How do I get my cat to get back into her carrier?

My cat and I were traveling (200 miles) and she got scared and pooped in her carrier. I have since cleaned it throughly but she wont even go in it. When gently forced she freaks out. (She used to go in there voluntarily). I have to make the journey back (same mileage) and I'm trying to get her to go back into the carrier. Should I give up and buy her a new one? I'm also considering an OTC medicine to help her calm down for the trip. Any ideas on how to make this a smoother trip for the both of us would be appreciated.

Also I will be needing to make a stop to pick up my house keys. Is it okay to leave them in the car for a few minutes? I'll try to park in the shade and leave the windows open a little. Any other ideas are welcome...

Asked by Member 996714 on Jul 13th 2010 Tagged carrier in Travel & Recreation
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Sophie the Brave

my vet gave me a sedative for my cat because she gets horribly car sick (pooping, peeing and throwing up. The sedative worked and kept her calm for the four hour trip. I also use puppy pads in her carrier just in case which makes accident clean up a snap.

Sophie the Brave answered on 7/13/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Izadore (Izzie)

you can also try reaccustoming your kitty to her carrier by feeding her in it and putting her favorite treats in there. Praise her like crazy when she does go into it. You can also put a favorite blanket or an article of your clothing in there. If you do leave them in the car, make CERTAIN it is only "for a few minutes". Do not get distracted by talking with someone, etc. while they are in the car and possibly be gone for more than 5 minutes or so. Cars can get really overheated really fast, even with the windows open.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 7/13/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


In the summer heat I would not leave the cat in the car at all unless I was walking up to the door and someone had the keys in thier hand to give to me. If they want to talk to you they need to follow you to the car. Or better yet, if someone can be home, just have them bring the keys to you if you dont want to take kitty out of the car.
benedryl can work for a kitty calming agent, but ask a vet for dosage. Also if she is truly freaked out you might just bite the bullet and take her to the vet to get some sedative for the trip. It may be better for her in the long run.

What did you clean the carrier with? If you used bleach or another amonia based cleaner the amonia smell could still linger and hurt her senses. If you have some oxyclean powder dilute 1 cup in 1 gal of water and soak the carrier in it, then rinse, and then rinse some more. alternativly you could also put some natures miracle on the carrier and then rinse and rinse some more with that.

AnnaBelle answered on 7/14/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I think you may be assuming that your kitty is resisting the carrier because she previously pooped in it. I think it is more likely that kitty has developed an aversion to the carrier because she was stuck in there for a long trip and it was upsetting and a bit traumatic (hence the poop).
If you have time, leave the carrier open and accessible to her and put her food in the carrier when it's feeding time. you can also try sprinkling it with catnip. If she goes in, encourage her and give her lots of positive reinforcement. This is a slow process though, so you may not have time to get her used to the carrier before your return trip.
If you absolutely have to get your kitty in the carrier and she is resistant, you can try wrapping her in an old towel and placing the whole kitty/towel package into the carrier. It's best to use a carrier that opens on top because it is easier to insert the cat into the carrier from that direction.

Member 996865 answered on 7/14/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer