Feline-friendly tips: How to get your cat into a cat carrier
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If the thought of putting your cat into a carrier has you running under the sofa, you are not alone.

Cats seem to share a natural resistance when it comes to getting in a carrier, and who can blame them. If your kitty ends up at the vet every time they go in the carrier, they are going to develop a negative association between the two.
As Cat Behavior Consultant Daniel Quagliozzi explains, "Cats are very sensitive to changes in their environment, particularly when those changes are beyond their control. Everything with cats is a negotiation, so desensitizing the carrier is essential, but it does take time and steps."

With that in mind, here are some helpful tips to make the carrier a cat-friendly place.

Don't wait until the last minute.
Be patient and calm when negotiating your cat into the carrier. It might be difficult for you, but it's scary for them.

Be prepared ahead of time.
Make sure the carrier is clean. If there has been an accident, it will smell bad. No one is going to want to go in a little box that smells like pee. If you store the carrier someplace out of the way, like a garage or an attic, bring it out a few days before you need to use it.

Keep it out all year long.
Have the carrier in the landscape of your cat's environment, so that they are not overwhelmed, scared or predictive of traveling or a potentially stressful event. This can be in the living room, bedroom, or wherever they spend a lot of time. Try placing their favorite bed inside to make it cozy. You can also put one of your sweatshirts inside as your scent is a source of comfort for your cat.

Bring on the treats!
Place some of your cat's favorite toys or treats inside the carrier to encourage them to explore inside on their own. Next, feed them high-value treats while they are inside the carrier. This will create a positive association with the carrier as they will equate it with their favorite treats.

Hopefully, these tips will help take the stress of getting your cat into a carrier and put a little love into this hate-hate relationship.

Need more detail on all things carriers? Here are step-by-step tips from Daniel Quagliozzi:
Select a cat carrier that is comfortable or feels or looks like a bed. A carrier like a SleepyPod is a great balance of bed and mesh top carrier.
If you have a conventional plastic or hard carrier, take the top off completely, so the bottom can be made more comfortable with bedding. Mesh or "duffle bag" style carriers can be zipped open for easy entry and exit.
Cats are very sensitive to new or foreign smells. Use bedding that already smells familiar to the cat, so that familiarity to the carrier is easier to achieve.
Spraying a calming pheromone like, Feliway will also help to increase a cat's sense of security to the carrier.
Every day, place a few high-value items in the carrier, like favorite treats, a sprinkle of catnip or a cherished toy.
Build up the daily positive associations and then place the lid back not hearer, with the door off or opened.
Continue positive reinforcement offerings in the carrier and see how kitty adjusts to having the top back on.
If kitty seems calm and cool in the carrier, experiment with closing the door, while they are inside.
Next, try taking the cat in the carrier on a short trip (not the vet). Drive around a few miles and come home again.
Give rewards before, during and after they return home.
Extend the time you travel to longer trips and see how kitty adjusts.
If you sense that your cat is stressed out by any of these steps, please reset and prolong the adjustment to allow your cat their very own, personal speed to acclimate.
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How to keep your cat safe during an emergency
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Are you prepared to take care of your pets during an emergency?

Earthquakes, floods and other disasters can strike without warning. Being prepared ahead of time can reduce stress, save time, and possibly save lives - including your pets.

We turned to Cat Behavior Consultant, Daniel Quagliozzi and San Francisco Animal Care & Control for tips on how to make sure you and your pets are prepared to evacuate, if necessary.

Identify Your Pet
During the stress of an emergency, it is easy for pets to get lost. A collar and ID tag, including your phone number, can provide immediate identification. Since collars can come off easily, especially on cats, getting your cat microchipped is the best form of permanent identification. It is your responsibility to keep the information current. So make sure to double check that you are listed as the contact, not the organization where you got your cat.

Carrier Train Your Pet
Get your pet used to being in the carrier. If you need to evacuate, or even head to the vet, a cat will very likely run and hide. Try leaving the carrier out in your home like a regular piece of furniture so your kitty will get used to it. Next, place treats and toys in the carrier to encourage your them to go inside. You can even feed your cat a few of their regular meals while inside the carrier to reinforce a positive connection. Lastly, practice your evacuation plan with a 'kitty fire drill'.

Some carriers are specifically designed for emergencies. The Evacsak is an emergency carrier designed for small animals. The larger opening can make it easier to get cats inside. It also has shoulder strap that allows your hands to remain free...always useful to open doors and carry more items.

Prepare a Disaster Kit for your pet and store it along with yours.

Here are the items recommended by San Francisco Animal Care & Control:
Bottled water for 7 days for each animal and bowls.
Your pet's regular food (at least a 7-day supply for each animal).
Portable carrier or crate.
A copy of your pet's vaccine history and medical records for chronic conditions.
Your pet's medication and a copy of the prescription.
Recent photos of your pet (especially with you in the picture).
Litter boxes and litter.
Fresh bedding for small animals.
A leash and collar (dogs) or harness (cats); extra ID tags.
Plastic bags for litter disposal/dog cleanup.
A manual can opener and plastic lid for canned food.
Phone numbers and locations of your vet, the local emergency clinic, and your local shelter.
Phone numbers for your emergency contacts, relatives, and friends.
Extra blankets, paper towels.
A pet first aid kit with large and small bandages, scissors, tweezers, Q-tips, antibiotic ointment, hydrogen peroxide, elastic tape, eyewash, ear cleaning solutions, and K-Y jelly.
A supply of cash to pay for emergency boarding.
If you have room, include chew toys, special treats, blankets, bedding, and other items that your pet loves. If your pet can play or stay with something familiar, she or he could feel more relaxed during an emergency.

Evacuation Tips
If it's not safe for you, it isn't safe for them. If you must evacuate, take your pets with you if at all possible. Whatever happens, do not leave them inside a carrier, in an evacuated home. The stand a better chance of surviving if they can move around.

During an emergency, temporary public shelters may not allow animals inside. Have a list of backup arrangements, such as family, friends, hotels that allow pets, boarding facilities, veterinarians and/or shelters.
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Facebook: If you don’t have a disaster plan that includes your furry family, it is time to get started. Tips from Cat Behavior Consultant, Daniel Quagliozzi and San Francisco Animal Care & Control.
Twitter: It’s time to create an emergency plan for your family, pets included, with tips from @gocatgosf and @SFACC.
Instagram: Prepare your pets for emergency. Tips from Cat Whisperer @gocatgasf and @sfanimalcareandcontrol. 
Push: Quake Preparedness Expert shows how to create emergency plan for your family, pets included | Watch here
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