Here’s a great trick for getting your kitty into her carrier.
As anyone who has ever tried to put a cat into a carrier knows it’s easier said than done. The tiniest rattle of the carrier gate can send a savvy cat into hiding. Merely approaching the carrier with thoughts of travel may be communicated telepathically. Then comes the house hunt: under the beds, on the high shelves, behind the couches, wherever kitty can fit and hide, pretending you don’t see her when you finally come searching with that flashlight in hand.
Extracting the cat from her hidy-hole doesn’t improve her mood. Now you have a tense, squirming ball of fluff who, as you near the foreboding crate, is transforming and expanding. By the time you’ve reached the carrier, she has somehow sprouted extra legs made of steel and tipped with hooks the size of scythes. Trying to press this demon metamorphosis through the little door is now next to impossible.
Rewind to the beginning; all is not lost. I have discovered a trick that works a good nine times out of ten, at least upping the odds that neither you nor your cat will be unduly stressed by the prospect of travel.
Preparation: Gather your crate. Check all fasteners to make sure they’re tight. You can spray a little Feliway or other reputable feline stress-reducer onto the back wall of the carrier if you like. This won’t help getting kitty inside but might make your trip more yowl-free.
Now, here is the trick: Place the carrier on an elevated surface such as a chair or couch, with the back wall braced so the carrier can’t slide backwards. The front lip should be at the front edge of the surface so that there is no place for kitty to put her feet as you slip her inside.
Pick up the cat and transport her briskly to the carrier. Put her through, head and front feet first, as fluidly as possible. Something about not having that ground underneath her back feet makes her feel like the carrier is the only place she can go.
I take my four cats to the beach with me once a month. They don’t exactly jump into the carriers by themselves, but by using this technique, the installation is easy. Don’t miss out on kitty holidays just because they don’t want to get into the carrier.