Cats are VERY much affected by association, so I would consider a new and different crate, hosed down inside with pheremones and maybe pre-loaded with some catnip and really high value treats, along with a nice thick towel or blanket. A few pieces of chicken or other favorite meat can do a lot for a guy's mood, especially when the guy is a cat. I find mine do best if the crate is covered for travel, others have had the opposite result. If you've left him uncovered in the past, try covering and see if it improves his response. You might also consider fixing his camping crate up as a bed/hideout when he's home, that sometimes helps.
He doesn't mind his crate at all. He often takes naps in it. We get the distinct impression he doesn't want to leave the house. He doesn't want to be cooped up in the TT. He doesn't care if his crate is covered or uncovered in our tow van. He would be very happy to stay at home and let us and the two girl cats go. He hides hoping we'll leave without him. We don't feel right about leaving him at home alone. The girls have totally different personalities.
I do shut my cats in somewhere when I feed them if we're traveling later in the day, so as to limit the drama when it comes time to crate them. I find that the sooner in the day that I do that, the better it goes.
I'm not a cat person, per say - but you might want to try spraying the inside of the crate with the Comfort Zone for Cats. I've used the dog version, and I have seen a difference in the dogs I used it on.
We bought two products from PetsMart and they had no effect on his hiding as soon as he realized we were going to go camping or on a trip. We threw the money away. He doesn't mind his crate/carrier and sometimes naps in it. The carrier isn't the problem.
They also make a diffuser that you plug into an electric outlet, similar to some of the room freshener/fragrance things on the market. The stuff in these things does help.
The diffusers are costly ($50 to $60 each) and I would need three or more for a house this size. I would also have to keep the windows closed so the diffused hormone doesn't escape. Somehow I don't think the hormone will change his mind about dreading camping trips. Do you know anyone it worked for whose cat hid like Zebulon?
KV Vet Supply carries it. I've bought a ton of stuff from them over the years, and their prices are normally better than a lot of the other on-line vendors. And they give free shipping on a lot of their items - you only pay freight on heavy items like gallons or crates, etc.
He's ordinarily a good cat but he's very active. Being cooped up in the TT for days or weeks and months at a time is what we know he dreads, not the carrier per se. He simply doesn't want to go with us. That's obvious. He would be content to be left at home where he has all kinds of things to do, windows to look out, the outdoor enclosure, the cat trees and condos.... we try to amuse him when we're camping but he wont play with any of those interactive toys anymore. In the TT he starts pacing like a caged tiger, something he never does at home. Sometimes I feel we're torturing him by forcing him to come with us. The girls don't mind at all. I don't know if they like the change of travel or camping or not, but seem pretty content in the RV and the large cage that hangs from the bedroom window. They, and Zebulon, spend a good part of the time out there watching the world of the CG go by. The girls don't get periods of pacing and acting bored out of their minds in the TT.
Could you try positive reinforcement methods? If you store RV at home, maybe try feeding him in it. If you are not really leaving, he may not suspect anything. Once you get him in it, give him a treat/toy, let him stay for a few minutes and back to the house.Repeat, he may start to associate the RV with a good experience. Hope this helps.
This can be tried. Sadly, he detests the RV. We believe he sees it as some kind of trap. Boredom. Confinement. As soon as he sees us near the carriers, he bolts for a hiding place. He connects us to the carriers and us and the carriers "together" to the RV. I probably wont be able to do it more than once.
If we're not in the large sun room he will sometimes be seen taking a nap in one of the carriers. If we're in there, he wont go near them. He's made the connection. It's amazing how smart cats are.
This refers to cats marking -- there's also a product specifically for behavior modification.
He doesn't mark nor does he get psyched out or upset when he knows we're going on a trip or camping. He simply hides and doesn't want to go. No spraying, no clawing furniture, no crying or diarrhea. The two products I already bought have no effect on him at all. It was money thrown away. That's why I asked what other people did with cats like him. What they tried that WORKED for them.
Miraculously, I didn't have a mess that day - so I made sure I used that every time he had to go somewhere, up until I found him a home. After that, I always kept a bottle in my car travel kit.
You had a totally different problem.
Based on my experience, I'd give this stuff a try with the cat gettign stressed out. You can also try Bach Rescue REmedy for stress.
He doesn't get stressed out. He just hides. Once pulled from his hidey-hole and put in his carrier he's fine. Neither product worked on him. Maybe because he doesn't get upset. He just doesn't want to go. It's like giving a child a mild tranquilizer because he doesn't want to go the Dr or school. It's not going to make the child suddenly change it's feelings about the Dr or school or make a cat want to go camping/traveling.
It sounds like it's turned into a kind of game he plays with you. I would just unceremoniously toss his fuzzy little butt in the carrier and go. Cats do love to create drama with their humans.
We truly believe the little stinker hopes we'll leave without him. It's actually funny as once he's pulled, growling and hissing, from his hiding place, he calms right down and gets into his carrier.
We're hoping he mellows out some because at our ages it's not easy to crawl under the beds or far back ends of walk-in closets. He always finds places hard for us to reach and get a grip on him. He's so very different from the girls. It's hard to believe they're from the same species. The girls actually hang out under our feet the day we plan to leave as if they feared we would leave them behind, which we have never done. And the girls seem quite content in the RV, where poor Zebulon paces and cries and lets us know how unhappy he is.
Well, if you've tried everything and it hasn't worked, and you really don't think he's in actual distress, I think I'd go with Judy's advice. Stuff him in there and let him deal.
The pheremones are what's worked for me, along with Rescue Remedy. If he's not afraid and is more bored, catnip might do more to improve his outlook.
What was your cat doing that you tried the pheromones?
I read on another cat forum that some people do have success with these products, others don't. It may depend on what behavior you're trying to modify. The two I bought at PetsMart didn't do anything. They had no effect on him. Probably because he's not upset, he just doesn't want to go.
Catnip has no effect on my 3 cats. That's a genetic thing none of them have. I found this out after spending $25 on dried catnip and planting a live one in my garden. The plant is huge. Our neighbor's cat isn't affected either. I was going to give the containers of 'nip to her.