There are few endeavors more risky or exasperating than convincing a cat that it’s time for their yearly physical examination. Don’t even try to bait them with a routine vaccination or blood draw. They won’t fall for it! How about enticing them with a possible encounter with a dog? Nope! While you could douse your car with water from a hundred tuna fish cans, there are better tactics for getting your cat into the carrier.
It may take some time, endurance, and determination to get your cat into the carrier, and ultimately to the veterinarian, but the payoff is simply gigantic.
The importance of yearly wellness examinations cannot be understated. By seeing your cat on a regular basis, we can stay on top of all the things that matter, such as:
Attending to the health needs of your cat effects their overall quality of life, comfort, and longevity.
Many cats do not receive the care they need and deserve. This occurs for two main reasons. First, cats hide their symptoms, so you might not even know they are ill or injured. Second, cats are notorious about hating their crate, riding inside a moving vehicle, and being away from their territory.
To the credit of many cats, it is downright scary to arrive at a veterinary hospital. The smell and sound of other cats and dogs notwithstanding, it’s often the sight of previous negative experiences, like surgeries or emergencies. We try very hard to make our Jacksonville clinic warm, welcoming, quiet, and nurturing for all pets, but for a cat that we rarely see, it can be difficult.
The Right Crate
Getting your cat into the carrier is easier with the right product. Since many exams can happen with the top portion of the crate off, purchase one that can be easily taken apart. An anxious or frightened cat will feel safer if they don’t have to pulled or dumped out of a crate with only one entry/exit point.
Encouraging Your Cat Into the Carrier
Starting with the top half off, set up your cat’s carrier in a spot at home that they can’t ignore. Lay their favorite blanket or pillow on the bottom portion. When they sit next to it or inside it, give your cat a treat, a head scratch, and an accolade. Make it a positive experience every time.
- Over time, your cat will hopefully lay down inside the crate
- Once they are comfortable in it, attach the top portion
- When they are inside the crate, fasten the door
- Treats and praise must continue on
- Spray Feliway around and inside the crate and your car
- Covering the crate with a blanket may help, but some cats prefer to see outside
- Fasten the crate to the seat with a seatbelt
Staying calm and offering reassurance will go a long way toward getting your cat into the carrier – and keeping them safe in there.