Cats and carriers often do not get along. For many cats, being in a carrier means that unpleasant things are coming such as a trip to the vet. However, with a few positive interactions at home, your cat can become acclimated to his carrier in no time. 

Start by leaving the carrier out and open. Allow your cat to explore the carrier on his own terms. 

Make the carrier more enticing to your cat by placing a towel or a Tshirt with your scent as well as a few tasty treats on the inside. 

Place the carrier near your cat’s sleeping spot or in an area that your cat passes regularly. Your cat’s curiosity will eventually lead him to explore the carrier. 

When your cat appears to be comfortable with the carrier, try placing his food inside the carrier. Do not close your cat inside, but place the bowl near the back of the carrier so that he needs to enter completely. 

Periodically confine your cat in his carrier once you are sure he doesn’t view it as a scary place. Do not keep your cat in the carrier for an extended amount of time; up to 15 minutes should be fine. 

Make sure to keep the experience as positive as possible for your cat by sprinkling some yummy treats or catnip in the carrier. 

Do not isolate your cat while he is in the carrier. Keep the carrier near you or in a familiar space while he is inside. 

If you would like information from an Anti-Cruelty Behavior Specialist regarding this behavior topic, please call 312-645-8253 or email behavior@anticruelty.org.

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