Is Your Cat Scared of the Vet?

Judy at the Vet
Judy at the Vet

If you subscribe to our Floppycats’ newsletter, you probably recently received an email requesting photos.  Judy’s mom sent this one in and it made me think to do a blog post about whether or not your cat is scared of the vet.

My vet, when I got Charlie and Trigg, told me to bring them in once a week or more and just let them check out the place and then they’d never be scared.  Of course, I didn’t execute this (who has the time?!), but also didn’t execute because I didn’t like the idea of them being exposed to everything at the vet.

Thanks to Judy’s mom for the photo.

Please share your vet experiences in the comments below.


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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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  1. Hello:

    My poor kitties don’t even like it when too many people come over to the house. And my boy, Minoush, I can’t even say “Bath” around him without him running an hiding. So, I have to say the B-Word. One of my son’s is in college and is home with them when not in class, but it’s just really quiet and chill so I think they are just so used to that atmosphere that they do not like any chaos at all. We do have Dr. Steve who will come to out house and do their check ups and vaccinations – but, it does get a bit pricey sometimes. I, too, do not want them around sick animals. I kind of feel that I keep them inside so they will be healthy, so I don’t like to take them out unless 100% necessary.
    Now, if I can just talk my Husband or Son to do the bathing, so “I” am not the mean guy. LoL

  2. And a Belated Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone! lol 🙂

    Pink Sugar has only been to the vet twice since we got her. She really loves to ride in the car but absolutely hates her carrier. So, one of us holds her while the other drives. Luckily, the vet’s office is under a mile (otherwise, the whole experience would probably be pretty traumatizing with just the ride in the carrier). She was very curious about the vet’s office and really enjoyed meeting the staff & vet (who were great with her). One thing I lurve about our vet is that you can call ahead to see if they are super busy and they’ll let us know when there’s not alot of animals in the lobby. We’ve lucked out both trips. Don’t know how Miss Pink Sugar would react do a doggie and I hate to have her exposed to any sick animal as it is (just the vet’s office with germs floating around is scary enough in my book). 🙂

    Big hugs!

    Patti & Pink Sugar 🙂

  3. My cat hates the ride to the vet and being at the vet’s office. He runs and hides once he sees his carrier. 🙁

  4. We go to my vet/friend who has been in practice for over 30 years and then built her own cats only practice. No loud noises, scary smells or dogs barking. They even have several house cats who wander around and come to greet everyone.
    She talks to them very softly while rubbing them. So, none of them mind going to see “Aunt Connie.” There is a drawer under the exam table that is full of catnip that they get if things seem a little tense. It always makes them melt as they rub their head against it and then fall over in joy. In the car, they are on their best behavior because it is something that is different. When we get inside, I take them out of the carrier with their harness on, and they sit on my lap like little soldiers. Think they are a little nervous since it is something new and love that they stick to me like glue. Lovely having such behaved girls when at home they wouldn’t sit on my lap like that for more than several minutes. For some of the kitties that I read really have a hard time and are so afraid, they have natural calming aids that I have used on Mari when she got aggressive to the two RDs. It comes in a treat form and works like a charm. It really changed her behavior and now she gets along well without any fussing. It probably could work too on cats that are afraid if it is given a few hours before they have to be put in the carrier. Ptobably would also help with the one who doesn’t like to have his nails trimmed. Have found that after they are calmed by these herbs and their behavior has changed, they don’t necessarily go back to their previous aggression which tells me that they have overcome their fear and will now be cooperative if treated with patience and kindness.

  5. MacKenzie says:

    With my ragdoll, Shiva, I put her carrier for the vet’s office out the morning or day before so she does not try to hide and has time to get semi- comfortable. Shiva has no problem going in the car but she always knows something is wrong (AKA we are going to the vet) and she pushes herself all the way in the back of her carrier. Shiva comes out of her carrier exactly like a ragdoll, no muscle movement! The vet also helps me clip her nails (since I live alone and her paws are so furry!) So they are more than helpful but I have learned I need to be in the room to constantly comfort her and make her feel as calm as possible. She has gotten better but is for sure a happy camper when we get home!

  6. Linda Gerten says:

    I am so lucky, I live in MN and found a vet that comes to the house! I pay a little extra but it’s so worth it. The crying in the car was unbearable and I felt so bad putting them through that. Our vet comes in with treats and her little doctor bag, scale, and all is well and done in a short time :)) Love it and so do they! She also put down my cat a few years ago, nice and peaceful in his home with me holding him. Heart breaking but she was wonderful and so caring.

  7. I loved reading the above posts; some of them are so funny! Like a few of you, my Ragdoll hates the ride to the vet, and she meows constantly all the way. All the way home, too. Fortunately, it’s only a ten minute ride or so. She is apprehensive but cooperative while we are there.

  8. Dementia Boy says:

    Poor William. He would just sit straight up, shake and shed, with eyes closed, when we went to the vet. (He behaved the same way at home when I would find him on the kitchen table, a no-cat zone.) I interpreted this as “oh, no, I’m in really big trouble and probably will die.”

  9. my cats aren’t afraid of the vet, per say, they are afraid of the car ride to the vet. they are very good when they get on the table. you can tell they are intimidated but they don’t freak out. i had a cat once that wouldn’t let me clip his nails, he would go nuts and bite me hard if i tried. one day i had him at the vet and he had this look on his face that was so funny and timid.. which he was not. the girl asked me if i wanted to clip his nails and i told her i would love it but that he would be having a fit and they better get another person and a towel to wrap him up in. she smiled. grabbed hi paw and he looked straight ahead and she clipped his nails, front and back. i stood there with my mouth open!! i said “how the heck did you do that?! she said “oh it’s all about intimidation. it’s just like you will let a doctor do things to you that you would never let anyone else do. they know”. so i thought “cool, when i have to cut his nails again, i’ll just put him on the table, grab his paw and start clipping”. NOT!! i tried it and as soon as i grabbed his paw and squeezed it to expose his “freddy” claws, he bit the hell out of me, scratched me and ran off! doesn’t always work the same way it does at the vet.

  10. Coinneach says:

    My girls don’t mind the vet at all, and the staff love them both because they’re so mellow and well-behaved. I’d never heard of bringing them in weekly so they get used to it.

  11. Mine are afraid of other people’s dogs at the vet’s office, but the worst part is trying to get them into the carrier just to go to the vet’s office! They absolutely hate the carrier and I’ve tried different kinds of them. I bought a music CD for pets and play that in the car, so the car ride to the vet isn’t as bad as it used to be, but I’m happier when the whole experience is done.

  12. Nope, none of my cats are scared of the vet, they just kinda hang on out there without a problem.

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