You will need to take your feline companion to the veterinarian for regular check-ups as well as in the event when they become ill or injured. If you want to avoid putting your cat through the stress of traveling in a carrier, you have several options. However, while having your cat in their office without a carrier can be more comfortable for him, many veterinarians do not appreciate having cats in their office without a carrier. It can also be a safety risk if your cat is not trained correctly. Inquire with your veterinarian about whether or not you are required to use a carrier.
Securing the Cat without a Carrier
Make use of a sports bag
You must make sure that your cat is not a distraction in the veterinarian’s office. Even simply holding your cat in your arms can be problematic, as cats are notoriously difficult to secure when they are scared. If you don’t want to use a suitable carrier or don’t have one, a sports bag might be an alternative solution.
- Sports bags are specifically designed to transport clothing and other equipment to and from the gym or other athletic events. Cats can breathe freely through many sports bags since they are lined with nylon material filled with holes.
- Cat owners who believe carriers are uncomfortable for their cats may opt to utilize a nylon sports bag to transport their cats to and from the veterinarian. Make sure you choose a sports bag with at least some nylon or meshes sides so that your cat may get some fresh air and view his surroundings while being taken to the veterinarians.
- It would help if you also looked for a sports bag with a robust and flat bottom that is secure. When you take up the bag, a not adequately supported base will sink in, causing discomfort for your feline companion.
Most cat owners stock their sports bags with toys, blankets, and other stuff that their cats could find comforting.
Make use of a harness
A cat harness is a piece of equipment that cat parents use to walk their cats. If you want to take your feline companion to the vet without using a carrier, you might want to think about using a harness instead.
- Make sure that the harness you purchase is specifically made for cats. Harnesses intended for small dogs may pose a risk to a cat if worn by the feline.
- Allow your feline furry friend to become accustomed to the harness before securing him in the harness. It should be draped across his body with care. Allow him to sniff and investigate it. Gently ease his body into the harness and fasten the buckle to keep him safe. Some cats may be resistant, and you may require the assistance of another person to restrain your cat.
- Allow him to try on the harness for a short period of time under supervision and without a leash. You can next secure the leash if he appears comfortable in the harness, to the point where he is no longer wiggling or attempting to unfasten it.
- Spend a week or so practicing walking your cat about the home before taking him outside on a leash. Allow him to become acclimated to the restrictions and wait until he is no longer tugging or resisting before putting him out with the leash attached.
- Once your cat has become accustomed to being walked indoors, begin taking him on brief walks around the neighborhood. Before you attempt to take your kitty to the veterinarian’s office, you should spend a few months getting comfortable with the situation. Keep in mind that a veterinarian’s office will include many unusual stimuli, such as ringing phones, weird people, and other animals, to keep you alert. You’ll need to put in a lot of practice time before you can safely transport him to the veterinarian.
If your cat is calm, a basket or a bed can be a good option
If your cat is calm, a basket or a bed can be a good option. If your cat is older and very gentle, you may be able to keep him contained in a basket or bed if you have one. But this is only a viable option if you are confident in your cat’s temperament. You do not want to put your cat’s safety, as well as the safety of other people and animals in the waiting room, in danger by allowing your cat to leap out and raise a commotion.
Proceed with care when using this strategy, as even the most docile cats can become frightened in an unusual or frightening situation, such as a veterinarian’s office.
Getting Your Cat Accustomed to Being in the Car
If at all feasible, begin when your cat is young
If at all feasible, begin when you are young. If you want to take your kitty to the veterinarian without using a crate, you must first train him to be comfortable in the car without his crate. When you have a kitten, it’s a lot easier to expose him to the car than when you obtain an adult cat.
- Kittens tend to acclimate to new situations far more quickly than adult cats. If at all feasible, begin educating your cat to travel while he is less than a year old to ensure a smooth transition.
- When your cat is older, you can still train him to travel in the car without becoming ill or injured. It may take longer but be patient.
Introduce your cat to the car in small steps
Because a car might be a terrifying setting for a cat, it is preferable to make gradual exposures. Introduce him to the car in small groups at a time.
