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Cat scared of carrier

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My cat has always hated being put in her cat carrier. Last time i tried to put her in, she had a big freak out and did everything possible not to go in. I finally forced her in and once inside she started rolling and pushing the cage with her head to get out. She was so distressed inside. I ended up letting her out b/c she was too scared. I need to take her somewhere and b/c of safety reasons i want her to be in the carrier. Is anyone else's cat like this when it comes to travelling in a carrier? I put it out this week in my apt so she would get used to it. I've seen her in there, so she isn't scared of it right now, but tonight i have to take her, so i don't want to go through the ordeal again! My question is - is it common for them to be scared of this and if so do i make her go in or find another way to travel with her? I don't want to stress her out and make her scared.

post #2 of 9
Yes this is common. Try to get her in as quickly as possible so she dosne't even have time to register the carrier. What I like to do is pick the cat up, put my hand over their eyes (maybe even move the carrier to a new location so they don't remember it being there). Put the cat in back end first, thats the hardest end to get in. You can even put the carrier up on end and with your hand over the eyes just sort lower the cat in quickly that way you can also shut the door just as quick. If they can't see anything, they have no idea what you are doing.

You can also desensitize the cat by putting her in there once a day, carry her around the house and letting her out again. Then carry her around and bring her to the car (don't start it) and bring her back in. This way nothing bad is associated with the carrier. But that will take time. Also leaving it out like what you are doing will help.

Also if its always a problem in the car you can ask for some sedatives from the vet.
post #3 of 9
You could turn her carrier into a bed for her. Put it somewhere quiet with a nice, soft blanket inside. One of mine was terrified of going into a carrier and this worked for her.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Good to know it's a common thing. I'll try doing it back end first, that way she can't stop herself with her paws!
post #5 of 9
We have some cats at our rescue that are terrified of the carrier. We put the carrier on it's end and lower the cat into the carrier feet first...it works really well for those cats that won't enter the carrier on their own.

post #6 of 9
Our food bowl is in a carrier. I started to help a foster not be afraid of the carrier, and keep it there still because it keeps the dog out of the cat food!

I agree with using a top loading carrier, or setting the carrier up on its end and putting kitty in back feet first. That is how we first put Will (my avatar) into the carrier. While is is very tame, as an outside cat he totally freaked out at being closed in. But while he was spinning in circles looking for a way out, I got the door locked.

Go ahead and take her where you need to, whether she is happy in the carrier or not. Then tomorrow you can start the training program where she can get used to the carrier.

In fact, I'm going to do that with Sugartoes. She has learned to hate the carrier from going to adoption shows. She gets carsick everytime, and I think it is partially due to the stress of just being in the carrier.
post #7 of 9
I suppose that it's a plastic carrier. Some of mine don't mind, other's freak out. For those who cannot stand it I got a cloth carrier. I also got a small harness. I put the harness on the cat and it hooks to the carrier (this would be a LOT easier to explain in Spanish, what a lousy translator I am).

They can keep their head out or hide in. I normally use this one to go socializing or to take the to the vet. I use the plastic one to take them back though...
post #8 of 9
post #9 of 9
Originally Posted by StephenM
You could turn her carrier into a bed for her. Put it somewhere quiet with a nice, soft blanket inside. One of mine was terrified of going into a carrier and this worked for her.
That's what I do, and I also leave treats in there on a regular basis.

Neither of mine like the carrier as such, but I can get them in without a fight.
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