Did you know that you can make it easier for you and yuor cat when using a cat carrier? Try this step by step guide to help your cat learn to love her carrier! (Courtesy of DVM360.com)
Place the carrier in a cat-friendly area and leave it open so your curious kitty can check it out when she’s ready
Start by placing the food bowl near the carrier. If she’s too shy to snack close to the carrier, move it as far away as necessary to get her to eat. Once your cat regularly eats from the bowl, begin moving the bowl closer and closer each day until she will chow down happily next to the carrier.
When your cat comfortably dines next to the carrier regularly, she’s ready to dine in – inside the carrier, that is. Place the food bowl directly inside the carrier entrance so she can pop her head inside for a quick snack.
Place toys and treats in the carrier occasionally so your curious kitty discovers them there. You might try these fun options, depending on your cat’s personal preferences:
When your kitty comfortably dines with her head inside the carrier for several days, you’re ready to move the food dish further inside the carrier – a few inches every day until she steps completley into the carrier to eat.
This might be the toughest step, because you need patience. It may take several weeks or months, depending on your cat, but you shoul dstart to find your kitty lounging in the carrier sometimes and resting there.
Once kitty’s comfortable in the carrier, you can start to close the carrier door for a few seconds at a time with your cat inside. If your cat ever acts distressed with the door closed, release her immediately. And next time you close the door, only close it for as long as she tolerated the door closed on a previous session. When you can keep the door closed for long periods of time, you’re ready to practice car rides with your cat. Remember, many cats only associate their carrier with a trip to the veterinarian. So your goal is to change your kitty’s associations with the carrier and car rides to fun things and special food treats instead of terror and trauma.