Loving the carrier from the start.
- Cats naturally love boxes—they are fun to hide in!
- Leave the carrier out all the time with the door off or opened.
- Put a fleece throw or a cat bed inside it.
- Give the cat a treat if he chooses to go inside it.
- Toss a treat in now and then as a surprise find.
Teaching a cat to love the carrier.
- If your cat already dislikes the carrier, leave treats a few feet away.
- Gradually leave treats near and far.
- Eventually just leave treats near it.
- Leave treats on the threshold, and later just inside the carrier.
- Eventually leave treats all the way inside.
- Go slowly! You are undoing previous training that the carrier is not good.
- When he goes in often and is relaxed, work on training the cat to enter on cue.
Training to enter and accept the door closing.
- Lure the cat in by dropping treats through the carrier’s vents.
- When he is comfortable being lured in, ask the cat to turn forward with another treat.
- When the above-step is reliable, start to close the door, give the BEST treat, and then open the door.
- Work towards closing the door completely then giving the BEST treat.
- The next step is tapping on the back vent before dropping treats through the vent, and tapping in the front of the carrier before turning him with treats. Practice daily until the tapping gets him in and turned.
If you want to read more about interacting with your cat, you may also enjoy reading my blog on how your mood affects your cat.
Patience Fisher owns Patience for Cats LLC, a cat behavior business based in Pittsburgh, PA. She is Associate Certified by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She holds a Bachelor’s in Biology, a Diploma of Feline Behavior Science Technology, and is a certified veterinary assistant. Check out her humorous YouTube video at her Patience for Cats channel. Visit her on Facebook at Patience for Cats.