How to get an unwilling cat into a carrier?
A carrier is not your cat’s best friend. Your cat will try everything to avoid going into the carrier, like her teeth and claws. The reason why pets hate the carriers is that we taught them. Mostly they have a negative association with the carriers. For instance, every time you put your cat in a carrier, they are being taken on car rides, on a trip to the vet. This is why your cat hates to enter the carrier. They always have to go to a play they do not like in a carrier. Getting the cat into the carrier can be pretty challenging for the cat owners; however, there are some ways you can make this process less stressful for both of you.
Here is a step-by-step guide to help your cat make a positive association with the carrier.
- Turn the carrier into a den- it is very important to make the carrier an appealing place for the cat to make it their second home. The carrier should be their happy place, a cat’s territory. Turn it into a base camp for your cat. Place their favorite bedding or your sweatshirt; this way, your scent will always linger around and give them comfort. Keep their most loved scent soakers, and a toy.
- Put the carrier at the cat’s favorite spot- make sure you keep the carrier where your cat feels most comfortable or spends most of her time. You can keep it near your bed, window, or couch. Leaving the carrier in her favorite spot helps in creating a positive association with the carrier. Always leave the door open to let them go in and out of the carrier as they like.
- Put her favorite treat in the carrier-a cat treat is always a win-win in any situation. Feeding your cat her favorite treat only when she is inside the carrier will slowly become a daily ritual. They will equate being inside the carrier with receiving daily treats.
- Try closing the door- the sound of closing and opening the door can be a bid trigger for the cats. When you close the door of the carrier, make sure you give them to treat and keep the door shut for a few minutes and then open it again. They will slowly become comfortable if when you shut the door of the carrier.
How to keep your cat calm?
Putting the cat in the carrier on a vet visit means you have successfully won half the battle, but what about the other half? How to keep your cat calm during the ride when you are taking the cat to the vet? This can be quite a challenge. Here are some tips and tricks to keep the anxious cat calm in the carrier:-
- Spritz pheromone spray on a blanket or towel and keep it inside the carrier along with your cat.
- Try to stay in her sight where she can easily see you every time. Buckle the carrier safely on the backseat of your car. Try to position the carrier with the door side facing you. Keep talking to the cat to reassure her during the entire trip.
- Make your cat habitual with car rides. Take her on a ride for a few blocks weekly to get her used to the entire process.
- Talk to your vet about sedatives if nothing keeps your anxious cat calm. You can give her sedative prior to the trip, and she will stay relaxed the entire time.