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How can I get struggling cats into cat carriers?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hi, it's Ian from Melbourne, Australia, writing the first of what will no doubt be many messages here. I'm so glad to have found this site! For ten years I've been dealing with the legacy of an irresponsible neighbour who moved away leaving several fertile female cats behind. I was always a dog person but have come to deeply appreciate and love cats in this time. I'll write elsewhere about what this has all involved, but for now I need some help. I've taken probably 30 or 40 cats to the vet over the years for desexing, but usually individually. On a few occasions I've taken several kittens at once who, because they were hand tame and docile, gave me no trouble when it came to getting them into cat carriers. I recently had 4 6-month male kittens attended to with no problems. But there remain one male and three females, two of them tortoiseshells who I've been told are notoriously difficult to pick up and transport from place to place, no matter how tame and loving they may be otherwise. This is certainly proving true in this case. The other female is a grey tabby who may not have been a problem if she hadn't been spooked/alarmed by my abortive efforts with the other two. This is part of the problem, that I lose the surprise factor. I've been scratched and bitten a couple of times now, and have had to postpone 3 vet appointments so far. But now it's getting desperate, 'cause they're 7 months old and the females will soon be in season with an eager Blackie boy responding to their needs...

So, firstly, can anyone suggest an effective way of picking them up which won't allow them to struggle and bite their ways out of my hands? And do you think I'm fighting a losing battle trying to take them all at once, and may have to make individual appointments? 3 of these particular kittens are from a separate litter/mother to the other 5 who were born to one of our females who had escaped from the vehicle taking her to the vets, disappeared for two weeks and came back pregnant... The "difficult" kids were born in the grounds of an empty house next door, and became trapped/wedged in a gap between a wall and a shed. I heard the crying and tried to free them, couldn't so rang the fire brigade! They were great... but I ended up with an extra family to raise myself in the process.

Sorry to go on at such length, but I'm so relieved to have discovered a site where I can share my concerns and difficulties as well as joys, and maybe get some experienced practical advice.
post #2 of 19
If you can wrap a towel or thick sheet around the to bind their legs in while you place them in the carrier. It works for me and Phenom. She hates getting into her carrier!

Welcome to TCS by the way!
post #3 of 19
If I have a cat that is giving me a hard time with carriers, I simply put them in backwards - with butt/back to the back and then by the time they get on their feet, you have the door shut. You could also try and wrap them in a small towel and stuff them in there

You might want them to get more used to the carrier being there and open - if you can take the door off or make sure it can't close accidently, then put some kitty treats or even feed them in the carrier once in awhile.

You have to get them to know the carrier is NOT a bad thing.
post #4 of 19
Does your local shelter have a humane trap you could borrow? They catch a lot of ferals around her by leaving food in the trap. The cat goes in the door closes and their left in the cage with food for the night.
post #5 of 19
I let them miss their meal and when it's time for the carrier, which they hate, I put them in with their food. I have to plan this the night before so I don't forget to not let them eat.
post #6 of 19
I didn't even read your full post (before I decided to reply) but I posted the same case as you (almost) a month ago... I was balling when I posted and had missed my cats vet appointment! Wrap the cats snuggly in blanket or a towel so that their extremeties (claws, paws, legs) cannot place attack or restraint in this process! It worked so nicely after my four attempts to get my kitten in her carrier and 3 scars later! If you feel you cannot do this alone seek help from a shelter! I'll post my link in a second for suggestions....

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=124579

Seeing that my kitten is a semi-feral and very timid she was one tough cookie to handle!
post #7 of 19
I put the carrier on end, door facing the sky...and drop kitty in butt first. For extreme cases, I wear a pair of leather welding gloves.

A somewhat larger crate type cage might help too. The bigger the door, the easier it is to squeeze kitty in. That's my experience anyway.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by beandip View Post
I put the carrier on end, door facing the sky...and drop kitty in butt first. For extreme cases, I wear a pair of leather welding gloves.

A somewhat larger crate type cage might help too. The bigger the door, the easier it is to squeeze kitty in. That's my experience anyway.

Can you imagine, one must sport a pair of welding gloves to get that ball of teeth and claws in the cat carrier!

Something I need to do when the time comes to put them in the dreaded "cat carrier."
post #9 of 19
I had to wear gloves when trying that with my kitten (mechanics claws) she scarred my hand and my chest... Took me four tries to get her inside... She kept digging her claws in my skin and climbing up on me! Whooo I will use the towel method evertime from now on!
post #10 of 19
Oh how i understand what your going through because i have the same problem withnRosie, and she goes for her yearly checkup in a couple of weeks, deep joy!!
post #11 of 19
Everyone gave wonderful advice, I do agree with finding a humane trap, buy one, borrow one, whatever. It would be very helpful.

