Photo by Jon Ross.
Where do you keep your cat carrier when it is not necessary?Most owners admit they keep it hidden. Somewhere in the storage room, on top of the cabinet or maybe even in the attic, and reach for it only when necessary. Unfortunately for the cat – when it’s time to visit a vet. So, they certainly do hate it.
But have you considered keeping a pet carrier in an open view, and accessible to your cat?
Imagine, if you use a pet carrier one or two times a year, and do it only for vet visits. There’s no wonder your cat is seeing a medieval torture device in it, but we do not want it to be so. We want our cats go inside it with no begging, or scratching our hands. Also, we’d love that our cats do not vocalize, vomit or even eliminate out of fear while travelling in the pet carrier.
Keeping a pet carrier accessible helps to reduce your cat’s fear of it
The first step in achieving all of this would be integrating a pet carrier into your cat’s everyday life. That is, remove the door out of it, place a soft blanket in it and put it on an elevation next to a window. Simply – create a bed out of your pet carrier. Or, if your cat is already afraid of it, place it in a corner of the room where your cat spends most of his time in.
You may also spray a feline pheromone derivative on the carrier. It is a copy of natural pheromones cats release in comfortable situations, thus, if the carrier has a smell cats associates to comfort, it will be less frightening to them. You can read more about feline pheromones and how can you use them for your cat here.
In this case, the frightening pet carrier has turned into an everyday item. Hopefully, one day, loved by your cat. And there are two main benefits of it.
- We already mentioned the first one. Your cat will be no longer afraid of his carrier. You know what we are talking about if you ever tried getting an angry cat inside a pet carrier. If you keep it accessible all the time, cat accepts it. At first – to tolerate it, later to accept, and, if you work hard, to love it. You can find more about managing fear in cats here.
- Second advantage is, if you do come to a level, when your cat accepts and loves his pet carrier, you can make his vet visits, and other frightened travelling more comfortable. Many manipulations, like vaccinations and overall examinations can be done without getting a cat out of the carrier, but by removing the top of it. If your cat loves and assumes his carrier as a comfortable, well known, safe heaven, his stress levels will be significantly lower, compared to what it’s like travelling to a clinic in a torture device called pet carrier.
Next week we will take a closer look on how should you retrain your cat loving his pet carrier. It’s not as easy as just putting a pet carrier accessible and turning it in a comfortable bed. It will require work from your side, but we know, it is worth it. Stay in touch.