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The Biggest Mistake Cat Owners Make with Their Pet's Carrier.

Apr 30, 2008
Just about every cat owner has to face this problem sooner or later. You need to get your cat into their carrier to visit the vet, be taken to the cattery or to travel to another home and what do you know? Your loving and ever-present cat has scooted off in the opposite direction at the speed of sound!

And even when you finally manage to locate the fur-covered little devil after wasting time you can ill-afford, you have to battle claws, teeth, rudely hissed words and ears flattened so close to your cat's head you'd think that they's disappeared altogether. Your cat is less than co-operative as you struggle to force their rigid body into their carrier.

So how come your affectionate, compliant and normal pet has suddenly turned into a feral wildcat as soon as you get their carrier out of storage?

Well, there's no kind way of saying this - it's your fault - and you won't even be aware that you are guilty of making The Big Mistake.

And that mistake is..

You tidy your cat's carrier away when you've finished with it.

We all do it. As soon as the trauma of transporting your cat from A to B is over, the carrier gets put in the garage, in a shed or in a cupboard out of sight and out of mind. And that is where the mistake is made. The hated carrier is hidden away.

So, as the guilty party, how can you correct your error? Can you change the situation for the better? Is it possible for your cat to ever accept their carrier and remain calm and serene around it? Without doubt they can - and you can start to correct your mistake the very second you've finished reading this!

Bring the carrier out of storage and place it in a cat-friendly place.

Place it where it is warm and can remain undisturbed.

Make it comfortable inside with a blanket or cushion.

Make it interesting by placing a favourite toy inside

Place a tasty cat-snack inside.

Always leave the door wide open for free access.

Keep it a part of your cat's everyday world.

And that's all you need to do. If you follow the above steps you can start to change the negative associations your cat has with their carrier. Each time the carrier is brought out, it triggers bad memories for your cat so it's no wonder that they connect the carrier with being forced to undergo unpleasant and unwelcome procedures whenever it appears. It is your job, as an owner, to work towards changing your cat's perception of their carrier and to replace the bad memories with good ones.

Over a period of time, the carrier will become accepted as a normal part of your cat's daily life and experience. When this happens, their resistence to seeing it and being put in it will have disappeared. By actively making their carrier an inviting place for a snooze, surrounded by their favorite toy and cat-snack, your cat will soon realise that the bad associations have been chased away by good ones.

Unfortunately, any trip to see the vet will inevitably cause those bad memories to be recalled but the only way to cure that particular problem is to make your vet part of your cat's everyday, normal experience. And that is just not going to be possible, is it?
About the Author
Be sure that you don't make the commonest cat owning mistakes. For more cat care information and tips and to subscribe to Jane Tompsett's free Cat Owners Confidential Newsletter simply follow these links.
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