This post was originally written by Julie Rouch from purrfectbuslife.com with some minor edits from the Rufus & Coco team.
Part of bringing your cat to your travels and adventures, especially road trips, is having a pet carrier handy. Not only is it for your kitty's safety, but also for your convenience and to ensure that your trip goes smoothly and as stress-free as possible.
But not all cats can easily get accustomed to the idea of being cooped up in a tiny space. In this post, we give you 6 ways to teach your cat to get comfortable with its carrier.
How do you get your cat to love its carrier?
Introduce your Cat to their Carrier
Let your cat familiarise itself with the smell and texture of this new object by having the carrier exposed to your bestie and allowing as much potential interaction between the two as possible. Keeping the carrier tucked in a closet or in a hidden place will not help your cause and might only add to the fear and mystery of the object.
Encourage your Cat to Enter the carrier on its own
What does your kitty like? Does your cat have a favorite blanket or toy? Put this in the carrier so that your pet can associate the carrier with comfort and positivity. Another good option is to also start feeding your cat near the carrier to allow for a more positive interaction.
Let’s move in
It's time for your feline to enter their carrier! If your cat is not entering on its own despite the familiarity and homey feeling you've provided, you can try putting some treats inside the carrier and use some distractions and positive reinforcement for when your cat finally cooperates.
Remember that it's important never to close the carrier until your kitty is at ease with this step!
Over a period of time, feed your cat inside the carrier to really reinforce the positive bond between your feline and the carrier. If your cat refuses to eat inside of the carrier, try leaving a blanket and the door open, until your pet starts to enter the carrier more and more on its own.
Close the door
It’s time to see how your cat reacts once locked in the carrier.
Start by closing the door for a small amount of time and slowly increase the duration. Again, it's important to use positive reinforcement and reward your cat each time for being cooperative.
Let’s move around
Once your kitty becomes more and more comfortable inside the carrier, start carrying it around until they become more at ease with the idea of motion. Same as with the other steps, start carrying your cat around for shorter periods of time eventually increasing the duration as time progresses.