It’s tough to put your cat into it’s traveling carrier, they’re not big fans of small enclosed spaces. So, directing them into their carrier can be a daunting task for you. To help you with that we are here with some fabulous ideas which will turn your next trip with your pet into a smooth & easy experience. 

The Sooner, The Better
Research shows that handling kittens daily, during the first month of their lives, will improve their learning ability. How a kitten is dealt with during the first few weeks in its new home can influence its lifetime behavior and relationships. Therefore, it is suggested that cats should be familiarized with the carrier while they are young and still kittens. When a cat becomes older, it’s challenging to mold it’s behavior towards the carrier.

  • At average, if your cat is not too stubborn, it may take somewhere between 7 to 20 weeks for your cat to adapt to the carrier.
  • Since you don’t want to hold your cat while traveling, make sure to start it’s conditioning several weeks before leaving for the trip.

The Carrier Should Always Be In Reach Of The Cat
Cats almost always try to avoid unfavorable conditions. Also, cats are very attentive to minor environmental details. That is why if cats happen to notice when and why you take out the carrier, they are most likely to resist it. Therefore, the carrier should always be in the immediate environment, so that the cat is used to it being there. Allow your cat free entry to the carrier to make it realize that a carrier is a safe place to be.

The Carrier Should Be In The Cat’s Preferred Area
A cat is more likely to adapt to its carrier if the carrier is placed at the cat’s favorite or most frequent visiting area. For instance, the carrier can be placed where the cat eats. Also, it should be where the cat sleeps or even where it plays. Your cat is more likely to accept the carrier in its comfort zone. As a result, the cat might take the time to visit it’s carrier more frequently.

A Cozy Interior Is The Key
Cats are known to be pretty moody animals. They don’t like to compromise on their peace, avoiding any situation that makes them uncomfortable. That is why it is important to prepare a cozy home for your cat’s enjoyment. The cat must be provided all the comfort and luxuries it desires in it’s carrier. This is an excellent way to make a cat rely on it’s new home for peace and prosperity. Eventually, the cat might not think twice before entering it’s carrier. One way of doing this is to place the cat’s belongings in the carrier. This will help to attract the cat due to the familiar smell from it’s belongings. For instance, you can put your cat’s favorite playing toys or blanket in the carrier.

 

  • Place pet food in the carrier
  • Spraying cat pheromones is also a good idea

Serve Food In The Carrier
Cats get easily attached to their feeding place. Therefore, if your cat somehow seems to enjoy her stay in the carrier, then make sure to lengthen her stay. Serve the food while she is inside the carrier.  Even though, in the start, the cat might be reluctant to eat inside the carrier. He/She instead may want to eat somewhere close to it. However, this is the first step in acclimation of your cat, so don’t give up.

 

  • Keep minimizing the distance between her food and the carrier every time you feed her
  • Over a short period, the food plate should subtly be moved closer to the carrier.
  • Feed your cat in the carrier everyday if you think that she seems to like it
  • Cats are very cautious and will do anything to avoid an unpleasant situation. Therefore, make sure to stand far away, but in front of the carrier, where the cat can see you while feeding. This omits any danger that you might be standing behind the door to close it.

Rehearse Closing The Door Of The Carrier
Carriers might feel like a prison to the cats. They often find themselves uncomfortable and confined in the tiny setup. Therefore, you need to be extra careful when closing the door of the carrier. Your cat might detect the danger and start acting violently. So, make sure that you familiarize your cat with a closed door. To start, close the door as soon as it enters the carrier. However, close the door slightly and get ready to let her free immediately.

 

  • Make sure not to close the door when the cat is eating. This might minimize the cat’s interest in its carrier and it may stop eating inside the carrier.
  • Try to keep the door closed only for a few moments. Every time you do this, carefully increase the time for the closed door. But be ready to let the cat out when the allotted time is up.
  • If you notice that the cat easily goes inside the carrier and is not concerned about the door being closed, then give him/her a treat. Otherwise, if she seems to be violent or tries to escape, then reduce the time the door is closed.

