My cat and I are both traumatized by a second failed cat-in-the-carrier attempt, and I'm in the process of missing a vet appointment.
Shadow is about 2 yrs old, a probable feral that we took in from our backyard. In the beginning we couldn't touch her or get close, but she exhibited submissive behavior and would ask for food. After a year of gaining her trust, she's gotten attached to me and loves being petted, allows me to pet her belly, and will stay on my lap. She's a very timid and fearful cat.
She doesn't like being picked up at all, and will struggle. I've gotten her into a carrier or crate a handful of times, because of vet visits or pest company visits for fleas (I had to get her of the house for those). I had to bait the crate with food and quickly shut the door, and when she got wise to that, was able to pick her up and get her into a carrier a couple of times, but now she struggles so hard she's gotten away a few times, and we're in a real mess now.
She simply goes into total panic mode -- I've been scratched just from her trying to get away, she hasn't bitten yet, but this whole thing is getting worse, and the loss of trust she has in me just kills me.This morning she literally screamed when I tried to get her into the carrier.
I've read that scruffing doesn't work with every cat, and she's so survival oriented that I think she'd fight that too -- and I don't know how to do it in the first place, I get the concept but have never scruffed a kitty.
So I'm thinking I have to train her, however patiently and however long it takes, to accept being picked up and being in a carrier. I've been able to train her to allow me to examine her ears and to give me her paw for treats, so she is trainable. But the trauma of being picked up and the bad carrier experiences might be tough to overcome. Any advice on this would be very welcome!