Saturday, February 26, 2011

Let The Games Begin!

So, it's time for your cat Mitten's annual veterinary exam.  Congratulations!  Let the games begin!  Challenge number one:  Find the cat carrier.  Challenge two:  Find the cat.  After an extensive search, you see two glowing eyes watching you from the back corner under your bed.  Since Mittens seems perfectly comfortable and has no interest in emerging, you get to maneuver under the bed (it was a lot easier for the cat) and pull her - gently - out.  Challenge three:  Get the cat in the carrier.  (When did she grow those extra legs?)  Every time you pry one foot off the door frame, she clings harder with the other three.  By the time you get her into the carrier, you haven't even left the house, but you and your cat have both had enough for one day.  Imagine how stressed you are by the time you get to us.  There has to be an easier way!
There is a much easier way, and it's surprisingly simple.  Leave the cat carrier(s) out all the time.  I know, you're rolling your eyes, but bear with me.  Does your cat jump inside every new box you bring into the house?  So does mine.  A cat carrier with a towel can be a lot cozier than a boring old toaster box.  Of course, your cat avoids that cat carrier at all costs, but that's because it only comes out when he has to leave the house.  If it's out all the time, sooner or later, his curiosity will get the better of him.  When you walk past, toss in a treat or a toy.  Once kitty starts wandering in on a regular basis, close the door for a few minutes every once in a while, then carry it from one spot to another.  Eventually, you can even take your cat for the occasional car ride.  All of these little things will help you and your cat realize that this doesn't have to be a big ordeal.  Still skeptical?  Check out
Kelley Wagner, CVT

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