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Getting kitty into carrier....

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I hope this is the right place to ask for this kind of help. I had to cancel a vet appt. for Autumn cuz I could not get her into the carrier. I had her in my hands twice and she wiggled out of them before I could put her in the carrier. In the past I had lured her in with a toy but now she is way to smart and won't follow the toy. I really need some suggestions, this kitty is a real tiger and fighter. HELP!!!
post #2 of 18
I know how hard they can be. I have a few like that, I also had to cancel an appointment once. Usually I have to close off as many doors as I have to so they can't go down the stairs or into another room. Once I have them in one room. I use a blanket. Not a big one but big enough to wrap around them and have the carrier open and on its side so the opening is on the top and try to drop them in. I know even that is a struggle. It usually ends up that they get tired and I'm tired. Some one else will have some better ideas I'm sure. Good luck.
post #3 of 18
What type of carrier are you using? Getting them through a small door can often be difficult. You can unscrew the top of some of the hard carriers, which makes it easier to get them in, but then of course you have to replace the top and screw it back on. There are also soft-sided carriers that unzip at the top.

I once had a CRF kitty (over the RB now) who hated going to the vet. He was a gentle soul, but he really resisted when I tried to put him into a traditional hard-sided carrier. Eventually I bought one of those cardboard carriers you can find at any large pet supply store; they also open at the top, so it was much easier getting him in there. I'm sure people at the vet's office thought I was a horrible owner (can't even be bothered to buy a proper carrier!), but I didn't want to traumatize the guy even further by trying to get him into the regular carrier. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this method for a long trip, as cardboard is obviously less durable, but it helped me at the time.
post #4 of 18
What worked for one of my cats is that I left the carrier out with a nice towel or some other bedding, and maybe a cat treat or two, or maybe a little nip. I even removed the door. Eventually, the cat started to get comfortable with the carrier and it was never a real problem again. However, I also have a cat that this didn't work with. What I ended up doing for that one was getting an oversized carrier that was easier to plunk the cat into when fighting me.
post #5 of 18
I have Sherpa bag carriers and leave them out for weeks prior to a planned vet visit - mine like to sleep in them. I did have luck on my last regular visits by putting favorite treats (including some nice fresh roast turkey from Trader Joe - I hadn't even had any yet!) in the carrier and then zipping quickly. Otherwise, I tip the carrier on its side, and sort of lower the cat in, rear end first - it can take a few tries.

It's amazing how fast they'll usually go back in the carrier once we're at the vets - although last time, after Dharma's cleaning and anal infusion, she absolutely refused to go in and was growling at me and the techs. Thank goodness the techs have those nice long barbecue-looking gloves!
post #6 of 18
heres a really good tip i read in a cat magazine once, one of the biggest mistakes cat owner make is bringing the cat carrier out when its time for the vets. This associates those stressful visits with the cat carrier. "oh no the humans got the carrier!!"
In the future place the carrier in a familiar place with a nice pillow and if you dont like the look of it on the floor cover it with a pretty blanket.
I leave my cat carrier on the landing and some times my cats go in it to sleep and some times they play in it.
Let your cats become familiar with their carrier that way taking them to the vets in a familiar bed will be a lot less traumatic and I find my cats will happily walk into the carrier when I pick it up and place them near it.

hope thats helpful and good luck !

Also if you leave the carrier out and she doesnt go anywhere near it make it interesting by placing tasty nibbles inside and when she realises she doesnt get locked up as soon as she goes in she might start to settle in there over time
post #7 of 18
Did you try food treats in the back of the carrier. What you need to do to get cats over the fear of the carrier (since most only are in the carriers for vet visits), is to open the carrier door (take door off) and leave it out in the room - feed a meal or two in there every so often.

This way they will associate the carrier with good things (food) and not with fear.

We show cats, and luckily the cats love traveling - they will hop in the carriers when I bring them up and wait to go. So its no problem when its time for a vet visit.
post #8 of 18
I have a carrier in my bedroom now. One of my cats periodically uses it for his "den" and even spends the night in there sometimes. However, if I were to pick him up and try to put him in there right now, he would go nuts, no doubt because he hates the car, whether we're going to the vet's or not. (I think he also hates doing anything that wasn't his idea in the first place!)

