FACT (Free Access Crate Training)

FACT is an alternative way to provide a refuge for your cat. FACT is similar to crate-training for dogs. The cat accepts the crate or carrier as her own safe haven. For cats, the carrier should be big enough to hold bedding, food and water bowls, and a litter box big enough for the cat. Place the carrier in a quiet and secure place in the house, for example your bedroom. Cats prefer to be at a height where they can look down on their surroundings. Putting the carrier on a bench or dresser may make it more attractive to the cat. For cats who already associate the carrier with scary experiences (like trips to the vet) you can start out slowly. First, put the carrier in a place where the cat usually rests. Take off the top and the door. Put the cat's favorite blanket in the bottom of the carrier. Create positive associations with the carrier by playing with, petting, and feeding the cat near the carrier. Once she accepts this, attach the top of the carrier and let her get used to it too. Once the cat accepts both the top and the bottom, then add the door. If the cat is reluctant to use the carrier, applying Feliway spray may make her more comfortable.

FACT not only provides the cat with a refuge in your home, but allows the cat to take her personal space with her everywhere she goes. Veterinary visits, boarding, travel, and moving to a new home are easier because the cat feels secure in her space. Having her own space also makes the cat less likely to feel the need to compete with other animals for territory and may help decrease fighting and urine marking. For more detailed information on FACT please visit: http://www.mmilani.com/writing/articles/cats/feline-crate-training.