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Discussion Starter #1
My husband and I have 2 cats - George and Herbie. George has had a few medical issues in his short 2-1/2 years and, as a result, he has associated pain with the site of the pet carrier. It's quite a circus around the house whenever we need to make a trip to the vet. Just the other day he needed to go to the vet to have a few stitches taken out of foot (long story, you might not want to hear it) but as soon as he saw my husband bring the pet carrier up from the basement he freaked.

Before my husband went downstairs to get it, he shut ALL the doors on the main floor of the house so that George didn't have any place to hide. He ran around in circles from the kitchen to the living room and hid underneath the couch. Finally after about 15 minutes of running a marathon, George was caught and we headed off to the vet.

We have also tried things such as bringing the carrier up from the basement the night before a trip to the vet and leaving the gate open so that George can wander in and out at his leisure and get used to it. He will even lie down and fall asleep in it but for some reason he still seems to know when "the big trip" is coming up and then won't have anything to do with it.

Is there anything else someone might suggest we try to help ease his feelings about the carrier and about his experiences at the vet?
 

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fear of carrier

I've had good luck having people put the cat in a pillowcase or laundry bag. You can then just hold this on your lap (if hubby's willing to drive!), so the cat can feel you and remain calm; or you can stick the whole thing in the carrier. Some cats do better if they're wrapped up--it makes them feel more secure, or maybe it's just that if they can't see where they are, it's no big deal...

I guess sometimes ignorance really is bliss!

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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I'm hoping you get some good responses to this one. My previous cat would absolutely panic when we tried to put him in the carrier. We'd leave it out sometimes, and he would enter and leave as he wished. We couldn't get any cooperation though, when we got ready to put him into it for a trip the vet. I guess he just knew what was coming up, and why he was going into the carrier. At the vet, when everthing was finished, you only needed to put the carrier near him, and he'd rush into it on his own.

Edit: DrJean, you were responding at the same time I was posting. Thanks.
 

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In my experiences with cats in cars, I find more cats get sick in carriers than the do loose in the car (even if they like carrier).

As for his fear of the carrier, how about leaving it in plain view so he can see it all the time? If it's always in his regular environment (instead of only being brought out for vet trips), it at least might be easier to get him in. A lot of cats who are accustomed to carriers like to sleep in then anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I wish I could do the pillow case thing, but both George and his brother weight approximately 14 pounds each, so that 28 pounds of cat I'd have to try to control on the way to the vet.

That brings a whole new ball of wax into the issue. George HATES being covered up. When we change the sheets on our bed Herbie gets a kick out of hiding underneath them while putting the bed back together, and then we play "where's Herbie" with him. George will stay on top of the sheets and play with Herbie, but ONLY on top.

By the way, since a vet is reading this thread, I know 14 pounds seems like we've let our cats get really heavy but in actuality they're just HUGE cats. They must have had a healthy mama or something. I grew up on a farm and all I ever saw were small, probably inbred, cats. Then we got these guys at a pet store and they grew to be huge. One of the vet techs jokingly asked us one time if we were giving our cats steroids! To put it into perspective how big they are, Herbie likes to "fluff" his paws on the kitchen counter! When he stands on his hind legs only he can reach the top of the counter with an inch or so to spare!

Our vet did recently tell us that we should try and get them down to at least 12-1/2 pounds and that would be a little bit safer zone to be in with their bone structure. They've been doing pretty good. They both just lost approximately 1/2 pound each in about 1 month.
 

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I love chubby cats, do you have any pictures?

It's a great idea to leave the carrier out at all times and maybe you can lure your cat in there with their fav. treat or food....What I do is pick up my cats and carry them around the apt. and then my bf gets the carrier open to put them into. Maybe since your cats are a bit heavier its harder to do, but still possible. Good luck! :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the tips. I have lots of pics of the cats but I have yet to figure out how to post them to my signature or attach them to a message.

Actually, our cats aren't chubby at all. I probably didn't say it correctly in an earlier message but George and Herbie are actually fairly slender. They just weigh a lot because their bone structure is so big. I honestly don't think I'd ever seen cats built this big until these guys.
 

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Nicky had a lot of medical issues as a kitten and (not surprisingly) decided he hated the carrier, so instead of just using it for trips to the vet, I started using it to take him out for positive things as well- trips to work with me, to a friend he likes' place, to the park for walks on his harness, to the pet shop to pick out toys and treats, cat shows, etc. (he likes getting out), and now it's pretty easy to get him into when it's time to go, since he figures we could just as easily be taking a ride to the beach or PetSmart. We also leave the carriers out around the house all the time so the cats can play and sleep in them.

I also invested in a slightly larger carrier that opens from the top as well, so that if he does give me a hard time, it's much easier to get him in the carrier. These are *much* easier to use, especially with big kitties. (Nick's a tall, skinny 15-pounder, and when he stretches those monster legs out, there's NO getting him in through the front door.)

Good luck! :)
 

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I use a copy paper box. Sabby is 19 pounds and would be hard to fit in a conventional cat carrier. But with the copy paper box, I can set him inside, put on the lid and be set to go. It's got handles on either side so it's easy to carry, and I put my thumbs on top so he can't push the lid off with his head. People at the vet's office laugh when I use it, but the vets have commented on what a good idea it is.
 

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14 pounds is not necessarily fat. For a cat with small frail bones it is -- but cats like Maine Coons can reach 22 and be in perfect health, and Ragdolls can reach about 20 and still be perfectly fit. Some cats are just larger.

I would try associating the carrier with good thigns as much as you can. Leave it out where he can see it and enter and leave it -- put treats in there, praise and pet him when he explores it, maybe even feed him wet food in there or throw his favorite toys in there.
 

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As the others have said, try leaving the carriers in plain sight. We leave the carriers out in the family room against the wall. Sometimes when we are playing with them, they will run and hide in the carriers. When they do that we usually play "where's Coco, where's Littles". They love it. Sometimes they even nap in them. It seems to work for our boys, but we have always had them in plain view from when they were kittens to now. They will be 2 in August.

Hope you can get this to work for you, if you try it.

Cheers,

Bryon
 

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my cat hates his box... when i take him to the vet or anywhere. i think they just dont like to be trapped.
 
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