17 Sep 2020
Owners regularly tell us that they find bringing their cat to the vet a very stressful experience for all concerned. One of these stressors can be trying to get your cat into a carrier so that they can be safely transported.
It’s advised that owners train their cat from an early age to accept and become familiar with a carrier so that when it’s needed your cat won’t be deterred or stressed by it. However, as the saying goes, it’s never too late to learn new tricks so we’d like to share some tips on how you can introduce a cat carrier into your cat’s world to help reduce the stress of transporting them.
- Firstly, purchase a carrier that can be split into two. This makes it MUCH easier to put your cat into and take your cat out of the carrier. It can also help the vet or nurse who is treating your cat, as much of an examination can take place with your cat in the bottom half of the carrier where your cat feels safer and therefore less stressed by the visit.
- Leave the carrier in your living room all the time (or other room that your cat spends a lot of time in) with the door open, so that your cat can explore it in their own time. Your cat may be curious about the carrier to begin with, sniffing it and walking around it. In time your cat will accept the carrier as part of the furniture.
- Your cat may enter the carrier of their own accord. If they don’t, encourage them by putting some dry food or treats inside. You could also put a familiar toy or blanket in the carrier to help entice them but whatever you use, always keep the experience calm and positive, giving your cat lots of praise throughout. In some cases, cats have been known to enjoy being fed in their carrier!
- With time your cat will become used to the carrier and may even use it to sleep or rest in.
- When it’s time to use the carrier to transport your cat, take the carrier apart and place your cat into the bottom half, holding them gently while you secure the top half of the carrier together. Again you could place a familiar blanket or toy to provide some added security for your cat.
As with all things, routine and habit form much of our lives and that applies to our pets too. What they become used to or view as “normal” comes from repeating the same thing again and again, so persistence and consistency is key. You can download some other hints and tips on how to make a visit to the vets much less stressful for your cat HERE