Cats, as we know, are NOBODY’S FOOL! They know that the carrier means something bad is going to happen – like going to the vet. Just when we are in a hurry to get them somewhere, they hide and/or wedge themselves in the most inaccessible place they can find, right? The antidote to this is to put the carrier in the middle of the floor a couple of days before you need to put kitty inside and go. Then, put some catnip around and inside the carrier and feed the kitty about a foot away from its door. Conduct interactive play a few times a day around the carrier and offer treats if your cat likes them. For each feeding, move the cat’s dish closer to the carrier’s door until you put the food right inside it. This way the cat will begin to associate pleasant things (food/play) with the carrier and make him/her less likely to run when it’s time to go.
This ritual will need to be performed any time you need to prepare for an outing. If you can leave it full time in the area where your cat hangs out as a resting place, so much the better! The cat will then view this as a cozy, safe place.
Laura Speirs, Feline Behavior Consultant