Five strategies to persuade a cat to enjoy pet carriers or car rides

Cats are anxious creatures, particularly when it comes to small spaces, they did not volunteer to get into by themselves. This becomes an issue when you need to put cats into carriers to take to vet appointments. You normally get stressed when their own cats feel panic at the sight of the carrier. Imagine if your cats could accept being placed inside the carriers and the owners could take their cats to the vet clinics for regular check-ups easily. That could bring remarkable benefits and make a big difference for your cat’s health. Based on my own experience of taking care of from kitten to senior cats, I would like to share some tips to help your cat become comfortable with the three Cs: the pet carrier, the car and veterinary clinic.

1. Inhalation and exhalation

Before you capture your lovely cat and get him into a carrier – or give him some medication, you should breathe in deeply and breathe out slowly. It is important to centre yourself. Your cat will get more relaxed if he knows that you are confident and cool when he needs your help the most.

2. Reminding yourself that you transport your precious cat out of love

The majority of indoor cats need regular check-ups through veterinary care as well as the annual physical examination. Therefore, you should not make an apology for the essential car ride to the veterinary clinics. Instead, show your devotion to staying him healthy. When necessary, you can repeat your personal mantra “I am doing it out of love”.

3. Turning the carrier into a palace.

Purposely leave your cat in your dining room or living room, and then keep the doors open. Remember to put a comfortable bed inside, sometimes, while your lovely cat is looking at, throw a special treat for him to eat. If he is falling sleep inside, nonchalantly shut the door, and when you want to open it, please walk away quietly. This makes your cats believe that the closed pet carrier becomes a secure place for him

4. Fooling your feline

Cats are intelligent animals. If the only time the cat rides in your own car is to be prodded at the veterinary clinic, he can immediately figure out the right destination. I adopted a small cat named Casey. Every week, I fit her with her leash as well as harness, put her into the wheeled carrier, and then bring her with me when we want to pick up several items at the store. Casey really enjoys this when I give her a treat bag and let him nibble while Casey and I are standing in a checkout line. Interestingly, she gets much more cat treats out of car rides than she takes veterinary examinations.

5. Stocking up on car supplies.

My senior cat is Murphy, she usually gets motion sickness when traveling to the vet appointments. Therefore, each time I take Murphy to the clinic, I try my best to choose the time that she has an empty feeling in her stomach. Besides, I prepare all the cleaning supplies to tidy up anything she might make. Another tip is that I spray the car with a common feline pheromone that can help Murphy calm down a little bit. I also carefully place her carrier so that she keeps eye contact with me as well as faces the front of my car. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that classical music is helpful and useful for Murphy in this situation rather than rap music.

Sadly, too many domestic cats have had shorter lives because the owners are afraid of taking them to the vet for annual examinations due to the car dilemma. Therefore, condition your lovely cats as soon as possible that the car rides will bring the safety for them, in case there’s an emergency like flood or a house fire and you need to put cats into carriers and evacuate.