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Getting your cat used to a carrier 

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Cats are territorial animals and become very attached to places. They are naturally frightened of unfamiliar places and smells and prefer to stay in their familiar home.

However, there are occasions when a cat has to be transported, e.g. when taken for vet appointments, which should be done in a secure cat carrier. If a cat is used to his/ her carrier, this will minimise stress of such events.

Getting your cat used to a cat carrier should be a gradual process, preferably from a young age. By taking small and gradual steps and ensuring that it is a positive experience, it is possible to get your cat used to a cat carrier.

It is recommended that the carrier is left out in your house at all times, in a place that your cat likes to use. This will help in that that your cat may become to not only associate the carrier with going to the vet.

Placing familiar smelling items in the carrier can aid the process of getting your cat used to the cat carrier and make them feel more secure when being transported.

Positive reward-based training methods, such as ‘clicker training’, can be used to train cats to perform certain types of behaviour and can be useful in setting up signals to encourage your cat into their cat carrier if this is a problem. Punishment techniques, such as shouting, must never be used.

If you are inexperienced in cat-training techniques, learn how to teach more basic com-mands first (such as enco-uraging your cat to come when called and rewarding them with a healthy treat) and see whether your cat responds to this positively, before attempting more complex activities. Again, consulting a clinical behaviourist is recommended for training your cat effectively.