Can't Catch My Cat to Take to the Veterinarian

by Laurie

Hello! I just wanted to let you know that I thoroughly enjoy reading your responses. You do a great service!

I have a problem getting a five year old Bengal Cat to the vet for her yearly shots. She is extremely skittish and freaks out whenever you approach her with the cat carrier or even her harness. As of late, I cannot even get her collar back on her. When I try any of this she becomes all claws and starts twisting her body while hissing. I hate to see her so stressed out, but she needs her shots.

She never really liked to be picked up in the first place, which makes things worse. From what I understand, her breeder said that she was picked on by the other kittens in her litter. Otherwise, she is a great cat and loves to be affectionate and to be petted on her own terms. I have tried many of the things that you have suggested in your article to no avail. I am just fearful on what is going to happen once I do get her to the vet. The next step is to try to put out a big box (the curious cats that they are!) and wait for her to jump in. I have forewarned the vets office to be prepared.

Do you have any other suggestions? I hate to see her completely stressed out over this ordeal. Thank you!!!

Dear Laurie,

Thank you for your kind words. Taking a cat to a veterinarian's office can be a difficult experience for many people and for their favorite felines.

I would highly suggest you invest in a Sleepypod. The first time I saw a Sleepypod cat carrier, one of my clients brought her elderly Bengal in for an exam. As I'm sure you know, Bengal cats can be very vocal and very active, but when this kitty came in to my office for the first time in his new Sleepypod, he was calmer than I had ever seen before.

The Sleepypod cat carrier doubles as a cat bed and a car seat. It won't work right away, but the idea is to keep the dome lid off of the pod for your kitty to use as a bed. Since the cat will be using the Sleepypod base as a bed in your home, they are not afraid of it when it comes time to use it as a carrier. Quite the opposite, actually. They find it very comforting and familiar. Also, if your cat is anything like my own and my client's, she will already be in the Sleepypod sleeping when it’s time to leave the house for the vet's office. Within seconds, you can simply zip the dome top on and have a secure, comfortable way to transport your kitty to the vet.

I'm not sure where you live, but if you were in my area, I would recommend arranging an appointment with my house call practice, Ask the Cat Doctor House Calls for Cats. House call veterinarians can bring veterinary services to your door, so you can avoid all of the stress on both you and your kitty altogether. Since I assume you do not live nearby, you may want to explore whether there are any mobile veterinary services in your area.

Best wishes to you and your feline,
Dr. Neely

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