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Crate training - she's not getting in...

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I've been trying to get my cat used to the crate prior to a long-haul air travel. Been 5 days since I placed the brand new crate in a living-room where my baby-cat spends most of her time throughout a day.

Already used feliway on the day it was delivered, put her favorite toys & treats inside, also left the door open all the time but seems she does not step in or even go anywhere close to it.
She goes in only when I put some treats but ONLY when I am not around or looking. Also, when she does, it's for a brief period just to get her treat. She dashes out as soon as she gets her goodies...

I know I would scare her if I force her to go in. That is, of course the worst that I must avoid

Tentative schedule of travel is sometimes in the end of August to Mid-September, so I still have at least 2 months to train her.
Anything else I could do to make her spontaneously going in & staying in the crate? Should I probably use a catnip spray instead of feliway?
Any advise is appreciated. Thank you in advance.
post #2 of 22
maybe a nice, cushy bed & some catnip?
post #3 of 22
Talley was crate trained as a kitten - for her safety. I don't call her DareDevil Kitty for nothing.
We used our large dog crate, with her litterbox, food and water, and bed. We only did it when we were at work.
She wasn't thrilled, lots of yelling, but I was doing it for own good until she was around 5 moths old and had pretty figured out to kitten proof our house for a DareDevil. I felt guilty, but she slept most of the time anyway. And I made up for it with lots of playtime and cuddling. The vet was very impressed when she went in for her spay - he'd never had a kitten so relaxed in a kennel.
And she loves her travel crate - but to lay on top of it.
post #4 of 22
You may try feeding her in it.... and put nip in it. Make it a game, put her in (don't close it) let her get out, do this over and over until she clams down. This way it's not like she is trapped in there, and you both arn't getting worked up since there is no rush to go anywhere. Even then you may want to do this every few days until your trip. The key is to associate the cage with GOOD things, and to make her realize (ok, make her think) that the cage doesn't mean vet or car ride.
post #5 of 22
Riley loves his carrier but then, he will jump in any carrier, crate, box, bag, etc. that is left on the floor

It wouldn't hurt to try catnip.
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlleyGirl View Post
It wouldn't hurt to try catnip.
Assuming that she's susceptible to it. Some cat's aren't.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'll invest on catnip(not a spray) & try feeding her in the crate to see if she'll be tricked to get in

Thank you again
post #8 of 22
It sounds like you are doing everything right; just keep doing it and hope she likes the carrier by the time you have to travel.

I'm not sure why you sprayed feliway, though. It is supposed to calm cats, but the primary use of the spray is to spray on things you don't want urinated on again. Right now you don't need anything special to calm your cat; you just want the carrier to be a nice place.

My cat Artemis lounges in both carriers all of the time (with the doors off) but she simply can't stand to be put in them to go to the vet. So, simply keep doing what you're doing. While it may not make your cat happy during the journey it's certainly worth a shot! Do put a comfortable towel or other item in the carrier.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
She also has a problem of marking. I've another carrier specifically used for vet, but she apparently peed on it. I don't want her peeing on the brand new crate, making it her second "bathroom"...maybe I should stop using feliway on it?
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by KKH View Post
She also has a problem of marking. I've another carrier specifically used for vet, but she apparently peed on it. I don't want her peeing on the brand new crate, making it her second "bathroom"...maybe I should stop using feliway on it?
no, if she has a tendency to pee in carriers, i'd keep using the feliway to prevent that from happening w/the new one.
post #11 of 22
Yeah, I didn't know she pees on carriers; spraying feliway is, indeed, an excellent move!

