Getting your cat into his cat carrier can be a struggle. This is especially true when he knows you are going to a trip to the vet or a boarding facility. Fear not: we have some handy tips that can definitely make the entire process less daunting and less stressful for both the owner and the cat.
What Is Your Cat Worried About?
Though cats are naturally curious creatures, they hate to be taken away from their home. Whenever they are taken out for a travel, they’ll only end up stressed as the thought of travelling upsets their routine and sense of balance. Just think of the situation this way. Who would enjoy the movements in a car while not being able to move freely at all? Not your cat.
Make Your Cat Familiarize the Carrier
Before your planned trip, put the cat carrier out and leave your cat there. As we mentioned, cats are curious animals. They love to explore small spaces like boxes. If you put your cat’s favorite towel or some treats inside the carrier, he will associate it with something positive. Letting your cat familiarize the carrier a few weeks in advance is an effective way to make him feel comfortable in it.
How to Get Your Cat into the Cat Carrier
There are many ways to entice your cat to get into the cat carrier or at least make him feel comfortable there. We’ve listed them below:
1. Use scents.
Cats are very sensitive to smell. In fact, their sense of smell is 14 times more sensitive than humans. So, why not use this fact to your advantage. Make the carrier’s scent more familiar, more home-like. Don’t make it smell like his last visit to the vet.
To do that, clean the cat carrier regularly. Scrub it carefully and wash it with a gentle cleaning product that is recommended by vets. And then, rinse it with hot water to get rid of any existing smell.
Whenever you set out for a travel, bring with you the towel that your pet always wants to sleep on. It should help make the carrier more comforting and familiar.
2. Get your feline in the cat carrier safely.
How do you get your cat in the carrier safely when in fact, he does not want to step in there? Don’t worry. There is a solution.
Open the cat carrier and position your cat in its front-opening. Pick up your pet, hold onto his back feet using your one hand. Use your other hand to hold his chest. Slowly put him in backwards so he won’t see where he is going. If your cat is struggling as you are doing this, wrap him in a thick towel to avoid getting scratches. Once he is there, provide a cat bed or a pillowcase to make him safe.
General Transport Tips
To make your cat’s travel more comfortable while in the cat carrier, here are some useful transport tips.
- Avoid feeding him an hour prior to your travel. It should prevent him from experiencing nausea or sea sickness.
- Cover the cat carrier with a towel or a thin cloth so that he does not see what is happening outside as your vehicle moves.
- Do not place the cat carrier on the ground, especially if there are dogs around. It will only make your cat feel stressed and scared.
- When planning to go on a long drive, train your cat first by taking him on short trips. Take him as you get something in the market or when you buy a cup of coffee. Give himtasty treatsevery now and then.
- If you set out for a long travel, make sure to take frequent breaks. Stop for a 10 to 15-minute break every few hours so your feline friend can relax up a bit.
- Talk with your cat’s vet prior to your road trip. Ask him if there is anything else you can do to make your cat’s journey a bit more pleasant. He can often recommend and prescribe some medications for motion sickness and anxiety. Even if he does not need these medications, having these things with you can be a life-saver in some cases.
Buying a Cat Carrier
If you find yourself wanting to buy a cat carrier, consider finding a design that has an opening from the top and front. Some designs can be split in half so the top portion can be removed. Such design is a great option for cats that do not get out of the carrier upon arriving at your destination.
If your feline pal is heavy, consider getting a carrier that has wheels. But if it is not available, you can put the carrier on a foldable luggage trolley.
Important Points to Keep in Mind
Hopefully, the tips we have above can make the whole process of getting your feline buddy into the cat carrier easier and less stressful for both of you.