Cats receive far less medical care than dogs, and one of the most frequently cited barriers to vet visits is difficulty getting cats into their carrier.
Cats often distrust, dislike, or fear cat carriers, particularly if they have been pushed into a carrier head-first in the past; their cat carrier is too small; or if they only ever see the cat carrier right before the stress of a car or transit ride and a vet visit.
However, there are a number of techniques you can use to establish the cat carrier as a safe and positive space – or at the very least, one that doesn’t have your cat bolting from you when they see it! What these techniques have in common is desensitization and advance planning – you need to start BEFORE the day you need to get your cat in a carrier.
Cat carrier training isn’t just important for vet visits – it’s also essential for making sure that if there is a fire, gas leak, flood or other emergency, and you have to evacuate your house quickly, you are able to rescue your cats and keep them safely contained in the aftermath. It is well worth putting in the time now to determine the carrier approaches that work for your cats.
Getting used to the cat carrier can be a trial and error effort, and you may need to try a few different techniques (and carriers!). Since sometimes you can’t wait until your cat is fully desensitized to their carrier, the guide below also includes techniques to bundle a reluctant cat into a carrier – since being pushed head-first into a dark box is scary, and most cats will resist out of fear!
Click on the link below for a downloadable illustrated guide to Lower-Stress Cat Carrier Techniques.
Cats and Carriers – Lower Stress Techniques