Your cat needs to travel with you in a pet carrier, but it really doesn’t want to cooperate.
Don’t worry, taking your cat somewhere doesn’t have to seem like a life-or-death battle every time. We’ll show you some easy steps you can take to make the process much simpler.
How To Put Your Cat In A Pet Carrier
Fill the carrier with an additional towel or newspaper just in case your cat needs to pay due to the stress of being moved in a pet carrier.
Set the carrier in place. Learn how to place your cat into a carrier by using front- and top-loading hard-sided carriers.
If you own a front-loading carrier, position it so the opening is facing the ceiling and on its end. In this manner, it will be quite simple and safe for you to put the cat in the carrier.
When trying to put your cat inside the carrier, it could be useful to lean it against a wall to prevent it from falling back.
Grab your cat. For your cat to be properly placed in the carrier, how you lift her up is crucial.
Put one arm under her breast and the other around her rear end. Use one hand to hold your cat’s hind legs while the other hand supports her back.
Her body should be facing the other way from you with her hind end against your chest. If your cat tends to struggle and scratch, pick her up with a large towel.
Put your kitty in her carrier from below. Start by carefully slipping your cat’s tail into the container.
She won’t feel as though she is being dragged into the box with no route out by being lowered in this manner.
Put your cat down if she begins to struggle and give her some time to settle down before letting her try again.
Reposition the carrier and shut the door. Once your cat is securely inside the carrier, lock the clasp and place the bottom of the carrier on the ground.
If your cat behaves nicely while being put in the carrier—for example, by not biting, scratching, or putting up a lot of resistance—give her treats.
Use a blanket or pillowcase to cover the carrier. Your cat will feel more comfortable and secure in the carrier if you cover it with a blanket or pillowcase, reinforcing the sense that it is a secure location.
Wrapping the carrier may help your cat forget that your car is moving (see also ‘Should You Buckle In A Pet Carrier? – A Guide‘).
During a car ride, your cat’s sense of balance may be compromised. On a hot day, avoid covering the carrier.
How To Get Your Cat Used To The Pet Carrier
Get your cat acclimated as soon as possible. It is best if your cat grows accustomed to her carrier as soon as possible.
It is preferable to begin the acclimatisation process while the cat is a kitten because kittens have a tendency to be more adaptive than adult and senior cats.
The acclimatisation process is likely to take a little longer if your cat is older. If you must travel before your cat is adjusted, take the preceding instructions as gently and calmly as you can.
Making the experience of being a carrier as stress-free as feasible will aid in subsequent proper acclimatisation.
It’s ideal to begin acclimating your cat several weeks or perhaps even months ahead of time if you intend to bring the cat along with you during a lengthy trip.
Always keep the carrier out in the open. Cats typically associate the sight of a carrier with an unpleasant event, such as a visit to the veterinarian.
Your cat may grow to fear the carrier if you only bring it out when you have to transport her somewhere. Therefore, it is advised to always leave the carrier on the ground.
The carrier door should remain open. Your cat will be able to access and leave the carrier at her leisure without worrying that you’ll close it on her.
Put your carrier in the pet’s preferred spot. Even with unrestricted access, if the carrier is in a place where your cat rarely goes, she may be reluctant to enter it.
Place the carrier in a location that she enjoys, like by a window with lots of light.
Make your cat’s carrier appealing on the inside. Even if your cat doesn’t particularly enjoy being in the carrier, it should seem like a secure haven to her.
Make the carrier smell like something your cat is used to so that she will enter it.
Put her favourite blanket or towel in the carrier, for instance. In the carrier, spray some cat pheromones, which are readily available at pet stores.
Put some catnip, biscuits, or chow in the carrier for your cat. Refill the supply as necessary.
Place any of her favourite toys inside the carrier too. Put food in your cat’s carrier. Try feeding your cat while she is in the carrier if she appears at ease doing so.
She could first object to eating her meals in her carrier, though. Instead, she could feel more at ease dining next to the carrier.
Set her bowl of food some distance from the carrier. Each time you feed the carrier, gradually bring the bowl nearer to her.
Move the bowl back and repeat the process if she refuses to consume the food after you get it closer.
Your cat should gradually get used to eating from the bowl while it is in the carrier. If she continues to do this, try to feed her every day in the carrier.
If your cat feels your presence, she can refuse to eat while in the carrier because she fears you’ll shut the door after her. Stay far enough away for her to be able to eat without anyone suspecting anything.
Close the carrier door several times. Your cat needs to become used to the door being closed in the carrier since she can perceive it as a trap.
Close the door briefly when she gets inside the carrier. Offer her a treat right away, then open the door and release her.
When your cat is feeding, refrain from practising closing the door. Just briefly close the door to begin with.
When you complete this process again, gradually extend the interval between closing the carrier door and giving her a reward and letting her out.
If she doesn’t cry out or try to escape when you close the door, only then should you give her a treat. Reduce the length of time you have the door closed if she does one of these things.
Cats are habit-forming animals. Your cat can view the carrier as an unwanted interruption to her regular routine if she isn’t given time to become used to it.
Your cat won’t enjoy the smells of the veterinary facility that are left inside the carrier after a visit.
When you arrive home, wash the carrier using hot water and scrub it. Your cat should be able to spin around in your pet carrier.
It should be simple to disassemble, which is crucial if the cat is ill, hurt, or unable to exit on her own.
Last-minute attempts to place your cat in her carrier will make her more stressed, which could lead to her biting or scratching you. Give yourself plenty of time before your intended departure time.
Never use a basket or pillowcase as a makeshift carrier for your cat. Your cat may be hurt or traumatised by improvised carriers.
Never pull your cat out of her container or attempt to force her out.