My cat is frightened at the vet: what advice can I give to calm him down?

Annual surveillance visit, vaccination, consultation in case of illness... there are plenty of opportunities to take your cat to the vet. But these visits cause a feeling of fear in some cats that can get out of control. A difficult situation for everyone, which does not facilitate auscultation and can even represent a danger. Let's see how to calm your cat when he is afraid at the vet.



Bringing your cat in its transport crate to the clinic
This is absolutely essential because a cat that is scared at the vet can have a panic attack in the waiting room and become like crazy. He may struggle, scratch, bite because he feels trapped in this type of environment, having no possibility to escape. This represents a danger for its master, but also for the other people and animals waiting. And keeping your cat on a leash is not at all a good solution in these moments.

It is very useful to spray the inside of the transport box with pheromones, about ½ hour before the cat enters it. They will have a soothing effect on the little feline. You can also put your favourite toy and a few treats inside to distract and reassure the cat.

Avoid waiting, which generates stress
If the owner has the possibility to schedule a veterinary consultation early, or even as soon as the practice opens, it is preferable because the wait will be shorter. A shy cat can be even more anxious if he has to stay a long time in his transport cage or in the company of other cats and other animals also more or less frightened.

Reassuring your shy cat
The anxious owner at the idea of taking his cat to the vet unconsciously communicates his stress to his little companion. Indeed, the cat is very receptive to his master's moods. It is therefore necessary to take care of yourself, and talk softly to your cat during the trip including in the waiting room where you choose, if possible, a quiet place.

Some cats become frightened when they see other people and animals around them that they do not know. Placing a bath sheet on the carrier while waiting for the consultation may be enough to calm the cat.

Use a cat soothing spray
To prevent the cat from suddenly turning into a furious beast in the waiting room of the veterinarian or during the consultation, it is very useful to use a soothing spray. A herbal product such as valerian can reduce stress and prevent behavioural problems in case of anxiety. The visit to the vet is no longer experienced by the cat as a stressful event. More serene, he is no longer likely to behave like a rabid fawn.

Note that there are also diffusers of soothing plant extracts, pills, calming pipettes with valerian and even collars containing active ingredients that are released gradually over a period of 1 month. Perfect for shy, stressed, anxious cats.

Socialize your kitten so she's less afraid of the vet
Lack of contact with humans promotes fear in cats. The sooner he gets used to visits to the veterinarian, the less likely he is to be afraid in this type of situation. It is recommended to socialize your cat as soon as possible. To do so, he must see strangers (friends, neighbors, etc.), be gradually put in contact with other pets, but also have multiple opportunities to discover different noises, new smells, etc.

In addition, he's used to being handled, through cuddling, playing, daily brushing... Thus, the kitten becomes less and less fearful and has every chance of being much less anxious at all times. The visits to the veterinarian will take place without any stress for the cat and therefore for his companion.

Finally, if, despite all these precautions, the cat is still just as frightened at the veterinarian's or in other situations, it is necessary to talk to the professional so that a solution can be found, because it may be the expression of a psychological problem.