All cats should be transported in carriers – there is no way you can hold onto a cat if it gets scared. We all know that cats often hate their carriers & it can be a real struggle to get them into the carriers. So here are a few tips, that with time & a lot of patience, may help.
It is important to choose the right carrier – it should be sturdy, stable, & be easy for your cat to get into. Often a hard carrier with a door on the side & on top is the best. It is also a good idea to pick a carrier with an easily removable top.
Next, put the carrier in one of its favorite places. Leave the door open and possibly even take the top off. If you put it on an elevated surface (chair, ledge, etc) make sure it is stable and won’t fall or move. Put towels or a blanket in it to make it warm & cozy. Some cats prefer to have the top of the carrier covered with a towel. You can put a scratching post next to it too.
Reward your cat with food when it enters the carrier or make it the only place where you give your cat treats. You can feed your cat in the carrier or near it. Trying playing with your cat with its favorite toys so that the carrier becomes associated comfort.
Once her cat is comfortable in the carrier, try putting it in the car for a few minutes. Seat belt the carrier securely in the back seat. Start with just a few minutes in the car & slowly build up the time. Do this in the early morning or evening – you don’t want your cat to get overheated. Once your cat seems comfortable with that, then start taking the cat for short drives – not always just to the vets. When you get your cat home, always reward your cat when you take it out of the carrier.
Your cat will never love going to the veterinary hospital, but maybe these suggestions can make it less stressful for both you & your cat.