Buying a cat means that there are some essential items that you will need this includes a cat carrier. I purchased my cat carrier after looking at various different options and so far have been very happy with it.
My cat carrier is the hard plastic style with a wired mesh door. I purchased my carrier from Wilkinson’s for just £14.99 which I thought was good value.
My cat is an indoor cat but I still need to occasionally take her out to the vets or to a relative if I am going on holiday so it is certainly a much needed item. I did explore the option of a material carrier but wasn’t convinced about how sturdy they would be as my cat certainly likes to scratch anything material. Plus I do not drive so if I take her to the vets it has to be on a bus so I need to be able to keep her dry if it is raining. Therefore the only option for me was the hard plastic style of carrier.
So far I have been very happy with my choice of cat carrier, I place a nice fluffy blanket in the base of the carrier so that is comfortable for my cat. Although she is not a huge fan of going into the carrier the door opens outwards but it is also possible to take the door off fully making it quite easy to place her inside. Once she is in the carrier she tends to settle down quickly and snooze her way to our destination. I feel that she is well protected in the carrier but is able to see out through the mesh door as my cat is very nosey and likes to know exactly what is going on around her!
I think the only negative is that since my kitten grew into a cat she is quite heavy to carry and the plastic handle on the top of the carrier is a little uncomfortable to hold.
Overall I am happy with my choice of the plastic cat carrier it was a good price and provides a nice sturdy, protective environment for my cat whilst travelling and can easily be made comfortable with the addition of a blanket or cushion.
If you have a cat then you need to have a pet carrier, there is just no getting away from it. Cats will need to go into a pet carrier for visits to the vet or if you are taking them away on holiday.
Pet carriers come in a variety of shapes, styles, colours, sizes and materials. It is one thing you will be really spoilt for choice on when it comes to looking for some type of transportation for your cat. And most cat owners want to buy the nicest carrier possible to make travelling that little bit better for cats because lets face it, most cats are not keen on travelling.
Some people tend not to buy pet carriers for their cats and opt for the standard cardboard box. I personally don't like this method and would only ever do it for my cats in the direst of situations. I don't think a cardboard box offers enough safety for your cat when travelling nor do I think it is particularly comfortable or comforting to your cat when it is stressful enough for a cat to be taken outside of their environment. I know cats like to play in cardboard boxes - my two do it often enough but I think playing in a cardboard box and being contained in a cardboard box are two very different things.
You can also purchase cat carriers which are plastic and look similar to the one in the picture. These are made entirely out of plastic apart from the mesh front which is made from a wire material. These sorts of pet carriers usually require some assembly depending on where you have purchased it from. It usually is just a case of clipping the top and the bottom together and then fixing on the door. These types of pet carriers all clip together safely and securely but I do think they need to be double and triple checked because if one of the clips isn't secured properly then the whole thing can just fall apart. The door at the front allows your cat to see out and to see where they are going as well as allowing you to be able to put a finger or two inside to stroke them and reassure them. Some of the pet carriers like this come with a little food and drink bowl attached to the door so that if your cat becomes hungry or thirsty they do not have to go without. I have never had a pet carrier like this but I think it is a great idea. Again, I don't think these look overly comfortable and they do need to have blankets put into them to make them feel nice for your cat. Although I don't mind the plastic type of pet carriers I do think they are quite cold looking even with a blanket inside.
The type of pet carrier I use for my cats is the fabric type which has mesh windows either side so that my cats can look out and then smaller mesh windows at either end so my cats can always see out. The fabric one has a handle at the top or a strap whichever is the easiest for me or my husband to use when carrying them in it (which is not often). There are little fabric doors at either end and these do up with a zip which I really like as it makes me feel that my cats are very secure and there is just no possible way out of the carrier for them. There is no chance of the doors accidently coming open - they have to be completely zipped or your cat will just pop right back out again.
These sorts of pet carriers come in all sorts of colours and styles. I picked our one up for £9.99 and it is nice and roomy as well as being a bit more comforting to our cats. I always make sure there is a blanket in the bottom for them to sleep on. It looks much more comfortable for them and I find it to have been durable and sturdy though both my cats hate the sight of it as they know when it comes out that it is time to visit the vet!
I am sure there are many other ways for a person to transport their cats but this is just three of the ways I have thought of.
There are many types of cat carrier on the market; some are not worth buying and others are a MUST.
The cardboard type are a waste of time. First of all, they are not strong enough. If they were to collapse on a trip to the vet and your cat ran into the road . . . . well, it doesn't bear thinking about. Also, what if your cat were to pee on the journey - resulting in one soggy, smelly carrier with the bottom falling out. No, not a good idea!
The basketwork carriers tend to be on the small side. Imagine your cat having to be cooped up in one of these for a long journey - no room to "swing a cat" - excuse the pun!
The new shopping bag type, again, are small, and do not have much of a window for your cat to look out. Look at it with a cat's eyes - how would YOU like to be shut up in a dark bag for a few hours, being bumped around in a car, not being able to see where you are going? No thanks!
