Carrier issues- need suggestions - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-08-2015, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Carrier issues- need suggestions

We have two cats, one male (Noodles) and one female (Shea) that are both about four years old. We adopted both of them from shelters back in 2011. Noodles is sweet and affectionate and loves to show his emotions. There is no problem picking him up or playing with him. At first he had no problem going into his carrier and/or taking trips to the vet. He was already neutered when we adopted him. We adopted our female cat (Shea) about five months later and she was spayed about a month or two later. After that vet visit, Noodles was never the same as far as going into the carrier or going to the vet. Noodles hisses and growls when he sees the carrier Shea was transported in. Subsequently when we have attempted to place him into that particular carrier or any others we have purchased, he acts out. We surmise that their is a scent or memory of Shea injured (from her surgery) associated with that carrier. Currently, Noodles has a new carrier which he seems to like and sleeps in quite often. He even cooperatively got into it for his last vet visit. However he still hisses and growls even when he sees the other two carriers we have.


As far as Shea, we were told she was an abused cat when we adopted her. She definitely is much more afraid and skittish than Noodles. Shea decides when itís time to play and be affectionate and she has no problem laying alone by herself for hours. She definitely is more of a loner than Noodles. Needless to say she never liked to be picked up and is always very afraid if you tower over her. She has improved over the years but she is still quite afraid and probably will never be 100% comfortable being picked up. Of course placing her into the carrier for vet appointments is an unimaginable nightmare. She is also smaller than Noodles and she is very, very fast. Both of them are quite resourceful and have escaped from the carriers even after when we have placed them into it.


Our vet prescribed acepromazine pills to help sedate them which we used only once so far when we moved to our current apartment 2.5 years ago. The pills did work and we were able to get both of them safely in the carriers but it was quite difficult getting them to swallow the pills.



Now, we recently tried to take Shea to the vet and unfortunately she only took half a pill and it didnít kick in. And as if it wasnít enough of a problem trying to get her into the carrier, then Noodles hissed and growled again and kept swatting at us while we tried to place Shea into the carrier. We don't think it's because he is trying to protect her. We think he is afraid that we will eventually put him in one of the two carriers he does not like. Of course we are not 100% sure. But something in those carriers brings out the demon in him.


So we have a few issues and hope others can offer some advice. We are good cat parents and we are trying to do the right thing, especially when it comes time to bring them to the vet. Is there anything else we can do that we have not tried? We have purchased multiple carriers, given them "calming'' pet snacks, tried pheromone sprays, cornered them in the bathroom where there is no place to hide and of course the pills but nothing seems to work as of late. We need suggestions and lots of advice. Thank goodness both of them are healthy but if God forbid there is ever a real emergency we are not confident we can get both of them in the carrier (even with the pills).

Sorry for the lengthy post.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-09-2015, 12:30 PM
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Lock Noodles up in a room another room with some treats when you put Shea in a carrier, so he can't see it happen and get upset about it. Have you tried throwing a large bath towel over Shea and quickly scooping her up and placing her in the carrier? This works better if you have the carrier standing on end with the door already open so that you can place her down into it.

As far as Noodles and his dislike of the carriers, you could wash them thoroughly inside and outside with diluted bleach. For some reason or other, a lot of cats react to smell of bleach like it was catnip. Hope these suggestions are helpful....all the best.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-09-2015, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Colete. We have tried the bath towel thing with Shea but she is just too darn fast. Thanks for the bleach idea.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-09-2015, 12:55 PM
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You're going to have to be sneaky about it, and throw the towel on her while she's sleeping.

"There are no ordinary cats.";"Time spent with a cat is never wasted."~ Colette
"A loving cat can mend a wounded heart." ~ Unknown Author
Alkitotle aka "Alkee", "Lambie" (July 2/04 - Oct. 2/15) -- white Devon Rex
in avatar. "Always in my heart."
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-09-2015, 03:18 PM
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There are some carriers that are also beds...having something out the they like to be in and sleep in might make it easier to get Shea into it. Also, a top loading carrier is easier than side loading...and the bigger the carrier, the easier it will be to get her in it.

That said, with one of my former kitties, I always brought her to the vet in a laundry hamper. Weird, I know, but it totally worked for us. I put a towel in it, put her in it, shut the lid and put a blanket over the whole shebang (tied the lid shut with zip ties). I also had two laundry baskets that were the same size and used those as well (put her in one and flipped the other one over on top of it), zip tied them together. Worked awesome. She was the only kitty I ever had trouble getting to go into a carrier...the others I would just lift and dump them in the side door while the carrier was tipped up.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-09-2015, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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That's interesting. How big of a laundry basket did you use?
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-09-2015, 06:27 PM
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I have a Sleepy Pod pet carrier. It's circular that you can unzip the top completely and double as a bed. The bed part is stiffly constructed and faux fur lined on the inside.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zep4 View Post
That's interesting. How big of a laundry basket did you use?
Small square ones. It worked for kitty...

I think the Sleepy Pod Pet Carrier, mentioned by Gandalf&Endor, is the kind of thing I have seen before that I thought would have worked well for Kitty....if they had made it back when I had her...
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-18-2015, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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It's quite pricey. Do you think it would really help?
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-18-2015, 01:47 PM
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Zep,
Catloverami's idea of a diluted bleach solution (1 part bleach to 10 parts water) is a good one.
Also if there's a mat or pad, in it, that needs to be washed as well, as it may still be retaining smells.
Once you're all done with basic cleaning, spray some catnip in the carrier! Might help Noodles get over his bad associations with it.
Sharon

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An everyday family name; A particular name;
And the name but the Cat Himself Knows, and will never confess." T.S. Eliot

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