“How to get an aggressive cat into a carrier?” Well, the answer to this question goes through the choice of a perfect carrier.
What are the merits of an ideal carrier then?
“It shouldn’t be smelly, as most of the objects lying in the storehouses are, because cats hate that smell and try to avoid it”, “An ideal carrier would be having more than one openings and the wider one on the upside.”
Any carrier that invites minimum cat resilience. The carrier should keep the cat away from stress.
The gate opening upside allows for easy entry of cats especially those which are unwilling to go in.
More than one openings make the carrier an airy and easy to use a cage.
Your utmost effort should be to bring and keep it beside your cat at least before 3 to 5 days of your attempt to get her into the carrier.
Cats would have enough time to sniff it, get along with it and investigate it.
Train Your Cat to Like It First
The process of getting the cat into the carrier starts by getting her acclimatized to the carrier first and then actually getting her in.
Giving rewards works for anything you want to persuade your cat for.
Any eatable that cat likes especially catmint, any toy or treat can be a remedy for her disinterest in going near or into the carrier.
The way to capture cats that use to coddle with you, and are healthy as well, is the following:
Take them to a small room where they have little space to escape to.
Cats get uneasy when you take away their medicine.
In order to trap them into the room, you can hide their medicine in front of them, they will chase you through to the room and then you can jump, lock the door confining them in.
Following that, take a towel or a blanket and invade her. In the meanwhile, Make sure there is no place to hide in the room i.e. bed, chairs etc.
The blanket should be chosen very carefully as it should not be so waste that you get yourself entangled in handling it and cat flees away.
Thick-fur Bath towel might be the best choice so as to avoid any scratches on the cat’s body in case she tries different ways to run away.
Throw the towel over her and then grab her with the help of a towel.
Make sure her head is exposed to the air after you take her in control. Attach her against your chest at once, so as to relieve her anxiety.
The action of throwing the towel and grabbing must be done with much alacrity as cats have reflexes fast enough to escape your trap.
You have to be faster and attentive to her counter tricks.
For cats, the presence of a carrier might bring the thoughts of captivity, Loss of freedom etc.
So, they feel uncomfortable in their surroundings.
Well, you cannot let them avoid carrier. You have to make them feel easy with its presence.
The easiest way is to make it usual for them to be in the presence of carrier such that it’s not an odd moment anymore if they are present near it.
For that purpose, they need to start spending time in the presence of it way before you want them to be inside it.
Treats, toys thing can also help here. Make sure you keep replenishing them.
After that start feeding them in the carrier.
In the beginning, they might hesitate eating there.
So, you can try feeding near the carrier, so they are closer to the carrier one step more.
You can decrease their distance from the carrier once time goes past.
Keep doing that until they are very close and then inside the carrier, eating very comfortably there.
If at any stage, your cat is reluctant to eat there, start the process again.
In the meanwhile, Make sure that she is not observing you watching her being fed near the carrier.
That might give her suspicious thoughts about your intensions and her unconscious might take over her thinking process and she might start behaving like a spoiled child.
She might suspect you will close the door while she is busy eating her food.
After that start acclimatizing her with carrier’s environment and make it so pleasant for her that on the day of captivity, she does not hesitate to go into it.
The process is, make her go in and out and give her an impression that the door is not going to be closed for always.
She can still be free even inside the carrier.
Then start closing and locking the door while she is in but just for a little time.
She does not abstain from going in when she knows that door remains closed for a short while, and that very feat is your target.
Make her feel relaxed while she is locked in the carrier. You can increase the amount of time the gate remains locked as the time progresses.
For Utterly Unwilling cats
The first thing to do is turning their unwillingness into willingness as this is the easiest way to get done.
Suppose you want to take her out to vet, don’t you need her to get calm and willing to behave normally during a checkup?
Sure you do. In case she does not get convinced, you can apply the following techniques.
The pillowcase can be used where you use pheromone spray to make your cat go unconscious for a while and then you get her into the carrier.
Cats love to follow the little objects, especially odd ones.
You can use a laser light pointer and trap your cat into the carrier as she tries to follow it.
Take away her favourite toy and stay in front of her. She knows you have the toy and only you can return it.
Then show her the toy after a while and hide it again. Do the same thing 3 to 4 times until her anxiety reaches its peak.
Then place that toy in the carrier, and show your cat the path to the toy. Congrats! She has been trapped.
To force her into the carrier, wear gloves so her attempt to flee does not hurt you by her scratching with her claws.
Come from behind and grab her in no time, put her inside the carrier. You have to roll her in the towel or blanket. Avail the opportunity when she is taking rest.
You could also talk to the shelter administrators of where she came from about how, if ever, they managed to put her into a carrier.
Injured cats need an extra bit of attention and a mix of different techniques.
Obviously you can’t afford another injury. A thick fur towel is mandatory to attack her.
Soothing her and then putting into the carrier, tail first should help.
Techniques for Semi Feral Cats
Well, “How to get an aggressive cat into a carrier?” is not a question of home tamed cats only. Semi feral cats are also loved by many.
They are usually hungry and thirsty as well.
The most promising trap for catching them revolves around food. Keep the food in the carrier at their routine place at the same time at which they are fed daily.
But this time, inside the carrier. Giving them water, before you catch and lock them, is necessary to avoid dehydration
Famous Carriers for Aggressive Cats
Petmate provides well-furnished plastic top-door carriers and have a great reputation among classic owners.
The petami travel carrier is amazon’s best-seller in this regard and has proved its worth over time. You can look up for more carriers as well.
Cat’s level of peace with the presence of the carrier in the early 3 to 4 days will be enough to show if she needs more acclimatizing efforts or not. Pheromones can help you if natural solutions are not working still.
“How to get an aggressive cat into a carrier?” If still not addressed, you can use the pet tube in case your cat is so much frightened of the carrier. This is a collapsible tube which you can easily transport as well in your car. Its only demerit is that it’s a little bigger than a normal carrier.
- Feline Behavior Problems: Aggression, Cornell Feline Health Center, Cornell University
- Hetts, Suzanne. (1999). Pet Behavior Protocols. Lakewood, CO: AAHA Press
- Dr. Jean Hofve, DVM, holistic veterinarian, Aggression In Cats
Dinu Sri Madusanka
Hi, I’m a researcher who is currently pursuing a PhD degree in Nanotechnology. In my free time, I gives my contribution to Walk with Cat by writing, reviewing and analyzing information.