The solid plastic type tend to vary in quality. I once had one which slotted together with a slot-in perspex door at the front. The trouble with this type is that they tend to be fragile; one little crack in the plastic and the whole thing falls apart. Not a very good investment.
In my opinion, the best type of all is the wire mesh type. True, they are ugly, but then you don't buy it to sit on your sideboard, do you? The mesh type are top loading - can be a bit difficult if you have a playful cat who likes to jump straight out again = but once in there, your cat is fastened in securely, usually by a metal bar fitting right across the top, so there is no escape. Advantages are that the cat can see all around. In the bottom there is usually a foamy type pad; put an old cloth or newspaper on this, in case the cat pees during the journey! A word of advice: buy the biggest size you can! The bigger it is, the more comfortable for Puss and the more he will enjoy his journey,even if it is to the vet. The larger size takes 2 cats and if they travel together they tend to comfort each other on the journey. One slight disadvantage; the handle is in the middle of the lid which fastens at one end. It's a good idea to fix a stretch strap right across the top, so that the weight of the cats does not create a huge gap between lid and cage - slight possibility of escape here! These carriers are not the most expensive but are certainly the most practical. I've had mine now for 20 years and it is as good as new!
Ah cat carriers, if there's one thing I do a lot of it's carrying cats! And I certainly carry an array of cats as having my own cats, a foster unit and doing fieldwork I've come across every feline temperament going. I hope some of my experiences may help other cat owners and workers when transporting cats and kittens. First off - a cardboard box or holdall is NOT a cat carrier. Only in an extreme emergency such as transporting a cat that's been in a road traffic accident and is knocked out/injured should a cat be placed in a sturdy, open topped box but not as a matter of routine. There a number of designs of cat carrier you can use. Most people will purchase one for their own pets use but I have all kinds of carriers that have been purchased or donated to our Cats Protection so have found that each has their pros and cons. Here's a brief over view. A cardboard carrier: -------------------- These should only be seen as a temporary solution. Often on sale at vets and animal shelters they are good for making that first journey before buying a permanent carrier for your cat. They are remarkably sturdy and should have adequate air holes. However, there are two major disadvantages. Firstly, the cat cannot see out of the box and contrary to belief for many animals being able to see out is less stressful than not. Secondly, they are not durable. Cardboard has a lifespan and cats have bladders - the two do not mix. A nervous cat or kitten may have a wee on the journey and this will weaken the box and obviously it is not a material you can wash out. Enclosed baskets: ----------------- These baskets have solid sides and a wire mesh 'door'. The most common materials for these are cane, fibreglass and moulded plastic. These carriers are well suited to the more relaxed, domesticated cat. The solid sides give them privacy and protection from the outside world. Cats rar
ely relish seeing the canine patients waiting at the vets! The mesh door allows them some control over their environment and they can see you. The door also provides good ventilation. The disadvantage of a solid sided carrier is for the more nervous cat in my experience. Whilst the darkness settles them initially it is also conducive to the feeling of hiding and isolation. This can make the cat difficult to handle. There is only one exit, your happy cat may come out of its own accord or be easily guided out by tipping the carrier gently up. But for the nervous cat it is a different matter, they will do everything to cower to the back of the basket, put your hand in to get it out and more than likely the claw as will be out. For this reason this type of carrier is not my first choice when transporting feral cats or strays who's temperament I have not determined yet. It is also not the first choice for my own cat Taz who can be a very nervous cat. On the other hand Bobbin is well suited to this carrier as she is confident enough in herself and me not to be unduly scared and having been a rescue cat in my nursing unit she has become accustomed to visiting the vet regularly. Another disadvantage of this style may not be apparent at first. With all these carriers I strongly recommend you line them with newspaper and a piece of material. A good liner is an old t-shirt of yours which will be both comfortable and carry your familiar smell which will help the cat feel at ease. This lining makes for a more comfortable journey for you cat and helps if there's any accidents on the way. If accidents do occur cats have a wonderful ability to aim at the most awkward spot! Now think cane/whicker baskets and think poo - not a great combination, especially if the cat has diarrohea. The moulded plastic/fibreglass carriers have a distinct advantage here as they are obviously easy to clean out when accidents do happen. The design of most mould
ed plastic carriers is you unclip the top of the carrier. This makes cleaning much easier. But you must take a good look at the quality of this type of carrier. Too many times I have seen poorly made moulded plastic carriers where the clips soon break or stick. Test them in the shop first - do they feel brittle and creaky. Some of these carriers sell for as low as £10 but I would be wary and test them first. It may be better for your purse in the long run to buy a more expensive model that will last. Wire Mesh Carriers: ------------------- These are my favourite carriers as they are so versatile. These look like mini-cages, not at all fancy which is why some people give them a miss but don't go by appearance alone. These carriers are top loading, in other words they have a lid and the cat is lowered into the carrier. With many 'frisky' cats this may be a problem and if your cat is a master of widening itself a side loading carrier as described above may be better but if you consider I've been able to get the most bad tempered feral into this style you will manage ably with you cutesy pet. These carriers often come with a bottom, plastic liner to make a solid bottom for the cat and easier cleaning. As with the carriers above once again you should put a layer of newspaper and material in the bottom, even without a liner this will provide a suitable base. The mesh sides have the advantage of being strong and secure whilst allowing the cat to have full vision. I have found my own cat Taz and many strays and ferals I've picked up prefer this. Whether this is a male thing or liking to survey their terriority I wouldn't like to say. If they are in an area such as a waiting room where other animals it is easy to slip a coat or cloth over the basket. A great advantage of the mesh carrier is they are easy to clean - outside and blast them with the hosepipe after which they soon dri
