What to do before, during, and after your next vet visit

What to do before, during, and after your next vet visit

A trip to the vet can be a nerve-wracking experience for any pet parent. Between cajoling your cat into the carrier for the trip there to luring them out of the carrier for the examination itself, the whole thing can feel like A LOT.

We turned to our vet-in-residence, Dr. Katja Lang (Medical Director at The Heart of Chelsea Veterinary Group), for her expert opinion. We may be biased, but this is one post worth bookmarking. 

Before:

Get your cat comfortable with its carrier

Dr. Lang's advice:

  • Leave the carrier out ahead of time so they can get used to it
  • Make the carrier more enticing with soft bedding and treats
  • Try pheromones! Dr. Lang recommends spraying Feliway (a soothing pheromone that mimics the calming chemicals cats produce in their whiskers) inside the empty carrier about 10 minutes before you leave for the vet

During:

Come prepared. If your cat is extra skittish, ask to wait in a quiet area or unoccupied exam room

Dr. Lang's advice: 

  • Bring lots of information about your cat's daily habits
  • Share any small changes to help your vet get the whole picture, think: 
    • Thirst
    • Bathroom behaviors
    • Appetite
    • Activity level
    • General behavior 

If your cat becomes anxious or fearful during the visit, talk to your vet about a medication to help make the visit more comfortable.

After: 

Your cat may be stressed (here's how to help!)

Dr. Lang's advice: 

  • Let your cat reacclimate slowly by leaving them alone to decompress in a quiet room
  • Provide easy access to food, water, and a litterbox. (And maybe more treats!)

And that's it! (easier said than done, right?). We hope these tips prepare you for smooth sailing during your next appointment.