time Suzie sees our regular vet, she is a little more at peace that last time. I try to arrange it so she sees her usual doctor. I know I would find talking to a different GP uncomfortable.
7. Here's another point at which I believe animals are more like humans than people may think. Our last cat, Pussbie, ran when I spelt out v-e-t. Not only did she understand, she could spell! Suzie knows when I am talking about her. Her ears will invariably prick. I tell Suzie gently why I was taking her, that it was not going to necessarily be the nicest thing, but the truth. I told her she would be getting a needle (her yearly vaccination) which she would not feel, and it would be over in an instant.
8. Suzie has on two occasions soiled the box in which she is carried to be taken to the vet. If you think the smell is not nice, imagine sitting in such an environment if it was yourself! There are no ways to avoid these things but I brought a blanket this time. Next time I may choose paper towels which can be disposed of easier. Or, bring a spare blanket to make it just as comfortable for your pet on the way back.
9. If your cat is a particularly timid one, and there are lots of dogs and cats in the surgery, try to find a day when it's quieter so your pet is not so frightened, or excited by the noise.
10. Act as you normally would. Suzie is affectionate, but not overly so. She loves your presence, to know that I'm there. So I talk to her. She will follow me around, and I will pet her, but she does not like to much of that. Therefore, in the vet's room, she seemed most at ease when treated in the same way.
Going to the vet's is never a pleasant experience for pets (at least I can guess for they cannot vocalise), but having just come back from Suzie's yearly vaccination, I am sharing some issues that may be considered to make your pet's visit as least traumatising as possible.
It's not pleasant for any of us to go to the doctors, but you can lessen the turmoil for your pets, whether they be dog or cat.