Gus Bennett talks about the
importance of Crate Training your Cat
Author, Gus Bennett & Dorinne Whynott, Owner of Professional Pet Sitting Etc.
My Mom started us with the crates you see above in the picture. After many years, she upgraded us to the most beautiful bank of kitty condos. We each get two to sleep and eat in.
Why would you want to crate a cat? Kind of sounds awful. Putting us in a cage!! Eeeek, don’t do that to me !! Only kidding. I LOVE my crate.
Going to The Veterinarian
Most cats hate their crate. Going to the veterinarian is probably the only time your cat has ever been in a crate. That is scary enough but then being shoved in this small cold box, with all kinds of strange noises from cars and traffic, then strange smells at the vet, just make most cats associate the crate with scary things. Having a cat afraid of the crate is the number one reason that cats do not go to the veterinarian on a regular basis. The cat sees the crate and disappears into thin air never to be found until the time for the appointment has passed (we are pretty smart, like that)!! Or your cat turns into the meanest cat on earth, hissing, clawing and biting. Twisting and Turning like Houdini until you give up.
Getting your cat used to being in a crate and actually loving the crate is essential to your cat’s health.
Lower Stress for Cat
Why? Because having your cat love his crate will lower their stress making it easier for you to transport, go to the vet and more. Why is this important? A cat that feels comfortable in their crate, with a lower stress level, will allow your veterinarian to get a better physical. The cat’s heart rate will be lower and they may be easier to handle.
What other reasons can crating your cat be good for? If your cat ever has to go to the hospital and stay for a few days for surgery or testing, having a cat used to being confined will make your cat’s stress level lower and less traumatic. Again, making it easier for your cat and veterinary staff. The bonus is that a less stressed cat heals faster (like people).
Lower Stress for YOU
Plus having your cat enjoy their crate will also lower YOUR stress level getting them into the crate.
A New Kitty Bed
You can use the crate as a kitty bed (I love sleeping in my crate, if I can steal Linus’ crate to sleep in, even better). Place fluffy towels or blanket inside and leave the door open. Place the crate bed in the living room or bedroom. After a while your cat will seek out the warm and inviting bed. You can place treats in there every now and then to entice them even more. I LOVE TREATS!!
Why else is getting your cat used to a crate good for?
My Mom does, she feeds us all in crates!! Yup, she has trained us all to get in our own crates at feeding time and we do. She does not allow us to go in any one else’s crate. Every time one of us jumped into the wrong crate, Mom would gently remove us and place us in the right one. It took about two weeks for all of us to understand what my Mom wanted us to do but once we did, it was easy. Now, we all jump into our own crate and wait for dinner (or breakfast)!!
In Case of Disaster
Why does she do this? Well, the idea started when she was getting her certification for Disaster Animal Response (read more on Disaster Planning for You and Your Pets). She was thinking that if we need to evacuate for any reason, how was she going to round up 9 cats in a few minutes….….food! So, she started feeding us in crates. What my Mom found was a whole bunch of other reasons to feed us in crates.
- Easy round up of all cats (this was the main reason)
- Cats happy and used to crates (My housemate, Danny hated crates, he would bloody his nose pushing to get out every time we went to the vet)
- We eat slower (no one is rushing to get to the other’s food dishes)
- No vomiting of food (from eating too fast)
- Vomiting of hairballs down significantly to maybe 1-2 total per month for all 9 cats (not 1-2 per cat, 1-2 for all cats together!!, Mom thinks this is because of feeding canned food, no dry)
- Shy cats or Cats that do not like to be handled much get handled at least twice a day (Mom placed Spanky on top, so he had to be picked up twice per day to eat, he was a semi-feral who became a love bug)
- Each cat can be fed a different food if needed (great if anyone is on a special diet)
- Easy to monitor how much food each cat is eating (keep in mind that if your cat is coming down with a health problem, how much or how little they are eating may be the first symptom and the faster you notice a problem the better. This is important information for your vet)
This type of feeding is good if you have
- more than one cat
- a cat that hates to be handled
- a cat that is shy or skittish
- a cat that is on a special food and you do not want the other cat to eat it
- a cat that is on medication placed in their food so other cats do not get the medication
- to monitor the amount of food for health reasons
- a cat that eats too fast
- a cat who eats theirs and then everyone else’s
- an obese cat that needs to lose weight
- a cat that hates the crate
Feline nutrition still needs more research but with all the research my Mom has done for all of us, she really believes that feeding us a diet of dry food causes many health problems. Just in our house alone, with past and present kitties, when we were on dry food, she has seen kidney issues, obesity, crystals, bladder issues, dehydration, food allergies, lots of vomiting, IBD and more. My Mom used to feed free choice (big bowl of dry food to eat whenever). Wish I was around then!!! Boy, I would have tried to eat the entire thing. Yes, I am a food hound. Once she did switch over to feeding all of us canned food, she was amazed at all the positive changes, and even more positive changes feeding everyone in crates (read more on Feeding by Gus Bennett).
During feeding, My Mom lets us hang out in our crates for about an hour. This is because many of us have slowed down our eating so much, that we eat a little, fall asleep, then eat some more. Some of us, like me, just eat everything, then fall asleep. This is how you want your cats to be in crates.
A Cat that considers their crate a happy safe place! Priceless !!
Signing off until next time, Gus Bennett (Read His Story)
About the Owner/Author
Dorinne Whynott, is a long time animal professional. She is a successful business owner establishing one of the largest pet sitting companies in New Hampshire since 1990. Click to Read her complete History.
Professional Pet Sitting Etc. is a leading business in the pet care field and continues to grow since 1990. It boasts 30+ amazing pet sitters on staff, over 3000 clients in 38 cities from Nashua to Concord, NH. Hundreds of satisfied client testimonials can be found on their website and more 5 star reviews on their Facebook page, Google+ page and more. They have sustained an A+ rating with the BBB and are unmatched in the Pet Sitting Industry in New Hampshire.
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