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Carrier Suggestions For Cats Who Hate Them?

Discussion in 'Grooming & General Cat Care' started by catalinacat, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. catalinacat

    catalinacat Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Oct 17, 2017
    It's such a struggle taking her to the vet in the current carrier which looks like this:
    I can take the lid off, but then it takes two people (one putting the cat in, the other assembling it all back together) to get her to stay, and the assembling back together part is a clunky design.

    My cat is 8 pounds, so she isn't that big.

    If anyone can recommend me a better crate I would really appreciate it! I've been looking at many online, but just thought I'd ask you all here, too!

    (Sorry I meant cat, singular, not cats).
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
    Margret purraised this.

  2. Willowy

    Willowy TCS Member Top Cat

    Mar 1, 2009
    South Dakota
    The easiest way to put a reluctant cat in a carrier is to put the carrier on end, scruff the cat, and lower her carefully into the carrier. There's really no easier way than that, unfortunately :/. Although perhaps a carrier with a top opening would be slightly easier.
    epona, jcat, neely and 3 others purraised this.

  3. bodester413

    bodester413 TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Jan 26, 2016
    Midwest USA
    I had one that had a top load door kind of like this one from Petmate. It was easier getting him in from the top. Eventually I got a small dog carrier because he got to be around 16lbs and was just to big and fought like heck when he realized he was going to be put in it.

    Petmate Two Door Top Load Pet Kennel, Small White - Chewy.com

    My sister has one of the soft sided cat carriers that she likes. Her cat is super laid back though.....He will walk in it himself and lay down. The soft sided one is similar to the one below.

    Frisco Premium Travel Pet Carrier, Black, Large - Chewy.com
    Margret purraised this.

  4. flybear

    flybear TCS Member Young Cat

    Nov 13, 2018
    we use a soft carrier and ... leave it out all the time with a soft blanket and I store favorite toys in there ... my kittens love to play in it and sleep in it and lay on it ... they don’t associate it with just vet trips so they are not distressed if I do have to put them in and close the door ... the babies stayed in it at the vet before and after the spay and according to staff seeemd quite comfy. I bought my soft carrier online and it expands on one side and has a top and side zipper door - it can be stored flat so that is a bonus

  5. Lari

    Lari TCS Member Top Cat

    Nov 18, 2017
    Lol, I bought the sleepypod for mine.

    Assuming you don't want to spend that much money (I'm insane) I will agree that a top loader is infinitely easier than a side one. The hole is a bit bigger and you can lift them in from the top without all the creature comforts you put in it sliding to the back and not being adjustable (I would stick a cat bed in Lelia's old plastic carrier to make her more comfortable.).
    Margret purraised this.

  6. Margret

    Margret TCS Member Top Cat

    Jul 17, 2014
    Littleton, CO
    Way back when, with Sweet Thing, we couldn't afford a carrier at all; we used two laundry baskets - put the cat in one basket, turn the other basket over and put it on top, and then thread some cord through the openings around the edge of the basket to tie it together on each side. Not recommended, although it did work.

    At this point we have a carrier very much like yours, with a sheep skin inside, which we leave open all the time. Jasmine likes to nap in it. However, Jasmine is so stressed by any car trips that I got the vet to prescribe some sedatives for her to deal with it. Also, we use a mobile vet who comes to us rather than us taking the cats to her.

    Those soft sided carriers are very tempting; I have one, but I've never had a cat who was willing to be put in it. For my cats it seems to be worse than a hard carrier; they seem to feel that it's going to collapse on them.

    I recommend sticking with the carrier you already have. Put a comfy bed in it, leave it open all the time, and put a few spritzes of Feliway around its door on a daily basis.

    neely, kobata1928 and Kflowers purraised this.

  7. kobata1928

    kobata1928 TCS Member Adult Cat

    Sep 24, 2017
    I like top opening carriers but that one like most others I cant deal with. The latch is just too flimsy and I am constantly worried it will fall open while I carry it. I know it has a million good reviews but I will not risk my cats getting out and being outside. I do have have 3 other carriers that I leave out on high shelf's that all my cats enjoy, they take naps in them.[​IMG]
    Margret purraised this.

  8. LTS3

    LTS3 TCS Member Staff Member Forum Helper

    Aug 29, 2014
    Double door carrier. Open the top door, put the cat in, and close the door. Being pushed through a front door into what, to a cat, seems like a tunnel is scary.
    jcat and Margret purraised this.

  9. basscat

    basscat TCS Member Top Cat

    Dec 29, 2015
    Open the door or remove it. Put a towel in it and leave it somewhere your cat likes to frequent. You'll probably find them napping it relatively quickly. Once they get used it, putting them in when taking them somewhere is lots easier.
    I see nothing wrong with your current carrier if it's a small one. Just big enough for the cat to go into, turn around, and curl up. (and a cat can turn around in some very tight places).
    If the carrier is too big, they have room to wiggle and fight it. Which isn't good when trying to carry.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
    Margret purraised this.

  10. yeva2292

    yeva2292 TCS Member Adult Cat

    Aug 8, 2016
    I saw this at a cat show, and after a long search, found it online! I bought the medium/large size for my cat, and though its big for her, it is by far the easiest carrier to put her into. I don't have to chase her around the house anymore, its just grab kitty, drop down into carrier, and quickly cover.
    daftcat75 purraised this.

