Your cat’s carrier is an essential part of their life. Whether you’re taking them to the vets, traveling to visit your family or friends your cat needs to learn to feel comfortable in their carrier.
The best choice is a medium-sized carrier, large enough to fit one cat comfortably with a handle and openings in the front and the top. These can be found at pet stores and online pet supply outlets.
With the right carrier and a few helpful steps, you should be able to limit the stress both you and your cat go through when using the carrier.
- To get your cat used to the carrier, start by making it a part of their ordinary life. Leave the carrier in the living room, backed up against a wall, with the door open to help them get used to the scent and sight of the carrier at their own pace.
- Encourage them to investigate the carrier at their leisure. Add a favourite blanket or towel, with your cat’s scent on it that will entice them to go inside.
- If your cat is motivated by food, place a few treats outside the carrier, inching closer and closer over a few days as your cat continues to get more comfortable with being around the cat carrier. Eventually you can start to place treats inside the carrier.
- Once your cat is comfortable moving in and out of the cat carrier, you can start shutting the door when they are inside. Start slowly. When they enter the carrier, close the door and count to 5 seconds then open the door again. Do this a few times, to get your cat used to it, gradually leaving the door closed for longer periods of time.
- Once they are used to being in the carrier, close the door whilst they’re inside and walk around the house with the carrier walking as smoothly as possible and talking reassuringly to your cat. Afterward, set it down, open the door, and reward them with a treat.
- Now it’s time to get your cat into the car. Start with placing the carrier in your parked car, belted into position for safety. You don’t need to turn the engine on at this stage. When you cat is comfortable sitting inside the carrier, inside the car it’s time for the last step.
- Turn the engine on and start driving. Start with short drives around the block to make sure your cat is comfortable with the car’s movement and sensation of being driven. Keep the windows wound up, and avoid loud music to minimise additional noise. Repeat this at random intervals over the next week or so. You can gradually increase the distance you travel until you’re happy with your cat’s confidence in the car and are ready to embark on longer trips, including the vet clinic.
We hope these helpful steps can make your kitties feel more comfortable with travelling!