Creating A Calm Feline Visit

Bringing Your Cat To Zionsville Country Veterinary Clinic












Careful planning for your kitty’s visit to Zionsville Country Veterinary Clinic will make sure your pet
both healthy and calm after their visit. Review this information to set the stage for the best possible
experience for your precious kitty.



  • The right carrier for your cat provides both safety during travel and the security of having a protected space for your kitty to hide.
  • The optimal carrier for cats is sturdy with a removable top. Oftentimes a full exam can be completed with your cat comfortably resting in the bottom half!
  • Many cats prefer the enhanced “hiding” of a covered carrier. A large bath towel or beach towel can be the perfect cover.
  • Make sure you have comfortable bedding in the crate to make your cat feel safe and relaxed.  A non-slip mat is ideal for their comfort.
  • Keep your crate out at all times as part of your cat’s furniture, perhaps with the top off so they could use it as a bed. If it is not out at all times, bring it out at least two weeks prior to your planned veterinary visit.
  • Giving treats or providing meals in the crate can make it more comfortable. You may have to
    start their feeding near the crate, and gradually move it into the crate itself.
  • If your cat is hesitant to go inside, take the top off or place familiar smelling items in it such as a T-shirt from a favorite family member or favorite toys inside. Feline pheromone spray can also add to the carrier’s attractiveness. Be sure to wait 20 minutes after spraying to allow the alcohol base to dissipate before placing your cat inside the sprayed carrier.
  • Here are some helpful video links for carriers and cats:
    Take the Scary Out of Cat Carriers 
    Cats and Carriers: Friends, Not Foes
  • Remember cats don’t like surprises, so go slow and be patient. Stay calm, stay positive.
  • Cats respond better to praise than punishment or force. Using treats to reward desired behavior will create the calm you desire.

    Prior To The Visit

  • Do not feed your cat prior to your visit. If your cat is hungry he will be more apt to take our treats, which helps reduce stress.
  • If you kitty has food issues, bring their favorite treats for us to use or a favorite toy. Familiarity can be soothing.
  • If your cat has had previous anxiety or fear issues in going to the vet, contact our office a few days prior to your scheduled visit and ask if anti-anxiety medication would help your kitty to be calm and relaxed. Calming treats and supplements are also available.

    Going For A Ride

  • Once your cat is in a carrier, lift it carefully by the sides and not handle. You can feel your cat sliding around if you’re not providing stable movement—it’s like a ride on the Tilt-A-Whirl for your kitty!
  • Calming pheromone spray or wipes applied to the bedding will help your cat relax.
  • Place the carrier on a level seat and secure the carrier with the seat belt.
  • It is good to condition your kitty by taking him/her for short rides, then giving treats so they are accustomed to the car and crate.

    Arriving at the Clinic

  • At Zionsville Country Veterinary Clinic, we designed our new Fear Free building to provide a special area just for cats. In our Cat Wing, rest assured your cat will not have any direct exposure to dogs at any time.
  • The pheromone diffusers and calming music in our exam rooms help feline patients relax.
  • Once in the exam room, open the carrier and let your cat roam and explore the room. The natural light, cat toys and entertaining climbing trees will engage the more outgoing kitties.
  • Encourage your reluctant cat with treats or reward them or exploring. Respect their need for privacy if they prefer to stay in the perceived safety of their “hidey hole.”
  • If your kitty has a favorite toy bring it along and let them play with it in the exam room.

    The Exam

  • We prefer to perform the exam where your cat is most comfortable. This can be on the bench, window sill or on the exam table.
    The goal is to make this as easy for your pet as possible. For added comfort, our tables have a soft non-slip mat.
  • Our team is trained in Dr. Sophia Yin’s Low Stress Handling techniques and work hard at reading your cat’s signals of fear or comfort.
  • If your cat gets too stressed or a more in-depth exam or lab sample collection are needed, then a sedative or anti-anxiety medication, or even rescheduling the appointment is sometimes best.
    Repeated, negative experiences can make your kitty more fearful on the next visit.
  • Our goal is to make each visit as positive as possible for your feline friend. We will always discuss any extended options with you if needed.