Stop Kitty’s Peeing, Pooping & Throwing Up In The Car/Carrier:
MeOW Welcome to Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays. We’ve got a great topic fur ya’ today, so stay tuned. We’re runnin’ really late cuz mommy didn’t get everythin’ edited befur crashin’ last night and she had her regualr monthly doctor’s ‘pointment today. Anyways, fanks fur your patience. Furstly, we thought we needed to meow a minute ‘bout where our Tips, Tricks and Trainin’ Techniques come from. Mommy was asked this past week just where she got her ideas since she had such purrfect and well behaved kitties (we’re choosing to believe the question is genuine). Altho’ mommy thinks we’re purrfect in every way, we’re far from it. Mommy has dealt with most of the issues we write ‘bout purrsonally at one time or another. And, mommy spent years Trainin’ woofies, horses and kitties. She even Trained a pot bellied pig named Cameron. Mommy fostered bottle baby kittens who had to be taught how to be a cat. Mommy’s always had a bond with animals and still spends much of her time studying their behaviors, and tweaks her Tips as needed. And ifin she doesn’t know somethin’, she’ll research till she gets the answers. Altho’ mommy has experience with many animals, she has chosen at this time in her life to focus on kitties. We’re so fankful fur all our new and old furiends and followers and welcome any and all questions or topic suggestions you may have which can be left in the comments or by sendin’ us a purrivate email via our Contact page. Just ‘member to be as specific as pawssible when askin’ behavioral questions. As always, you can ketch up on any post you’ve missed in this series by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page from our menu. So, let’s get the “business” outta the way and get on with today’s topic.
The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Trainin’ Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. And to offur insight into your questions about Everything Feline. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.
We’ve been asked several questions about how to avoid Stress while transporting kitty to the VET. Some of you have kitties that throw up, poop or pee in their carriers every time they have to make that trip, and you want to know how to stop it. Since most of these kitties never go anywhere else, we’re going to focus on how to make this and other trips successfully. Let me tell you a little story about me’s self. For the first two years of me’s life, me would pee every time mommy took me to Ardmore or the VET. Because me did it at the same spot on our trips (7 miles from home), mommy says it would have been funny if it didn’t mean that me was so stressed and stink up the car so bad. However, me can now make that trip and even longer ones without emptying me’s bladder all over the place. So, how did mommy get me to stop?
First up, we recommend leaving the carrier/stroller out at all times. Put a towel, blanket, or a previously worn unwashed shirt in the carrier. This will allow kitty/doggy to get used to their transport and even find it comforting. Place the carrier in a quiet spot and give treats or extra loving when kitty/doggy enters or uses the carrier as a bed or hideaway. Place a favorite toy or a little catnip/silvervine in the carrier to entice kitty into using the carrier. Play interactive games that incorporate the carrier. You might also use one of the facial pheromone calming sprays to spray the inside of the carrier. Remember to refresh the scent often. In other words, make the carrier a fun place for kitty to hang out.
As most of you know, we highly recommend harness training your kitty and tethering them into their carrier/stroller for safety. You can read our Harness Training Tips here. We also recommend withholding food before a trip especially one to the VET. However, you want to make all trips seem uniform, so all preparations should be the same whether you’re going around the block, to the pet store or the VET’s office.
Take kitty for a drive. It doesn’t have to be far, but you want kitty to get used to going out without ending up at the VET. Remember, you want the carrier to be a fun and comforting place. Speak softly and calmly to kitty while you’re out. Keep your emotions and thoughts in check. Always remember, animals feed off your energy. If you’re stressed and expecting the trip to go badly, kitty/doggy will pick up on that and most assuredly leave a little surprise for you in their carrier. Remember me’s first 2 years? Every time mommy saw the mile marker where me first peed, she would get nervous and start watching me to see if me was going to let loose and flood the car. MOL She had started carrying piddle pads and would put one in her lap underneath me. Me liked to lay in mommy’s lap while we drove down the highway. One day, mommy said enough and decided to Train me to hold it.
Mix things up. What this meant for me, was that mommy put me in a carrier for the last 10 miles of the trip. She chose a small carrier that didn’t allow me room to move around. This step is only temporary, so you don’t need to invest in an expensive carrier, just something small enough to keep kitty from moving around an leaving deposits behind. Kitties are very clean animals. The last thing we want to do is lay in our own pee or poop. If your problem is that kitty is leaving deposits in the carrier, you might want to hold kitty in your lap instead of the carrier. For the first couple of times, you might want to have a piddle pad at the ready. Remember to speak calmly to kitty. Make each outing longer and longer and expose kitty to new and different things. Carry a wand toy/feathers on a stick to help distract kitty from the things going on around them. Keep an eye out for signs that kitty is about the pee/poop/throw up and distract them with the wand toy or feathers on a stick. Obviously this step is much easier with two people, but one can do it in a pinch; after all, mommy has to do it by herself. If she can do it, anybody can. Make stops at the park, pet store or a drive through (ie: bank, fast food, etc.) and reward kitty with treats or extra loving during the trip and after you return home.
When the time comes for the trip to the VET, don’t let your stress affect kitty. Remember to always keep your own emotions in check. Keep positive thoughts and treat the trip as if it were any other trip kitty’s been on. Be sure to take along some treats or a favorite toy to distract kitty. Wand toys or feathers on a stick work great for this. You can even take a little bag of catnip for kitty to sniff is you have a nip fiend. Any time you see kitty showing signs of stress, wave the wand/feathers/bag of nip to get kitty’s attention. Praise kitty during the visit. No matter what happens at the VET or what kind of news or health updates you may get, keep your thoughts and voice positive until after you return home. Continue to keep an eye out for stress so you can redirect any unwanted behaviors like peeing/pooping/throwing up on the trip.
Sling/over the shoulder pet carrier
Once you return home, remove kitty from carrier and give them treats or extra loving along with praise about how much fun the trip was. One thing we didn’t mention earlier, is that mommy likes to put a little nip or silvervine in our carrier/stroller before trips. It’s a ready made distraction that we can’t escape. Once kitty has made 2 trips without the offending behavior being present, you may return to kitty’s normal carrier. Altho’ the smaller carrier may not give kitty room to move around, kitty is okay. Kitties actually like tight spaces, they make us feel safe. We thought you might like to know a few of the things mommy has used as a “tiny” carrier over the years. Mommy has used her purse, an overnight bag, make up bag and shoebox. You might want to look into a sling carrier that would allow kitty to rest over your heart. This type of carrier can be extremely soothing to kitty as they are next to your heart and feeling the warmth of your body. It also encloses all but kitty’s head, so there’s less opportunity for kitty to move around and squat.
Well, we do hope this helps those of you dealing with this purrticular problem. Fankfully, me no longer pees in the car, carrier, stroller or mommy’s lap. Me actually looks forward to trips these days. And, me luvs the new sling carrier mommy got us almost as much as me luvs our new stroller. Ifin there’s somethin’ you feel we’ve left out, or you have further questions on this topic, purrlease say so in the comments below or by sendin’ us a purrivate email via our Contact page. And, as always, you can ketch up on any of the posts in this series by clickin’ Training Tips and Everything Feline from our menu bar above. Befur we go, we wanna link up with Comedy Plus fur Feline Furiday. Join us next week fur another in depth look into the world of cats.
Till the next time…………………………………………….Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses