Overcoming Cat Carrier Stress
Does your cat hate coming to the vet? Or rather, does your cat run when they see the cat carrier? Many cat owners tell us they struggle to get their cats into their carriers, and some cats will even run away and hide when they see the carrier come out. It's not surprising, because most people store the carrier away from sight and only bring it out when they need to go to the vet...and our feline buddies know this all too well!
So what can we do to try and make them feel more comfortable and associate the carrier with calmness and safety, instead of a stressful experience?
Consider leaving the carrier out in plain view, either for a few days before the anticipated trip - or even better, incorporate it into your cat's environment as an extra bed, play area, or safe hiding place. Ensure it is always clean and that there is soft and clean bedding inside. You may even want to feed them some treats in there, or put in their favourite toy. Also, consider spraying the inside of the carrier with feline pheromones ('Feliway') to alleviate anxiety - particularly when it is finally time to come to the vet.
Starting early when they are kittens will be most successful, and although it may take a little time, even older cats may eventually start to voluntarily enter if they feel comfortable and start to associate the carrier with all things pawsitive!