Getting Your Cat Used to Their Carrier
Whether heading on vacation or taking a quick trip to the veterinarian, it’s important that our pets are as safe as possible while riding in the car. But if you’re a pet parent to a cat, you’ve likely experienced your feline family member putting up a fight when it comes time to get into their carrier.
If being in a carrier is a new experience for your cat and you want them to enjoy it, it’s important to ease them into it. Even if you have an older cat, the most important thing you can do is select the most appropriate carrier for them. From soft-sided to hard-sided carriers, there are many things to consider when deciding which carrier is best suited to your cat.
- Hard-Sided: Often made of plastic, hard carriers offer a sturdy, durable option to keep your cat safe and contained while on the road. Because they’re made of plastic, these carriers are typically quite easy to clean should your cat have an accident while in the car. Depending on the size, they can also be quite roomy and allow your cat to move around while still feeling safe and secure.
- Soft-Sided: While soft carriers may not be as sturdy as hard ones, most are made out of flexible material that is firm enough to keep your cat safe while in the car. Many soft carriers also feature shoulder straps, making it extremely easy to transport your four-legged family member to and from the car. These types of carriers also often have mesh sides to ensure your furry friend stays cool, and the soft material helps create a comfortable space for them to lay in. They can also be quite convenient if you have limited storage space, as many of them are collapsible thanks to their soft material.
Whether you prefer a hard-sided or soft-sided carrier, be mindful of how many entry points there are. It will likely be easier to remove your cat from a carrier if it has more than one door, such as at the front and on the top.
Before embarking on your trip, place the open carrier at home where it is easily accessible to your cat. Once your cat seems to be comfortable with having the carrier around, you can try to entice them to get into it on their own. In an effort to create a comforting environment for your furry friend, try placing one of their favourite toys or their bed in the carrier. The first few times your cat goes into the carrier on their own, consider rewarding them with a treat to encourage them to keep doing so.
If the above suggestions haven’t helped your feline friend feel comfortable in a carrier, consider consulting a professional trainer for more tips and tricks.