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Cat Visits

Hello, and thank you for making an appointment for your cat! Here are a few tips and resources we’ve compiled to help make your upcoming appointment with us as smooth as possible for your cat.

Remember, animals who aren’t feeling well are more susceptible to the effects of stress. And if your pet is seeing us for a well check or vet nurse appointment, reducing stress makes future visits much easier for all parties involved.

See Below For More Information On Different Ways To Make This a Successful Visit For Your Cat:


If your veterinarian has recommended that your cat have oral sedation before the appointment, such as gabapentin, please check your prescription for its expiration date. If you have an early morning appointment, give a full dose late the night before (~10PM) as well as a morning dose (~7AM). It usually take 2-3 hours to fully take effect in pets, and it’s important your cat has time to respond before they’re placed in their carrier.

Cat Carrier

Please ensure your cat’s carrier is in good condition. This means it’s clean, has an absorbent item (such as a towel or puppy pad) inside, and that it ideally has no zip ties or broken mechanisms making disassembly difficult. We strongly advise a hard plastic carrier that has a removable lid, rather than a fabric bag or a cardboard carrier, if possible.

How To Reduce Stress Before Your Visit

Minimizing stress at the veterinary hospital begins at home. If your cat is not used to the carrier, leaving it in a visible location signals to them only one thing—stress. There are many ways to reduce this. One way is to leave the carrier in a fixed-open position all the time in your cat’s environment, so they are used to seeing it, and can explore on their own.

Another option is to use Feliway products to help soothe your pet with appeasing pheromones. They have many types of products which you can purchase online (e.g. on Amazon). It helps to keep your pet indoors the night before the appointment if they’re outdoor cats, and if indoors, it helps to sequester them into a small space where they can’t hide under furniture or other objects. It can be helpful to stand the carrier with the door facing towards the ceiling and lower your cat in, feet first. Then, gently turn the carrier so it rests on the ground before picking it up to place it in the car.

Once inside the car, make sure it’s a comfortable temperature and the radio is quiet. Place your cat’s carrier on the backseat floor, behind a seat. If there are other people riding in the vehicle with you, ask them to speak softly and say soothing things to your cat to help them feel comfortable during the ride. Try not to make sudden turns or stops as this can promote carsickness and worsen stress for your cat before arrival.

Once you’ve arrived at the clinic, and if you’re early, let us know you’ve arrived with a phone call. We will let you know if your exam room or assistant is ready, and that you can enter the cat lobby of our clinic. If there is a delay, your cat would probably prefer to stay in the car with a controlled temperature and adjust for a moment before entering the clinic.

Once Inside The Veterinary Hospital

When you bring your cat inside, it can help to cover their carrier in a towel or blanket if it’s not too warm. Not seeing the people and interior can help them feel safe and protected before we ask any more of them.

When the vet nurse or receptionist shows you to your room, try to keep your cat in the carrier and on the floor. If they have been covered, they can remain so until the vet nurse is ready to open the carrier. Speak softly to them and allow them to adjust to the room while you explain your reason for visiting us today, and any concerns you may have. Please let our staff know as much as you can about your cat’s preferences in handling, and their temperament.

Your cat may prefer to roam around the room and explore once they’re out of their carrier. This is a normal behavior for this species, and one we support, so long as the cat is not jumping onto the area where we keep our computer and other clinical items. During the examination, your cat may be more comfortable on a towel on the exam table, and our staff will attempt to reduce stress using the towel. If you brought one from home and it is clean, feel free to use it to comfort your cat during its stay with us.

Once Your Cat Is Home Again

Be sure to follow any guidance we have given you about your cat’s post-visit care, including any follow-up appointments or needed samples. If your cat has been sedated or had anesthesia, don’t release them straight outside again for at least 24 hours. If you have other cats at home, they may react negatively to the pet who visited the clinic. This is very common, and can have severe consequences at times. If your cat has had a surgical procedure, they should stay away from other cats for many days to allow them to recuperate fully.

If the other cats are hissing, allow your cat in the carrier to be alone in a room for a few hours with a litter box and water, if appropriate. After they have a chance to groom themselves, they will start to smell like a cat the others recognize. Feliway can also help reduce these negative interactions.

Thank you for reading through these ideas for improving your cat’s visit with us. It is our aim to uphold the welfare of all of our patients, however we can. We appreciate your collaboration and care to help achieve this on today’s visit and any in the future. Please email our clinic at with any questions and we will attempt to get back to you as soon as we can.

This article is very helpful and comprehensive and has more information for you to consider:

Please make sure that when you arrive at our hospital that you have your pets on their leash for their safety. Sorry for the inconvenience of the loud noises due to construction as we work to expand our hospital and services.

Please arrive early due to limited parking. Thank you for your understanding.