Cats and Carriers 101 | Village Vets
14 Dec, 2018

The best way to get your cat into his or her carrier is not by forcing them in and struggling with them but by getting them acclimated to it when they are young and before they actually have to travel anywhere in the carrier. 

What you'll need:

  • Large sturdy plastic carrier that can be opened from the top and front. 
  • Blankets.
  • Cats favourite toys and treats.
  • Catnip, feliway or Pet remedy spray. 
  • Patience.
  • Stress-free quiet enviornment.


1. Firstly you'll need a carrier large enough that your cat can stand, stretch and turn in easily. The bottom should be padded and non slip. Don't forget your little kitten will grow so get one that they will fit into when they are a fully grown adult, when they're kittens you can just put blankets in to take up empty space. 

2. Leave the carrier in a quiet area of the house and away from other animals. You can also cover the carrier with blankets so as to create a safe and comfortable hideaway . Leave their favourite treats and toy in the carrier.  You can also put in a blanket that they sleep on so their scent is already in the carrier. Letting them choose to go in by themselves is really what we want as cats are naturally curious creatures. 

3. Once they're comfortable going in and out, gradually get them used to sitting in it with the door open. Leave treats inside and leave them to relax. 

4. Eventually once they're used to going in and out and sitting in the carrier then we can close the door but again leave treats inside. Only do this for a short time at the start so as not to stress them out, you can gradually increase the amount of time in the carrier with the door closed. 

5. You can also spray the carrier with Catnip/Feliway or Pet Remedy Spray. This will help to create calm atmosphere and encourage your cat to explore the carrier. 


Older Cats and Carriers

If you have an older cat, never fear: you can still get them used to their carrier. Start very slowly and if they are terrified by even the sight of the carrier just leave it down in the house. Take the top off the carrier and if they still want nothing to do with it gradually move their food closer and closer to the carrier unitl they are comfortable being beside it then follow the above steps.

For other tips on how to create fear free enviornment for your cat you an also check out the Fear Free website here

Stay tuned for our post on traveling with your cat next!