Cat box conundrum

I have acquired a proper cat box. It has a wire, removable sunroof and a respectable wire entrance which can be removed to allow walking in and walking out.

My aim is to get two cats in there on Saturday morning to take to the vets for their annual jabs.

When they were kittens I borrowed a friend’s wire cat basket. The top lifted up and flipped back so it was just a question of picking up the kittens and placing them inside the basket (on a blanket – all mod cons). When the vet opened it, it was a miracle to me that they remained on the blanket, sweetly looking up at him.

But as the kittens are now not kittens any more, to squish them into this borrowed cat basket might be seen as cruel cat compression – and that would never do at the vets.

The first cat box I bought and showed to Leo, he quite liked. He walked around it, inspected it and thought it was fun to walk in and stick his head up through the sunroof where the wire lid had been.  He seemed to be enjoying it in the way people enjoy open-topped cars, but without the 40mph hair-destroying wind.

As he stood there, with his head and neck sticking up through the sun roof,  his back legs not quite in the box and certainly none of his tail, I realised that the box was a bit on the tight side of comfortable for him and no good for both him and his sister together. Even if I tucked his back legs in so they were fairly close to his front legs and fed the tail in somewhere, there would still be no room for Fat Lily.

Runty Lily hasn’t really grown much longer than when she was a kitten. She has grown outwards instead. She’s a cuddly cuboid shape. I needn’t have worried that Leo, being male, would have the lion’s share of the food because she sleeps and snacks throughout the day as though she concentrating on building up her midriff bulge.

So Cat Box 1 was definitely a one-cat box and had to go back in favour of Cat Box 2, which I reckoned would be big enough for both of them, provided Fat Lily didn’t decide to spread out and hog all the space.

Leo, being a cuddly maleable kind of puss, was introduced to the Cat Box 2. He didn’t show much interest in going inside and sniffed it suspiciously. So I thought, well, he’ll enjoy it when he’s in it, no doubt, as he had done Box 1, stretching his head above the sunroof etc etc.

I picked him up and started to lower him towards the open sun roof with the intention of placing him on to the nice comfy mattress below when he suddenly went completely stiff and stuck all his legs out like an opened umbrella – only these were solid, immoveable and included full-on claws.

I thought ‘What the ??” This is the boy who dangles over my arm like a soppy date when I take him down to the kitchen in the morning

Not only had he made himself four times his normal size in every direction, he had turned into a feline weapon of destruction.

He looked exactly like a furry ninja throwing star. I could imagine Bruce Lee lobbing him at half a dozen evil intruders who’d just leapt an unfeasibly long distance from a castle wall without breaking all their legs.

“Meeeioooowwww!!!” with all those claws rampant, he could have felled them all in a most satisfying and bloody fashion.

But this wasn’t a Bruce Lee set – merely a new cat box. I suppose he was just demonstrating his reluctance to go through the sunroof into the box;  peaceful as far as it went, but there was a distinct risk of a breach of the peace. Especially if any of those claws had found my bare arms.

“It was going to be very nice in there,” I assured him, setting him down on the floor, whereupon the claws went back into hiding and Leo pretended to be Mr Nice Puss again.  Yeah, right.  I’d seen those claws – outstretched specifically to prevent anyone from trying to fold his legs, as you might with a cat you were trying to fit into a cat box.

I’ve left it at that for now but I’m wondering if anyone has any bright ideas on how to successfully insert a cat into a box – folded or unfolded.

Bear in mind that this is a cat that doesn’t want to be put through a sunroof – and I’m not entirely sure if he’ll play ball with walking in through the door.

Even if I do get him in, there is the vexed question of how to stuff Fat Lily in alongside him.

It would be so easy with dogs. You’d just say “In there, go!” and chuck the tiniest morsel of cooked liver in the box.

With a budgie you could chuck in a spray of linseed and say “In there, go!”

With a tortoise, you could chuck in a slice of apple and say “In there.. in your own time, obviously…next week will be fine…”

But cats? Well,  to be honest, I’m not too sure.

The best idea I have so far is CatFlap Plan B (which I didn’t need to use):

Wrap firmly in towel and post through cat flap, head first, one at a time.

I’m keeping my border collie idea as a last gasp solution, as indeed it might be for the cats. But hey, we’re going to the vets anyway….