Make sure to bring your cat into the car when it is not in motion. Maintain his calm and provide him with goodies and affection as he adjusts to his new surroundings. Allow him to explore the automobile in small bursts for a couple of weeks, allowing him to become acquainted with his new surroundings.
Before you go to the veterinarian, practice driving
Once your cat has been accustomed to being in the car, you should begin to take him along for the ride.
- First, try turning on the engine and allowing him to become acclimated to the sounds it creates.
- Once he’s gotten acquainted with the engine, take him for brief drives. It is sufficient to drive around the block in the car. As your cat becomes more accustomed to being in the car, you can gradually introduce longer drives. It’s a fine idea to take your cat for a few practice drives to the veterinarian’s office to get him used to the route before scheduling any appointments.
- Continuously provide positive reinforcement in the form of goodies and praise throughout the procedure.
Precautions should be taken
Even the most peaceful cats can become agitated in the automobile if they are startled. As alternatives to carriers, bags or baskets can be used to restrain a cat so that he does not interfere with your driving while you are on the road. Furthermore, a harness or strap can be used to restrain him. When you are driving, you don’t want your cat to crawl under your feet or beneath the brake/gas pedal, as this might easily result in an automobile accident.
Make your cat acclimated to taking public transportation
If you do not have access to a vehicle, you will need to train your cat to be comfortable using public transportation before taking him to the veterinarian. You can get some practice in by taking a brief bus, train, or metro ride. Understand, however, that the great majority of public transit alternatives in a city require that your cat be restrained in some form of kennel or bag. You will most likely be unable to transport your cat on public transportation, such as the metro, with only a harness or in a basket without a lid. If you intend to use this method to keep your cat safe while visiting the veterinarian, you may wish to take a cab or ask a friend to accompany you.
Recognizing the Potential Risks
Understand that veterinarians do not like it when cats come in without carriers
When people bring cats into veterinarian offices without carrying them in carriers, veterinarians and their staff are often unhappy. Recognize that if you decide to get your cat into the house without a crate, you will likely encounter some pushback from the team.
- Bringing your cat into the clinic without a carrier, mainly if he is not contained in something like a sport’s bag, places a significant amount of unnecessary strain on the staff. Workers in the waiting room must take extra care to ensure that your pet is secure and does not become a victim of another animal, such as a dog or another animal. Also, keep in mind that the clinic cannot guarantee your cat’s safety if it is not in a carrier. For example, a dog off-leash who enjoys chasing cats may enter the waiting area and charge at your cat, causing it to become wounded.
- Some veterinarians may insist that cats be transported in a carrier. Before bringing your cat into the clinic without an appointment, you might wish to call ahead and inquire.
Learn about the safety features that carriers offer
It’s for a good reason that veterinarians recommend certain carriers. Recognize that a carrier provides several safety elements that are crucial for your cat.
Transporters offer safe automobile travel by ensuring that your cat does not roam around the vehicle, potentially causing an accident by interfering with your driving.
When cats are scared, they are more prone to flee the scene. If your cat escapes through the car door, he may be challenging to track down. Veterinarian offices are typically located in locations with a high concentration of automobiles. This could be harmful to your cat’s well-being.
If your cat is docile, you shouldn’t assume that other animals would behave in the same manner as your cat. Many canines are not friendly toward cats, and your cat is better off being contained within a carrier if a dog becomes violent.
Look for ways to make the job of a carrier less stressful
Suppose you are primarily opposed to using a carrier because of concerns about stress. In that case, there are steps you can do to make using a carrier less unpleasant for your feline companion.
- Do not simply remove the carrier from the house when it is time for a vet visit. Leave the door open, and the windows open in the living room. Considering that cats are den animals, they may like resting in their carriers sometimes.
- From time to time, take your cat on brief car journeys in his carrier. Going to the vet will be less upsetting if you take him for a short walk around the block in his carrier.
You may make a carrier more comfortable for your cat by placing treats, toys, and other objects that he enjoys inside the crate with him, just as you would with a sports bag.