My cat is literally impossible to take to the vet

vince

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Another trick that seemed to help was just putting the cat and carrier in the car and just driving around the block before coming home. Eventually, see if you can take her up to say, 7-11 and get a cup of coffee, then bring her home. Maybe even farther if necessary (my vet hospital is quite close by and a short trip was good enough for car tolerance training). One in a while, I take one up to 7-11 just for maintenance.

It doesn't stop 100% of the crying, but it's a lot better, the crying stops sooner, and I don't have any of them wetting the box any more.
 

daftcat75

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Another trick that seemed to help was just putting the cat and carrier in the car and just driving around the block before coming home. Eventually, see if you can take her up to say, 7-11 and get a cup of coffee, then bring her home. Maybe even farther if necessary (my vet hospital is quite close by and a short trip was good enough for car tolerance training). One in a while, I take one up to 7-11 just for maintenance.

It doesn't stop 100% of the crying, but it's a lot better, the crying stops sooner, and I don't have any of them wetting the box any more.
:yeah:

I recommend leaving the carrier out in his environment. I also recommend seeding it with treats regularly so that he doesn't have anxiety about the carrier itself. I also recommend desensitization training: breaking down the steps to a vet visit into smaller chunks and practicing those. To start, leave the carrier out and get him used to going into the carrier for treats. When that's no big deal, put in an extra treat or two and when he goes in for it, close up the carrier on him for the briefest moment and then open it again and give him another treat. This should be such a brief event that he doesn't get a chance to get fully worked up. Practice this until you can close him up for more than a moment. I used with fish flakes with Krista as her training treats because they pack so much flavor into almost nothing of a flake making it easy to shovel them into her without ruining her for a meal later. So breaking down the steps of a vet visit into things you could practice:

1. Getting him into the carrier with treats.
2. Getting him to sit in the carrier for more than a brief moment without freaking out. Once you've closed him in, give him a treat or two while he's inside.
3. If you can get him in his carrier and he can sit inside for longer than a moment, you can practice walking him around the apartment or even walking him to the car. Set him on the seat. Then pick him back up and take him back home. Let him out and put treats back inside the carrier for him.
4. If you can walk him to the car and set him on the seat, then you might be ready to drive him around the block.
5. When you can get him around the block, call the vet about a "no poke" visit. Drive him in, let him get the sounds and smells of a vet office without being poked and prodded.

Cats are smart and you'll never desensitize him completely. But my Krista learned that nothing was scary about going to the vet except the vet herself. She was easy to get in her carrier. She gave me a few weak protests on the walk to the car. She rode quietly within the car and remained relaxed in her carrier in the waiting room. It was only when the vet showed up with a needle or she was taken to the back room that would work her up. But we practiced all those steps above. She would go on rides with me that did not end at the vet so that it wasn't the carrier or the car that freaked her out.
 

vince

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:yeah: I did leave the carrier out all the time in an out of the way place, in the hope the cats would find it and perhaps would go in. I baited it with a treat once in a while as well, both as a positive reinforcement and to let me know if they'd gone in it.
 

daftcat75

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:yeah: I did leave the carrier out all the time in an out of the way place, in the hope the cats would find it and perhaps would go in. I baited it with a treat once in a while as well, both as a positive reinforcement and to let me know if they'd gone in it.
Sorry. I didn’t mean to imply that I was writing all that to you. I meant, “yes practice drives but also practice everything else too” to the original poster. You’re doing good. Keep it up. 👍😸
 

Eonblue

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I had a long post typed out about how my cat benefitted from an SSRI in all kinds of ways, but all that really needs to be said is this seems like a perfectly ok time for a single dose of xanax or gabapentin to get your cat to the vet. It may seem odd "drugging" a cat but not being able to get her to the vet is much worse. Call around and talk to a few vets one will offer it.
 
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