How to Get an Aggressive Cat into a Carrier

It can take a cat owner some time to get his cat into a carrier. Cats are pretty aggressive with the right trigger, and carriers aren’t tricky triggers.

Training a cat to be calm inside the carrier can take owners weeks, months, and even years. If you are wondering how to get an aggressive cat into a carrier, continue to read on to get factual tips and tricks on your furry friend.

Do cats hate carriers?

Do cats hate carriers

Cats aren’t easily tamed, and they can get pretty anxious. This emotion heightens in tight spaces or small enclosures that they are not attracted to, like a carrier.

Small spaces limit their movement, and they do not like to be restricted at all. If they get stressed, they can be pretty aggressive about it, making it seem like they hate carriers so much.

They do not hate the carrier, per se, but they usually do not how this can be associated with a negative experience. Most cats show their indifference by rebelling on their paw parents, unleashing their aggressive nature.

Why do they get aggressive when they’re about to get into the carrier?

Aggression in cats is a hostile behavior that tends to intimidate even their masters. There are a lot of triggers to make a cat aggressive.

When they are about to get into a carrier, this aggression could be fear-induced, territorial aggression, or redirected.

They are usually aggressive because they associate the carrier with a trip, whether it is to the vet or any car ride. Territorial aggression can also occur because they do not like leaving their own space.

Carriers are usually not roomy for cats to lounge around, and they hate confined spaces.

How can I get my aggressive cat inside the carrier?

The best way to get your cat inside the carrier is to tone down its aggression towards it. Relaxing your cat down can be done by slowly incorporating the cage into his day to day routine.

Over time, pet enthusiasts and behaviorists have designed techniques to lure them in without being too harsh on them. Here are a few methods on how to get an aggressive cat inside:

Burrito Method

The burrito method is famous for helping cats (and even kids!) mellow down. This restraining technique will help you get your cat inside without putting too much force.

It is simple and easy, and you will only need a towel to accomplish this method.

First, get yourself a piece of the towel where your cat will most likely fit. Prepare this towel right before you place your cat. Beforehand, place the cage in a room without too much noise or distraction.

The next step is to lay your cat on his back at one end. Make sure there is enough room for his head out, and leave enough space at the tail end for you to fold and tuck it in.

slowly wrap your cat around the towel to the other back. Hold the towel tightly and make sure it is snug enough that he won’t be able to escape.

The last step is to place him inside the carrier with his tail. Do not worry about unraveling itself inside, as this will eventually happen. Shut the door of the cage fast. This technique works best for small cats and kittens.

Treat Method

Treat Method

One of the most common techniques in luring your cat anywhere is by rewarding them with their favorite treat.

Most cat owners like to put the tastiest and aromatic treats inside the cage so that the pleasant sensory association will entice them.

Some cats, however, have figured out ways to get the pleasure out without even going inside. You can try to lure them while holding the treat inside and slowly directing it towards the carrier.

Once they are inside to get the treat, be quick to shut it so they can no longer go out.

Laser Pointer Method

The good old laser pointer can still trick some cats. Cats who rarely use the laser pointer as their toys will likely benefit from this technique.

Because they aren’t as exposed, they will most likely go wherever the laser is. Try catching their attention first, then slowly point the laser inside the cage.

Keep them entertained with the laser pointer as you try to secure the cell’s door.

The Favorite Toy Method

Your cat will eventually have its toy of choice. It would be a great idea to take advantage of your cat’s love for this toy. Consider playing it out first to think it is a trap.

Quickly throw the toy inside and promptly close the door to ensure that the cat is inside.

Pillowcase Method

This method might need some practice and skill because it involves catching your cat off guard. It will also work best on small to medium-sized cats that will fit in your pillowcase.

While your cat is at peace at its corner, grab a pillowcase where it will fit in. Slowly and quickly, catch your cat and tie the top so it won’t be able to escape.

Have the cage nearby so it won’t be hard to transition from the pillowcase to the cell. Place him inside and make sure to reassure the cat after. You may use a calming spray to appease the disturbance.

Pheromone Method

Catnip is commonly used to lure cats. It is a well-known herb that most cats are attracted to.

It is also known to keep them less anxious and is an effective mood booster. Some owners sprinkle catnip inside the cage so their cat will try to go inside.

Spraying pheromones can also lure your cat inside. There are sprays available that will instantly make your cat relaxed and behaved, so it will be easier for you to place them inside.

Will my cat still be aggressive the next time he goes inside a carrier?

Cats need to adjust in their carrier. Every successful carrier placement cannot guarantee success the next time, but it will somehow train your cat to become less aggressive.

Every episode of getting him inside will depend on his mood and past experiences. If you have the luxury of time, be patient and try to train your cat with its carrier way before you are to take it out.

Can practicing decrease the chances of my cat being aggressive in a carrier?


Practicing can eventually decrease the chances of your cat being aggressive.

On your part, continue to understand that no matter how much cats like corners and small spaces, they do not like being forced into something they do not like.

Train your cat as early as possible so the aggressive behavior will not grow. Training early is the best way to prevent an overly aggressive cat on carriers.

Is there a specific carrier that cats like?

The cat carrier of choice is one of the deciding factors if your cat will be aggressive or not. Consider buying a cat carrier that will not be too restricting to your cat.

Place a blanket inside to keep your cat warm during a trip. There are also a lot of cat carrier tips that you can follow:

  • Introduce the cat carrier into your cat. Do not let your cat be frightened with a carrier on the same day you will use it.
  • Using it on the day will terrify your cat and will most likely associate the carrier with a negative and terrifying experience.
  • If you have enough space, place the carrier near the bed.
  • This method will signal the cat that the carrier is just another harmless area that your cat can use.
  • Make sure to leave the door open so your cat can explore what is inside the carrier.
  • Place small treats inside the carrier to encourage your cat to go inside.
  • You can also put catnip inside or use some calming spray on the carrier itself.

How can I keep my cat calm inside the carrier?

There are a lot of ways to calm down your cat. If you know your cat too well, you will know what will keep his mood up, and you will know what will be a great peace offering.

Continue reassuring your cat that you are there. This method will signal your cat that it is not abandoned while inside the cage.

Give a few treats or a favorite toy inside. Treats and toys will tone down the aggression until he is outside again.

Can a veterinarian help with my cat’s aggression?

It is best to work with your vet when it comes to cat aggression. There are a lot of reasons why they can be aggressive.

An underlying medical condition could be one of them. Do not forget to ask your vet tips on how to get them more calm and relaxed with every carrier trip.


It is not easy to get your cat to love its carrier. It will be a struggle, especially if the cat has been introduced late with the carrier.

Consider training your cat as early as possible so the tips and tricks on how to get an aggressive cat into a carrier will work in an instant.

Don’t forget to be patient with your cat and not to give up on keeping the aggressive behavior down.

Rita Wagener
Rita is a resident paw expert at Pet Keepers. A registered & licensed dog trainer, she also has a degree in animal nutrition, and runs her own dog training course.

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