About janh1

Part-time hedonist.
This entry was posted in Cats, Current Affairs, Kittens and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Cat box conundrum

  1. Pseu says:

    Many smiles here Jan, on reading this and very topical.

    • Pseu says:

      1.Turn box on end, so that the door is uppermost.
      2. Cuddle cat longitudinally, so that his body is the ‘hind legs down and head end at your head’ position.
      3. Do this step 2 away from the box so he does not suspect foul deeds.
      4. Hold hind legs together with one hand and lower back legs into said box while the head end is unaware of what is going on.
      5. Deftly lower in top end of cat and shut lid.
      6.Buy a second box for second cat.

      • janh1 says:

        Thanks Pseu. It was all going so well until Step 6. I’m not sure Petsmart or whatever it’s called now, will countenance any more swopsies – but it means I will be paying yet more dosh, so perhaps they won’t object! 🙂

      • Pseu says:

        I did two in a box when my two were kittens together- but that’s a LONG time ago!

  2. Oldcat says:

    I agree with 2 boxes. I had a pair of very friendly female cats who put up with it time after time until one day one went off on the way back and I had a cat without a box after pulling over.

    • janh1 says:

      Greetings and thanks for the advice. As they are mostly friends, I was thinking just the one box would do the trick, but didn’t count on the fact that cats sometimes mind-read!

  3. IsobelandCat says:

    Probably one box per cat is best, but also boxes where you can open the whole lid to put reluctant animal inside with least stress to it and harm to you. Cat did a “Leo’ when he saw the pet caddy, and even the more malleable Not Cat is working against me when it’s time to travel. If you can, look at these ttp://
    the hinges broke on mine, I contacted Savic via email to see where I could buy some, and they sent me a load free! I’ve also seen a fold down pet caddy somewhere, probably on zooplus or vetuk that looks interesting.
    Good luck!

  4. janh1 says:

    Hi Isobel and thanks. I’ve already spent £40 so I doubt I’ll get a refund. Best go for the two baskets, I think. I *do* wish I’d asked you folks for advice first!! 🙂

  5. valzone says:

    Now you see, you wouldn’t have this problem if only you’d got a budgie or dog instead 🙂 Or…..Wouldn’t it be better to go the vets, collect the vaccines, and do the job yourself? Much less hassle, and less trauma for the cats to treat at home, just a thought. You’ve given me a good giggle all the same Jan, great post.

  6. janh1 says:

    🙂 A dog would still be nice, Val. If only I could find a job paying the same for working half the time!! Nope, cat transport has to be done. I can’t understand why Fat Lily is a chubber yet Leo is a skinny thing. Perhaps the vet can shed some light…

  7. Ha! I have had to cancel vet visits before now because of the antics of my cats. Schrodinger was not joking when he chose a cat for his experiment. It might, or might not be in the box. He didn’t mention the sunroof variable though.

    I have fallen in love with Fat Lily after just a few lines 🙂

    • janh1 says:

      🙂 Two cat boxes, I suspect, would have been one too many for Schrodinger, Kate!

      Yes you’d like Fat Lily. She tried to jump on to my lap this morning and failed to make it, falling into an ungainly little heap at my feet. But she stalked off waving her tail slightly as though she hadn’t mean to get up there anyway. I don’t think she liked me laughing.

  8. I loved Pseu’s plan for you, right there till step 6 😀 Fat Lily may be precisely the reason why Leo is so skinny – she might be eating his food! I shall have to write about Bertha’s diet because that’s the problem I’ve got going on.

    I manage with one box for two cats. They’ve been going in it since they were tiny so that probably helps. I think going in the front door rather than the top flap could be easier to achieve this. If you leave the box around the house as an alternative bed, they may get more used to the idea of going in when you want them to.

  9. janh1 says:

    Hi Sophie, as a matter of fact, Fat Lily has just left the comfort of my lap for a good nom-nom in the kitchen on her own. Leo is out and about somewhere. You could well be right about the reason for her cuboid appearance.
    I’ve still only got the one box, having failed to return it to Petsmart on account of unseasonably good cycling weather this week, so we shall have to see tomorrow morning who’s around and whether they will co-operate with Pseu’s insertion technique.

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