Choose a cage that is enclosed & can be pulled apart
Cats find a trip in the car terrifying. When cats are scared they try and hide. Hiding reduces their anxiety levels, if they can’t hide their anxiety levels increase more and more with time. By the time they arrive at our end they are ready to explode and some are just impossible to deal with.
A good cage is completely enclosed so the cat can feel like it’s hiding away.
Wire topped cages are no good for the cats as they are too exposed. But, if that’s all you’ve got to work with, then you can easily make it more cat friendly by simply throwing a towel over the top of the cage.
If you’re buying a carry cage for your cat
Choose a cage that:
- is fully enclosed
- can be quickly and easily pulled apart with clips on the side
- is sturdy and will not fall apart or the door fly open if dropped
2. When you arrive don't put them down on the ground
Cats like to be up high. Observing things from above makes them feel like they can observe the world in safety. If you leave the cage on the floor they are panicking inside. They:
- can’t see what’s happening
- don’t feel safe and
- then get harassed by dogs & children and
- have legs walking around & towards them all the time.
3. In the consulting room leave them in the cage
Most of the examination can be done with your cat still in the cage. Leave them in their until the vet asks you to take them out. Some cats will come out on their own if you give them long enough.
If you can split the cage apart put it on the examination table and take the top off. The cat can still hide within the walls of the lower half of the cage and will then feel safer.
If you put a blanket or towel in with them they may like to hide underneath that. A hiding cat can still be examined, a bit at a time. They are less likely to explode and get angry if you let them hide.
4. Spray your cage with feliway before you put the cat in
Feliway is a synthetic facial pheromone that makes cats feel calm and relaxed. It is available in a spray that can be used to spray their cage about 30 minutes poor to their visit. This will make the cage a lot less scary for them and help to reduce their anxiety levels.
Pheromones are like hormones and have a chemical effect on the brain. We can’t detect the odour but the cats feel much calmer and more relaxed.
A relaxed cat is a happy cat!