Visiting the Vet
For some cats, going to the veterinarian can be a very stressful time. They get used to their own home environment and leaving it can be overwhelming. Making visits to the veterinarian easier on your cat will result in vet visits that are more pleasant for your cat, you and the veterinary staff.
First and foremost, keep in mind that your attitude, anxieties and worries are easily picked up on by your pet. Bengal cats are very attuned to our emotions and if we are worried… they know it! Therefore, relax and be optimistic. Your optimism will help your cat to see that a visit to the vet is nothing to fret over.
Don’t overstimulate your cat prior to the vet visit with toys, extra play time or too much petting. Make every effort to make this “just another day.”
If the only time that your cat gets into its carrier and goes for a car ride is when it’s going to see the vet, then a car trip may cause anxiety. So, mix it up. If your Bengal cat enjoys walks on a lead and a harness, then perhaps take a drive to a park and then go for a walk. This will help your cat associate a fun activity with the carrier and the ride. Provide treats when your cat is let out of the carrier. Help to make the experience a positive one.
If the only time your cat sees a carrier is when it has to go to the vet, well then it will be easy for him or her to associate the carrier with a vet visit. Try making the carrier more a part of the environment by taking it out once in a while, setting it up in the middle of the room allowing your cat to play in it or sleep in it. Make it inviting by adding treats, toys or a favorite bed. Then …go nowhere! Doing this regularly will help to make the carrier less of an “omen.”
Pheromones designed to keep your cat calm can be useful in carrier training. Spray the inside of the carrier with a little pheremone treatment to calm nerves and again to make the carrier more appealing.
The Day of the Visit
- First, spritz the carrier and the car with a pheremone product to create a calming environment.
- Have a towel, pad or bed that smells like home inside the carrier.
- Always use a carrier for comfort and safety. You can drape a towel over the carrier to provide a place for your cat to hide, should he or she need that to feel more comfortable.
- Don’t feed your cat prior to the visit. If your cat is upset it may vomit. Instead keep a few treats to give after the visit. These treats will typically be appreciated by a Bengal cat that is a little hungrier than usual.
While most Bengal cats are very adaptable and travel easily, there are some that just need a little help and reassurance that all is well. Typically, cats that don’t get out of their “comfort zone” (read home) or those that live in a fairly quiet environment with little change are the ones that have a harder time with visits to the vet. Mixing up their routine can help them adjust better.
For those rare cats that need even more help than the above suggestions, your veterinarian may prescribe and anti-anxiety drug to be given prior to a visit the office …or you may want to consider a mobile veterinarian that that will come to your home.