Most cats experience some degree of stress when visiting the vet's office. As a pet owner, you have probably thought about the stress your cat may have when being examined and when being given shots. But have you thought about the stress they may experience in the veterinary clinic waiting room? This can actually be one of the hardest places to manage your cat's stress since you won't have a vet there helping you directly and since there will be other pets and their owners around. Here are some ways you can help keep your stressed-out kitty calm in the veterinary waiting area.
Choose a cat carrier with windows.
Cats tend to get nervous when they cannot see what is going on around them. So if possible, bring your cat to the vet in a carrier that has several windows and good visibility. A crate with windows on the two long sides, for example, allows greater visibility than one with a window only on the front. This way, your cat will be able to see the other dogs and cats in the vet clinic waiting area, and they won't get as startled when they hear these animals make noises.
Spray the carrier with a calming spray before putting your cat inside. Purchase a calming spray from your local pet store. The ones made with pheromones tend to be the most effective. Give your cat's carrier a spritz before you put them inside. The scent will help keep them relaxed as they await their appointment.
Sit in the "cats only" area if there is one.
Some vet clinics have started to divide their waiting areas in half. There may be a "cats only" area where dogs are not allowed to wait. Sit in this area, if there is one. If there is no designated area for cats, sit as far as possible from any dogs. Try to set your cat on the opposite side of you so that you are between them and any dogs. This can help your cat feel safer and better protected.
Talk softly to your kitty.
Talk quietly to you cat as you are sitting in the waiting area. The sound of your voice will assure them that they are not alone and will give them something to focus on, other than the voices of unfamiliar vet clinic workers and other clients.
Many kitties get nervous in waiting rooms. With the tips above, you can keep your cat a little calmer. Contact a local vet clinic for more ideas and information.