QUICK GUIDE TO CHOOSING A CAT CARRIER
When you are choosing a new car to transport you from A to B, you will consider factors like comfort, price, safety, choosing a cat carrier should be no different. With so many varieties of cat carriers on the market, from soft cardboard carriers to pricier hard-shelled models, choosing the right one can be a challenge. But choosing the right carrier for your feline will depend on a number of factors.
YOUR CAT’S PERSONALITY
As soon as I get the carrier out of the attic, my cat is nowhere to be found. The morning of the vet’s appointment is spent searching high and low, in every nook and cranny to find the elusive feline. Once we find him, the battle to get him into the carrier begins. He fights against it every time. For this reason, I opted for a carrier with multiple entrances. I can try and lure him in with food in a side door or lift him in the top of the carrier when that inevitably fails.
How comfortable is your cat once they are in the carrier? Are they likely to frantically scratch? If so maybe they would be better suited to a firmer carrier which will hold up longer under intense scratching. It is also worth considering how easily the carrier can be cleaned, especially if you have not taken your cat in a car before. The first time my cat sat in the passenger seat of my car, we quickly learnt that he suffered from car sickness and had to clean the whole carrier on our return home.
Your carrier should be large enough for your cat to stand up, turn around and stretch out in. They enjoy long car journeys about as much as we do and need the opportunity to stretch their legs regularly. If you are planning on making regular long journeys with your cat, you will also need enough space to fit a food and water bowl. A carrier of around twice the size of your cat should be big enough.
Other than providing your cat with enough space, you also want to make sure they are comfortable. Make sure the carrier is well ventilated but can be easily covered by a blanket or a towel when you need to.
My personal rule is that I always get a carrier which can be opened from the top. Cats feel more secure when they can put their back against a wall, so they can’t get ambushed from behind. With a carrier that can open from the top, the vet can inspect the cat by simply opening the top of the carrier. In some cases, my vet hasn’t had to remove my cat from the carrier at all. This makes the whole process go much more smoothly and involves minimal stress on the cat itself.
Whichever carrier you go for, be sure to put a towel or paper down. This stops the cat sliding around the carrier when the car goes around tight corners, but we also learnt after carsickness-gate, that a towel makes it much easier to clean up any mess in the carrier.
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