  11. jcat

    jcat Mo(w)gli's can opener Staff Member Moderator

    Feb 13, 2003
    Mo(w)gli Monster's Lair
    :yeah: That's what we have, because our last cat was almost impossible to get into a carrier, except at the vets' office, when he'd willingly go in the "front door" to get out of there asap. One with two entries can also be used as a cat "cave" at home.

    Another big advantage of a top loader is that the vet can do most of the exam and shots while the cat is in the carrier if it's a difficult feline.

    If you're worried about the top opening, use a bungee cord or two for extra security.
    artiemom and Margret purraised this.

  12. Margret

    Margret TCS Member Top Cat

    Jul 17, 2014
    Littleton, CO
    Can't see your link. TCS has an idiosyncrasy with regard to Amazon; you have to remove the "https://" from the beginning of the address for some reason. Just "www.amazon."etcetera.


  13. daftcat75

    daftcat75 TCS Member Top Cat

    Sep 7, 2018
    This is Krista’s carrier. Both sides will fold up and zip up. The front, back, top, and even the sides have zipper openings. I leave this out for her and put fish flakes in it several times a day. We have a post-meal fish flake hunt I started for her as a way to end meals and kick her out of the kitchen so I could cook my own meals.

    Because she goes in here several times a day for treats, I can get her in here under her own will when it’s time for the vet. I put in some flakes, zip up the front. Put in a little more and zip up the top. Fold up the sides and sneak in a few more flakes. We actually practiced this a few times before the vet. I zipped her up and picked her up. Set her down and gave her some flakes. Then I let her out and open this back up again and put some more flakes in. I use the bonito tuna flakes for this because I can shovel them into her without adding much bulk or calories to her diet or affecting her appetite.

    This is Krista chilling with one side down at the vet’s office. She was super-relaxed because we practiced her being in there. And because I brought the fish flakes with us, and offered her some on the car ride, and again in the office. When the tech arrived, I lured her onto the scale with more flakes. The tech probably never had such a well-behaved feline patient.

    And this is her as relaxed as could be once I finally let her out and roam around the office.

    She was at the vet twice last week (once for a checkup and once to pick up ear drops and learn how to give them.). Even the second time she was just as relaxed. You’d think she would have caught on after the first time. Funny thing was as we were leaving both times another cat was crying her head off and making her human exasperated. This was not Krista for a change. Krista was trilling like a weirdo cat actually enjoying herself.

    There is definitely an alternative to chase, catch, force into a box, and endure the crying until it’s all over. It takes a little time investment outside the vet office (and a whole lot of fish flakes) but the end result, a relaxed, confident cat, makes the whole experience much easier. Even the car ride was quieter.
    LadyLondonderry, Kflowers, artiemom and 2 others purraised this.

  14. Margret

    Margret TCS Member Top Cat

    Jul 17, 2014
    Littleton, CO

  15. daftcat75

    daftcat75 TCS Member Top Cat

    Sep 7, 2018
    Yes. I close up the sides for transport. It comes with a detachable shoulder strap. When I get to the vet office, I put down one side for her so she can spread out and lay sideways. Instead of letting her out the minute we’re in an exam room, I left her inside with a side down on top of the exam table. This way she got used to being in the room and being on the table without having to chase her down from under a chair when the vet comes in. I also bring with us a small Bluetooth speaker which I play “Music For Cats” from my phone. This is what she listens to at home during the day when I’m gone and what we listen to on the car ride over. I call it her “cat rock.” Between the carrier, the flakes, the cat rock, and a toy inside the carrier, there’s a lot of familiar for her.
    LadyLondonderry, artiemom and Margret purraised this.

  16. yeva2292

    yeva2292 TCS Member Adult Cat

    Aug 8, 2016

  17. PushPurrCatPaws

    PushPurrCatPaws TCS Member Top Cat

    May 22, 2015
    daftcat75 purraised this.

  18. daftcat75

    daftcat75 TCS Member Top Cat

    Sep 7, 2018
    If you haven't already purchased it, woot.com is selling it for over half off. Not sure how long this will last so if you're considering it, buy it now.
    Pet Expandable Airplane Carrier - $24.99 + $6 standard shipping
    PushPurrCatPaws purraised this.

  19. LittleShadow

    LittleShadow TCS Member Adult Cat

    Dec 28, 2018
    Just chiming in that these are all excellent suggestions, but if your cat utterly hates carriers and these all fail....I've had some success with some cats NOT using a carrier.

    I used one of the jacket-style harnesses, then a small dog car seatbelt safety tether...it sort of looks like a very, very short leash that you buckle the seatbelt through the handle of, and clip to their harness. I'd cover the seat with towels, and the tether kept the cat on the seat, but able to look around a little, and to see me, and let me pet them at stoplights. Of course, this relies on you being able to get your cat to accept a harness, so....:dunno:

    I did always take a carrier with me, just in case, and as a place to keep the cat if there were dogs at the vet, but it seemed to work well with some of my cats.
    FeebysOwner purraised this.

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