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How to get your cat quick and painless into the carrier

Updated on August 31, 2011

Get your cat into the carrier

Don't you hate it when you have to get your cat to the veterinarian or you're going on a trip with your cat and you're about to leave but still have to get the cat into its carrier and he is struggling like crazy. Well you are not alone, cats generally do not like to get locked up in anything, and certainly not in something as small a cat carrier. Off course there are ways and things to do which make putting your cat into the cat carrier a much simpeler and less time consuming event.


Make your cat familiar with the carrier

The very first time you try to put your cat into the carrier is very important. Bad first impressiond will last long with cats and trying to put him in with force and a fight will result in your cat fleeing and fighting every next time he sees the carrier. No, the first time put the carrier in a room with the cat (or somewhere he will definitely see it) long before he has to go in. It would be good to have something with the cats smell on it to rub on the carrier with so the cat does not pick up unusual scents. If the cat gets familiar with the carrier for some time and doesn't have bad experiences with it, it won't flee every time it sees it. Making captureing him for the rest of the proces much easier.


Prevention of bloodshed

Holding a cat that does not want to be held can result in you having some nasty scratches on your hands. You would be surprised at how flexible cats are with their paws and nails. Wearing thick oven mits does help against that, but it will make the cat flee or fight harder because you trying to grab him with your oven mits is an unusual situation. Thus wearing oven mits is not the very best of solutions. One way to grab a cat without getting scratched is to grab them in the scruff of the neck. This might look unpleasent but I assure you isn't as it is the way their mother used to carry them around (see picture below). Just grab a lot of skin around their neck and gentle lift them up, you will notice the cat will not struggle this way and hang still.


Putting your cat in the carrier

The best way to put your cat in the carrier does depend a little on what kind of carrier you have. The easiest kind of carriers have a removable top, just take the upper half off and put a piece of cloth with the cats smell on it or some food the cat likes in the bottom half. Grab your cat by the scruff of its neck and sat him down in the bottom half. Keep holding the scruff of the neck and put the top half of the carrier in one swift motion over the bottom half and release the cat at the same time. If there is still an opening at the front of the carrier block it with your body and attach the top to the bottom of the carrier.

If your carrier only has a front entrance to it, the best way to put your cat in is to put the carrier on its back with the front end pointing upwards. Grab your cat by the scruff of its neck like explained before and gently (!) let him drop into the carrier. It could be useful to hold its two hind legs with your second hand and guide these through the opening, then when halfway in release the hind legs and let him slide in. But I should consider buying a carrier which has a removable top cause this is easier and probably more cat friendly.

It is also possible to teach your cat to get into the carrier, this will take some time and is definitely more work then putting him in yourself, but still it could be an option. Do keep in mind that this works way better when you train a kitten. To see how this is done watch the video below.



A calm cat, keep him that way!
A calm cat, keep him that way!
Mother cat takes her kitten in the scruff of the neck
Mother cat takes her kitten in the scruff of the neck

Teaching your cat to get into the carrier

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    • profile image

      Babak 

      3 years ago

      I appreciate your kind and grueeons advice a lot!. I have been trying it hardly and did not get those amazing results!. It is nice to see that you got my comment in a good way!God bless you!VA:F [1.9.10_1130]please wait VA:F [1.9.10_1130](from 0 votes)

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