Cats are infamous for their independent streak and their ability to completely ignore their owners until they need them for something. "Dogs have owners, cats have staff" as the saying goes. There is another saying in the animal training world: "Any animal can be trained" - and it is absolutely true. Despite popular opinion, you can condition your cat to his crate or cage if you start early enough and follow some very simple steps.
If it is at all possible, you should start crate training you cat when he is still a kitten. If he learns early-on that the crate is not something to be hated or feared, trips to the vet will be that much easier in his later years. Older cats can still be trained with the following method, but will take more time and patience from the owner!
The first thing you should do is pick out a crate. There are many kinds, but the best is a plastic crate of some sort that is easily disassembled and cleaned. Crates come in both front-loading and top-loading varieties. If your goal is to crate-train your cat for trips to the vet, the top-loading Binny Pet Carrier is a good choice simply because even if your cat is crate-trained, a visit to the vet's office will still likely make him uncomfortable and a bit unruly. A top-loading carrier makes it less of a hassle to get your cat in or out of it for veterinary examinations.
The next step is to simply make the crate or cage as comfortable as possible for the cat and make it accessible at all times. You want to make the crate a "safe zone" for your cat. Keep it close to his litter box and food - you can even place either or both within the crate if there is room. Whenever you put him in the crate or see him in it, give him a treat. You can also place treats in the crate when it is unoccupied for your cat to find later - you want the cat to see the crate as a good place and associate it with good things.
It will take time and patience (especially with older cats), but a crate can be made into a "safe haven" for the cat whenever he feels uncomfortable or threatened - or simply wants to be left alone. If your cat runs and hides when you have company over, you can make the crate into the place he goes willingly with just a little training.
Dominic Lee is the spokeperson for PetPetSupplies.com - the premier internet destination for pet supplies, accessories, and products for pets. For more cat crate and cage products, please check out http://www.petpetsupplies.com/cats-cat-cages.html