New Member

Cat carrier dilemma

I have a 5 year old big cat that I need to get a new carrier for (to go to the vet mostly). I'm hesitant to get another hard one due to him being traumatized in the previous one (he got left in it for several hours in the dark) & is terrified of it & any other hard carrier similar to it.

He over due on a vet visit & I'm afraid of forcing him into one because he has a habit of getting very aggressive when scared. When he gets into that state, nobody can go near him (he treat everyone & thing as an enemy), & it takes him several days to weeks to calm down again. During this time he will not eat or drink as well. Smiley Sad

I'm hoping to get a sturdy non plastic one that he will hopefully not be as scared with

6 REPLIES
Community Manager

Re: Cat carrier dilemma

Hi hrnyangl, and welcome to the community! I fully understand your plight - my cat is the same way! I have a Sherpa carrier and it has worked very well for all of us. She can see all around while in it, it is relatively sturdy (for a soft carrier), easy to clean (another "must" as she tends to eliminate when frightened), AND has the added bonus of fitting into the cages at the veterinarians office (which is pretty handy if I need to leave her there; she can hide in her bag and feel slightly more secure.) This model has the added bonus of having openings on both the top and sides (a feature your vet and techs will thank you for!) I hope this helps! 

Petco Partner

Re: Cat carrier dilemma

Something else you can try is placing the carrier out for your cat to inspect, well before their trip. Put some of their favorite cat treats inside, spray some cat nip inside, or if they have a favorite bed/toy/blanket, place it inside. Then leave the carrier alone and don't pay much attention to it. This will allow them to get used to it a little and not be so petrified of it when they see it. The trip itself might still be stressful, in which case you might look into natural calming chews or a calming collar or spray.
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Petco Partner

Re: Cat carrier dilemma

One other option you may also try is a metal dog crate as these are fully open on all sides and top, most models come with a handle and come as small as 19 in long.
VIP

Re: Cat carrier dilemma

Have you considered calling around your area to find a vet that does home visits? Might be worth it.
New Contributor

Re: Cat carrier dilemma

My cats wear a harness when they go in the carrier because they are very unsure of it and it seems to calm them down. A soft carrier is a good choice for a scared kitty but in case of a car accident I recommend a plastic carrier that opens from the top and buckling it into a back seat.
Occasional Contributor

Re: Cat carrier dilemma

[ Edited ]

I'd suggest you try this in stages.  First, depending on how your pet carrier comes apart, have it at it's most opened up state.  If you go with the Dog style crate, put out just the bottom floor pan, If you go with a traditional plastic crate, some of them come apart at the half way point.  Take the top off put it out.  Start to put their meals in it.  Several times during the day put a treat down on it too.  When he's comfortable with it put the top on, or put the tray inside of the crate, leave the door open, and continue.  You may want to start by leaving the food near the door and pushing it back farther each time, if necessary.  When he's comfortable going in, and I mean really comfortable, try closing the door, but only for a second.  Say "Good Boy", then open it again.  The key in doing this is to not stress him out any.  You may need to start by just touching the door and moving it slightly when he is eating, especially if she stops eating when you do this.  Once you have the door shut, you can slowly extend the time you have it shut for.  There are a couple of Cat food dispensing toys, including a kitty Kong, or the Friskies Pull and Play, and when you get to longer durations, it may help to give him one of these.  Also, if his reaction to catnip is to sit on it, you can try stuffing a sock with some dried catnip leaves, and putting that in there for him.  It may also help to leave a blanket or towel in the crate, especially one that already has your cats smell on it.  Leave the bed in his favorite sleeping place for a day or two.  One last tip, some companies make Pharamone, cat calming products, and you can try spraying some on the cat carrier.  It may sound like a quack, but we've tried some with the cats in the rescue I volunteer with, and it does seem to work.  You can find these here:  http://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/cat/cat-health-and-wellness/cat-calming-aids  Now, because he has had a traumatic experience with being trapped in a kennel before, you will need to go slowly, so if he does need an emergency vet visit, I'd ask someone to hold him in the car, or ask the vet to give you a medication to calm him in for the ride.  You definately don't want to go too fast, and scare him worse.  

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