10 useful tips for transporting your cat to the veterinarian’s office in the best conditions
1. Never travel with your cat loose in the car.
2. Choose a sturdy carrier that opens at the top and front, and can also be split down the middle (an easy-to-remove top section allows you to examine an anxious cat while leaving it in the bottom section without having to remove it from the carrier). Focus on practical and functional features, avoiding fancy, often expensive carrying baskets.
3. Place the carrier in your home where your cat can consider it “part of the furniture” and will gradually make it his own by using it regularly.
4. Make the basket as comfortable and familiar as possible by placing a cloth inside with your or your cat’s scent on it (for example, you can gently rub a cloth over your cat’s head to get the scent). Spray synthetic feline facial pheromones (FeliwayND) on the fabric at least 30 minutes before departure. Keep in mind that your cat may get sick or dirty during the trip, so it’s always a good idea to bring an extra blanket for the return trip.
5. Pour faire entrer votre chat dans son panier, s’il ne le fait pas spontanément, attrapez-le calmement et faites le passer par l’ouverture du dessus. You can also remove the top half of the basket and replace it once your cat is inside. If your cat absolutely refuses to enter the basket, you can wrap him in a towel (with his scent or pheromones on it), and place him in the basket.
Good to know: during transport, it is important to install the basket correctly in your car, so that it does not move and your cat is not too anxious.
6. Once in the car, keep the basket from being tossed around during the trip by securing it to the floor behind the front seat or by securing it to the back seat with the seat belt. Drive carefully; avoid listening to loud or aggressive music; speak softly to your cat to reassure it; the calmer the owner, the better the cat feels. Some cats like to look outside, but most prefer to travel in a basket covered with a blanket.
7. When you get out of the car to walk to the practice, avoid shaking the basket too much or banging it against your legs.
8. Once at the reception desk, ask the assistants to show you where to sit and where to put the basket. We strongly recommend that you place the front of the basket facing you (rather than towards other cats!) and that you do not remove the blanket that covers the basket while you are in the waiting room.
9. Of course, we recommend that you repeat this same protocol on the return trip.
10. If you have more than one cat, there are certain precautions you should take when bringing one of your pets home, especially after a long stay in the office. Laissez le chat qui revient pendant quelques minutes dans son panier afin d’observer la réaction des autres. If all your cats remain calm, you can open the basket and let the returnee join his fellow cats. If you feel tension between your cats, it’s probably because the cat coming home is still carrying odors from the practice. If this happens to you, leave your recovering cat in a separate room (of course, with a litter box, food and fresh water!) for at least 24 hours so that he or she can return to a more familiar smell.Good to know: it is important to choose a basket whose top part can be completely removed.