You just picked up an adorable newborn kitten, but you weren't aware of the rigorous vaccination schedule they needed. Early in their lives, kittens are getting vaccinated every few weeks and it can be stressful for them. However, there are ways that you can calm their nerves and keep them from getting too agitated at the vet's office.

Tracking Anxiety During The First Trip

The first time you take your cat to the veterinarian for a vaccination, watch their body language to gauge their anxiety. Some cats will be perfectly okay with the visit and may even find it an exciting new adventure. Others will be anxious to be out of their environment, even more so when they finally get that first shot.

Watch your cat for any of the following behaviors to gauge their level of anxiety during your trip:

  • Arched back
  • Narrowed eyes
  • Agitated tail
  • Flattened and lowered ears

These problems may be even more noticeable in a kitten, as it's not as used to dealing with this kind of anxiety. Speak to them in a calming way or even remove them from the situation until they calm down. Avoid this problem by taking your cat to visit the vet several times before their vaccination shot. This will help make the trip more routine and less stressful.

Reward Them For Good Behaviors

If your cat behaves well during your first trip to the vet and even handles its vaccination well, don't assume their anxiety has been beaten. Anxiety could pop up later as they mature, so you need to make sure you reward their good behavior during vaccination as soon as possible. Like puppy behavior, kitten behavior can be molded by positive reinforcement.

The moment they behave well during a vaccination shot, such as accepting it without struggle, give them a treat. Cats are smart and they will connect the treat with the good behavior. In this way, it is possible to reward cat behavior even during painful experiences like shots.

Calm Them With Herbal Remedies

If your kitten is still struggling to remain calm during vaccination treatments, you might need to turn to calming herbs. A variety of natural herbs will help calm a cat's nerves and make everything easier to handle. For example, if you let your cat play with some catnip about 15-20 minutes before a trip to the vet, they will work through the initial catnip-induced excitement and end in a state of pure calm. Other substances that can calm your kitten include:

  • Valerian
  • Chamomile
  • Hops

You can give these substances to your cat before the trip and after as a reward for good behavior.

By carefully following these tips and helping your kitten relax, you can get them through their rigorous vaccination schedule. This is crucial to ensuring they live a healthy and happy life well into adulthood. If you're looking for more information about cat vaccinations, check it out at local animal hospitals.