Cat hates carrier; needs spaying.

Kittycatlady819

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 1, 2022
Messages
9
Purraise
4
I’ve posted on here before worried about my new kittens and their behavior, everyone was great and the advice was mostly spot on! My 2 cats are doing well and are adjusting nicely.

I made an appointment this past Tuesday to get both of them spayed. One appears to be 6 months old and the other based on size is 1+ years.The older cat is very skittish, hisses a lot, scratches, and does not like to be pet all the time and will sometimes cower when you go to touch her…

well let’s just say getting her into the carrier on the day of the appointment was a nightmare! She ran away and all over the house even tho we locked her out of every room. We probably should’ve locked her in the bathroom but after what we experienced idk. She scratched the heck out of me making my arm bleed all over and even bit my husband through gloves to his skin….

I have the carrier out and have since we brought them home and she will go in it for treats, and while playing but if we try to put her in forget it. I advised the clinic and showed them my bruises but they refused to provide any medicine for me to help me…

they said I should put her in a pillowcase and put her into the carrier that way and I thought, ok… how al I gonna do that?!! What else can I do? I was considering trying CBD oil to see if that helps?Her next appointment isn’t for June and I wanna do all I can in the meantime so any tips/tricks would be great!
 

maggie101

3 cats
Top Cat
Joined
Apr 20, 2014
Messages
5,426
Purraise
6,160
Location
Houston,TX
Make the appointment for when she's sleeping. Like 2 pm. Do you have a walk in closet? Or bathroom if not. Put the litterbox In there days before . He will know what you are planning as soon as he hears it. Slowly pick him up while sleeping and close the door.My 7 pd cat has a large litter box because if not she will grab the sides
 

Tobermory

“What greater gift than the love of a cat.”
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Messages
6,057
Purraise
17,270
Location
Oregon
Here’s what I do when I have to get Mocha into a carrier. She’s a former feral and I can’t normally pick her up, but this has worked.
  1. Take carrier out a couple of days before you need it. Leave carrier on the floor with door open.
  2. When you’re ready to put your kitty in the carrier, make sure she isn’t on anything that she can put claws into and hold onto like a barnacle. I lure Mocha onto the wood floor with treats. While she’s munching, have your husband quietly pick up the carrier and approach you from behind so kitty can’t see what he has in his hand. Make sure he doesn’t let the carrier make any “carrier noises.” (Mine rattle if not held perfectly still, and my cats know exactly what that means.) He should hold carrier level about waist height with door open.
  3. Swiftly pick up
  4. (hopefully) unsuspecting kitty and in one smooth move, turn around and insert her into the carrier before she has a chance to react, grow additional legs all tipped with razors, and dismember you. You have to do it swiftly in one unbroken move.
If you don’t have a second person, a counter or table will work—anything that puts the carrier on the level and up off of the floor so there’s nothing for kitty to grab onto or push off from. Make sure the edge of the carrier is at the edge of whatever you’ve placed it on. If my husband isn't available, I use the washer or dryer.

They're very attuned to your body language and voice so try to act and sound as normal and matter-of-fact as possible.

I’m surprised, though, that the vet’s office wouldn’t give you any gabapentin to calm her.
 

maggie101

3 cats
Top Cat
Joined
Apr 20, 2014
Messages
5,426
Purraise
6,160
Location
Houston,TX
Here’s what I do when I have to get Mocha into a carrier. She’s a former feral and I can’t normally pick her up, but this has worked.
  1. Take carrier out a couple of days before you need it. Leave carrier on the floor with door open.
  2. When you’re ready to put your kitty in the carrier, make sure she isn’t on anything that she can put claws into and hold onto like a barnacle. I lure Mocha onto the wood floor with treats. While she’s munching, have your husband quietly pick up the carrier and approach you from behind so kitty can’t see what he has in his hand. Make sure he doesn’t let the carrier make any “carrier noises.” (Mine rattle if not held perfectly still, and my cats know exactly what that means.) He should hold carrier level about waist height with door open.
  3. Swiftly pick up
  4. (hopefully) unsuspecting kitty and in one smooth move, turn around and insert her into the carrier before she has a chance to react, grow additional legs all tipped with razors, and dismember you. You have to do it swiftly in one unbroken move.
If you don’t have a second person, a counter or table will work—anything that puts the carrier on the level and up off of the floor so there’s nothing for kitty to grab onto or push off from. Make sure the edge of the carrier is at the edge of whatever you’ve placed it on. If my husband isn't available, I use the washer or dryer.

