Does fur fly when you try to put your kitty in the carrier? Taking an already frightened or painful cat and forcing him into the carrier can be extremely stressful and can create an anxious kitty for the vet. Below are some tricks to help lessen the struggle and stress associated with the cat carrier.
1) Choosing the Right Carrier: Hard plastic carriers that can be taken apart are best. One reason is that the carrier can be taken apart so the cat can sit in the bottom half where he feels safe. If the carrier does not come apart, pick a plastic one that has an opening at the top and front for easy access.
2) Keep the Carrier Out: Make sure that you keep the cat carrier out and accessible instead of stashing it away. Put blankets or soft fleece in the carrier and put it in your kitty’s favorite room. Eventually, your cat may associate his carrier with being a safe relaxing place.
3) Feeding Outside of Carrier: Try feeding your cat right outside of his carrier. When he becomes comfortable with this, move the food bowl right inside the carrier so he has to put his head in to get to his food. After awhile, he will start eating inside his carrier without hesitation.
4) No Tricks: Do not try to trick or coax your kitty into carrier and then pack up and leave. This may make him suspicious for future outings. Instead, try putting some catnip or his favorite toy in there.
5) No Chasing: Chasing your cat around the house and forcing him in his carrier will only agitate him. Instead, try withholding his food for a couple hours and then put some of his food in the carrier. If this doesn’t work, go to the room your cat is in, shut the door, and calmly pick up your pet and gently place him in the carrier. If your cat doesn’t want to go into the carrier, wrap him up like a burrito and slide him in. Just make sure you don’t wrap him too tightly.
6) Make the Carrier Comfortable: If you are using a hard plastic carrier, place a warm blanket or towel in there for your pet to sit on. This will make the carrier slightly more comfortable and also, if your cat urinates during the car ride, the towel/blanket will absorb some of the urine.
In addition to these tips, you can try using a Nurture Calm Feline Pheromone Collar or spray the blanket/towel with Feliway. The pheromone collars mimic hormones that a mother cat produces to calm her kittens and Feliway mimics the hormones cats give off when they mark their territory as being safe.
If nothing you have tried works, give us a call. One our front desk associates will express your concerns to the doctor and see if the doctor has any additional suggestions for you to try.