8 cat carrier tips for calmer vet visits

Some cats may not love going to the vets, but visits don't have to be a nightmare. Our Head Vet and the team are sharing their top tips for making vet visits easier for you and your cat.

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How to get your cat to the vets

Where to start...

Having your cat accept a cat carrier is important for any time you need to take them for routine or emergency care. A familiar carrier can give your cat a safe sanctuary that makes veterinary visits more tolerable for them.

Our cat-loving team have put together their top tips for helping your cat learn to accept a carrier and making vet visits as stress free as possible.

Eight tips for calmer vet visits with your cat

1. Choose a cat carrier that is both sturdy and secure to avoid your cat escaping - you will need one carrier per cat to avoid stressing them out when travelling.

2. Carriers with an opening at the top can be easier to lift your cat in and out of. Front opening carriers can be useful if your cat is good at climbing in and out themselves when needed.

3. Get your cat used to their carrier by treating it as part of the furniture at home. This will create a positive association instead of signalling ‘Alert - Vet Visit’:

a. Leave it out around the house with the door open/lid off

b. Place some of your cat’s bedding and toys inside so it smells familiar

c. You can also put your own clothing inside to help your cat settle

d. Allow your cat to use it as a bed if they wish

e. Putting treats inside can encourage your cat to give it a go

4. Spray Feliway inside the carrier 30 minutes before putting your cat in to help them relax – ask us about cat calming products.

5. Put a towel loosely over the carrier during the car ride and whilst in the waiting area at our practice – this will enable your cat to hide and feel safe. If you forget the towel, we can provide you with one.

6. Secure the carrier on a level surface in your car ideally using a seatbelt on the rear seats or in one of the footwells.

7. Avoid playing loud music. Instead, talk to your cat in a soothing voice during the journey.

8. Once at our practice, sit away from our canine visitors and place your cat’s basket on a chair or a platform off the ground. Being up high and hiding can reduce stress and help your cat cope in unfamiliar surroundings.

So, there you have it; give our top tips a go and let us know how you get on via our Facebook page,

Share your thoughts with us!

One final piece of advice from the team; take some spare bedding with you just in case of ‘accidents’. If your cat does make a mess, this could be due to them feeling unsure in their surroundings, or they are just desperate for the toilet. Avoid telling them off as this will undo all your hard work getting them to this point. 

Good luck!

8 cat carrier tips for calmer vet visits