Behavior

May 2010 Issue

How to Ease Cat Carrier Stress

Learn how to transform the box from a ‘necessary evil’ to something your cat doesn’t automatically fear.

You need to take your cat to the veterinarian for a checkup. When you retrieve the cat carrier from the closet, your cat disappears. The ensuing chase tires you out and stresses your cat, making his heart beat faster and possibly elevating his temperature. Sound familiar? For many cat owners, getting their cats into a carrier is a battle of wits and wills — but it’s necessary preparation for veterinary visits, emergency evacuations or moving to a new location. "You may even want to put your cat in a carrier to keep her from escaping when painters or housekeepers come," says Ellen Lindell, VMD, a board-certified member of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. So why wait until an emergency arises? Getting your cat accustomed to the carrier simply takes foresight and training.

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