Crate Training Cats? Absolutely.

Crate Training Cats? Absolutely.

Cat crateYour fabulous feline may have some pretty strong opinions about the travel crate you (attempt) to use when traveling, moving, or coming to see us for his or her wellness exam; but, with some gentle coaxing, his or her negative feelings can be changed. While crate training cats may seem like an awkward or futile endeavor, the results of your efforts can make your pet feel safe and secure when traveling, for whatever the reason.

Crate training cats doesn’t have to be akin to herding them. And, once your kitty is good to go, you may even find that your kitty enjoys his or her private den.

Why You Should Crate Train Your Cat

Beyond commonplace travel, crate training your cat may reduce his or her fear and anxiety in the case of a disaster or emergency. The creation of a crate-based safe haven will encourage your cat to enter the crate willingly, and end the association of the crate and it’s strange smells and slippery floor as a punishment or something to fear.

How To Get Started

First, you’ll need to be certain that your crate is the right size for your cat. It should be big enough for to stand up and comfortably turn around in. If it’s too small, your cat will feel trapped and, if it’s too big, he or she may be jostled around during transport, which is scary and disconcerting.

Once you’ve got the right crate for your kitty, find an easily accessible, out of the way spot (that will still interest your cat for its views and intrigue), line the crate with something soft (towels, blankets, etc.) and throw a blanket over the top to create a soft and inviting den. Cats are natural hunters and should be drawn to the soft, dark, oasis you have created for him or her.

Moving Forward

If your cat doesn’t enter the crate shell on his or her own volition, you may have to buckle down with a reward system. Some cat owners find success with clicker training, while others simply motivate their cats with (healthy) treat placement, Hansel and Gretel style.

Here are a few tricks and next steps for crate training cats…

  • Place treats near the crate and, as they start to disappear, strategically place the treats closer to the crate until your cat voluntarily goes inside the crate to nab one
  • Consider spraying Feliway in and around the crate to help neutralize any negative feelings your cat may have
  • If your cat still snubs the crate and your attempts to reward him or her, move the crate to a new location, and try offering treats again
  • Once your cat has accepted the crate, offer treats when he or she hangs out there
  • Never disturb your sleeping cat inside the crate.
  • Starting slowly, get your cat used to you closing the crate’s door
  • Once he or she is accustomed to that, pick up the crate, carry your cat to the car, and then back home again
  • Continuing this pattern over time, add different components, such as starting the engine of your car and, when ready, driving around a little bit (consider coming to see us, and acclimate your cat to no-stress vet visits, too)
  • Offer treats throughout the trip, and then again when you arrive at home
  • Continue to keep the crate in its regular location and making it a fixture in your cat’s landscape
  • Crate Training Cats Proves Worthy

    You may find different ways to get creative with your own cat while figuring out how to crate train him or her. The bottom line is that, after this most worthwhile endeavor, your cat will learn to travel without stress or anxiety. Call us with any questions or concerns and good luck!



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