It’s obvious to anyone that even a great cat carrier won’t do its job properly if the animal is uncooperative. No amount of money or research time you spend on the item itself won’t make a trip to the vet less hellish for both you and your pet if the little prisoner protests with hisses and scratches against being caged and is then contentious to act out until being calmed down with a shot.
That’s why it’s vital to first get your miniature tiger used to the carrier before even considering using it. This whole process — which can last for up to six months for adult cats — is covered in more detail elsewhere on this site. What you should take out from those articles is that the carrier must become a familiar item to the cat, placed where the pet can see it and made into an attractive feature by association with food or the animal’s favorite items.
This will deal with actually getting the little furball into that confined space when you need it, that is before traveling or visiting the vet. The first thing to do is to prepare the carrier by placing an extra towel or a newspaper, something to soak up urine, as cats tend to pee if they get nervous. The towel will make for a better option between the 2, as it can be sprayed with cat pheromones to make it more enticing.
It is easiest to position the carrier with the access door facing the ceiling, and that way you won’t have to make any awkward moves. In top-loading models, this won’t be a problem, but front-loading ones should be placed on their back edge, ideally with a wall for extra support.
The way you pick the cat is very important for safely placing it in the carrier. Use one arm as a base around its hind with the other holding it by the chest. Hold the back legs of the cat like a spoon, propped up against your chest with the hand that serves as a base. The animal should be facing away from you so that it can easily jump when you take your hand off its chest.
Lower the cat into the carrier in a slow motion, hind-end first, so that it doesn’t feel like it’s being forced into a cage with no way out. If it begins to struggle, it is better to put the pet down and let it calm down instead of hurrying the process.
If this goes smoothly, your naturally curious cat should start examining its new surroundings right as the edge of the carrier gets over its head. Use this moment of distraction to close the door, secure the latch and reposition the carrier.
Reward the pet with some treats if it’s been cooperative and then place a blanket or towel over the carrier, so the cat doesn’t see what’s happening outside. This will increase the level of comfort for most cats but should be avoided during hot summer days.