Training Your Cat to Love the Carrier

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Our world is full of tragedies and emergency situations, but we often have the tendency to think, “Yea, but that will never happen to me.” Sadly, that thought deters us from preparing for whatever may come our way.

It’s always in your best interest to think about your family and your pets in the event of an emergency. One key factor with a quick evacuation is being able to get your cat into the carrier without a fight. It’s because of this small detail that pets are so often left behind, never to find their families again when disaster strikes.

It’s so crucial to begin training your cat now to head straight to their carriers or kennels in case of emergency situations. That means it must be a place of safety and comfort to them. There are various ways to do this, depending on your cat’s preferences and personality, but there are some universally common ways that almost always work.

Get a Comfortable Carrier or Kennel

You may have to go through a few trial and errors to find a carrier that your cat likes, but it’s always best to have a hard-sided kennel even though it may not seem like the most comfortable. You can always begin the process with a cozier one, such as the Sleepypod.

Not only is the Sleepybod luxuriously comfortable, but it’s easy to clean and take apart. The top is easily removable, and the interior can be removed and placed easily in the washer. You can even add a bed warmer! Make sure that the carrier is always open and accessible so that it seems safe and protected to your cat.

Once you’ve found the carrier for you and your cat, here are some ways to make it even more appealing:

Use Treats

You know your cat better than anyone else, what it will do literally anything to get, whether it’s a delicious treat or its favorite toy. Whatever it may be, use that item to coax your cat into the carrier, and give it as a reward once he or she is in. Make sure you only make this item available within the carrier. Never trap him inside, but let him explore and get comfortable at his own pace, keeping the reinforcement positive.

Drape a Towel Across the Carrier

You know how cats absolutely love cardboard boxes? They enjoy carriers in almost the same way, so draping a towel over the carrier can help encourage your cat to go inside.

Feed Your Cat in the Carrier

This doesn’t always catch on, so don’t force it. However, when it does work, it works marvelously. Place the cat’s food towards the back of the carrier so that he has to enter to be fed.

Never Use the Carrier as Punishment

Your cat needs to only view the carrier as somewhere he is safe and comfortable, so never use it as a place to trap him when he’s behaved badly. Cats just don’t learn by punishment, and this will only result in making him afraid to go into the carrier. Therefore, the carrier will be the last place he’ll want to go in the event of an emergency – or even just to get to the vet!

You’ll be making life a lot easier for you, your family, and your cat if you use these tips to train your cat to love the carrier.