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Intro and Cat Question

Hello everyone!  
I mostly hang out on the bump but am also an anmial lover with two cats, so I thought I might introduce myself!  I have two tortie cats named rainbow and sunshine (my 3 year old niece named them, lol).  
Any suggestions about nice, gentle ways to get stubborn cats into their carrier?  We have a vet appointment coming up in a few days and I am already dreading the process of trying to catch them and put them into their carrier.  They hide as soon as they see it and they HATE it in there.  Any tips on how to make them hate the carrier less, or tricks you may use to get them to go in by their own free will?
Thanks! 
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Re: Intro and Cat Question

  • My parents cat is the same way..HATES getting into his carrying box.(probably because he knows it means going into the car and he gets so worked up that he pukes). His food is in a laundry room with a door that can be closed, so when he goes down to eat in the morning he gets locked in there on the day he has to go to vet until it is time to go because otherwise there is NO WAY you will catch him if he sees the box. I don't think theres any way to convince a non-complient cat that he wants to go to the vet. You could try treats...but from my experience, just get them in...because your more likely to get frusterated/run all over the house after them if you try and coax them or make them like it.
  • Alright, I'm a vet tech who used to work at a cat only hospital and I have some tips for you. Normally we suggest that when you get a new cat you make their carrier a place they want to be (leaving it out, putting toys, food in it, making it a comforting place). I am assuming this boat has sailed and they now associate carriers with vet trips and other events they dislike. My cats flip when they even hear me going towards the carriers so a week before their vet visit I leave the carrier out in the open so they become a little desensitized to it.  I also suggest getting a top loading carrier (ones that have a door on the top) as they are much easier to put a wriggling cat in. If your cat has claws I suggest getting a large beach towel, placing it over them and scooping them up. Then plop them into the top door of the carrier. It is usually the safest, easiest method of getting a cat into a carrier. 

    I also suggest that before you even try to get them into the carrier, you place them in a bathroom and shut all the doors, this prevents them from darting around the house or under the bed/couch whatever. Then scoop them up in a towel and place them in the carrier. 

     

    Well I hope this helps :) 

  • We have started using feliway spray in the carriers and I think it helps them calm down a little.

    With one of our cats, we used to have to put him in butt first, because he would stick his legs straight out and we couldn't get him in the carrier.

    I also try to leave it out a few days before the vet trip.

    In addition, having the carrier door line up with the edge of the table helps.  It sort of forces the cat in because they want to put their paws down, and end up doing it in the carrier.

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  • Honestly, we just force the cat to get in the carrier. I put a harness on her any time we leave the house because she can be quite a crafty escape artist and the harness makes it a lot easier to grab her. It also helps when trying to get her into the carrier. I've tried leaving the harness and carrier out for her to explore before it's time to go, but she's caught on and knows exactly what the harness and carrier mean. One of us holds the carrier door open and the other one grabs the cat and just keeps pushing her butt until she gets in. Once she's in the car, she's fine as long as I put the carrier on the passenger seat with the door facing me so she can see that I haven't abandoned her.

    Also agree with PP about locking them in a bathroom. It's really helpful when they have nowhere to hide.

    Oh and she magically loves the carrier when we're about to leave the vet. Walks straight into it every time! Imagine that ;)

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  • Wow! Thanks everyone!  I am DEFINITELY going to leave the carrier out all week before their appointment so they get used to it.  The ironic thing is that they love climbing into other random boxes or bags if there happens to be on sitting out, so *maybe* they will become desensitized enough to the carrier that it will just be one more thing the can hide and play in!  I will also put some of their toys and stuff inside too, to make it a nicer place for them

    Thanks again! I'll let you all know how it goes! :) 

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  • Just adding that putting them in backwards is usually the easiest.  with front loading carriers put it up on its end, pick the cat up, hold his two back legs together and lower him in.  

     doing all this in a small room, bathroom, laundry room, etc, is definitely your best option.

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  • Something that may help, like OP have said, is leaving the carrier out. It may help, too, to place something of your cat's in the carrier- a favorite blanket, toys, etc. My husband and I put our cat's favorite blanket and her favorite toy in her carrier and we leave it out in the open at all times, so she knows it's a safe place for her. Due to that, she has no problems with her carrier at all. :)
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