Here at Folly Gardens Vets, we recognise that cats aren’t small dogs and require a very different approach.
Our staff have additional training in feline handling, medicine and behaviour.
Many health problems in cats can be linked to stress and behavioural issues, and as such we work closely here as a team to provide behavioural advice with our RVN and behaviourist Zoe Hockley, as well as behaviourist and well known author Celia Haddon.
Tips for travelling your cat to the vet
Remember they are control freaks! A quiet and steady approach is best, preferably allowing your cat to think getting in the basket was actually their idea! This can often be achieved by buying a suitable carrier (see below) and keeping it out in the house as part of their normal furniture.
Great results can be had by feeding special treats in the carrier, so a positive association is made. Remember cats can do a lot of damage to people if they lose their cool, make use of long sleeves, gloves and towel, spritzed in Feliway where necessary. Any bite/scratch wounds need washing out immediately with soap and water, and medical treatment with your GP sort. Include NHS link to cat scratches/bites here pls.
Things to try when travelling with your cat:
- Buy some Feliway spray – use on your hands and in baskets and bedding associated with the carrier prior to starting.
- Get the right basket – we really like the baskets that give you multiple options! The best ones have a front door, so the cat can look out if they want and a lid also comes off. This means we don’t have to stress your poor cat out as soon as they get here by dragging them out the front. It is often much easier and safer to pop the lid off and part examine a stressed cat in the basket, and lift them out for further treatments.
- Leave the basket out in the house long term, feed lovely treats in it. Many a cat will take to using the basket as a sleeping spot.
- Place bedding in the basket that has come from their bed at home.
- If your cat gets very stressed, try the ‘cat burrito’! Take large bath towel, swaddle cat with head poking out, but all paws within, and pop into basket (this is where those one where the lid comes off are best!
- The cat will soon wiggle out of the towel once in.
- Some cats will load into the carrier well if put in bottom first/reversed in!
- Use an old towel the day before to rub around your puss cats face, this will leave it covered in their facial pheromones, place in the box on day of travel to aid relaxation.
- When travelling some cats respond well to having a light sheet over the basket, so they can hide – just beware they don’t get too warm.
- Remember to secure cat box safely in car. Back seat, with seat belt around the box woks well, or if not possible, securely in the foot well back or front stops the box from injuring you if it were to fly forward in an accident and offers a good degree of protection for your puss cat too.
- Incontinence sheets or an old towel under the box will prevent those nervous pees and poos escaping onto the fabric of the car.
- Keeping the car cool with the air con, beware opening the windows, the noise of traffic can make things worse. Some animals find the radio on quietly a good distraction.
- ALWAYS TRAVEL YOUR PET IN A BASKET – many a road accident has occurred where animals travel loose in vehicles.
- Speak to your vets and nurses; they will be able to teach you some tricks of the trade, and occasionally in rare circumstances prescribe a calming aid to help.