How to Put Your Cat in a Cat Carrier

Most cat owners shudder when the time comes to put their cat into a pet carrier. Many cats will struggle against the indignity of being unceremoniously shoved into a box and some will even fight dirty using tooth and nail in their bid to escape.

The best approach to permanently changing the way your cat goes into a earner is to change the cat's perception of the carrier itself, from being something negative to positive. If you scoff at the idea of your cat ever seeing her crate as a "happy place", remember the last time you went to the vet. Chances are that at the end of the visit, when your cat was returned to her carrier, the struggle was much reduced or even non-existent. In other words, at that moment, your cat saw the taxi as a safe, familiar place.

Adjusting the cat's comfort level with the carrier will take at least several weeks and is usually more successful with younger animals; however, if your scars are deep, it might well be worth a try.

The first step is to remove the door from the carrier, and then place the crate in a quiet spot in your home where your cat has free access to it. Cats are curious by nature and will usually explore objects and then "claim" them by rubbing their faces against the sides Leave the carrier alone until such time as your cat seems to accept and ignore it as she does any piece of furniture.

The next step is to move the empty pet taxi into the vicinity of where your cat eats, with the ultimate goal being to move her food incrementally closer to the kennel until you're able to place the dish inside. When your cat is quite happy to eat inside the earner, put a small pet bed or fleece blanket there after meals You'll know you're successful when you cat chooses to enter the kennel by herself to curl up for a nap.

Obviously this method of acclimation is slow and takes weeks, if it even works at all.

If you simply must stuff your cat into the carrier for a vet appointment, the best method is back end first: working with a partner, tip the empty pet taxi up on its end so the door opens skyward, and lower your cat in tail first. You will be holding th e animal under her front legs (across the chest) and supporting her rear end - if you can manage to slide your hand down a bit to hold her strong back legs together, you will gain even more control.

Remember, at the vet clinic it should be easier for you to get your cat back into her carrier. If it's still a struggle, don't be afraid to ask for help (and maybe get your cat a manicure at the same time).