I took out the carrier and Fluffy went into hiding!

by Karrie Grayden

Did you know that the Brooklyn Park Pet Hospital is a Cat Friendly Practice? This means that we have made changes to decrease stress and provide a more calming environment. The staff has also been trained in feline-friendly handling and understanding cat behavior in order to increase the quality of care for your cat.

It can be stressful for both the cat and the cat owner to visit the veterinarian. However, by providing yearly wellness care, you can assist your cat in having a longer, more comfortable life.The veterinary visit starts before you even arrive at the veterinary clinic with trying to get your cat in the carrier and the car ride to the practice.

The goal is for the cat to enter the carrier voluntarily:

  • If your cat is not acclimated to a carrier, putting it in a small room with few hiding places may encourage the cat to choose the carrier.
  • Consider spraying a synthetic feline facial pheromone in the carrier 30 minutes prior to transport (check out Feliway® as an option).
  • Leaving the carrier out at all times as just another bed or piece of furniture will help a cat feel more secure and comfortable when it’s time to go to the vet or other strange places.  You may find that this ends up to be your cat’s favorite spot to take a nap.
  • Leave treats and toys or catnip inside it.  It can take days to weeks for your cat to trust the carrier.  Be patient.
  • Familiar bedding, toys or food should be brought with the cat during travel or a stay at the clinic.
  • Move slowly and stay calm with making as minimal noise as possible.  Cats do not learn from punishment or force.
  • Choose an inexpensive hard sided carrier that can open from the top, from the front and that can be taken apart.  This allows a cat that is anxious, fearful or in pain, to be examined in the bottom half of the carrier. Choose a kennel that is sturdy, secure, stable and easy to carry.  Some cats prefer being able to see out, others like to be covered.
  • Go to American Association for Feline Practioners for other tips and strategies.

It’s the Brooklyn Park Pet Hospital’s policy to always bring your cat to the clinic in a carrier to ensure our feline friends safety!

Karrie Grayden
Veterinary Assistant