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Healthy Habits - Carrier & Socialization

Carrier Habits

How can I help my cat accept the carrier?

You probably got off to a good start with the pet carrier by following the recommendations for bringing your new kitty home. Continued crate training will come in handy over the kitty’s lifetime. There will be trips to the veterinarian or vacation travel or times of home confinement (e.g. allergic guests, contractors coming and going, etc.) that require short stays inside the pet carrier.

To foster positive feelings about the pet carrier, start by leaving the carrier in the cat’s feeding quarters with the door open. Place toys or his food bowl inside the carrier to entice him inside.

A pleasant experience and the freedom to come and go as he pleases will give your cat a better view of the carrier.

After he becomes comfortable entering and leaving the carrier of his own accord, close the door briefly while he is inside. Each time, try to leave the kitten in a bit longer before allowing him to exit. Contrary to your instincts, never allow the kitten out when he cries or scratches at the crate or he will associate those behaviors with escape. Instead, wait until the kitten is calm and quiet, praise him and allow him to exit.

Take a short car ride with the cat in the carrier with a destination other than the veterinary hospital. No need for the cat to always associate the carrier with medical care! With a little patience, you can help your cat regard the carrier as a safe haven rather than a prison.

Socialization


How do I ensure that my cat is well socialized?

The prime socialization period for cats occurs between two and twelve weeks of age, so much of the cat’s socialization will have taken place while he is still with his mother and siblings. During that time, the kitten is very impressionable. If he has good experiences with people, dogs, or other cats, he will likely continue to accept them. If he has no experience at all, or unpleasant experiences with any of them, he may become apprehensive or adverse to them. Therefore, during the period of socialization, we expose your kitten to as many types of social situations and influences as possible and use positive reinforcement and make your kitty feel secure during the introduction of any new experience.

It's still important to continue positive reinforcement once kitten arrive home and with a little work and patience, you will quickly become your new kitty’s best friend and hopefully, you will gain a great friend, too.

Introduce big, new changes as slowly as possible to give your cat time to adjust to things such as new pets in the future!
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