Step 1: Making the carrier their friend and not a sign to run and hide!
  • Start as soon as possible, e.g from a young age or days to weeks before the next visit. There is no time like the present!
  • Make the carrier an additional piece of furniture.
  • Choose a place your cat likes to rest and teach them it is an even better place because the carrier is there.
  • Most cats will prefer the carrier to be placed on an elevated surface rather than on the floor.
  • Try taking the top half of the carrier off so it’s more open.
  • Once a location has been selected and thoughtfully placed attract your cat to the carrier. Play and feed your cat in or near the carrier. Place treats, catnip and toys inside. You can even try placing a pheromone infused towel / bed and an object of clothing with their human family’s scent inside the carrier.
  • If possible, try not to pull your cat out of their hiding place and place them straight into the carrier. This only confirms they were right to dislike the carrier.
Step 2: Time for transport
  • Try not to use the handle on the carrier, the motion may upset your cat.
  • Hold the carrier close to your chest. Hold the carrier like it is carrying the valuable gift your cat truly is.
  • Try playing familiar and soothing music on a low level in the car.
  • Place the carrier in the footwell of the car, ideally, behind the passenger seat. There are usually less vibrations in this area and less room for slipping.
  • Try to delay feeding your cat until after her trip to the vet. If he/ she is hungry then the treats she is given for being in the carrier or at the vet’s will be even more valuable.

DOWNLOAD INFORMATION PDF: Pet Owner Handout: How to take the Fear our of the trip to the vet.
DOWNLOAD INFORMATION PDF: Pet Owner Handout: Preparing for the vet visit

Reference: Fear Free Pets