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Old 10-30-2013, 05:49 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
2,278 posts, read 4,433,884 times
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My kitty hates the car and will pee (from fear, I suspect) when she's in her carrier, on a car ride. She's ok with the carrier otherwise - she doesn't mind being in it so long as the car isn't moving, she's fine in the carrier en route to the car. It's just the car.

Help! I have an awesome vet who is about a 15-20 minute drive away, and it breaks my heart that the car freaks out my little munchkin so badly.

Anyone have any advice? Should I ask the vet about a mild tranquilizer, or is there any sort of kitty aromatherapy that might help? Or should I just invest in puppy pads to line the inside of the carrier and hope for the best?
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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What kind of carrier is it? And how big?

Here's an experience I had: I got a soft Sherpa carrier that was a bit larger than the previous hard plastic one. It opened at the top which was a nice feature. I took her to existing vet which is a long way from what at the time was a new house. She pooped in the carrier. I switched vets to a new one closer. Same carrier, same thing even though the drive was now 10 minutes instead of 40. Tried one more time, same thing.

Decided it was time to dump the carrier. I found a new hard plastic carrier. This was a neat design I wish I could find again (but I think discontinued), opened at top and was styled like a picnic basket. Nice and cozy. Many more trips to the closer vet. No elimination problems ever again.

My theories are that either the soft sides/floor were an issue, and/or the open-ish mesh of the Sherpa was an issue, and/or the larger size of the Sherpa was the issue. One of those three or any combination. Anyway, the carrier solved it.

This might not work for you, but it might be worth a shot to change one or more of these aspects (size, soft vs hard material, less visibility vs more) of the carrier with a new one and see if that works.
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:55 PM
 
43,011 posts, read 101,589,190 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg42 View Post
I found a new hard plastic carrier. This was a neat design I wish I could find again (but I think discontinued), opened at top and was styled like a picnic basket. Nice and cozy.
Is this it?

Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: IRIS Pet Carrier for Dog or Cat, Tan
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
6,361 posts, read 7,791,578 times
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Yes, just invest in some puppy pads. They work very well. I was transporting a 15 year old female (Abbey) by air. When the plane landed, she had an accident and urinated in her carrier. I'm pretty sure she was scared by the bump during landing. The mess was easy to clean up because we used the puppy pads. The young males we transported the same way did not have any accidents.
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
Yes but it's been unavailable for something like 2 years or more every time I've checked so I don't think it's made anymore. You know me, I love to recommend stuff I found that works well but that one seems like a dead end.
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:52 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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Another thing to try maybe is the pheromone spray Feliway. I used this some, although it was hard for me to be clear if it made a difference or not.

Others have recommended Bach Rescue Remedy, which I have not tried. This is a flower essence product. I found searching for these a little confusing if you're looking for the company that makes it; this site is the one from the company that actually produces it (as opposed to one just reselling it): RESCUE® for Animals - Nelsons USA
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:26 PM
 
Location: Ft. Myers
19,721 posts, read 14,611,202 times
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Some cats are just terrified of being in a car. Scooter, who is no longer with us, was that way. When I would take her somewhere in the car, like the vet, I would hold her on my lap. More than once I got out with pee on my pants. Took me a while to deodorize the car too.

Like you, I think she was just scared.

Don
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:40 AM
 
Location: Montreal, Quebec
15,085 posts, read 13,327,767 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg42 View Post
Yes but it's been unavailable for something like 2 years or more every time I've checked so I don't think it's made anymore. You know me, I love to recommend stuff I found that works well but that one seems like a dead end.
If you read the reviews, many people complained that it was very easy for their cats to break out of it, especially larger or panicky cats. I'd say that was a major design flaw.
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:51 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 22,906,896 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weltschmerz View Post
If you read the reviews, many people complained that it was very easy for their cats to break out of it, especially larger or panicky cats. I'd say that was a major design flaw.
Getting too far away from topic here, maybe sometimes I should be less detailed. Anyway, I know very well what some of the negative reviews for that product say, but I didn't experience any of those problems. It was the best one I ever personally used.

In terms of the thread though, the reviews or even my experience for the exact product is meaningless. My point was to suggest that a carrier of different design from the current one may help with the elimination issues. The repeat performance could be associated with the carrier itself in the car. Even though it doesn't happen when the carrier is not in the car (same here). Even though it is cleaned thoroughly after each time (same here). That was my experience, that changing the carrier helped. Of course the elimination problem was a different one so that's not insignificant, but it might be worth a shot.

I've noticed a lot of carriers for example are seeming even more open (i.e. cat can see out more, cat is more exposed) than usual. Whether this is good or bad may depend upon the individual cat, but with all the recommendations for covering up the carrier that I see, I think it more likely that most cats would prefer a carrier that feels a bit less exposed.

The other two aspects are more speculative. The idea that a cat might find a soft carrier too unstable probably doesn't matter much when it's mostly just sitting on a firm surface anyway. And there may or may not be anything to my thought that a carrier too large is not desirable for the short nervous trip to the vet. But it could be worth exploring. I switched from a larger, more open soft carrier to a a cozier, more closed in hard plastic carrier. What you might try as a new carrier would vary depending upon what your current carrier is.

Far from a sure thing of course, very far. It's just a thought.
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:34 PM
 
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
1,457 posts, read 3,812,526 times
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Mine does the same thing once in awhile. The first time she did it I didn't have anything in the carrier so her underside was soaked. Now I put a towel on the bottom. She hasn't done it in awhile (knock on wood). I was told to try the pee pads too but haven't. I bring my carrier out a bit before the appointment in hopes that she sees it and gets the wee wee scared out of her before we go.
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