Today, my Lucy taught us a lesson. We had scheduled her a vet appointment, and getting her to the vet is always a traumatic event for all involved. Lucy is quite the ninja, so to get her into the cat carrier normally involves lots of chasing, pleading, a ruse or two, and a great deal of frustration on our part. For Lucy, it's full of fear, vomit (and other outputs) and fancy moves with her ginsu claws.
We decided that we'd prefer to avoid all of that if we could, and try to get her to the vet a different way this time. Don decided that we should just put a harness and leash on her and try to carry her to and from the car. A few puncture wounds later, he came to the conclusion that would not work as planned.
Last night, my brother had been playing with Lucy in a cardboard box - she adores cardboard boxes - and he mentioned how easy it had been to carry her around the house in the box, and maybe we should try the box to get her to the vet. We took his advice, and gave it a try - and my Lucy was so calm, her breathing didn't change, she just sat in her box, peeking out the top when she wanted. I was stunned. We'll be taking her to the vet in her cardboard box every time now.
She must feel more in control, because there is no door being locked on her, and when she wants out, she just sits, up, looks around and ducks back in.
I have to admit, this involved a lot of trust on my part. I was worried that she'd escape, rush into traffic, getting harmed, lost, or worse. But she showed us that if we just gave her a bit of freedom, that she was much more comfortable, and she wasn't interested in getting away.
So, next time you are trying to fold a feline into a crate, and the claws and the curses are flying - try a bit of trust and a simple cardboard box instead. It may work for you the way it worked for us! (I still recommend the harness and leash!)