p dry. Because of the plastic coating the mesh they should not rust and this is something to look out for if you buy second hand. If a mesh carrier has been heavily used and abused some of the coating may be scrapped off and the wire underneath will rust. Bought from new these carriers are about £25 and the best place to find them is as vet's surgeries, pet shops seem to push the more aesthetic moulded carriers. It does seem expensive but they certainly last well. Extra long mesh carriers can be bought which have the added benefit of doubling as an introduction house for kittens as they have plenty of room for kittens to sit in whilst other members of the household get accustomed to their smell. The larger carriers are often suitable to transport two kittens or smaller cats that are well accustomed to each other - I would not suggest you travel cats together who aren't kin from birth or totally at ease with one another. Even cats that seem quite happy together can get stroppy when made to share a carrier which is often a stressful situation. Specialist Carriers: -------------------- Pet owners will not require this form of carrier but they are often used by vets and animal welfare workers. These carriers are often referred to as restrainers or crush cages - not as horrific as they sound so don't panic! They look like a regular wire cage but with some useful additions. As well as having a top loading lid they also have a side loading entrance with a sliding up and down side. Secondly, they have a wire mesh side within the cage that can be pulled forward - this reduces the size of the cage and when the cat is in it restrains it. These are useful in the case of feral cats which cannot be handled safely. By pulling the restrainer the cat can be confined in the cage whilst medication is administered. Some hints and tips: -------------------- Carriers are often associated with a vi
sit to the vet which often doesn't go down to well with your furry friend. One way of getting around this association is to leave the carrier around the house now and them, maybe with some treats inside. If a cat is due to travel a lot some people take their cats out for a short ride in the carrier and come home to a special treat. This way the cat doesn't think the carrier is always an omen of the vet. As I mentioned before putting something with a familiar smell in the carrier helps such as a piece of your clothing or a favourite toy. Some cats just hate the carrier. One way of letting their dislike be known is via noise, meowing and crying. Try to ignore this as much as possible and continue to talk to them in a quiet voice. Do not be tempted to get the cat out or put food in. If you know in advance you'll be taking the cat in the carrier only give it a light meal a few hours beforehand otherwise it may be vomit you're clearing up! Some cats are travel sick. Once again don't give them anything to eat for a while beforehand but make sure they have plenty of water available. Some vets will prescribe travelsickness tablets - I have tried these on a cat of mine that was very car sick, and still he threw up. Some vets may suggest a slight sedative - this is something which must only be prescribed by your vet after consultation. For those cats going further afield, such as travel by sea or air you will need to buy or hire a special transport cage of a certain size depending on your cat(s). Once again this is best discussed with you vet who will give you advice. There's useful advice on transporting pets on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs website at http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine/pets/procedures/support-info/welfcarr.s html Happy travelling!
If you have a cat, then a cat carrier is an essential piece of kit be it for the trip to the vet or going away for a weekend or whatever. Before my cat had her kittens, I left her at a friends for over the Christmas period as I live alone. I stayed at my parents and couldn't take her because of their dog (well, it's mine really but couldn't take her with me). I was lucky that she sat on my knee all the way but not all cats like being shut in a car on a long journey - some panic and try to escape and would cause an accident (I know how well my cat behaves or I would have had to get a carrier anyway). Another draw back to having a cat in a car is that they can be prone to "leaving messages" that need no reminders and whilst a carrier won't stop them from crapping or the associated odours, it will at least contain the "message" and unlike a cardboard box, these carriers (normal abs plastic) will not let anything leak out and so will avoid further mess as well as wet cardboard will quickly rot away, causing even more problems. Kittens - if your cat has had kittens like mine has, they will need to go to a vet for jabs and what have you. Having five (plus the other eight I rescued making thirteen), it may be necessary to find homes. Whilst I have takers for some, they will need to be transported (not that I want to part with any of them - you get a special bond when you hand rear them). I also use a cat carrier for feeding times. I let my own cat attend to her five (which I am keeping) and when it comes to the others, I put in the carrier before feeding and/or bathing them before putting them back into their own "nest" - out of the eight, seven are identical so it has to become a sort of production line job! having a cat carrier must come at the top of the list if you are thinking of getting a cat - even before the cat itself!