You probably think that cats are the most stubborn creatures in the whole world. Every time you want to bring your cat to the vet, or you want to take her along with you on a trip, once you take the carrier out, she becomes a drama queen and disappears or hides. But have you ever thought that cats, same as people, want to be free and don’t want to be locked in a cage? They don’t understand that using a cat carrier is the safest way to take them with you, whether you go somewhere by car, bus or plane. However, cats are very intelligent and independent creatures so you need to be very patient and try to gain their trust by making the “cage” as comfortable as possible.
Choose the Right Cat Carrier
When choosing a cat carrier, it is essential to buy cat enclosure that is big enough for your cat, so she can feel comfortable inside. And how can you know what is the right size? It’s simple. Once you put the cat inside the carrier, make sure she can stand in her natural position, turn around while standing and lie down without being cramped. Probably the best models are hard-sided carriers with a removable top. This kind of cat cages are made of premium grade plastic with windows in all directions that provides maximum ventilation. At the front, there is a metal door with holes so you can easily see what your cat is doing inside. Don’t forget to secure the top and bottom half with clips after assembling it.
Furthermore, make sure that the carrier goes with plastic drainage flooring that will keep your cat dry if it urinates inside. If you use a used carrier, you should wash it thoroughly because the scent of other cats can stress your cat and make her anxious. Once your cat gets used to this kind of cat carrier, you can buy cat enclosure with a collapsible metal wire frame that has lockable wheels and you can move it easily. This one is a soft-sided carrier, it’s very light and highly portable. If your cat doesn’t have a problem being transported in a soft-sided carrier, this one is perfect. It’s bigger than the one we mentioned before and sometimes comes with two platforms and ladders included which can act as a playground for your kitty.
Make It a Part of Their Environment
Many people keep the cat cage locked in their basement or the garage and take it out only when they have to take the cat to the vet, or when going somewhere else. That is a huge mistake because when the cat sees the carrier, she will sense that something unordinary is going to happen, so she hides. But if the carrier is a part of her everyday life, your cat will become used to it and that won’t be a big deal anymore.
That’s why you should integrate the carrier into your cat’s environment. You can put it in your living room, near where your cat sleeps or wherever she spends a lot of time. Don’t put it near her food or litter box because that may stress her out and she might lose her appetite or make her do her thing outside the litter box. However, if the cage for cat becomes an integral part of her world, your cat can easily change her negative feelings about it.
Cool Place to Hang Out
A scary carrier can become a cool place to hang out but only if you make it comfortable and fun. First of all, take off the door and place a cloth that smells like your cat’s favourite person in the house and place it inside the carrier. You can also try patting your cat with a towel and then placing it at the bottom of the kitten cage. As I said previously, cats like familiar scents and this way you can make the carrier less scary for her.
There is another trick that you can try. Start putting her favourite treats closer and closer to the carrier. After a couple of days when your cat doesn’t mind its near presence, toss treats inside the carrier and wait for your cat to start her exploring mission. You can also try persuading your cat to eat the meals inside of it. Moreover, you can place her favourite toys in the carrier and wait to see what’s going to happen. If your cat loves chasing a laser pointer or feather, try playing these games near the kitten cage or inside it.
If any of that doesn’t help, try putting a little bit of calming pheromone on a towel and placing it into the carrier. This should help reduce her stress. After you’ve put the towel, don’t let your kitty go inside for about 15 minutes because the pheromone can irritate her nasal passages.
Let the Journey Begin
If your mission is successful and your cat gets more or less used to different cat cages, both of you will start a journey that will be less stressful and more predictable. Going to the vet will be not as scary as going to the dentist. You could go out more often and take your cat with you whether you plan to visit a friend or to go out of town for the weekend. Simply said, your lives will become more beautiful.
You could travel together anywhere you like, even on a plane. But let me give you a little advice. If you are taking your cat on a plane, it’s best that you let professionals handle the hassle. There are pet transport services across Australia that will relieve you of the burden of planning a trip with your cat. These professionals are familiar with all rules and regulations when it comes to travelling with your pet and know the needed laws in every country. Leave it to them to take care of everything connected to your cat and you will have all the time in the world to get ready for the adventure.