Tuesday here, Cat Blogger for the Happy Tails Pet Clinic. You might remember seeing me at the clinic. I’m so excited that Dr. Dan has asked me to write a blog so I can talk to all the wonderful people I see at the clinic each day! I hope to blog about cats and cat related topics, so please check back often to see what’s happening in the cat world.
I see cat owners come to the clinic on a regular basis, and I’ve noticed that some cats are happy to be there, and some are not. What could be the problem? Maybe your cat doesn’t like the cat carrier! Does your cat run and hide when they see the carrier come out of hiding? Well, I have some tips for you so that your cat will learn to tolerate, and maybe—eventually– love the carrier.
- Best Type of Carrier. The best type of carrier is the inexpensive hard-sided carrier that opens from the top and from the front. An easily opened top allows a cat which is fearful, anxious or in pain to stay in the bottom half of the carrier for exams. Dr. Dan will do a cat exam inside a well-designed carrier! Please avoid a carrier that requires a cat to be pulled from the carrier or dumped out for an exam. It should be easy for you to carry and should be seat belted into the car to keep your cat safe.
- Help your cat become comfortable with the carrier. You can help your cat become comfortable with his or her carrier by placing it in a room where your cat spends a lot of time, placing familiar soft bedding inside and by placing treats, catnip or toys inside the carrier. It may take days or weeks for your cat to trust the carrier. Reward your cat’s desired behaviors.
- Make sure it is comfy on the bottom so your cat will love to sleep in the carrier.
- Leave the carrier out in a place your cat can use the carrier on a regular basis.
When it is time to bring your cat to visit us:
- Make sure the door works well and closes tightly. If necessary, oil the hinges.
- Pick up your cat, facing away from the carrier, and, while talking to him or her, back the cat into the carrier or open the top of the carrier and gently lower him or her into the carrier. Before you let go, keep one hand inside the carrier at her face level to stop him or her from dashing out and close and latch the door.
- Slip a little treat between the bars once the door is closed.
- Covering the carrier. Some cats like to see out, while others are less anxious when the carrier is covered with a blanket or towel to prevent your cat from seeing something unfamiliar.
- Please do not open the door to the carrier until you are in the room with Dr. Dan.
- Emergencies. If your cat needs to see us before he or she is familiar with the carrier, put the carrier in a small room with few hiding places. Bring the cat into the room and close the door, moving slowly and calmly. Do not chase the cat to get it into the carrier; encourage the cat with treats or toys to walk into the carrier. If your cat will not walk into the carrier, open the top of the carrier, pick up your cat and gently lower him or her into the carrier.
- Back home. When you come home, if your cat appears calm and peaceful, let the returning cat out of the carrier. If you have multiple cats, wait until all cats appear calm and peaceful before letting the cat out of the carrier. Be sure to put the carrier back in its normal position where your cat can resume sleeping and using the carrier on a regular basis!
Hopefully, my blog will help cats that are fearful of the carrier trust it so that they can visit me—er, Dr. Dan—on a more regular basis! Hope this helps their humans, too, get over the fear or anxiety of putting their cat in the carrier!
Well, time for a little treat and a nap. I will write soon—
Tuesday, Cat Blogger