Pandora and the No Good, Very Bad Cat Carrier

Today, I moved from an extended stay hotel to a furnished apartment. I’ll be staying here until the condo I’m moving to is finished – May 3 is the day!

In preparation for the kitties’ trip, I put the carriers out several days ago. The cats actually snooze in them.

This morning, though, Pandora became psychic the exact moment I was going to shut the door to her carrier. She knew what was going on!

She went into the bathroom, then ducked around me and ran under the bed. I tried to grab her and wrap her in a towel – no go; she was growling and occasionally moved into yowling.

Eventually, she got onto the windowsill. I almost got hold of her, but she suddenly grew fifteen extra sets of claws and let out a scream that sounded like I was eviscerating her.

The next time I tried to get hold of her, she shrieked, started doing the alligator spin, and scratched my hands and arms.

I gave up. Pandora didn’t want to go into her carrier and she wasn’t going to, so there!

Thoroughly shaken and upset*, I called my vet, who suggested that I leave things for today. She suggested that I leave for the night, and only leave water and a litter box so that by morning, Pandora will be looking for food and some attention. At that point, I’m to drop her into something like a wheeled laundry basket with a lid you can bungee-cord down. I have one of those, so I left it in the room with some catnip inside to peak her interest…I hope it works.

However tomorrow I have to get her into the laundry basket!

Anyone have any ideas? I have another move in three weeks, and can’t imagine going through all of this again!

My vet doesn’t like to give cats sedatives; but I’m wondering if other vets will do this. I can get the sedative into the cat (tuna fish).

So my questions are: any tips on getting Pandora to go into the carrier tomorrow, and have any of you cat owners had a cat who used a sedative?

For the record, Pandora is a dilute tortie with the full tortie 'tude and, at last count, eighteen sets of claws. She was adopted from a shelter when she was about 3 months old. She has never been hurt in any way. She was ok, just vocal, when I put her in the carrier for the move from my apt to the hotel, so this surprises me. I expected some yowling and grumpiness, but not full-on feline freak-out.

*Ok, let’s be honest; I was crying. I’m normally a cat whisperer. Stray and semi-feral cats come up to me and let me pet them. Even as a kid I could get our more tetchy cats to do things that other people couldn’t. I’ve had my own cats for over 20 years, and at no time in my life have I had a cat become so upset and afraid that she attacked me. I felt like a horrible kitty mom!

I’ve had a similar issue with Mayme, my tabby from hell. When it was time to crate her for a long drive to the vet, I ended up basically removing all places where she could hide and ended up cornering her into the carrier. I guess I would find a way to get her into the bathroom, close the door, and catch her there.
The visit to the vet was basically to put her on Xanax. I’ve never had to medicate a cat for behavior issues, but it’s made a world of difference for her. If it would make it easier for you, I would strongly suggest asking the vet for a two pill scrip to handle this move and your subsequent move into the condo.
I’m sorry she scared you - been there, done that, and it makes it difficult to approach your cat with the ease you did before. I find I still become nervous around Mayme in a situation that would wig her out prior to the medication.

I believe you know the rules regarding photos.

I bet she will be calmer by morning. Don’t guilt yourself about today.

I relocated across the country almost 2 years ago. Before the final bug out I needed to get my cats into carriers, and take them to the vet for a few days. They needed to get certified for interstate travel, and I needed them out of the house for carpet cleaning, movers, etc, etc.

The afternoon came, and I had the experience you had, after almost the same prep. I was devastated. My vet did give me some tranquilizers to give my freak-a-cat, but I wasn’t sure how I was even going to give them to her.

In the end I didn’t need them. I slept in the house that night, just me and the cat. I woke up and she was on the edge of my bed. I went and fed her next to the crate, stuffed her in, and off she went. Not even a protest. After your kitty calms down, she might be back to herself.

My go-to for cats from hell is to grab them by the throat, flip them onto their backs and press your forearm down between rear legs.
With your arm pressed against its belly, it cannot do the eviscerate maneuver and the hand around the throat closely mimics the situation cats are in when they engage in fatal combat (it happens) and they lose.
Only rarely have I ever had one try to attack once in that position.

I lived with a very nasty cat (belonged to a friend) who did not like having her ears cleaned. I developed this grab while we had a run of ear mites through the house.
(rot in hell, Sonja, you little bitch)
The vet gave friend little “kitty knock-out” pills for use when transporting the little kitty-from-hades.

Sit and read a book or use a computer, with a bath sheet on your lap. When Pandora comes between you and your book/screen, start petting her, and when she curls up on your lap and dozes off, gently pull the bath sheet over her so that she is confined and cannot scratch you. It might take a long time, but hey, quality time with your cat is time well spent.

:confused: Is this a thing?

