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Hilton Vet Centre
O' Halloran Hill Vet Centre

Taking Your Cat To The Vet


You’re taking your cat to the vet. The appointment is booked for just under an hour. You know exactly where he is, and, (with no less than 3 scratches and one massive struggle, as predicted), you manage to get him into the cage.

The whole drive you listen to the pouty protest coming from the passenger seat. With your stomach in knots, you’re just praying that he is a good kitty for the vet and doesn’t embarrass you (again)! Finally, you arrive, check him in and pop his cage next to you on the floor. Your heart rate is rising and your stomach begins to knots. Surrounded by dogs, it is NOW you remember why you dislike the six monthly health checks so much. Sound familiar?…

What if I told you there are some simple things we can all do to make these trips stress free for both you and your cat? Interested?

The key to making your cat’s trip to the vet, or any trip, stress-free, is creating a positive association for them with their carry cage. Here are some simple steps to help make your cat’s outings more pleasant for you both:

Make their carry cage a part of your household furniture

Many cat owners keep the cat cage locked in a garage or shed and only bring it out when they need to go to the vet. Unfortunately, this contributes to most cat phobias.

Instead, include your cat’s carry cage as part of your household furniture in a spare room or in the laundry. Make sure you leave the cage door open so your cat can investigate it or even play in it allowing him/her to develop a positive association with the cage. The earlier you start this in life the better!

Dinner time
Feed your cat meals and treats in his/her cage. Again, this creates a positive association towards the cage and reduces anxiety associated with the cage.

Something familiar
Put your cat’s favorite bed in the cage. The smell and familiarity will create a friendlier environment for your cat.

Odour and smell
Avoid cleaning the cage with strong smelling chemicals such as bleach, which cats dislike. Instead, spray the cage with Feliway ‘happy pheromone’ spray prior to your excursion to help reduce stress.

Make regular short trips
To get your cat used to traveling in the car take them on short trips, making sure the destination is not always the vet clinic! Otherwise, every car trip will be associated with the vet and more than likely, a needle. Also, when you arrive home from a trip always offer your cat a positive reward such as food or a treat.

Not just vaccinations
If possible bring your cat in for reasons other than a vaccination. Regular senior check-ups are great if you have an older cat or you can also visit us for a free dental check-ups, weigh-ins or even just a cuddle from our team in our designated cat room!

Protecting your cat
Cover your cat’s cage while traveling in the car as unfamiliar surroundings and movement will create extra stress during the journey.

Finally, Relax! – We are a cat-friendly practice
Most of our team members have cats of our own, and we understand just how stressful a visit to the vet can be. Because of this, our team is dedicated to ensuring we create a cat-friendly environment (and experience) within our practices. This includes having dedicated cat-only exam rooms (with the use of the cat pheromone product Feliway®), feline-only hospital wards, continuing feline specific education for our entire team, feline-friendly handling techniques, and an understanding of the unique physical, social, and psychological needs of cats.


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Pets Health is a full service animal hospital with clinics located in Hilton and O’Halloran Hill. We are dedicated to helping you keep your best mate happy and healthy through each stage of their life with compassionate and reassuring veterinary care.

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O’Halloran Hill Vet Centre

123 Main South Road
O’Halloran Hill, SA 5158

Hilton Vet Centre

142 Sir Donald Bradman Drive
Hilton, SA 5033