At Startown Veterinary Hospital, we believe in fear-free veterinary visits and strive to minimize the stress involved for both you and your cat. Our team will work with you to make sure your pet feels comfortable throughout the entire experience. Read more to find out how what you can do to minimize your pet’s stress level during the veterinary visit.
We know cats can get anxious waiting in the lobby, especially if there are dogs close by. We offer call ahead check-in to avoid wait times in the lobby – we will escort you straight to the exam room.
The exam room
Our cat exam room is tailored to delight all of your cat’s senses. We place heated towels on the exam room table. Pheromone diffusers speak to your cat’s sense of smell and act as a natural calming agent. We will offer tasty treats in the exam room to help distract your cat and make the exam a positive experience. If your cat is a picky eater or has special dietary needs, please bring his favorite treats from home. Most cats are more comfortable having their exam done in the bottom half of their carrier – we will do our best to perform all vaccines and blood work in the carrier to help reduce any anxiety your cat may feel.
The dreaded carrier
We recommend a plastic carrier where the lid can be unsnapped easily (snaps are better than screws). This allows for your cat to stay where he feels comfortable. Almost the entire examination can be performed while your cat rests in the bottom portion of his carrier.
Place your cat’s carrier into their environment a few days prior to the trip to the office. If practical, consider leaving your cat’s carrier out in their environment on a daily basis, allowing them to explore, sleep, play, and maybe even eat in it. This way they won’t associate the carrier just with the trips to the vet. This will make it much easier to get your cat into the carrier.
Spray Feliway, a calming pheromone for cats, into your cat’s carrier and on the seat in your car.
Please bring a stool sample to each wellness appointment.
Your cat will thank you!
Bring your cat to Startown Veterinary Hospital for happy visits – no needles, no temperatures – just treats and love. This can help break the association of the vet’s office with stress. This works best if you start when your cat is very young! But it’s not too late if your cat is older!
Leave yourself plenty of time to get to the office. Aim to leave the house 10 minutes earlier than you think you’d need to get there and prepare everything for your trip several hours in advance (the night before is great, if possible and practical). Not only will this help you minimize your own stress, but it’ll also help you drive safely and slowly which could decrease your cat’s anxiety and car sickness.
Book one of the earlier morning appointment slots, this way they’re less likely to be running behind and your wait will likely be minimized. (If your wait is to be delayed, consider waiting in the car with your cat until your vet’s team can put you directly into an exam room).
For cats that get particularly stressed during trips to the vet, continue doing the above but also talk to one of our veterinarians about possible pre-visit sedation options you can administer at home.