A Step-By-Step Guide To Acclimating Your Cat To A Carrier
There's nothing better than a cat curled up in a soft, safe place. Most of the time, your cat will only opt to curl up on your lap or snuggle with you on the couch. When it comes time for your cat to hit the road, you might wonder how to get them in their carrier without a battle. Here are some tips on how to introduce your cat to their carrier.
Choose a suitable cat carrier
Getting the right carrier for your cat will help ensure that you can easily move your cat in and out of it and that they can find plenty of room to move around and sleep comfortably. Expandable cat backpacks come as an ideal solution if you're looking for carriers that provide more space for your cat to roam around in order to help reduce their anxiety. If you want to make traveling feel less cumbersome, you may want to try collapsible cat carriers. They're a great way to transport your cat, and easy to clean up after and store when not in use.
Get your cat used to the carrier gradually
1. Before you get your cat used to traveling in a carrier, keep your cat's carrier out and accessible so that it becomes a familiar object in the house, not something scary or new. Put it where your kitty likes to sleep or hang out. This will allow them to get used to the smell and feel of the carrier without associating it with being taken away from home (a place they may feel safe).
2. Let your cat know that they can come out whenever they feel like it by leaving the carrier door open when they're home, but closed when they're not there. They will feel more secure knowing that the door is open when they want to leave.
3. When it's time for your cat to go into their carrier, put some treats inside it so your cat will have positive associations with the experience. It also helps if your cat associates going into their carrier as a reward. So if you do this at dinner time or after playtime, then your cat will begin to think being in the carrier means yummy treats and fun! If they remain fearful of it even after several days, try changing the treats to something more enticing — tuna or chicken are good choices.
4. After a few days of doing the above, leave the carrier open and wait for your cat to explore on their own.
Keep your cat calm in the carrier
When your kitty is in the cat carrier, there's a good chance they'll be stressed out. To keep your feline friend settled during travel, try these five ideas for keeping them calm:
Toys - It's important to have plenty of toys for your cat to play with in order to keep them preoccupied. Not only does this distract them from the fact that they are in a different environment, but most cats love the opportunity to play with new toys.
Towels or blankets - A blanket or towel can provide a familiar smell and a comforting presence for your cat. Put the towel or blanket in the bottom of the carrier before you set your cat inside, so that they will feel safer while inside it. Some cats will also respond better to familiar catnip towels instead of a store-bought towel.
Food – Don't forget to pack some yummy treats for your cat while traveling. The more things there're in the room that kitty likes to eat, the less anxious they'll be about leaving the house on a trip with you. Offer your cat food and water before you put them in the carrier. If they're hungry or thirsty, they'll be more likely to try to get out of this new (and scary) situation.
Grooming – Some cats may be nervous about being groomed right before traveling, so make sure that you don't do this until your cat is comfortable with their carrier.
Soothing Music – Playing soothing music such as lullabies or rainforest sounds can help distract your kitty from their surroundings and bring about feelings of relaxation and contentment.
We hope you've found these tips to be helpful. Acclimating your cat to a carrier doesn't have to be stressful or scary. While it's not necessarily the easiest thing in the world, getting your cat accustomed to the carrier is definitely worth the effort. The more you make the carrier a positive place, the easier it will be to get your cat inside.