When searching for a carrier, it’s important to look for a one with proper ventilation that is made of sturdy plastic with a front door. Ideally it should also have a top that the cat can be lifted out of. Place the open carrier in an undisturbed area where your cat likes to spend time. Long term, the goal is for your cat to become accustomed to the carrier as a safe place and not just the box that takes them on scary car rides and vet visits. Place a piece of clothing with your scent in the carrier and include soft bedding, their favorite treats, or familiar toys. If your cat is a nervous cat, you might want to consider a calming collar or feliway prior to transport.


While in the car, it’s important to make sure the cat is as comfortable as possible. To reduce motion sickness, avoid feeding your cat a few hours before the trip. After you’ve placed your cat in the carrier, place a towel over the carrier. This should help calm your cat. In the car, drive smoothly and reduce the noise (music, honking, etc.). Instead, try talking to your cat, as your voice can be reassuring. A cat’s sense of hearing is 4 times sharper than ours.


While in the waiting room, keep the towel on the carrier and sit far away from any dogs. When possible, ask to be placed directly into our cat only exam room. Place the carrier on a chair or table and avoid placing it on the ground whenever possible. Once in the exam room, open the carrier to let your cat come out, on their terms, to roam freely and explore. We know veterinary visits can be stressful. At Northlake Animal Hospital we strive to minimize the stress on our patients and make every visit as enjoyable as possible to both you and your pet.