Checklist: What to do before, during, and after your cat vet visit.
Taking your cat to the veterinarian doesn't need to be a struggle—but the truth is, so many cat parents dread the routine trip to the veterinary clinic. If you're part of that crowd, this is just the checklist for you! This Fear Free®-approved checklist will help create a stress-free experience for both your cat and you, from the days leading up to your appointment to when you bring your feline friend back home.
3+ Days Ahead of Your Cat's Appointment
- Let your cat become acquainted with their carrier; leave it out in the open for them to sniff and explore!
- Practice putting your cat in their carrier and taking them out.
- Get acquainted with Fear Free processes.
- Create your Papaya App profile and complete your cat's emotional record.
- Write down any questions or concerns that you have for the vet.
The Morning of Your Cat's Appointment
- Budget plenty of time ahead of the appointment to avoid being rushed.
- Allow your cat time to use the litter box.
- Don't feed them ahead of the appointment (so treats are extra delicious!).
- If your veterinarian recommends supplements or medications ahead of car travel, give them to your cat as prescribed.
- Queue up a calming playlist, such as David Teie's Music for Cats.
- Douse a bandana or towel in calming pheromones and drape over carrier
- Pack the following items:
- Favorite treats
- Favorite toy
- Grooming brush
- Clothing that smells like you
At Your Cat's Appointment
- Wait in your car until your veterinary care team is ready to see your cat and you.
- Use a soft voice; avoid higher pitches or shouting.
- Remain calm; if you're stressed, your cat will be stressed too!
- Let your veterinarian know if you have specific concerns or questions.
After Your Cat's Appointment
- Reintroduce your cat slowly to other pets.
- Provide your cat with a private and quiet recovery space.
- Use a pheromone diffuser to help your cat feel at ease.
- If veterinarian-approved, feed your cat a meal or play with them.
What if it's an Emergency?
Every pet owner dreads an emergency, but situations like this can arise. You can be prepared ahead of time to get your cat care as quickly as possible. If you're unsure if your cat needs urgent care, call your veterinarian immediately to assess the situation.
- Stay calm as panicking may cause your pet to become agitated.
- Respond as much as possible.
- If injured or bleeding, swaddle your cat in a towel.
- Place your cat in their carrier carefully.
- Bring along any prescription medications.
- Drive safely to the veterinarian or emergency pet hospital.
- CBD may have calming effects on cats and dogs.
- If your cat is terrified of the veterinarian… they're not alone. That's why we created the Papaya Comfort Visit™, which you can learn about here.
- Discover more Papaya-approved cat parenthood tips.
The information in this blog is reviewed and approved by the Fear Free Certified veterinarians at Papaya Pet Care.