How To Get An Aggressive Cat Into A Carrier: 4 Methods to Try

Unlike dogs, cats are more independent. They love climbing elevated spaces and discovering places on their own terms. With that, putting them on a carrier will be a challenge, especially for aggressive ones. You may end with deep scratches and bites even before you get the kitty inside. To help you out, I discussed some tips here on how to get an aggressive cat into a carrier. It’s not an easy task, but there’s always a workaround for the feline’s behavior.

How do you get an unruly cat into a carrier?

Most of the time, it will not be difficult to put a cat into a carrier. Domesticated kitties can be lifted and placed inside without a fight. However, if you have an aggressive one, you’d need more tricks up your sleeves to put them inside.

So why do you need to put your cat in a carrier in the first place? One of the most common reasons here is vet visits. While you can always place your cat at the passenger seat, things may get rough once the kitty smells and sees the vet’s clinic. With this, the carrier serves as protection for both you and your pet.

Aside from that, carriers come in handy when you’re transporting your cat. You might be moving to a new house or taking a vacation. A carrier is indispensable to prevent your cat from wreaking havoc in the car. Also, the cozy space inside the carrier will help calm the kitty.

However, if your cat isn’t cooperating and being aggressive towards you, the following are the methods you can try:

Method 1: Treat luring

One of the classic methods to use in this situation is a yummy treat. Cats love food, and they will follow it around until they get it.

To start, place some kibble inside the carrier with the door swung open. Next, place a treat near your cat’s nose and let it sniff. If it tries to bite the treat, move slowly in the direction of the carrier. Make sure that the kitty is still hooked to the food you’re holding.

This process may take a few attempts for aggressive cats. But once your kitty gets inside the carrier, you should shut the door immediately. This will be met with resistance and lots of meowing, but it’s for the kitty’s benefit.

Method 2: Pillowcase catch

If treats are not working, you can use the pillowcase to catch your cat. Some pet owners think of this as a cruel method, but if you’re not going to hurt your cat, it will not be that cruel.

This goes by using a pillowcase as a sack that you will use to trap your cat. Sure thing, the kitty will try to claw through, so I suggest spraying the pillowcase with Feliway (Check it on Amazon) so your cat will relax inside.

Once the kitty is calm, you can slowly funnel the pillowcase’s opening into the carrier to allow the cat to go out. After that, close the door immediately.

Method 3: Burrito restrain

If your cat becomes aggressive at the sight of a carrier, the burrito method will suit it well. You have to swaddle your cat using a blanket to prevent it from fighting.

Once your kitty is wrapped on the blanket, go to the bathroom with the carrier. Open the carrier and place it in a manner that the door is facing the ceiling. Close the door of the bathroom, then place your cat inside the carrier, tail first.

You don’t need to unwrap the kitty since it will do so on its own. Just make sure that you didn’t wrap it too tightly or that you didn’t use an enclosure to lock the blanket.

Method 4: Sedating your cat

If all of the methods above failed, the best solution here is a sedative. This will calm an aggressive cat so you can put it in a carrier without a fight. However, sedating a cat must be done properly and with vet supervision.

Catnip comes in handy during these situations, but note that some cats may become even more aggressive under the herb’s influence.

If you want, you can give your cat a treat infused with hemp (Check it on Amazon). This will help a cat without using any medication. Unlike catnip, these treats are guaranteed to calm the kitty’s aggressive tendencies.

How do you calm down an aggressive cat?

If you want to succeed in putting your aggressive cat into a carrier, you should know how to calm it down first. The following are the techniques I use whenever my kitten Watson doesn’t want to enter the carrier:

  • Use a calming diffuser. An hour before you put your kitty into the carrier, turn on a calming pheromone diffuser (Check it on Amazon) to let the feline simmer down. It’s like an oil diffuser but filled with an artificial pheromone that will inhibit your cat’s aggressive tendencies.
  • Desensitization. Even before you try to place your kitty inside a carrier, you should allow it to become familiar with the object. Let the feline sniff and lick it. This way, the kitty will realize that the carrier is a harmless thing. You can also use lots of treats to encourage the cat to get inside. If it meows to be let out, open the door immediately. This way, your cat will know that he will not be trapped.
  • Playtime. About 30 minutes before you put the cat into the crate, give it a rigorous playtime. This will drain the kitty’s energy so it will not have the vigor to fight you back. You can also involve the carrier during the playtime to make it more familiar to your cat.
  • Remove the stressors. One thing that makes a cat aggressive is the stressors around. If you want the kitty to enter the carrier without fighting back, make sure that the environment is calm. Turn the loud sound down and keep other pets away.

Should I put a blanket over my cat carrier?

Draping a blanket over the cat carrier will help the kitty relax. Since the cat doesn’t see what’s happening around, it’s less likely to become anxious and overstimulated. Remember that bringing the cat outdoors will expose it to different scents, sounds, and sights. You may want to limit these as much as you can by covering the carrier.

Still, make sure that you use a breathable fabric. This way, your kitty will not be suffocated inside, especially during a hot day.

You can also spray some Feliway on the blanket to help your cat calm down while transporting it.

How long can you keep a cat in a carrier?

Cats should only be placed inside the carrier for up to 8 hours. I suggest giving the kitty a break every four hours so it can eliminate properly. However, if your cat needs to stay in the carrier for long, you should contact the vet to discuss the safest solutions.

If you can’t take your kitty outside the carrier, make sure that it has food and water inside. You should also check on your cat every hour to see how it’s going. If it’s anxious, pacing, drooling, and shaking, you should immediately take the kitty out of the carrier or bring it to the vet.

Take note that carriers are not supposed to be cages at home. You should reserve this for important trips like bringing your cat to the vet or transporting it to a specific place. Most of all, you should never use it as a form of punishment.


Knowing how to get an aggressive cat into a carrier will save you and the kitty from the stress. It will also keep an aggressive cat safe. If your efforts are not helping, you can always contact the vet for proper advice. Just remember that you should never punish or hurt your cat for not cooperating. Violence will only do more harm than help.