Kitties and Pet Carriers
• Many cats don’t get the regular veterinary care they need, due to the amount of stress caused by trying to get them to the veterinary hospital.
• Trips to the veterinarian should not be the only time your furry friend encounters his/her carrier.
• You want your cat to associate his/her carrier with positive experiences. Have him/her enter the carrier on a regular basis so (s)he’s more comfortable in it.
• Treats, toys, or catnip placed inside his/her carrier will help to encourage your cat to enter. Be patient, and always reward your cat for the behavior you want.
• If your cat is not yet used to the carrier, but needs to go to the veterinarian right away, try putting him/her in a small room that has few hiding places with the carrier. Put a special treat in the carrier to encourage him/her to enter. If the treat doesn’t entice him/her and your carrier has an opening at the top, try to gently cradle him/her and lower him/her into the carrier.
• Before deciding which of the many cat carriers on the market is best for your cat, consider your cat’s size, how well (s)he tolerates handling, and which carrier is easiest to transport. It should be safe, secure, sturdy, and easy for you to carry. An easily removable top allows a cat who is fearful, anxious, or in pain to stay in the bottom half for exams by the veterinarian.
• Your furry friend will be safest in the car if you secure his/her carrier using a seat belt. If (s)he seems anxious, it sometimes helps to cover, either partially or completely, his/her carrier with a blanket or towel. There are also products that you can spray into his/her carrier to help with anxiety (Feliway).
• If your cat is particularly stressed about getting into his/her carrier, ask your veterinarian for more ideas.