They're very attuned to your body language and voice so try to act and sound as normal and matter-of-fact as possible.

I’m surprised, though, that the vet’s office wouldn’t give you any gabapentin to calm her.
I know this won't work for your feral cats,but my cat Maggie isn't nearly as difficult. This carrier does not make much noise

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QHC0050/?tag=thecatsite
 

DreamerRose

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 11, 2015
Messages
8,212
Purraise
9,647
Location
Naperville, IL
You've got my sympathy. I had to cancel and reschedule two vet appointments this week because I couldn't catch Lily. She knows instantly something's up when I come after her. I am unable to bend over and pick her up, so she led me on a merry chase through the house. She does sleep in my lap, so I've been familiarizing her to being picked up from there. I've got the carrier close to the chair and plan on popping her in it when the next appt. comes up.

This won't help you though, and with a semi-feral, it's very difficult. Tobermory Tobermory has a really good suggestion.
 

maggie101

3 cats
Top Cat
Joined
Apr 20, 2014
Messages
5,426
Purraise
6,160
Location
Houston,TX
You've got my sympathy. I had to cancel and reschedule two vet appointments this week because I couldn't catch Lily. She knows instantly something's up when I come after her. I am unable to bend over and pick her up, so she led me on a merry chase through the house. She does sleep in my lap, so I've been familiarizing her to being picked up from there. I've got the carrier close to the chair and plan on popping her in it when the next appt. comes up.

This won't help you though, and with a semi-feral, it's very difficult. Tobermory Tobermory has a really good suggestion.
Hope it works. If my cat saw the carrier she would run off. Maybe a smell that would attract her so she won't run? My other cat likes to play in it but hates me putting her in it
 

Caspers Human

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
1,833
Purraise
2,886
Location
Pennsylvania
We use the "Scoop and Go" method for Casper.

We get Casper's carrier out, ahead of time, then wait until he's sleeping or just snoozing. Casper's Girl-Human will pet him and "make nice" while I get the carrier ready. On the signal, I set the carrier on end with the door facing upward. She grabs him and holds him still. I scoop him up. She holds the carrier door. I drop him into the carrier and she shuts the door. By the time he figures out what happened, it's too late.

Sometimes, Casper will struggle too much and we'll have to make a second attempt but, except for some ruffled fur, everything happens fairly quickly.

I'll go outside and pull the car up, close to the door. She'll soft talk the cat and collect her things to get ready. When I bring the car around, she'll bring him over, put cat and carrier on the back seat and we're off to the vet.

Maybe you could try to do a dry run with your cat, in advance of your trip to the vet. Catch her, put her into the carrier. Do all the things necessary to get ready but don't actually take her outside. Just let her stay in the carrier for ten or fifteen minutes then let her out again.

It'll give you a chance to rehearse and it'll give the cat the idea that going into the carrier doesn't always mean a trip to the vet.
 

daftcat75

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
Messages
9,707
Purraise
18,109
If all else fails, I would grab a towel and a box. Either lure the cat into bathroom and close the door behind you or you can ambush her while she's sleeping. Throw the towel over her, scoop her up, and drop her in the box with towel and all. The thicker the towel, the better the protection against claws. Throw some treats into the box after her, and wish her the best. She's not going to be happy. But exceptional times require exceptional measures. She'll forgive you when all is done.

