Chapter contents

•. TAKING YOUR CATS TO THE VETS

Its that time of the year again when vaccinations & a check up at the vets are necessary.

Make sure you have a secure carrier!

How do cats know its vet time? 

They recognise the change in everyday routines & pick up on any anxiety their people might have about the ordeal ahead. They may see the carrier emerge, or notice its presence after it had been absent since the last visit. They will also notice if they are being treated or addressed unusually, this will alarm them that something is up & they may disappear into the garden to safety as their house has become insecure.

Cats hate to be relocated & often dislike the appearance of carriers, which they associate with negative past events.

How can we prevent panic?

Create positive associations between them & the carrier...

Leave carriers out permanently for them to use as comfortable dens

• Occasionally put a treat in the back of their carriers for them to go in to get.

At first they will be tentative but after repeating the excersise occasionally, without shutting them in or carrying them anywhere, they will learn to readily go into their carrier for their treat with you there. This will make the activity normal & routine when it is vet time & they shouldn't notice any changes in normal household activities.

• If your carrier is hidden away, get it out every now and then & follow the step above. This will portray to them that the emergence of the carrier means that they get a treat & nothing negative happens. 

 

If your cat is particularly upset by being shut in a carrier, you could follow the above steps & every now and then shut the door on them for short lengths of time & release them for freedom & a treat.

 

Never leave a cat alone & unattended in their carrier for longer than a few moments

They may begin to feel anxious, trapped & can panic - very negative associations. As a dominant presence, your proximity & calm should reassure them (try not to verbally reassure them as they may see this as a sign to be worried - because you are).

 

You can even begin to carry them around the house, perhaps to another room where a treat or a meal is waiting for them so they re-focus positively following their brief confinement.

The idea is desensitisation & positive association

When using a wicker carrier be sure that the structure is completely intact and that any leather straps are strong & secure. Worn leather can snap

When using a wicker carrier be sure that the structure is completely intact and that any leather straps are strong & secure. Worn leather can snap

Hard plastic carriers that separate into two halves. Be sure that all the clasps are strong & absolutely secure before using one of these!

Hard plastic carriers that separate into two halves. Be sure that all the clasps are strong & absolutely secure before using one of these!

There are Sherpa bags, these are strong but they have a zipper door operation & people may not realise they contain animals. Attach signs to the material

There are Sherpa bags, these are strong but they have a zipper door operation & people may not realise they contain animals. Attach signs to the material

They may not look comfortable, but basket carriers are probably the most secure. Make them more comfortable with towels and cover them with something.

They may not look comfortable, but basket carriers are probably the most secure. Make them more comfortable with towels and cover them with something.

When re-located leave cats with their carriers, they may cling to them for a little security

When re-located leave cats with their carriers, they may cling to them for a little security

Chapter contents