I have one cat who HATES to be picked up or carried. She wants attention and skritches on her own terms, so crating is an adventure (that I just happened to have this week for her vet visit.) I’d set the crates out 2 days ahead right next to where she spends most of her time. I’d seen her sniffing around and I thought maybe (hah) she was cool with it.

I started out brushing her, figuring to scoop her up and crate her before she knew what was happening. I got her into the crate, but she bolted before I could close the door. I had thought ahead to lock the bedroom door, limiting where she could hunker down. By this time, the dog was all excited, and chased the cat around till she was under one of the dining room chairs in a corner. The crate was about 10 feet away.

I reached down and started petting her, and she just sat there like an immovable object. Then I picked her up by her scruff and in seconds, she was in her crate, yelling at me, but secure. Several people suggested to me that it was the wrong way to lift her, but she was not hurt, and I did have one hand under her butt. And cats seem to instinctively draw in their legs when you lift them like that, so claws were not an issue. The other cat was lots easier to crate - he didn’t like it, but he didn’t try to draw blood.

By the time we got home, she’d forgiven me, unless by planting her hairy self between me and my keyboard, she’s exacting revenge…

Thanks for the advice and stories, everyone. I’m glad I’m not alone here.

I’m going to use the element of surprise. She’ll be happy. I’ll offer food, then scoop her up and put her in the laundry basket with a lid. Then we’ll go.

I’ll need to find another vet to discuss sedatives. My vet said flatly she doesn’t prescribe them because they “don’t work”. Which is untrue; we sedated my last torbie when we all flew from Florida to Boston. She was high, but calm.

ETA: I will add photos shortly…I need a photobucket account.

I recommend Imgur, actually.

Hopefully it goes better than my experience with surprise. It worked the first time but dropped off quickly after that. It was the downside of a having a smart cat. Even a tranquilizer would have been tough because he was smart enough to know when treats came with a serious downside.

Panhorrible is [link redacted]. She’s in cute Pandora mode, not in her evil twin mode.

I went back to the room armed with a large hamper with a lid, a lot of catnip, and some tuna fish.

Pandora was still growling under the bed, so I flipped the mattesses up and set them against the wall so there was no hiding place. She ran around a growled and hissed for a bit. I read a book. Then I put out a little tuna fish and walked away and read a book. She at the tuna fish and jumped on the top of the fridge. Then I sprinkled a little bit of catnip on top of the fridge, and she had to roll all around on it. A few more doses of 'nip made her less angry, but she didn’t want to come down from the fridge.

So I put the hamper on the floor on its side, and filled it with a lot of catnip. Then I waited. I noticed the hamper moving a little and the top was closed. She was all catnip-happy, and didn’t growl or yowl or hiss when I tipped the hamper up and bungee-corded the top down. Actually, she looked a bit confused.

So she came out without any additional drama.

Took her to the new place and let her out. She’s investigated, found food, water, and the litter box. Took a nap and found her sleeping on the chair next to the bed.

All is well, and thus endeth this installment of Pandora and the No Good, Very Bad Cat Carrier. :smiley:

I got lucky that surprise wasn’t needed; her own curiosity got her into the hamper!

My cats will come back from the dead to eat tuna fish and tuna “juice”. They get it very rarely, and they LOVE it. I’m also really good at reducing a tablet to a fine powder. It’s a gift.

Aiiiieeee!!! Too late!

:slight_smile: TY for the suggestion. I’d already set up a Photobucket acct before reading, and I’m ready to go to sleep soon.

Anyone else think this was going to be about the Pandora Internet music app and a bad mobile Internet carrier?

Never create your account when you’re dead-tired from wrangling the tortie.

New linkywith photos of the furry miscreant.

Yes, cats need to get certified for Interstate travel. I was driving, so we were going through several state borders. At any of those, or if I was stopped for a traffic reason, I could have been asked to produce their travel docs. The vet fills them out.

GrumpyBunny Pandora is beautiful. Glad it turned out ok.

Wow, I’ve never heard of this. (And I’ve never had anything happen when driving over a border from one state to another.)

Your Pandora looks so much like my Shadow, who just two days ago spent quite a bit of time under the (king-size) bed going back and forth from being just out of my reach to being just out of my husband’s reach. The only reason she ever got to the vet was her brother Streak does not live up to his name and was caught and put in the carrier very easily. So, he began to complain about this at the top of his lungs and Shadow came out to see why. Nabbed her and only got a couple of wounds. We need a better system though; I think next time I will put Streak in captivity, then put him in the closet and wait for her to go in to see what he’s yelling about. Close door, snatch up silly kitty, etc. Both of them need dental work so this will happen sooner rather than later.

Good luck with your next move, GrumpyBunny. At least now you have a system that works, or at least worked once. (You never can tell, with cats.)

I use the “roll-'em-up-in-a-towel” technique. No wounds, no need for drugs.