By Nan Talleno

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Every now and then, you may need to take your cat to the vet or on vacation with you or anywhere else that you may need to go. So, it’s important to eliminate any stress that may go along with the transport.

To do this safely and effectively, you need to get your cat comfortably accustomed to the cat carrier.

To start, make sure the carrier is thoroughly clean. There should be no odors or residue that will repel your cat.

Once it is cleaned and thoroughly dried, line the carrier with a soft towel or blanket. Keep the carrier in a quiet but accessible area for a few days and always be sure to leave the door open. As your cat gets used to its presence, place toys near the carrier and as your cat approaches it, reward with treats and playtime. After a few days, place favorite toys inside the carrier, again leaving the door open. This is very similar with how to get your dog used to a crate except with a dog you would keep the crate in a more accessible area whereas most cats like to retreat to a quieter place.

Keep rewarding with praise, treats and affection. When ready, gently close the door for just a minute, then open and provide praise and affection.

Always keep toys and treats inside the carrier along with the blanket or towel. In time, your cat will eventually begin to feel safe and a sense of security on his/her own for short periods of time inside the carrier.

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