Place A Liquid Absorbent Material In The Carrier
Domestic cats are known to have a sensitive immune system. Therefore, any sudden change to their environment may cause them to behave abnormally. So, it is highly possible that they might urinate due to the strain of being in unfamiliar surroundings. Therefore, it is recommended to place a liquid absorbing material in the carrier. Try using a towel, tissue, newspaper or paper bedding. This will keep the carrier dry and provide the cat with a comfortable sleeping area.

Setting Up The Carrier
The cat must be carefully placed in the carrier. For this, try using a carrier with a top opening. This is a carrier where an opening is designed into the roof. It will allow you to conveniently put your cat in the carrier with sufficient safety and care. If your carrier does not have a top opening, then you’ll have to use the front door. While placing your cat in the carrier through the front door, it is recommended to attach the carrier to a wall to prevent it from toppling over.

How To Pick-Up The Cat
Place one arm around her hind, while the other arm is wrapped around her chest. Hold the cat just like a baby. Make sure to hold her legs with the same hand placed at its hind.

  • Her hind must be facing toward your chest while the rest of the body should be pointing in the opposite direction
  • If your cat acts violent, then use a blanket—or protective gloves— to cover your arms and hands.

Place The Cat In The Carrier
Gradually place the cat’s hind in the carrier in a way that is warm and friendly. This gives him/her the feeling of not being confined against their will. At this stage, it is quite possible that the cat might begin scratching and biting. Under such conditions, try to calm down the cat. Put it down and give him/her time to calm down.

Shut The Door And Relocate The Carrier
After correctly placing the cat in the carrier, lock the door and set the carrier on the floor. Don’t forget to reward your cat with a nice treat if she acts well.

Envelope The Carrier With A Blanket Or Towel
The next step is to provide the maximum possible comfort to your cat. For that, it is recommended to surround the carrier with a blanket or towel. It will provide a comfortable and warm experience to your cat and might even aid with sleeping. The cat must not be subjected to any discomfort or harm during its time in the carrier. A pleasant and comfy feeling is the key to keep a cat satisfied in the carrier.

Similarly, try covering the carrier with a piece of cloth when your car is moving. Cat’s don’t like being caged in a moving vehicle. They will feel threatened and may react.

 

  • Traveling can cause motion sickness in cats and they may lose their balance
  • Be very careful not to cover the carrier if your car’s air conditioner is off on a hot summer day

Tips And Tricks:

  • You need to give your cat some time to adopt the habit of going into the carrier without any force. Otherwise, your cat will view the carrier as a forceful disruption and will try to resist it.
  • Whenever you take your cat to the vet, make sure you clean and wash the carrier as well as your cat when you get back home. Otherwise, the smell of medicine may offend your cat.
  • The carrier should be comfortable, soft, and padded. It shouldn’t be air locked from all four sides. It’s best to leave the roof of the carrier open. Not only will your cat will feel comfortable in it, but it will be easier to carry it.
  • The carrier should have enough space so that your cat can move around freely and easily in it. Or else, your cat will hate the carrier and will never want to enter it.
  • If you aren’t able to decide which carrier is better for your cat, then you should consult an expert or vet for suggestions and ideas.
  • Do not always touch or pick-up your cat; sometimes talking to her works just fine. Cats understand conversations and they will obey you as well. You can also put your cat’s favorite food in the carrier, and it will begin to move toward it.
  • Be very gentle with your cat. These animals never obey your strict tone or harsh words.

A Few Warnings And Precautions
Never leave anything for the last minute. If you leave this task for the last minute, then you’ll be forced to get forceful with your cat. And, that’s where the whole problem begins. Therefore, give your cat some attention, time, care and make it feel special.

Always buy a carrier dedicated to cats. Never try to put them in boxes, kitchen baskets or other inappropriate containers. They won’t like it and may even become reluctant to enter any other box for the rest of their lives.

When trying to take your cat out of the carrier, be very gentle with it. Try showing it a treat or something it loves. NEVER be forceful!