Every cat will need transported at some point or another, but for most pet owners as soon as the dreaded cat carrier appears, their feline friend is suddenly nowhere in sight. Few cats sit happily in their carriers, with most disliking being restrained in a small space against their will. Add in an uncomfortable experience in a bumpy car, or a particularly difficult visit to the vet and a cat will quickly associate the cat carrier with all things bad. Here are some tips on how to end the typical struggle of getting your cat in and out of their carrier.
1. They say prevention is better than a cure. Rather than only appearing at times when your cat needs to be transported, keep the cat carrier out in your home as just another comfy spot for him to relax. When you see your cat getting into the carrier give him praise and attention, or a small treat, so that he associates it with good experiences, rather than bad ones.
2. Learn the best way to get your cat inside the carrier. Ideally, you should be able to pick up your cat, spend a couple of minutes stroking him until he is relaxed and then place him calmly inside the carrier. However some cats will put up quite a fight against being put in the carrier. If your cat is struggling against you it is important to get him into the carrier while avoiding injury to either you or him. One way to do this is to use a towel. Take a small hand towel and pick up your cat, gently but firmly wrapping the towel around him so that his paws (and sharp claws!) are safely tucked away. Once placed inside the carrier, the cat should quickly free himself from the loose towel and you can pull it out.
3. If your cat is particularly resistant to getting into his carrier, try purchasing a larger size. A small dog carrier is not only roomier, giving your cat more space to move around, but has a larger opening so that it is easier to place your cat inside, even when their legs are trying to grab wildly at the sides.