Do you have one of those cats who always knows when you’re planning a trip to the veterinarian’s office? Perhaps your cat even knows before you’ve taken the carrier down from the shelf? Before you have a chance to get the carrier off the shelf kitty has taken up residence under the bed. Is your cat psychic?
If You’re Nervous it Makes Your Cat Nervous
In reality, your cat is actually picking up on very subtle signals from you. Your cat has highly-developed senses and he knows when you’re not acting in the usual manner. Your cat isn’t reading your mind – she’s reading your body language. If you tense up as you head for the closet to get the carrier because you’re gearing up for the inevitable battle about to take place, your cat is well aware of the fact you aren’t your normal, happy-go-lucky self. Your tense body language becomes a red flag to her that something bad is about to happen. Trying to put a stressed out cat into a carrier isn’t fun.
Change Your Cat’s Association with the Carrier
Much of the problem stems from the fact the carrier only comes out when it’s time for that trip to the veterinary clinic. From the cat’s point of view NOTHING fun ever happens there. Make the appearance of the carrier a little less awful by not having it be exclusively associated with veterinary visits. Leave the carrier out all the time so it loses its fear factor. If you use a kennel-type carrier, take the door off, line the carrier with a towel, and leave it out as a cozy hideaway for your cat. Get some totally irresistible treats and periodically place a treat near the carrier. Every once in a while toss a treat closer and closer until you’re eventually placing the treat inside the carrier. You can even feed your cat her meals near, on, and eventually inside the carrier.