Choosing A Cat Carrier

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Although cat carrier is not often required, you will find that you need it from time to time. Especially when you need to take your cat for her yearly check-up and shots, for occasional travel, for an overnight motel visit if your house is being worked on, or in times of calamity such as an earthquake, fire, or flood.

Here are our findings on three types of cat carriers.

The Cardboard Box

This box is typically used by adoption facilities to give to clients for transporting the adopted cat home. However, this box has a limited short term use, cardboard boxes are not recommended as your regular “go-to” permanent carrier. Cardboard is not strong enough to stand up to a cat’s scratching.

Additionally, cardboard is not good in the rain, it will become soft and spongy and can offer a quick escape. The same will occur with cat urine, spilled water, and other liquids it may come in contact with. Making it very hard to clean and to reuse.

The Soft-sided Carrier

A soft-sided carrier is often made of nylon, or ballistic nylon, and is lightweight and easy to tote. They are easy to clean and also have a very attractive look.

While sturdy and quite popular for pet travel, it should only be used for cats that are good, calm travelers, as it is possible to tear out the nylon mesh ventilation panels if they become extremely agitated. Some cats are also quite determined to escape and will use its claw to get through the zipper material.

It is also important that you have the right size carrier. Your cat must be able to stand-up, turn around, and lie down easily. As we know, cats like cozy spaces, so try not to get any more volume than is necessary. The coziness makes them feel secure.

Note, while searching for the perfect soft-sided carrier, it’s a good idea to purchase a carrier that does not sag when your pet is inside. Look for carriers that have light frames in order to prevent this, and if you are unsure while making your purchase, simply put a heavy book or several items from the pet store aisle inside in order to assure that it does not sag. A sagging bottom will be most uncomfortable for your cat.

Crate Type Carrier

This carrier is made of plastic, and is by far the easiest to clean. The best hard carriers have a steel mesh door which is much sturdier than plastic mesh, and the hardware should be metal. Assure yourself that the handle is strong enough to carry the weight of the carrier and the cat without breaking.

Be sure to select a hard sided carrier that match the size of your cat. As with the soft-sided carrier, adequate room for standing up, turning around, and lying down must be allowed. Note, for longer travel allow room for food, water, and in some cases a small box of kitty litter.

Adequate ventilation is a must for any pet carrier, with openings on 3 sides is recommended.

Please note, airlines have differing rules regarding the type of pet carriers permitted on board, so be sure to check with yours prior your trip.

Cat carriers are a safe, useful, and often required, way to transport your cat. Remember, safety comes first!

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