Alleviating Cats’ Travel Anxiety

“Wanna go for a ride?”

What dog can resist that invitation?

What cat, on the other hand, can say yes?

Merlin and Nimue have no problem with travel, having been "car kitties" since they were little.

Merlin and Nimue have no problem with travel, having been "car kitties" since they were little.

In a new study, reported on in the DVM NewsMagazine, about why cat owners sometimes delay taking their cats to the veterinarian for preventive care, what the researchers are calling “feline resistance” is given as a frequent cause.

Hiding, aggression, vocalization and stressed or fearful reactions by cats are among the factors given by cat owners.

I admit, our Martha isn’t a car rider. The last time we left her at the clinic for an out-of-town trip our staff members said they would quit if we ever brought her back!

I didn’t need a boot to the head to learn my lesson, though. I have resolved to take my next kitten(s) to work with me at least once a week so they will make a positive association with the car ride and the day’s stay.

You can do something similar. Put your kitty in her carrier and drive her around town. Go to your veterinarian’s office if you like. I’m sure he won’t mind if you sit in the waiting room for a little bit, giving your kitty a treat, making the positive association. Any car ride anywhere will be fine, just be sure there is a lot of “upbeat” to the trip.

Not that it will solve every cat’s travel anxiety, but it’s a good first step.

See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.

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