The cat that used to go to shows, though, would be fine.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the suggestions, unfortunately most of them I have tried in the past and failed. I have had the carrier in the living room since I moved here a couple of months ago but she won't go near it since I used it to bring her here. Before that she would go into it and sleep on occasion but now she just freaks out. I will try the blanket next time. This is new to me since my rainbow cat Misty was never a problem with the carrier. I will just keep trying, thanks again.
post #10 of 18
all good advice here.

the key is to be quick and confident.

the towel or blanket works great.
pick em up and drop em in, one quick motion, before they know what hit em.

the longer you agonize over it, or chase them around, the harder it'll be.
post #11 of 18
This would have to be an absoloute last resort, meaning if there is absoloutley no other possible way of getting your puss in the carrier. Animal welfare officers use cat graspers to put feral/aggresive cats in carriers.
You can buy these on line and you quickly grasp the cats neck with it and place in the carrier quickly but gently as possible to prevent any further stress to the animal. Try cat grasper or PPE equipment in google.

My mum used to creep up on our cat with a blanket scoop it up all covered up then plop her in the carrier that wasn't very nice either really.

I guess some times we have to be a little cruel to be kind *sigh*
post #12 of 18
I put the carrier on the floor with the opening facing the ceiling and drop them in. When you have them in your arms, put one of your hands on their necks like you are scruffing them. This oftens settles them down enough to drop them into the carrier.

For my real hard cases, I do explain to them that the vet visit is for their own good and they don't have the option to miss it. I stay firm with them and they give in to me. If you hesitate, you've lost.
post #13 of 18
Like some others posted here: I brought the carrier inside the week before her vet. appointment to let her get used to it(inside and out). I want to also take her on a few quick carrier trips so she does`nt get that carrier=go to vet. association locked into her head.

I put a toy and a t-shirt with my smell into the carrier with her.If you can keep your fingers sticking through the cage door(not when driving though!).This helped my kitten stay calmer.
post #14 of 18
Another suggestion is invest in a top-loading carrier... most of the big box retailers carry them.. with a door in the top as well as the end. Those are much easier to use.
post #15 of 18
a lot of these tips will help you for next time, but if you ever find yourself needing to get a cat in a carrier there are a few things that will help you out.

if you can, scruff the kitty, and put the kitty in butt end first. It helps if the carrier is standing upright (meaning the opening is facing the ceiling) also helps if you have someone else holding the carrier still because often the kitty will start scrambling as soon as you let go.

the smaller the area your kitty is enclosed in, the greater the chance the kitty is going to go into the carrier. Put the carrier in the bathroom and then herd the kitty into the bathroom (either by physically moving or barrier herding, or treat enticement) Helps if you cover the carrier with a towel so it just looks like a little cave.

You can also scoop the kitty up in a pillow case. Since you can breathe through them, you can just place the whole case and kitty right into the carrier.
post #16 of 18
Originally Posted by cesg View Post
You can also scoop the kitty up in a pillow case. Since you can breathe through them, you can just place the whole case and kitty right into the carrier.
I've done that... put a treat at the far end of the pillow case, works great in a pinch.
post #17 of 18
I keep the carriers hidden at all times until it is time to take the girls to the vet.

I put both the girls in the bathroom and then shut the door. Then I go get the carriers and put them in the utility room and shut that door. Then I open the bathroom door so the girls can get into the utility room (usually they have figured out what is going on and are crouched back in the corners of the bathroom). I take both the crates and put them next to each other with the doors to the crates open. I go and pick up a cat and bring it over to a crate. Kneeling in front of the crate (very close to it) I take and gather the front paws and put them up with the head of the cat so I can put them through the door all at once. Then, with the front half of the cat in the crate, I scootch up as close behind the cat as possible (so it can't back out) (this all happens very quickly) and then I put my hands behind the cat and guide it (read "push") in as gently as possible. There is a point where the cat will realize that it can't back out so it will go in with the intent of turning around and coming back out. This is when you shut the door to the crate.

This works for both of my cats.
post #18 of 18
I use a top loading carrier for Xander as well since he fusses about going in them. They have them at petsmart like this and its much easier to get them into than the small door on the front.

Thankfully, Riley thinks the carriers are a new box or toy and jumps right in the minute I get them out.
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