How To Familiarize Your Cat With A Carrier

Most feline owners know that cats much prefer being at home or wandering around your neighborhood than taking a trip out in a vehicle. Nevertheless, there are occasions, such as a trip to the vets or taking her to boarding, that will necessitate taking her outside of her comfort zone.

Using a carrier can be crucial to keeping your cat safe when you need to take her out and about. They will protect her in the case of an impact, such as in a road traffic accident, and will prevent her from roaming inside the car and potentially causing you to crash. Equally, a secure carrier will stop her darting off if something interesting catches her attention or she panics and wants to get away.

Here is our guide to getting your cat used to a pet carrier.


Place your cat carrier in a location where your furbaby may be happy to explore it, such as in a room where she spends a lot of time or on her favorite couch to sit on.


Place a blanket or soft towel into the bottom of the carrier. This will not only make the carrier more comfortable for your feline, but it will also absorb any urine if she decides to relieve her bladder while inside – something which is more than possible if she is nervous.


Cats rely on scent to determine if something is perceived as safe or a threat. If you add your scent and that of your kitty to the carrier, it will help your furbaby to feel calm and comfortable much more quickly. Do this by rubbing your cat’s face with a cloth and then rubbing it on the inside of the carrier. If you have an old shirt, wear it for a day and then place it inside the carrier without washing it.


Virtually no feline will be able to resist the temptation of their favorite treats and many owners find it much easier to get their kitty used to the carrier by placing treats inside it. If this doesn’t work, you could try luring her in by putting treats closer and closer before placing them inside.

Don’t shut the carrier until your cat is comfortable with it

One of the biggest mistakes made by feline owners is shutting the door on the carrier as soon as their furbaby is inside. Imagine how you would feel entering a strange and possibly scary small room, little bigger than yourself, and someone immediately closing the door on you so that you couldn’t get out. Well that is exactly how your cat might feel! Therefore, once your pet is happy to go inside, let her experience this with the door open as many times as possible before you need to close it.

When you do shut the carrier, only do so for a minute initially, and maintain a presence close by so your cat can see you. You may wish to offer a treat through the door if it has large enough gaps, or words of encouragement. Gradually build up the time that your kitty spends in the carrier, and she will soon be able to tolerate short periods of time while you undertake a journey.

If you need further advice on the best ways to get your kitty used to using a cat carrier, our veterinary team would be happy to assist. Please telephone our offices at your convenience and let us help you make journeys with your cat a simpler and more pleasant experience for everyone involved.

For questions or inquiries, do not hesitate to contact us and let our knowledgeable veterinary team be of service to you and your pet!