For one of Krista's dental appointments, I opted to skip the long-lasting bupe shot and pick up the pain relief with transdermal I have at home. For whatever reason, they chose to keep her overnight, and predictably, her pain relief ran out because they didn't give her the long-lasting shot (as per my request.) When I came to pick her up the next morning, the vet techs invited me into the back into "the cat room" (which is just a few cages in a utility closet set apart from the other animals.) My Krista was growling up something fierce and no-one wanted to approach her much less figure out how to get her into the carrier. After talking with her and attempting to feed her didn't work, I tossed a towel over her and dragged her into the cardboard box carrier that they give you at the shelter. The vet office had one too. In Krista's final years when she was an angry patient at the vet's office, she would often poop her carrier on the transfer from cage to carrier. If they gave me a poop cat in the carrier, I asked for a box and a bag. The carrier went in the bag and the cat into the box. Nobody should ride home in their own poop. Krista rode home in many boxes in her last year.
View media item 422562
 

DreamerRose

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 11, 2015
Messages
8,212
Purraise
9,647
Location
Naperville, IL
Maybe you could try to do a dry run with your cat, in advance of your trip to the vet. Catch her, put her into the carrier. Do all the things necessary to get ready but don't actually take her outside. Just let her stay in the carrier for ten or fifteen minutes then let her out again.

It'll give you a chance to rehearse and it'll give the cat the idea that going into the carrier doesn't always mean a trip to the vet.
I tried doing that, but it just made her more adept at avoiding the carrier. She's going for the spread eagle hold on the sides, so I've decided to let that go for now. I have a small soft-sided carrier that's really intended for small dogs. I can't manage my other carrier, which is larger and plastic.
 

Alldara

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Apr 29, 2022
Messages
40
Purraise
40
We switched to a back pack and sitting up helped. He can see what's going on. Our cat only likes soft carriers. Turns out the carrier aggravates his knees (genetic knee issue for Siamese mix).

Our late cat there was 0 getting her into a carrier. I leash trained her and brought her into the vet like that. She was happy to walk into the vet and follow the vet to the back when he called her name. I always brought a towel for my lap in the car or to carry her to/from the door if raining or something.

Feliway is a bit of a support. Using a blanket she is familiar with helps (we keep one in there and then wash it upon home and put the 'same' clean one down after....we have 4 or 5 of the same blanket). I always wash upon getting home to get the stress off of it.
 

danteshuman

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Messages
4,494
Purraise
5,117
Location
California
Normally I say get the cat in a room or bathroom with a closed door. Then calmly pick them up and put them in the carrier. (They will go under the bed. So I like to give them an hour or two in the room before carrier time.)

In your extremely skittish cat’s case I would call your vet. Explain the situation and ask if you can pick up a sedative so you can get her in the carrier.
 

TardisDance

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Dec 6, 2020
Messages
235
Purraise
189
For my cat, about the only thing I can do is trap her in my office and she typically runs into a wool cat cave. Then I proceed to pick up the cat cave by closing up opening with my hands and basically carrying her like a sack of potatoes and quickly place her in the carrier. She usually comes out of the cave and lays on top of the carrier and tries to scratch her way out of the carrier - I put a towel over the carrier to calm her down. This is the only trick that works. We have the Meowfia Cat Cave. It’s thick enough that she doesn’t bit through the wool.

At the vet office, she’s fine, just scared. We finally got to have a in-person visit (it’s been curbside since we adopted her in 2020) and she mostly hid in the vet tech‘s jacket while the vet checked her temp, gave her a FVCRP booster, etc.

This is a cat that pants, claws, bites through gloves, and pees on me when I try to put her in the carrier. I keep the carrier out at all times and put treats in it, but it never helps. Even hearing the carrier being closed freaks her out and when my other goes to the vet, she hides under the couch. Our old vet gave gabapentin to put in her wet food to calm her down, but she knew something was ”off” with the food and wouldn’t touch it (I had come to find out that it was cherry flavored!). I can’t syringe it into her mouth - any types of handling freaks her out - we gave up on nail trims a while ago (even while sleeping, she knows what’s up now). She a rescue from a hoarding situation, so she’s on the extreme end of most things involving humans.
 

LaburnumRose

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Apr 29, 2022
Messages
8
Purraise
8
I’ve posted on here before worried about my new kittens and their behavior, everyone was great and the advice was mostly spot on! My 2 cats are doing well and are adjusting nicely.

