How To Put A Mean Cat In A Carrier? This Technique Works

Getting your cat into a carrier is no easy feat. it can be near impossible if it’s a mean cat who’s adamant about not going into that carrier.

So what do you do?

There are many hacks that teach you how to put a mean cat in a carrier. And we’ve listed them all here in this article. Be sure to check out the best carriers for difficult cats that will make the process much easier.

How To Put A Mean Cat In A Carrier?

You’ll want to use a top-loading carrier for an aggressive cat. Put a cozy blanket, toys, and treats so your cat will associate it with a normal part of their routine.

Give your cat 1-2 months to get accustomed to the carrier. This should make it easier to get a mean cat into the carrier. Unfortunately, if you have a devil cat, you may need to take a different course of action to get your cat in the carrier.

Here’s how to get a hard cat into the carrier that actually works.

A Guide to Getting Your Unwilling Cat in the Pet Carrier

how to get an unwilling cat in a carrier
Get your cat used to the cat and if that doesn’t work, use the towel method to help you out.

We know you love your cat, mean, or otherwise. But he can get a bit feisty sometimes when cornered. This usually means that you’ll end up with scratches and bite marks from fighting your kitty to get them into the carrier.

Well, you no longer have to worry about that, in fact, the tips below will help you get her in the carrier without any issues.

Based on all the animal experts and cat lovers we spoke to, there are a couple of tricks that they swore by; the towel technique and catnip. They’re the two most reliable hacks to get your cat in its carrier with as little fuss as possible.

The Towel Technique

The towel technique is meant for uninjured cats. If your cat is injured or suffering from any illness, it’s not recommended to place him in a carrier. It’s better if you wrap him in a towel or a grooming bag. Then, you, or someone the cat feels comfortable with, holds him until you reach the vet.

Step 1

The very first thing you have to do is put the carrier in a room with few hiding places, such as the bathroom. Place it on its end, with the door facing upwards towards the ceiling. You can set it in a corner against the wall. I’ve put together a list of some of the best carriers for difficult cats.

The positioning of the carrier is important. It’s a way of minimizing the chance that your cat will jump out of your hands and run off to hide somewhere.

Step 2

Gently, but firmly, wrap your cat in a towel. Hold his paws in to prevent him from flailing his legs about and managing to escape. 

Lower your cat rear-end first. Make sure you keep a gentle grip on the front paws because he will try to make a quick exit.

Step 3

As you’re lowering him down, pet him and talk in a reassuring voice to him. It’s been proven that cats love it when you talk to them in a calm, soft voice. It eases their fear and makes them more willing to do what’s being asked of them.

Numerous studies show how cats can understand your tone of voice as you’re speaking to them. You’ve probably said something to your cat one time, and he meowed right back.

Your cat won’t know what you’re saying, but he’ll feel like he’s being cajoled into the carrier, rather than being forced in against his will. 

Step 4

Once his head is inside, leave the towel inside the carrier. Try to spread it out to make the interior more comfortable. It’ll also absorb any wetness if he should urinate during the trip.

Step 5

The final step is to, quickly and carefully, remove your hands one at a time. Close the carrier door, and you’re good to go.


Catnip is a plant whose stem and leaves contain an oil called nepetalactone. This oil brings out feelings of happiness and excitement in cats. It also reduces any feelings of fear and anxiety they may have.

You can use catnip in two ways to ease his nervousness towards carriers and show him that he’s safe. Plus, it’ll make him more compliant. and easier to handle.

  • Give your cat catnip before putting him in the carrier.
  • Sprinkle or spray some catnip inside the carrier to encourage your cat to go in.

How to Get Your Cat to Like the Carrier

aggressive cat
It will take your cat time to associate the carrier as a safe place.

Cats are smart. They know that going in that carrier means they’ll end up going someplace they don’t care for.

That’s the crux of the problem. You only resort to carriers when it’s time to visit the vet or some other place he doesn’t want to go.

So what to do? The most humane thing to do is to train him to not be wary of the carrier. It’ll be so much easier instead of having to force him in the carrier.

Your end-plan should be to:

  • Help your cat forget all negative and unpleasant associations he has with the carrier.
  • Make him realize that the carrier is a safe and enjoyable place to be in.

Put Your Plan Into Action

These five steps will make your cat feel more comfortable around carriers.

Step 1

Leave one or two of your carriers around your home. Set the carrier in a desirable place for your cat. Pick a place where your cat enjoys playing or somewhere where he’s usually relaxed.

This makes them accessible to your feline at all times. Don’t close the door, either with the cat inside or outside.

Step 2

Take it a step further and start placing his food bowl and toys a short distance away from the carrier. Then, every couple of days, start moving it closer bit by bit until you reach the carrier door.

Step 3

After that, place it inside the carrier, but right next to the door. Try to make the inside inviting and comfortable. You can place your cat’s favorite toys and a soft blanket. Place a soft, absorbent towel on the bottom of the carrier. The inside of the carrier should be enticing and welcoming.

Step 4

After several days, move the food bowl further and further to the back of the carrier. By this time, he’ll be relaxed being inside the carrier.

So, when it’s time to put your cat in a carrier, he won’t put up too much of a fuss.

Step 5

Your cat may feel more secure if you cover the carrier slightly. Make sure you use a breathable fabric. It keeps the interior well-ventilated and at a moderate temperature.

Partially covering the carrier helps make your cat feel safer and less likely to fuss.

How Long Can My Cat Stay in the Carrier?

A healthy adult feline will have no problem staying in a carrier for a little over 5 hours.

If your trip will be longer than that, you should let him out every once in a while. This will give him a chance to stretch his legs, get a little food and water, and use the bathroom. It’s important not to leave your cat too long in the carrier, otherwise, they will make a mess and end up hating it whenever they see it.

Choosing the Right Size

Cats don’t mind cozy, enclosed places, as long as it’s a perfect size. A carrier should be about one and a half times the size of your cat. This will allow your cat to stand, turn around, and lay comfortably.

If the carrier is too small, it’ll feel too restricting and confined. Cats detest being a small, narrow space, which is completely understandable.

On the other hand, if the carrier is too big, it can make your cat fussy and uncomfortable. Plus, it can be hard to balance the carrier. Your cat may end up sliding back and forth as you’re moving the carrier from one place to the next.

How To Get Your Cat Out Of The Carrier?

Getting your mean cat out of the carrier is not as difficult as getting them in. Once you arrive at your destination, you’ll want to make sure you’re in a safe place where your cat can’t run away.

Open the carrier door slowly and let your cat know that it’s okay to come out. Once she feels safe, she’ll start emerging from the carrier. Just be aware that you may have to use the towel method again to get her back inside.

A Final Note

All pet owners know how important carriers are when you’re taking your cat out of the house for his regular visit to the vet, or when you’re going on a trip. So, learning how to put a mean cat in a carrier the right way is essential.

The important thing to remember is to ease your cat’s fears. Take some extra time training him to like being inside the carrier. It’ll make your life easier. Plus, it’ll provide your cat with a safe and cozy environment where he can feel safe.

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