How To Get Your Cat To Not Be Afraid Of The Carrier?

gray tabby cat in yellow and black hand-case backpack

How To Get Your Cat To Not Be Afraid Of The Carrier?

gray tabby cat in yellow and black hand-case backpack

You should never drive your cat without a cat carrier. First, having a cat roaming around the vehicle while you drive is very unsafe, and second, the carrier protects your cat from damage in the event of an accident. There is one more factor you may not have considered, which I will discuss more below.

However, as most of us have discovered, a journey in a carrier is quite stressful for a cat. Some may yowl the whole journey and may even begin panting, which is a serious indicator of stress in cats.

A good option is the Petmade Top or Front Loading Rigid Cat Carrier.

Being thrown in a carrier and brought to a terrible environment full of strange scents and noises, dogs and other cats, to be probed, prodded, and even, dread the idea, to have your hair shaved and sharp objects inserted in you, makes your cat link the carrier with a very negative experience.

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✅ Best Petseek Extra Large Soft Sided Folding Cat Carrier

A Must Buy For A Pet That Needs Comfort When Traveling – The carrier has a metal frame which goes a long way in supporting both the carrier and the cat. Everything can be folded up. Note that the carrier itself weighs about 8 lbs, so factor that in when deciding how much weight you can lug around. Everything, including the handles, appears to be quite well made. 

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✅ Best Aspen Pet Porter Travel Kennel

Look very nice! – If you’ve bought this style of kennel before you know the basics. The Aspen Pet version checks all the boxes. By and large, this will probably get the job done, but it is a step down in terms of quality and durability (and thus, price). If you’ve got a dog that has destroyed or escaped from their kennel in the past, you may want something more sturdy. The door works.

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✅ Best Folding Fabric Pet Carrier For Cats

Quality, and looks!! – WOW! So impressed this is really nice quality! Leather handles, nice material that looks like fabric but is actually a sleek wipeable material, seems like it would repel water. Stands up right holds it shape without a problem. This looks like a solid travel piece.

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✅ Best Pet Carrier for Medium Cats with Washable Cozy Bed

Great Collapsible Cat Carrier – You especially like the versatility of this product. It unzips and folds flat which is ideal for saving space! Having the ability to unzip and fold flat does mean it’s not quite as sturdy as some of the other cat carriers that you’ve had, but it’s a small price to pay. The material is quality and the additional straps that can be buckled on mean you can easily carry the same way you would a purse. 

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✅ Best Wire Traveling Cage for Cat

Best value for the money! – Price is great, it does the job, it doesnt have any fancy features but its great for short trips. Putting it together was easy, some people complained saying instructions were not clear. It needs common sense, if you dont have it, then go to petco and buy a pre-assembled expensive one lol. Another thing they actually stack up pretty good and kinda lock themselves like tupperwear lol (ofcourse you will probably want to secure them anyway to something but they dont slip and slide if you put one on top of another. 

Isn’t that what it is? What are your options? Recognize that it is only a connection. Cats, unlike humans, do not reason; instead, they just respond to stimuli. Just because your cat currently links the carrier with anything bad does not guarantee he will always do so. You may alter your cat’s mind about the carrier by taking a few easy actions.

It’s actually as easy as learning something new about the carrier that you didn’t know before: If your cat’s first encounter with this small box hadn’t been such a bad one, he’d probably be drawn to it. It’s a quaint little box. Isn’t it true that your cat like warm tiny boxes? Try placing any kind of container on the floor in a prominent location. You already know what will happen. Yes, your cat would probably like the carrier if it was simply a lovely little hidey-hole on the floor.

My younger cat has no issues with the carrier. He’ll go inside whenever he sees it, and he prefers the gate to be closed. In fact, he enjoys spending time alone inside a dark cabinet every now and again.

Steps to Getting Your Cat to Like the Car Carrier

  1. Introduce your cat to a new carrier. Cat is obsessed with odors. So, if your carrier has already been used to transport her to the vet, carefully clean it with soapy water to eliminate any odors.
  2. Insert a beautifully folded blanket or, even better, a shirt or two worn by you or someone else in the family. Unless your cat dislikes people, this will be soothing. Fill the container with snacks and/or a favorite toy. You could also throw some catnip in there. Even better, spritz the toy with catnip spray.
  3. Place the carrier in a readily accessible area of the home where your cat spends a lot of time. Keep the carrier’s door open.
  4. Be patient

After a time, your cat will most likely investigate the carrier and, if everything seems to be in order, will go inside and maybe even take a sleep. There is nothing about a carrier in and of itself that screams BAD to a cat. It’s precisely the kind of environment a cat like to enter to feel comfortable and secure.

