Getting there is half the battle

 
By Connie Orcutt • Published: October 1st, 2012
Category: Animal Airwaves
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There are 10 million more cats in the U.S. than there are dogs. The question is why do our feline friends visit the veterinarian only half as often as their canine counterparts? In a word: stress. Fear of the unknown during a trip to the clinic can be tough on cats, and some owners just want to avoid the angst.

But cats often hide illness, so routine exams are important. Calm visits start at home by making the travel crate a happy place. Keep a blanket-lined crate out and open for your cat to explore with toys, catnip or treats added for fun. Try using a clicker or a specific word to train your cat to enter the crate.

Once your cat is inside, practice carrying the crate, lifting it into the car and taking some short drives. Put items with familiar odors in the crate for the trip. Now you’re ready for a practice meet and greet with the veterinary staff.