June 30th, 2013, 10:55 PM
How can I get my cat used to traveling in a cat carrier when we go places? We have a carrier, but the only time Ambre ever gets in it is when he goes to the vet, and that's a job getting him in there. (Cute story: Since he has claws in the back, he ripped a few holes in my shirt during one of his first attempts to get out of my arms when I tried to get him in his carrier, and I always joked afterward that "Padre Ambre made my shirt holey!")
Also, we took him to our cabin when he was younger, and he didn't like the trip. My aunt usually takes care of him when we go out, but she's going out of town as well, and we told her that this time we're taking Ambre with us. This will be the first time in a few years that we've taken him up north with us.
How can we make the transition from regular, familiar house to unfamiliar cabin smooth for him? We're hopeful that Ambre won't go outside, because he doesn't know the area. When we take him to the vet, I sit in the back with him, and I ask that the radio be on so I can sing to him to keep him calm. I used to take a little toy with me to the vet to show him, but I stopped doing that for some reason.
July 1st, 2013, 08:23 AM
Many cats never learn to like the car. I had ONE that did and he would sit on the seat behind my head giving great joy to people passing in other cars. He sat there after ripping his way out of a cardboard box I had him in at first. I do NOT recommend travelling with the cat loose though. They can too easily get out on you and I've had them get under the brake pedal. Yikes, stop at peril of crushing the cat.
With a dog you would do short trips, feed him, make sure he gets out and has some fun. Cats won't as easily eat in the car, some, and to let them out you'd have to train them to leash walk. I've done that and Sam walked on leash very well but many won't.
You could try Rescue Remedy, DAP for cats ( I guess that would be CAP :)) or I know some who have to mildly sedate the cat, requiring a visit to the Vet to start with. Good luck. Ear phones for you may help drown out the caterwauling.
July 1st, 2013, 09:53 AM
I don't think it's a wise idea to travel with a cat that does not have all it claws, if he was to get lose or lost he would not be able to defend himself or be able to climb a tree if he needed to. I think it would best to find a vet that also board people pets encase the pet get sick during the owner absent.
July 1st, 2013, 10:31 AM
I disagree with barkingdog here.
Although accidents happen all the time, careful, responsible people have less accidents. I see no issue with trying to habituate a clawless cat to travel....but you have to be UBER-careful because can escape. That said... Life is a terminal disease for everything that lives and calculated risks are necessary or life gets really boring or we become too paranoid.
A boarded cat at a vet is safer, but way more traumatic for the average cat. If we are thinking about the cat's best interest, imo, it isn't being boarded at a vet's for who knows how long and at what expense.
A Cat in a locked cat carrier, for me, is like Zero risk if the people around that carrier won't open it. If you have young kids, another story.
It goes without saying that the cat needs to be wearing a collar 100% of the time and that the cat should 100% be microchipped. It goes without saying that you'll want to know exactly where a recommended vet is in the new town you will be staying at. You might also mention this to your current vet for suggestions and/or possible anxiety reducing medications.
To get the cat into the carrier with less fuss turn THE CAGE UPWARDS so that the open door faces the ceiling. Then lower the cat inside the carrier back paws first.
I'd start with very short trips. maybe just bring the cat to the car the first time. Then back home - and the cat gets treats. Maybe the time after that drive around the block. then back home then the cat gets treats. Keep increasing the time until the cat feels comfortable. But know that some cats may never feel comfortable...
July 2nd, 2013, 08:24 AM
Here are some tips to Help Your Cat Adjust to a Carrier (http://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/help-your-cat-adjust-to-a-carrier/).
July 4th, 2013, 02:20 AM
Covering the carrier with a sheet or a blanket helps too. Some scents calm them. There's also the Thunder Vest to help anxiety :)
July 7th, 2013, 07:13 PM
Those ideas were great, but unfortunately Ambre didn't go with us on our trip. We had everything we needed for him packed up (food and litter; we had a litter box from his last trip up there), but he must have figured out what we were doing, and hid in our basement. We tried to act like everything was normal, but he didn't buy it. Mom and I begged him to come out, but he just meowed at us as if to say ":loser:!". I offered to stay home with him, but Mom wanted me to come with the family. We just gave him an extra amount of food and water for when he came upstairs, and he had his litter box in the basement, as well as a supply of dry food and water if he went down.
I also thought that maybe the next time he went out and we wanted to go on vacation with him, we'd pack our necessary stuff while he's out, then when he comes in or if he's still sleeping, we'll get his kitty carrier and put him in it.