9539 Liberty Road, Frederick, MD 21701
Phone: 301-898-4009 ~ Fax: 240-668-3664
Gentle, complete veterinary care for the felines in your family
Link map for Frederick Cat Vet for directions, hours, bio of the veterinarian and staff, veterinary services offered and a tour of the veterinary practice

Some Tips on Getting Your Cat Into a Carrier

We have all had a difficult time getting a cat into a carrier at some time or another. Here are some tips (some or all may be needed) on how to alleviate the stress caused by trying to get your pet into the carrier, deal with the car ride and arrive safely at the vet's office.

  1. Blind Superman Technique: (cat's eyes covered and front legs forward) Place the carrier on a waist-level surface to make it easier on yourself. Scoop her up in your right arm (if right-handed) and cover her eyes with the left hand. Hold the front legs together with the right hand and quickly ease him inside. Once his shoulders are past the entrance, it is too awkward to easily back out. In doing this, the cat is under the assumption that you are going where he is going and is less afraid. If the cat sees the carrier opening, she will splay her legs to avoid being trapped, so covering the eyes greatly reduces anxiety.
    Dr. Karg shows the Blind Superman Technique

    Some additional tips -find out what works best for you!

  2. It may be necessary to place your cat in a small room where he cannot hide or get out (a bathroom works well).
  3. For some cats a pillowcase works better. Put your cat in a pillowcase, and then the pillowcase in the carrier. Once in the carrier, slowly pull out the pillowcase or leave it. Cats can breathe through standard cotton pillowcases and may be more comfortable staying there.
  4. You can use Feliway spray inside the carrier, a synthetic pheromone product that reduces anxiety Feliway is very effective in reducing stress because it imitates the familiar and comforting facial pheromones that cats deposit on surfaces when they rub their faces on them. These pheromones tell the cat that their surroundings are OK.
  5. Put soft material inside the carrier to make it cozy. A warm towel fresh from the dryer is very comforting in cold weather and can absorb urine (it is not unusual for cats to urinate on the trip because of anxiety)
  6. Skipping food is optional. For cats that vomit during travel, it is best to avoid feeding right before. For many cats, skipping a meal is more stressful so it can be better to feed them first.
  7. Discard a carrier that is falling apart or was associated with a bad prior experience (the same scent can bring that fear right back).
  8. Two cats in one carrier may relax both but it also may cause more anxiety. If in doubt, keep them separate.