There are a lot of options regarding the cat carriers, such as a wide variety of sizes, shapes, materials, and colors, the endless options which can make buying a new cat carrier a really confusing task! It may not be the safest or most comfortable option for your kitty while it can be tempting to choose the cheapest or even most luxurious cat carrier.
This blog will help you navigate through the many options and choose a cat carrier that your cat will appreciate.
Why should I need a cat carrier?
A cat carrier can help you transport your cat in a safe and reliable way. A nervous or scared cat can easily escape cardboard boxes and homemade cat carriers even if you only plan to move your cat a few blocks down the street. Anxious cats can inadvertently injure themselves or those around them. A sturdy cat carrier also protects them from other animals in the vet's waiting room. To any pet parent, a good quality cat carrier is a worthwhile investment.
What to look for in a cat carrier?
Cats naturally prefer dark, comfortable, enclosed spaces, which is why you'll find them hiding in cupboards or cardboard boxes to play in. So that's what you should replicate in the cat carrier because their spaces make them feel safe.
Cat carriers come in a range of material options, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Soft cat carrier or hard cat carrier?
Soft cat carriers are usually made of nylon, polyester and microfibers. These cat carriers have the advantage of being lightweight and easy to store. They don't offer as much protection and support as hard cat carriers, and are often difficult to clean if your pet smudges them.
Hard cat carriers are often a combination of hard plastic and metal. They are sturdy and durable, usually have multiple entrances, and are easy to clean up if they get soiled by your pet. They offer good coverage and most offer plenty of room to sit or lie down comfortably. The downside is that they are usually heavier and take up more storage space than other types.
- Cardboard cat carriers
Cardboard cat carriers are only suitable for short trips and should only be used a few times. They are not suitable for long-term reuse cause they are not very sturdy and quickly becoming unsafe as the cardboard fatiques. This is especially true if the cat smudges in the carrier. They are also usually small, so can be uncomfortable for many pets, especially on long trips.
· Backpack and stroller cat carriers
Backpack and stroller carriers can be made from a combination of materials including soft material, mesh, hard plastic or reinforced firm material. Some of these are quite well enclosed while others are quite open and can make your pet feel insecure. These types of carriers can be a fun and convenient way of transporting your pet. However, some cats may be more stressed in these carriers as they may be frightened by the large viewing windows or the sound and movement of the rollers used on the ground. Some carriers may also not be large enough to allow your cat to lay down comfortably.
Backpacks and strollers cat carriers can be made from a variety of material combinations, such as soft materials, mesh, hard plastic or reinforced material. Some of them are quite open and can make your pet feel unsafe, while others are quite enclosed. These types of cat carriers are often regarded as a fun and convenient way to transport your pet. However, some cats may be more nervous in these cat carriers, as they may be spooked by the sound and movement of large viewing windows or rollers used on the ground. Some cat carriers may also not be large enough for your cat to lie down comfortably.
How big should the cat carrier be?
When it comes to cat carriers, bigger isn't always better. A cat carrier that is too large will allow your cat to slide around in it and won't provide them with the comfortable, secure feeling they want.
The ideal size of a cat carrier for regular use is that allowing your cat to stand up, lie down and turn around. It is usually 1.5 times the size of your adult cat. If it’s for your kitten, you had better estimate how big they will be when they are fully grown. Placing a towel or blanket at the bottom of the carrier will prevent them from slipping and provide a comfortable place for them to lie down.
For longer trips, a larger cat carrier or crate is often needed to make room for water, food or even trash trays.
Harnesses and leashes
Training your cat to walk on a lead is a great activity that both of you can enjoy. It provides a great exercise and mental stimulation for your kitty. However, it is best to use a sturdy cat carrier when traveling long distances or to potentially stressful places such as a veterinary clinic. Not only are leashed cats at risk of being harmed by other animals, such as dogs, frightened cats are also very agile and can easily escape the harness, putting them in danger of injury or getting lost.
In general, most cats also feel more vulnerable on leashes and harness when traveling to places like veterinary clinics, so transporting them in a cat carrier will make them feel more comfortable.
Getting your cat comfortable with the cat carrier
Your cats may don’t like your new bought cat carrier or dislike getting into the car carrier sometimes. Helping your cat become familiar with the cat carrier will make this process less stressful. Making the cat carrier your cat’s home will help ensure a positive experience with the cat carrier. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Put it in an area or room where the cat usually stays.
- Place familiar soft bedding that the cat likes or contains your scent in the cat carrier to help it feel more secure.
- Place treats, catnip, or toys in the carrier every day to encourage your cat to get in on its own.
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