May 30, 2023


pets keep it coming

How to Take a Reluctant Cat to the Vet

4 min read
How to Get Your Cat to the Vet — Even If He Really, Truly Hates It

Every cat owner dreads the day it’s time to take their furry companion to the vet. The cat who enjoys going to the vet is a rare cat indeed! Most cats hate it, but as good pet owners we have to take care of our pet’s health because they can’t do it themselves. If you’re struggling to figure out how to take your reluctant cat to the vet, don’t worry – we can help you! Here are some of the best tips and tricks to make taking any cat to the vet as easy and stress free as possible.

Common Problems

Here are some of the most common problems cat owners have with vet visits:

  • A cat run will run away and hides before being able to put her into a crate
  • A cat will resist being put into a crate by putting her arms and legs on the edges of the door to avoid being put in
  • A cat will try to escape or scratch when picking her up

It’s possible to resolve these issues with some planning and preparation.

Get Your Cat Used to Seeing a Crate

Some cats will run and hide as soon as they see a crate. Cats are clever and can quickly learn to associate objects with negative experiences they’ve had. The easy way to resolve this is to change the association into something positive such as food and play. Place the crate you intend to use to take your cat to the vet next to the usual place you feed your cat so she gets used to seeing the crate and learns that it isn’t threatening.

Get Everything Ready Before You Start

Make sure your car and everything else is ready to go before you try to get your cat into a crate to start with. This will make it a much easier and smoother experience once your cat is crated and ready to go. Also, make sure you put something on the seat of your car in case your cat has an accident while in transit, which is very common. You can put an old t-shirt or blanket inside the crate too which also has the added benefit of being a familiar scent for your cat.

Distract Your Cat Before Picking Her Up

If your cat doesn’t like being picked up, here’s a trick the pros use. Distract your cat by placing some of her favorite treats on the floor and quickly pick her up from behind and put her into a create with a top hatch. You need to be quick when doing this so you can catch your cat off guard while distracted with treats. Be gentle but firm because you don’t want to spook her and be the unfortunate victim of an instinctive claw strike. The hardest part is getting her into a crate. Once she’s crated, the rest can be handled by the vets once you arrive.

Give a Reward After the Ordeal

Once the vet’s visit has been successfully concluded, you should give your cat some extra love and attention. Most cat’s will run away and hide once you get home and open the crate, while others will remain inside the crate as though they are too traumatized to leave. This is perfectly normal and this phase should pass quickly. Your cat should come out of hiding again when hungry and this is the perfect time to apologize so to speak with her favorite food, treats and toys. In a couple of days (providing no surgery was performed), your cat should be back to her old self and will have forgiven you.

Celebrate Your Pet’s Life With a Unique Gift

Ultimately, we go through this ordeal for the sake of our cats because we love them. It’s impossible to accurately describe the joy and love they bring into our lives. Every cat is as unique as every person, and so a one-size-fits-all gift doesn’t really do justice to the special cat in your life. One of our favorite way to celebrate our pets is with a unique and personalized pet thumbies keepsake. These are made by hand and customized with your cat’s paw print or nose print, making a cute and unique way to celebrate the special bond you have with your pet. Cat owners love these and unique jewelry is always a fun conversation starter.


By following these simple steps, you should be able to smoothly get your cat to the vet and back like a pro! Remember, taking a cat to the vet is usually done only once every few months at most and doing the prep work beforehand can save a lot of time and headache.