by Susan Jones
(Los Angeles, CA)
I have a 1 year old male cat. I would like to have him fixed. The problem is I'm afraid I won't be able to put him in a carrier without him scratching me. I called a veterinarian office to find out if there is anything I can give him, but I was told that unless he is a patient there is nothing to give him. What am I supposed to do? I have heard that it is going to be a law to have your pet spayed or neutered so what can I do? Please help me.
I certainly understand your frustration, however it is the law that we cannot dispense a medication unless we have seen the patient. However, I have a few suggestions for you to try.
(1) Do you have a friend or neighbor that has experience with cats that could do this for you or at least help you?
(2) It's often easier to get a cat into a carrier without being scratched if you wrap him in a towel with just his head sticking out. If you then get him in quickly and get the door shut, he will find his way out of the towel.
(3) Wear long sleeves and long pants when you are handling him and even heavy gloves such as fireplace gloves.
(4) The easiest way to get most cats into a carrier is to stand the carrier on its end and lower the cat into it backwards (tail first). Holding gently to the "scruff" of his neck will help. Also, having an assistant is very useful when doing this.
(5) Catching your cat unawares and placing him into the carrier quickly before he knows what is going on is useful. To accomplish this, don't bring the carrier out to be seen or heard by your cat before the visit. Entice him into a small room like a bathroom with a treat or toy. Then join him quickly with the carrier and act fast.
(6) The opposite of this has also been known to work for some cat owners. Leave the carrier out all the time with its door open and a comfy towel inside so he may enjoy sleeping in there from time to time. The day of the appointment, put a treat or a little catnip inside and if he goes in, quickly close the door.
(7) At my hospital, we offer a service where we send a technician out to help if an owner absolutely cannot catch their cat or get him in the carrier. You could call around and inquire whether this is a possibility in your area.
(8) If you have the type of carrier that lets you completely remove the top half, that will certainly be easier for you than having to put your cat through a little front door.
I hope one or more of these methods works for you. Neutering your cat is extremely important not only for keeping the cat population down, but for his health as well. Intact males have a risk of developing testicular cancer and also are very prone to spraying indoors.
Perhaps one of our other readers has other methods they have used to get their cats in a carrier. Please, if you do, share your tips in the comments section right under this post.