The Hard Sell: Solving carrier anxiety with trendy options
When offered a sales pitch on cat carriers, consumers are likely to react with the following statement … “Oh, my cat HATES the carrier…” Carrier anxiety is common with cats, which can make it difficult to convince the consumer to upgrade to a trendier option with more bells and whistles.
If crating the cat for a trip to the veterinarian takes several hours and results in a stressed animal, consumers are not likely to see the value in choosing a soft-sided leather tote over a disposable cardboard box. However, a creative marketing approach allows the customer to easily see an attractive, trendy option as the perfect solution to a common problem.
Desensitization therapy works well for cats with major aversions to carriers. The theory is that, by leaving a carrier out all the time with the door open, a cat will become accustomed to its presence. By leaving occasional treats inside the carrier that encourage an animal to venture inside for positive experiences, the cat learns to react with less anxiety to a short trip away from home.
The Pitch: An attractive, high-end carrier functions as a piece of furniture in the home. If an attractive carrier matches your home décor, it doesn’t have to be shoved into the closet every time visitors plan to stop by. By accepting a trendy carrier as a fixture in your home, you address the psychological problems associated with carrier anxiety in your pet.
Comfort represents an obvious reason some cats dislike trips in carriers. Taken from a warm couch cushion to a cold, plastic or cardboard carrier can be enough of an upset to discourage an animal from participating in future excursion.
The Pitch: A padded, soft-sided carrier provides a comfortable sleeping space many cats enjoy. Some models have detachable tops, allowing carriers to double as beds in the home. Simply zipping on a screened top, while your cat is napping, makes a trip to the vet a snap.
Visual hyperstimulation frightens many cats to near hysteria. Creatures of habit, bound to their territory, cats often dislike leaving their surroundings. When exposed to unfamiliar sights and sounds, panic sets in. When cats see wide open spaces through the openings of a carrier door, thoughts of escape can cause injury as they attempt to push their way out.
The Pitch: A luxury carrier with roll-down sides or fine mesh air vents obstructs a cat’s view, making it feel more secure and protected. The less a cat sees from inside the carrier, the less it wants to escape and run back to the safety of the home environment. <HOME>
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