VCA Animal Hospitals
traveling with a cat

Taking your Cat to the Vet - Traveling
with a Cat

Regular visits to your veterinarian are critical for maintaining your cat\'s optimal health. It is fairly easy to get a dog in the car because they have been accustomed to car travel and often see the car as a chance to accompany their owners on what might be a fun and exciting outing. Cats, on the other hand, rarely leave the confines of the house and usually see travel as a negative experience as they often end up at the vet, groomer or boarding facility.

Cats are creatures of habit and they like being in control of their surroundings. They do not enjoy being enclosed in small spaces like the cat carrier and often have a healthy dislike of the noise and motion of the car. When they see the cat carrier come out they often make a mad dash for the nearest escape and this is the last you will see of your cat for hours.

Traveling with a cat in a car or any other form of transportation can be a stressful experience for a cat but there are several tips on how to travel with a cat that can ease the anxiety of the cat cage and leaving the house. First, get the right size cat carrier. If your cat dreads going into the small confines of a carrier, consider getting an over-sized, top-loading cat carrier so your cat doesn’t need to squeeze through a narrow door.

Keep the cat carrier out in the home and make the interior inviting. Many times the cat carrier is in a closet or garage and only comes out when it is time to go to the vet— which is sure to incite fear in your cat. Try keeping the cat carrier out in the home with the door open. You can place toys or other enjoyable items in the cat carrier.

On the day of the vet visit you can place treats, cat nip or a small amount of food in the cat carrier to entice your cat inside peacefully. Consider spraying the inside of the cat carrier with pheromones or relaxing sprays to help calm any fears associated with the cat carrier or vet visit. You should also consider taking your cat on short car trips in the cat carrier that don’t end up at the vet’s office. Take him for a short ride in the car and then praise him with words and treats to help him be less nervous about future trips.

Still having trouble getting your cat acclimated to his carrier? Call us today at 1-310-571-6500 and we’ll be happy to help.

More on Going to the Vet


General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.