Does your cat enjoy riding around? Chances are, the answer to that question is no. Most of our feline patients absolutely despise car rides! However, sooner or later, Fluffy will need to be transported. When she does, she should always be in a carrier. But what do you look for when picking a carrier? A veterinarian offers some suggestions below.
Usually, when it comes to animal housing or cages, bigger is better. That isn’t the case here, however. You don’t want to go too big. Cats can tumble around too much in large carriers. Plus, they tend to feel safest in small spaces. Of course, if the carrier is too small, your furry friend may feel trapped and frightened. As a rule of thumb, the carrier should be about 1.5 times Fluffy’s size. Your kitty should be able to sit up, turn around, and sleep in various positions, without tripping over her dishes.
Hard and soft carriers both have their own pros and cons. Nylon ones are lightweight, attractive, and easy to store. However, they do sag, and won’t really protect Fluffy from being jostled. They also don’t provide any real protection in case of an accident. Plastic ones aren’t as pretty, but they are both durable and easy to clean. You may find a carrier that opens from the top a bit easier to manage.
You can also find cardboard box carriers. These should really be considered one-time use carriers. Shelters often provide these for people to bring kitties home in. They will also work in an emergency. However, they don’t last long, fall apart if they get wet, and are easy to get out of.
Helping your feline pal form a positive impression of her carrier will definitely make things easier for you. Add some comfy bedding and some toys to the carrier, and offer Fluffy treats, praise, and catnip in it. You may want to leave it out between uses. If your kitty only sees the carrier before she goes for a dreaded car ride, she may bolt for cover as soon as she spots it!
Please contact us, your vet clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!