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Cats are home bodies and do not generally like to leave the house. It is best to have your cat in a carrier whenever they are traveling to keep them safe. However, cats instinctively know when it is time to get into the carrier and can hide throughout your home in areas you did not know existed.

The following are some tips help decrease your stress and your cats stress of getting into the carrier to travel.

  •   Cat Aslan in Pet Carrier
      Aslan feels right at home in a carrier!

    Leave the pet carrier out at all times.

    Cats love to sleep in private areas, and carriers make perfect condos to nap in. If your cat is already sleeping in the carrier, then all you would have to do is close the carrier door and you are ready to go. You can bring the carrier out 1-2 days before traveling, or you can leave the carrier out all of the time.

  • Leave treats or toys in the carrier.

    You can train your cat to come to get their treats inside the carrier. You can also store your cat's toys in the carrier to make them comfortable going in and out. It is best to leave a few toys or treats in the carrier when traveling.
  • Take short trips with your cat.

    Start taking trips in the carrier on a regular basis at an early age with your cat. This way your cat will be more accustomed to travel in your vehicle.

  • Place the cat into the carrier with the rear legs first.

    If you have to travel with your cat on short notice and your cat hates the carrier, place the carrier on end with the opening on top. Once you find your cat, stretch them out with their rear legs going into the carrier first and their front legs and head going in last. This allows you to place your cat into the carrier with less stress for you at least.

It is important for cats to be examined by a veterinarian on a regular basis. These tips to making your cat comfortable in the carrier help make it easier to bring them in for that visit.

Dr. Emily Clare Gann is an associate at Illiana Veterinary Hospital in South Holland, IL. A graduate of Purdue University, Dr. Gann earned an undergraduate degree in Animal Science in 1993 and a DVM degree in 1996.