With some prior success getting Kitty used to the carrier, as discussed in Part 1, it is now time to take a ride to the Veterinarian! Be sure to apply pheromones in the carrier 15 minutes prior to her entry. When it is time to transport, always allow enough time to regulate the temperature in the vehicle according to the weather. It is important to avoid blowing the air vents directly on the carrier while traveling. Although 70’s rock may be your travel music of choice; your cat might find it stressful to listen to. She would prefer soothing music, such as calming classical or no music at all. When you speak to your cat during the ride, use your “regular” tone and avoid a high pitched voice. Changes in your behavior, even tone, may trigger anxiety or stress for Kitty. Finally, although we are sure you already have this covered, it is important to provide the smoothest ride possible. Abrupt stops, or hard cornering that may cause Kitty’s ride to be rough or bumpy will most like upset her and possibly make her car sick.
After your valiant effort, you have now arrived at your destination! Some waiting rooms provide separate waiting areas for our feline friends. If this is not an option, look for seating that gives kitty plenty of personal space. Cats may, perhaps, feel safer when up higher up. When waiting, place the carrier as high as possible, either on your lap or on the seat next to you. Avoid placing on the floor where Kitty may feel vulnerable. Some veterinarians will be able to escort you and your cat into the exam room as soon as you arrive, avoiding the waiting room altogether. Another option is to simply wait in the temperature regulated car and phone them when you have arrived. Ask staff members to notify you via call or text when it is your turn.
Communication is key. Don’t be shy to discuss options and important concerns with support staff when initially scheduling your appointment. Working with staff to create an individualized plan will ultimately allow for a more productive time in the exam room, so Kitty receives the best medical care she deserves. During the appointment, don’t forget to discuss Fear Free options that might be useful for the next trip to the vet. We wish you a happy and stress-free travel!