Before trying to put your cat inside a cat carrier, you must understand that this is a strange place for us that is most often used to take us somewhere we aren’t familiar with, and nobody likes to be forced to get inside a place that’s new to them and then have the door closed.
That’s why it’s important for you to get us used to the cat carrier and help us to see it as a safe place before placing us inside and shutting us up, so that we won’t be frightened or get nervous.
Start by placing the cat carrier in one of our favorite places in the house, so that we’ll get used to it being there and associate it with “home”. By always leaving the cat carrier door open or by removing it completely, you can start tempting us to get inside by using something rewarding like leaving one of our toys or placing our favorite blanket inside.
When you have managed to get your cat to get inside the cat carrier more than once, and you’re sure your cat now feels safe inside the carrier, you can try closing the cat carrier door. To make it easier, you can also place a can of food inside. If, after trying this several times, you see that your cat doesn’t get nervous on being shut inside the cat carrier, the time has come to take the next step.
You can try picking up the cat carrier and moving around the house or even putting it in the car without starting up the car engine. Once your cat gets used to this, you can take your cat for a ride!
We recommend that the first “trip” you take be to somewhere enjoyable, so that your cat will associate riding in the car with something positive. In other words, try to make that first trip your cat takes not one where it winds up at the veterinarian’s office. 😉
If you follow the advice above but your cat still gets nervous on traveling in its cat carrier, you have to realize that your cat is hearing a lot of new sounds and smelling a lot of new smells that it may find frightening. That’s why we recommend that you place a towel your cat normally uses inside the cat carrier to soundproof it a bit and also enable your cat to smell something comfortingly familiar.