On a side note, you mentioned your females will be coming into heat soon and there is a male waiting, they don't have to be in heat or in season to mate and get pregnant. Cats are induced ovulators (spelling?) males will find them and mate at ANY time! So keep that in mind. Males who are adults (over 6 months) will still be able to impregnate females for up to a month after they are neutered or more!

Welcome to TCS!!
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by beandip View Post
I put the carrier on end, door facing the sky...and drop kitty in butt first. For extreme cases, I wear a pair of leather welding gloves.

A somewhat larger crate type cage might help too. The bigger the door, the easier it is to squeeze kitty in. That's my experience anyway.
I do the same but just wear heavy leather gardening gloves. This is the only way that I can get 2 of mine into a carrier.

The other alternative is to get a humane cat trap. Some vets have them and will loan them to you. Animal control / humane societies often have them and may either rent them to you or request a deposit which is refundable. The 2 best traps that I've found are either Havahart or Tomahawk.

http://www.havahart.com/cats/traps_straycats_1079.asp

And I have one like this:
http://www.livetrap.com/cgi/search.c...Transfer+Traps
post #13 of 19
Males as young as 4 months can get a cat in heat pregnant! I know of a 5 month old siamese kitten who was a father at 7 months cause he bred one of the females at 5 months old.
post #14 of 19
Yes, try for a humane trap. If that doesn't work, but you're able to get close enough, than you can use what's called a "cat catcher" or "rabies pole". It's a long hollow tube with a rope in it. At the end, it makes a loop, which you can loop around the cat's head. At the other end, the rope sticks out so that you can tighten and lossen it. It's a tool that is used when handling animals that are vicious, or ones that you are not sure of their health status and want to minimize phsyical contact with the animal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen View Post
On a side note, you mentioned your females will be coming into heat soon and there is a male waiting, they don't have to be in heat or in season to mate and get pregnant. Cats are induced ovulators (spelling?) males will find them and mate at ANY time! So keep that in mind. Males who are adults (over 6 months) will still be able to impregnate females for up to a month after they are neutered or more!
Female cats are indeed induced ovulators. Meaning, they won't release an egg for fertilization until penetration during mating. However, they are SEASONAL breeders and have to be in heat to get pregnant. They are techincally what you call "seasonal polyestrus". They only go into heat during certain seasons, but will have numerous heat cycles during that time. It's nature's way of ensure kittens will be born in warmer months, rather than the dead of winter.

I'm also not sure how a neutered male could get a female pregnant. When they are neutered, the entire testical region is removed. In humans, where a vasectomy is preformed, I believe it's still a possibility because any sperm that is past the point of cutting of the vas deferens can still move up the tract.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noelle&Oliver View Post
I'm also not sure how a neutered male could get a female pregnant. When they are neutered, the entire testical region is removed. In humans, where a vasectomy is preformed, I believe it's still a possibility because any sperm that is past the point of cutting of the vas deferens can still move up the tract.
It's my understanding that part of the vas deferens remains after neuter.

Quote:
Castration causes an almost immediate drop in the blood levels of testosterone, but viable sperm may still be present for up to six weeks.
FROM: http://www.kittens-lair.net/cat-mati...y-in-cats.html
post #16 of 19
Leave the carrier out and put the food dish in it. We used to keep the carrier out at first and throw treats in it. Now whenever I get it out of the closet my cat follows me around and runs right in it like it's a toy.
post #17 of 19
I too put my cat's in butt first but I put the carrier in a room where they can't see it. I carry them in facing away from it. They never know it's there until they're halfway in. Friday HATES going in and will bleed you for trying. I wrote a step by step set of complete instructions on my blog if you'd like to reference the long version but the above pretty well describes it. Anyway, here is the link to Plastic Cat Carrier of Death if you'd like to see it.
post #18 of 19
I haven't tried any of these methods, but they all seem viable. I have missed appointments myself because my boy cat is like a demon trying to get him into the cage. He is so sweet and loving normally, but any time you try to confine him, he goes feral. Don't even ask about the scars I gained trying to get him into a harness so he could go outside

I want to wish you luck and mostly I wanted to say thank you so much for taking on the task of neutering those cats. If no one else has told you you're a hero for doing that, let me be one to say it!

Kelle
post #19 of 19
thanks for info
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