So, with no reservations at all, keep doing what you've been doing. As others have suggested, feed her in the carrier, too.
post #12 of 22
Yeah just keep up with it... Oliver's crate is out all the time and he naps in it sometimes.... do you have something soft in there for her to lay on? Feeding in there is a good idea too as is the catnip - catnip is how I got Oliver to use the couple of beds I bought him but he didn't like to begin with, now he's in his snuggle ball all the time!
post #13 of 22
You could try removing the top half of the carrier, once she's used to using the bottom section either for sleeping or eating, add the top again.
post #14 of 22
I open it and gently push their little tushies in or I put in on its side and slowly lower them into it. They are fine once they are in and have gotten better with age. The kittens love their carrier as does Lucia. They are used to it but some like it better than others.
I have found that they like it better if it has extra room and a very soft plush bed in it.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzbyJLC10 View Post
Yeah just keep up with it... Oliver's crate is out all the time and he naps in it sometimes.... do you have something soft in there for her to lay on? Feeding in there is a good idea too as is the catnip - catnip is how I got Oliver to use the couple of beds I bought him but he didn't like to begin with, now he's in his snuggle ball all the time!
My cats love their carriers. I have 2 soft sided carriers and a hardsided plastic (their old one) sitting out at all times. I call the plastic one the "cat den" because they both love sleeping in it. I keep a soft blanket in all of them. I was going to donate the old plastic one, but my DH convinced me to keep it for them to snooze in.

My cats don't want to run into the carrier when they have to, but they don't hate being in them either. They are usually fairly relaxed while actually in the carrier. Nabu sleeps while traveling, Stimpy meows but lays down while traveling.
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
My baby-cat is very skeptical especially when it comes to carrier. Because the only time she had to get into a carrier is when she'd be taken to a vet and she knows it extremely well.
I also have soft-sided one for the purpose and she really hates even seeing it. She used to freak out just by seeing my regular bag that looks very similar to her carrier.

Since I expect more frequent vet-visit for now prior to the travel for related check-ups etc, I leave the soft carrier out sitting around in the living room as well but she literally avoid getting anywhere near by.

The crate, on the other hand, seems she slowly started stepping in more often but still haven't seen her staying in longer than 30 sec
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleraven7726 View Post
My cats don't want to run into the carrier when they have to, but they don't hate being in them either. They are usually fairly relaxed while actually in the carrier. Nabu sleeps while traveling, Stimpy meows but lays down while traveling.
Oliver has come to "packing himself" haha I don't travel nearly as much now, but in college we often took the 4 hour trip between home and school... so Oliver knows when he's put into his harness right in front of his crate, that he's goin somewhere and he'll pack himself into his crate - sometimes before I even get him suited up!
post #18 of 22
I got another idea. Does your cat like outside? If so put her in it and treat her to being out for a few mins (somewhere with a good view). Watch her at ALL times if you do this, two reasons, the hot heat & dogs running loose.

Her getting in it by herself is a great step in the right direction!
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatKisses View Post
I got another idea. Does your cat like outside? If so put her in it and treat her to being out for a few mins (somewhere with a good view). Watch her at ALL times if you do this, two reasons, the hot heat & dogs running loose.

Her getting in it by herself is a great step in the right direction!
She was a feral/stray, and always sit by an window staring outside...so yes, I assume she does. Only problem is, though, she'd easily get agitated once she sees(or even feels/smells) other cat(s) roaming around in the neighborhood.

Actually, that's the problem she has - marking her territory a lot
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Been 2 days since I saw her stepping in & staying longer, and finally started catnapping in it at least once a day.

As suggested from all, I sprinkled a pinch of catnip in it yesterday.
I believe it helped more for her to feel comfortable in the crate.
I still haven't tried closing the door while she's in it as this is still a little too early stage for her. I'll eventually have to do that, too, but I'd wait for few more weeks at least.

Thank you soooo much for all the helpful hints & posts.
You guys are the BEST
post #21 of 22
Remember that Feliway is for calming, so when it's time to travel, you might want to be sure that the crate is "Feliway'd."

Also, have you talked to your vet about a mild tranquilizer for the trip (for the cat)?

When I moved, it involved a 7-hour car ride with my car-phobic cat, and my vet prescribed a tranquilizer. It was so mild that the cat whined for 6 of the 7 hours, but she probably would have been screaming without it (those were the days before Feliway).
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Been using Feliway very religiously as she also has marking problem.
I have both the spray & the plug-in.

The spray only seem to work for marking. I've used it when visiting a vet but she got extremely stressed out(as usual). My vet is mere 10 to 15 minutes car ride, therefore, I can not expect it to work for 12 hours plane ride(+ few hours connecting time). I've just purchased Rescue Remedy. Am going to use this for the next vet visit & see how she'd respond to it
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