Tips on How to Win the Battle with Your Kitty
Taking my cats to the vet is like fighting a war. This is because of one thing, and one thing only: The Dreaded Cat Carrier.
Getting a cat into its carrier is one of the most difficult feats known to man, right up there with bathing a cat and cutting its claws. Every time a cat carrier is involved in the life of a pet owner and their fuzzy feline friend, the resulting struggle is so epic that someone could write another Beowulf about it.
Here are some tips that should help you win the cat carrier battle:
- Keep the cat carrier out in an area your cat frequents. This way, they get used to it being there and they may even play with it. Ideally, they will not regard it as a sign of evil. I bought a new carrier for my cat, Sigurd, and left it out on the floor. He played inside it and really liked it… right up until he discovered it was a cat carrier. He sulked under the bed for a week.
- Hide the carrier until the last possible second. If #1 doesn’t work, then this one will. My parents have a cat named Tumbles who requires frequent allergy shots and abhors the vet. She has to use this trick on him.
- Remain completely calm. This way, your cat won’t know what’s going on until it’s too late and they’re stuck in the cat carrier.
- Try to catch your catnapping. If they’re asleep when you pick them up, they will struggle less when you put them into the carrier. Also, they’re less likely to escape and hide under the bed.
- Lure them in with cat treats or soft food. This works especially well with hungry cats. They won’t fall for it every time, but it sure makes everything a lot easier when they walk into the carrier on their own.
- Make sure the cat carrier is bigger than your cat. The larger the carrier, the easier it is to get them inside.
- Wrap them in a towel. This reduces the amount of flailing limbs.
- Have an accomplice. Have them hold the carrier while you stuff the cat in or vice versa. Have them cover the exits. Usually, when the cat is outnumbered, the humans win.
- Eliminate escape routes. Once you have located the cat you wish to put in the carrier, close all the doors you can so it has fewer places to run and hide. This is one of the tricks I have seen Mom use with Tumbles.
- Try to get the cat in on the first try. It will just get harder after that. The cat will be alert and freaked out and will definitely not want to go to the cat carrier.
- If all else fails, try a harness and a leash. It works for dogs.
How do I get my cat into a cat carrier?
Pick your cat up under his front legs, with your other hand supporting his bottom. Lower your cat rear-end first into carrier-- this way they will not feel like they're being forced into a situation where there is no way out. Close the door and secure the latch, then gently return the carrier to the correct position.
How long can a cat stay in a cat carrier?
Most cats will be fine in carriers for up to 8 hours. Others might need a little more care and you may have to factor in a break every 2-3 hours. Some owners have no choice but to keep their cats inside a crate for 10 hours or more.
How can I transport my cat without a cat carrier?
If you don't have a carrier, there are other options. A large bag. This doesn't seem very elegant but it does work. ... A harness. Some cats respond positively to harnesses. ... Cat Bed. If your cat is really calm, or much older, you can try a cat bed. ... Temporary carrier.