Does your feline buddy enjoy riding around? Chances are, the answer to that question is probably a no for most of you. Most of our feline patients absolutely despise car rides! However, sooner or later, Fluffy will need to be transported somewhere, regardless of her opinion on the matter. Kitties really should always travel in carriers. But what do you look for when picking one? A veterinarian offers some suggestions below.
Usually, when it comes to shopping for pets, bigger is better. That isn’t the case here, however. Kitties can tumble around too much in large carriers. Plus, they just tend to feel safest in small spaces. Of course, if the carrier is too small, your furry little friend may feel trapped and frightened. As a rule of thumb, the carrier should be right about 1.5 times Fluffy’s size. Your kitty should be able to sit up, turn around, and sleep in her carrier, without tripping over her dishes. (Some cats will sleep in their dishes, but that’s another topic.)
Hard and soft carriers both have pros and cons. The nylon ones are lightweight, attractive, and easy to store. However, they sag, and won’t really protect Fluffy from being jostled or bumped. They also don’t provide any real safety in case of an accident. Plastic ones aren’t as pretty, but they are both durable and easy to clean. As for putting your pet into the carrier, you may find a carrier that opens from the top a bit easier to manage.
What about cardboard box carriers? These are okay as one-time use carriers. Shelters often provide these for people to bring pets home in. They will suffice in an emergency. However, they don’t last long, fall apart if they get wet, and are easy for kitties to get out of.
Helping Fluffy form a positive impression of her carrier will definitely make things easier for you. Add some comfy bedding and some toys to it, and offer your cat yummy treats, praise, and catnip in it. You may want to leave it out between uses. If your feline pal 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 cat’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!