Winter 2024

Scratch-free veterinarian trips for cats

Getting your cat to the veterinarian can be a stress-free experience—really!

Regular checkups are important for keeping pets happy and healthy. Unfortunately, our pets don't always realize that we’re doing something good for them—in fact, many are downright terrified by the new setting, the strange people or the exam itself. This is especially true for cats.

What can pet parents do to make the veterinarian less scary for our feline friends? These tips can help.

Why your cat needs to see the vet regularly

It’s easy to assume your cat is healthy and fit. However, cats are famously good at hiding when they don’t feel well, as pain or illness are a sign of vulnerability that cats will instinctually conceal. By the time a cat is noticeably feeling unwell, that usually means their illness is advanced and may require longer, more extensive treatment.

Regular visits to the veterinarian help to set a baseline for health. Your veterinarian can offer preventive measures, and often help diagnose underlying conditions earlier, presenting more opportunities to get your cat back in purr-fect health.

The older cats get, the more care they will require. Veterinarians recommended at least 2 checkups per year for all cats, and senior and geriatric cats—cats older than 10—as well as cats with medical or behavioral conditions may require additional care. Decisions regarding the frequency of visits should be made with your veterinarian based on individual needs of your cat.

Getting your cat to the vet

Often, the hardest part of bringing your cat to the vet is getting them there. Here are some tips to help make your next checkup journey easier:

Get fur-miliar. Part of the vet experience for cats includes being handled by strangers, which can be stressful for many cats.

Prepare your cat by practicing regular care—brushing, teeth brushing and nail trimming—at home and getting your cat familiar to touch, especially in the mouth, face, ear, feet and tail areas, so they’ll be used to similar procedures at the vet.

Carrier comfort. Carriers are necessary to keep you and your cat safe on outings. But it’s no surprise that many cats who don’t like to be out of the house associate their carrier with bad experiences.

Practice carrier comfort by placing treats, toys and familiar bedding in the carrier, then leave it in a room where your cat likes to hang out. Let the carrier become a comfortable place to sleep and play over the next few weeks—cats love cozy hiding spots, and you may be surprised how quickly they come to like it.

Get in the car. Just like the carrier, it’s important for cats to associate the car with good things (not just trips to the vet!).

Take your cat on short car trips—a lap or two around the block is good—in their carrier to build familiarity. Keep the stereo volume low and windows up to reduce noise. If your cat is prone to motion sickness, try draping a blanket or towel over the carrier and do not feed them for several hours before travelling. Reward them with positive attention and treats for each successful trip.

Get extra help when you need it. Some cats may need a little extra help with pre-visit medications or feline pheromones that have a calming effect. Your veterinarian can help you decide if that is right for your cat to reduce stress and create a more positive experience for everyone.

At the vet

Cats may feel anxious or threatened when taken out of their familiar environment, so keep their socializing in the clinic to a minimum. If possible, ask the vet staff if you can take your cat directly to an examination room upon arrival.

Once in the room, feel free to ask if you can open the carrier so your cat can adjust to the room and explore. However, remember that some cats may be most comfortable remaining in their carrier (after all, you made it cozy!). Speak softly and remain calm during the examination and chances are your cat will mirror.

Regular checkups can be stressful for everyone, but they’re vitally important for maintaining a baseline for health. Fortunately, with a bit of practice and patience, trips to the veterinarian with your cat can be less painful.

Between checkups, keep a close watch on your pet’s health by creating a cat diary. Performing a monthly checkup at home can catch health problems before they become more serious and help inform conversations with your veterinarian.

Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet

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