The single best behavior to train a cat in is acceptance towards a carrier. This is easier said than done as any cat parent probably knows if you have tried to coerce your cat into a carrier for a vet visit. But it can be done! It’s also vitally important because this is the best way to transport cats and get them out of danger. Cats are sensitive to stimulation so having them in a carrier as opposed to in the parent’s arms is much safer. If you need to escape and are unable to hold onto your cat safety, it poses danger for you and your pet.
Carrier training a cat is very similar to crate training a dog. The first step is exposure. A lot of people bust out the carrier only during vet visits or car rides. With this pattern, the cat already associates the carrier with negativity and will actively hide to get away. By keeping the carrier outside of the storage bin and associate it as a normal part of the house will help your cat accept it as a part of its environment.
Just like with dogs, you want your cat to associate its carrier with positive feelings. Add warm blankets and toys in there and feed your cat from inside the carrier. You can sprinkle catnip or the cat appeasing pheromone Feliway in there as well. Some cats get so comfortable with their carrier that they will use it as their little nook and sleep in there.
When your cat is comfortable in the carrier, you can train it to go in and out of the carrier just like a dog (yes cats can be trained like a dog!).
Use yummy treats or canned food as positive reinforcement and train right before mealtimes so the food has higher reward value.
We hope these tips were helpful. At AJS, we are committed to helping the Tampa Bay area and beyond move or level their assets to benefit them as well as protecting your establishment from flooding. Especially during this time of year, safety is at the top of the list of everyone’s priority. Let us give you peace of mind that your home or business will be protected during hurricane season. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation and learn how moving can benefit you!