I made an appointment this past Tuesday to get both of them spayed. One appears to be 6 months old and the other based on size is 1+ years.The older cat is very skittish, hisses a lot, scratches, and does not like to be pet all the time and will sometimes cower when you go to touch her…

well let’s just say getting her into the carrier on the day of the appointment was a nightmare! She ran away and all over the house even tho we locked her out of every room. We probably should’ve locked her in the bathroom but after what we experienced idk. She scratched the heck out of me making my arm bleed all over and even bit my husband through gloves to his skin….

I have the carrier out and have since we brought them home and she will go in it for treats, and while playing but if we try to put her in forget it. I advised the clinic and showed them my bruises but they refused to provide any medicine for me to help me…

they said I should put her in a pillowcase and put her into the carrier that way and I thought, ok… how al I gonna do that?!! What else can I do? I was considering trying CBD oil to see if that helps?Her next appointment isn’t for June and I wanna do all I can in the meantime so any tips/tricks would be great!
I had a cat like that a few years ago and in the end, I put a collar and lead on him, and my son carried him on his lap while I drove to the vet's. The vet was able to get him straight into a carrier (that professional touch, I suppose!). After the op, we took him home the same way, on my son's lap. We never again tried to contain him for trips to the vet because it distressed him so much. He was really good on a lap and was more than happy to be in the car.
 

chelsmarie

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Aug 12, 2021
Messages
41
Purraise
33
My cat was adopted at around 8 months and was semi-feral. Absolutely hates the carrier to the point of hurting herself. After cutting her nose pretty badly, I got a soft carrier to avoid further injury. The thing that has helped the most by far is gabapentin. She mellows out to what I would consider a normal level of fear and she just kind of submits. Only way I’ve been able to take her out.
 

LTS3

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Aug 29, 2014
Messages
17,991
Purraise
17,741
Location
USA
K Kittycatlady819

See this article for a video and tips:


What type of carrier are you using? Single door carries can be a pain to get a cat into. Many people like double door carriers because they can plop the cat down and close the door. If you don't have a double door carrier, you should consider buying one.

A few days before a vet visit, trim the cat's claws to lessen the chances of serious scratches. Before you even get the carrier out from where you are storing it, put the cat into the bathroom and close the door securely. (side note: make sure your bathroom doesn't have any cat accessible hiding spots like vents with loose covers, loose baseboards, holes inside the sink cabinet, etc). Then go get the carrier and place it near the bathroom door and have the door open. If you know the cat will scratch, wear something with long sleeves to protect your arms. Even just clipped claws can cause scratches. Maybe a sweater or an old coat. Then very slowly open the bathroom door being mindful that the cat can easily slip past a crack and escape. If you see the cat trying to slip out, either lean over to push the cat back in or close the door and get something to assist in keeping the cat from escaping such as a large piece of cardboard. Try again. Once you can squeeze through the open door, close it. Pick up the cat and hold firmly. Leave the bathroom. Put cat into carrier (again, easier to do with a double door one). Close carrier door.
 

lollie

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
145
Purraise
208
Have the carrier open in another room. When she’s unsuspecting, just pick her up as if to pet her, then just drop a cloth over her face, and in she goes. If you’re quick about it, she’ll be in before she knows what hit her.

Had to do this on a previous cat. Luckily, my current cat doesn’t throw the same fuss. I do occasionally take her for a short drive, if I’m going through the drive-thru or something. Just so they don‘t assume it means the vet.
 

ClumsyBear

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 17, 2021
Messages
44
Purraise
75
What type of carrier are you using? Maybe the cat would like a softer one? I like my soft carrier because my cat's scent gets into it so he knows it's his. It also has small openings I can unzip to pet him, which helps with anxiety on our way to the vet - and helps create a nice experience. There's windows all around so he can move and look at all his surroundings. I also always add a favourite toy and blanket. When we first got him, his carrier was always always out so he got used to seeing it, and would hide in it sometimes. I would also hide treats so when he'd go near he'd discover it and it would positive to go into the carrier.

Now I just take out the carrier and he runs into it, which is really helpful, especially if there's an emergency and we need to go out.

I probably got lucky too, but I think having his carrier as always a type of bed, really helped in getting him to that point.
 
Top