Before Hazel’s trip to the vet, we thought it might be a good idea to get her used to the car and carrier again.
It had been 4 months since she experienced both so we thought establishing a little familiarity may help with reducing stress levels on the day.
The first step was getting her into the carrier.
This had been left in ‘her’ room so she was used to seeing it around.
We actually put treats in it (I suppose you would call this the first step) so she would associate the carrier with something positive.
So this bit was easy enough.
The carrier also had a blanket- the scent of which should help reduce stress levels.
The Car (Stationary)
Next, we decided to put her in the backseat of the car whilst in the carrier, with another blanket covering it and then leave the engine running.
Hazel wasn’t happy with this so she let us know in her normal vocal manner despite camly talking to her.
We rehearsed over a couple of days for about 10 minutes each time, with similar results.
However, without the advent of teleportation in the next week or so, she was going to have to go through this again, but in a moving car.
The Car (Moving)
I repeated the above but in a different car (albeit this was now the car she first came to us in, which she might remember).
Using a different car possibly didn’t help build on the first experience(s), but it would be better than nothing.
So, with Hazel in the back, (again in a blanket covered carrier) and the engine running, I decided on a brief drive around the block- only lasting a couple of minutes or so.
Unsurprisingly her reaction was similar, but not worse, which I suppose was a plus.
You could tell something wasn’t right as treats aren’t normally left uneaten.
The following day, the same procedure, the same result.
With hindsight, we should have probably started getting her used to the car earlier than a couple of weeks before, but the vet wasn’t too far from where we lived and at least she’d now know being in a car wouldn’t harm her.
And time had run out.
The cat would next be in a car and carrier on neutering day…