Why would my cat want to be safe and secure? That’s a good question. It’s just a natural inclination. Sure, a cat may seek a hidey-hole and crawl under a box or below a piece of furniture in times of annoyance and stress (maybe you got on her nerves). Even in non-stressful situations, cats are attracted to boxes and, yes, carriers. They’re attracted to mixing bowls, pots, and whatever else they can fit, or barely fit themselves inside.

By leaving the carrier out and making it cozy, your cat will link it with comfort and rest. Although nothing is certain, it is quite probable that when you have to use the carrier to transport your cat to the clinic, it will continue to be a source of comfort. Instead of believing that box equals negative things, your cat will think, “this isn’t my usual routine, but at least I’m in my box.” (No, I’m not claiming to understand what cats are thinking, but you get the point.)

Soft Fabric Carriers Versus Hard Plastic

Some folks recommend getting a soft carrier rather than a hard plastic one. This makes sense since such carriers may be more comfy and capable of retaining your cat’s aroma. Some can even be converted into beds. There are various issues with this proposal.

While your cat may like being inside the carrier, he or she is unlikely to enjoy being entirely confined and unable to lookout. Hard plastic carriers contain wire or plastic grid fronts, allowing your cat to look out and not feel fully confined. Soft fabric carriers may include mesh apertures or even plexiglass windows, allowing for limited visibility.

Soft fabric carriers may not ventilate effectively and may cause your cat to overheat. Plastic carriers feature doors that let lots of air in, as well as side vents, and are not insulated with foam, which retains your cat’s body heat. The more ventilation and visibility a soft carrier has, the less stiff it is, giving the impression that you’re carrying your cat in a semi-rigid bag. Because a road trip is already stressful, adding poor ventilation to the mix may be a bad decision.

Another consideration is how you will get your cat out of the carrier once you get to the vet’s office. Even if the cat didn’t want to go into the carrier in the first place, he may refuse to get out once he’s at the vet! When I was a vet, I frequently had to go in barehanded to attempt to take a scared cat out of a carrier, which is not a healthy condition for a kitty or your hand. If that didn’t work, we’d half-dump, half-pull the cat out as it grabbed on for dear life. Ideally, the top part of a carrier, like the tops of most rigged plastic carriers, is detachable. Newer models feature a door at the top for top loading or removal, while still keeping the ability to disassemble the top and bottom. While it is not always required to remove the top, it is a useful choice to have when a cat is reluctant to leave his carrier. You don’t want anybody, even your cat, to be injured.

The next point to consider is that soft fabric carriers are difficult to clean. When necessary, rigid plastic containers may be totally disassembled and properly cleaned. Alternatively, they may be readily wiped down when necessary. Soft objects may be removed and washed (if absolutely necessary). By the way, although I prefer carriers with top-mounted doors, a carrier that can be broken into two pieces allows for simpler and more thorough cleaning. Every now and then, a scared cat may pee or even defecate inside its carrier, so being able to remove the complete top half would be useful.

Wire Traveling Cage for Cat

If you have a bigger vehicle or SUV, you may also utilize a wire traveling cage, similar to those used to transport dogs. This may be more convenient for traveling since your cat will have full vision all the way around. However, there is one major drawback to employing a wire traveling cage: they are not movable.

This means that when you get to your destination, you’ll have to take your cat out of the cage outdoors in the parking lot and either transfer it to a smaller carrier or, worse, carry it in your arms. If your cat is hesitant to going into a carrier at home, try putting her into one in a crowded parking lot in an unfamiliar location. When the cage is unlocked, a terrified cat can leap out of your arms or out of the vehicle and run away. This has happened to me at the vet! It had been devastating. We looked everywhere for the owner’s cat, but she was nowhere to be found.

Given that, you now have one important reason to utilize a carrier. The carrier not only keeps your cat secure, but it also ensures that she enters the vet’s office. Although some cats like traveling and may peacefully consent to being carried in arms or in a papoose, etc., this is typically something you want to avoid, particularly at the vet.

Hello, I am cat mum Ashley. This is the personal blog where I share all my love and knowledge of my cats. Stay around and let's have more purrr-fect meowww-moments together!

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