Does your cat like to join you for car rides? Chances are, the answer to that question is a resounding no. Most of our feline patients absolutely despise car rides! But, sooner or later, Fluffy will need to be transported somewhere, and when she does, she should always be in a carrier. Below, an experienced Rockwall veterinarian offers some suggestions for what to look for when choosing a carrier.
Generally speaking, when it comes to pet carriers, bigger is better. With cats, however, you don’t want to go too big, otherwise they could tumble around too much. Cats also 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 upright, turn around, and sleep in various positions while inside the carrier without tripping over her dishes.
Hard and soft carriers each have their own pros and cons. Nylon ones are lightweight and easy to store. However, they do tend to sag, and won’t really protect Fluffy from being jostled. They also don’t provide much protection in case of an accident. Plastic ones aren’t as nice looking, but they are both durable and easy to clean. You may find a carrier that opens from the top a bit easier to manage.
In your search, you may come across carriers made from cardboard box material. These should really be considered one-time use carriers. For instance, 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 for cats to escape from.
Helping your feline pal view her carrier in a positive light will definitely make things easier for you. Add some comfy bedding and a few toys to the carrier, and offer Fluffy treats, praise, and catnip in it. You may also want to consider leaving it out between uses. If your kitty only sees the carrier before she goes for a dreaded car ride, she might bolt for cover as soon as she spots it!
Please contact us, your Rockwall vet clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!