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Training Your Cat to Ride in the Carrier

Whether you use it for vacations, trips to the vet, or other transportation, your cat needs to be trained to ride in his crate. Use these tips from your Indianapolis’s Southside vet to get your cat used to the carrier whenever you need to use it.

Introduce Carrier

The first step is to let your cat see, smell, and touch the carrier before ever getting in it. Place the carrier in a space where your cat spends time, perhaps near where your cat eats or sleeps. Once he’s used to the carrier’s presence, you can proceed. Try placing your cat’s food bowl next to the carrier. It may take time, but eventually your cat will eat right at the front of the crate.

Entering the Carrier

Now that your cat is comfortable directly outside of the carrier, you can try moving him in. Put the food bowl just inside the carrier door, or toss a few treats in. Gradually move the food or treats back further in the crate until your cat gets completely inside the carrier to eat.

Closing the Door

Many cats won’t like being closed into the carrier. Once your cat is inside, offer a few treats and close the door without latching it. Offer a few more treats through the door. Open it up again and let your cat leave if he wants to.

Eventually, your cat should stay in the carrier even after you open the door again, and not be frightened of the closed door. This may take some time, so be patient. Once your cat is comfortable with the door closed, you can latch it and try moving.

Moving with the Carrier

Being lifted off the ground and carried around can be quite a frightening experience for cats, so you’ll want to go slow. When your cat is comfortable in the carrier, lift it off the ground a few inches and set it back down. Offer treats for good behavior. Gradually increase the length of time off the ground—walk around the room, then around the house—so your cat gets used to moving while in the crate.

For very stubborn cats, a professional animal behaviorist might be needed. Ask your Indianapolis’s Southside veterinarian to put you in touch with one.

 

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