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Just like humans, cats need to see a doctor at least once a year. This experience does not have to be traumatic for them. Introducing these common stressors at an early age and at a pace your cat can adjust to will help.
For starters, get your cat used to the carrier before going to the veterinary clinic. Place the carrier in a common area in your house and leave the door open. Place some treats or cat nip in the carrier and let the cat investigate. Feliway spray (a synthetic pheromone) can be sprayed into the carrier as well and will aid in attracting/calming your cat while in the carrier. Once the cat is well adjusted to the carrier, introduce a car ride. Place some treats or a toy into the carrier with your cat and take him/her for a short ride around the block. This shows the cat that not all rides in the car end at the vet. Make sure not to frighten the cat with loud noises or sounds, i.e. loud music, blasting air/heat. Make sure the carrier is well secured in the car and kept upright at all times, especially when transporting the carrier into the clinic.
Bring your cat into the vet’s office for a “social visit”, preferably at a quiet time of the day. Make the experience positive, lots of treats and pets from the staff. It is important to take your time with cats; they like to do things at their own pace and on their own.