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Transport problems!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
My cat Jasper will not go in a travel box...if we put him in he gets so stressed out that he pees and throws up. He's quite a large cat (not fat just big), so I guess he doesn't like being confined. We do have a harness for him, and he doesn't pee or throw up if we take him out on it, but he shakes like a leaf the whole time and clings to my shoulder or hides behind me. He won't walk on the lead, it's purely so that he doesn't escape! When he's on the harness he is constantly looking around at noises etc. However, our vet is not impressed when he's not in a box.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Obviously we avoid taking him out as much as possible but for vets and kennels we have no choice. I hate seeing him so upset. We've tried toys and food to keep him occupied, OH has sat with him and talks to him constantly which calms him a little bit but he's obviously frightened to death!
post #2 of 12
If your vet doesn't like him traveling out of the box why doesn't he/she prescribe an anti-anxiety med for travel? Many here in the States will do that, I know you're in the UK so it may be that people don't do that there? Of course, if your cat is going to the vet for surgery you probably won't be able to give him any meds. Other than that you could try to avoid taking him out entirely. We've a mobile vet here that will come to your house and opt for a pet sitter rather than a kennel.
post #3 of 12
By not taking him out in a carrier and the only time he is in the carrier is to the vet's you really are not doing him any favors avoiding this.

I would suggest you start feeding him treats and/or a meal in the carrier with the door open so he starts to feel a little more secure and unafraid of the carrier. This will take patience and time.

My first cat, Mitten, was terrified to ride in a car (loose or carrier). I think whoever had him before was mean to him in a car or something tramatic happened.

However, I got him more conditioned to riding in the car (and he was much better later no matter where we went). This is how I did it. These steps should be done frequently (a few times a week). And always have a few really special treats when you take the cat back in the house and let him out of the carrier.

Put the cat in the car and just sit in there for 10-15 mins doing nothing. Let him explore the car awhile and have the carrier in there with door open.

Next, put him in the carrier and sit the carrier on the seat and do nothing for 10-15 mins.

After he seems more accepting, then start the car and let it run a few mins with the cat in the carrier.

Next, take him in the car and ride around a block or two - go home, wait 1/2 hour and do it again. Do not head in any direction that would seem to be to the vets office for now.

Once your cat is more comfortable with things, you can take him on longer rides (not in the direction of the vets). After awhile you should have little problems with getting him in the carrier and going anywhere.

This may take a few weeks or months depending on how he reacts at each step.

Charlie is really good now - he loves cat shows and as soon as the carriers are brought out, he's sitting in there waiting to go. I hope he will teach his brother Jack to do the same. We'll find out in the next few months when we go to shows.
post #4 of 12
I agree with GK, just wanted to add maybe you need a bigger carry box if he's a larger cat you might need a more dog sized carrier.
post #5 of 12
also, you could try a kitty calming pheremone (sp?) spray - i think there's one called Feliway, or also Rescue Remedy drops given in the appropriate dose for the size of your animal (anyone know what the exact dosage for animals is??) I have read that the scent of lavender is supposed to have a calming effect on animals as it does people, so maybe put some drops of lavender on the blanket or towel which is in the carrier? good luck! my boy doesn't enjoy the car, but it's nothing like this - he just shakes and yowls.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys...not sure I'm going to go down the medication route (although we're moving soon and that will involve a long journey so maybe then)...but will definately try the conditioning, feliway etc.

Vicky and Jasper
post #7 of 12
I have never medicated a cat for traveling and am totally against it as cats usually react different then you think (I don't care if a vet says its ok). I've had my share of cats that were not happy campers when it came to travelling (my worse one threw up within 5 mins of riding). But none of them were medicated and most learned to tolerate riding pretty well.
post #8 of 12
Rocko is a big cat too and doesn't like the carrier. He poo's everytime. He is a nervous sort anyway. Very sensitive. I am going to try just the harness next time. Sorry your vet is opposed to using one. Did they tell you why?
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yeah she said it was incase there were any dogs in that didn't like cats, something to do with lawsuits if the dog attacks the cat and gets me instead. The old vet was wary but we arranged to stay in the car until the vet was ready and we'd just go straight thru...was also better for Jasper as he was happier in the car than the waiting room but this one doesn't want to go for that either :-(
post #10 of 12
I think you should put your foot down. Get there right at the appointment time and tell them you have the kitty in the car and won't bring him in till they have a room ready for you both to go directly too. They need toi be a little flexible or you need to find a vet that is.
post #11 of 12
I have my pet carrier on the floor with a kitty soft linner,bed thing in it.
I put a couple pieces of cat dry food in it each day which she retreaves
and eats. Try to do the same by making a nice hideout place and
putting food in it make sure they see you do it in the beginning.
You must get them used to that this is not a bad place.
This is a place to start.
post #12 of 12
I just thought of something!

Since he does best when he is held by you (my cat sydney was like this-and my vet allowed it) can you get a carrier that you can strap to your body? Like one they do for small children. Look online, i believe i've seen them.

It's a soft side so it conforms to your body but can be zipped up to keep the cat in. Also you can unzip alittle to say hello and let him now your still there. But main thing is holding him so he feels secure. But you don't have to use your arm strength to hold him since it straps over your shoulders.

I know they have them for dogs...if you had to you could get one for dogs and use it for him....he sounds as big as a small dog anyway.
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