What To Look For In A Cat Carrier
There is a huge scope of choice out there for prospective cat carrier buyers, but depending on your lifestyle and your cat, there are a few things you have to look out for.
You want something perfect for your cat. Not too small so they don’t have enough room to move and make themselves comfortable, but not too big so they are being thrown around when you’re carrying the box.
As a general rule, it should be around 1.5x the size of your kitty. Take all measurements, including standing height and full length, then add around 2 inches on. If you want to bulk up the inside with blankets and towels, take these into account too.
Some carriers are limited in terms of the weight they can hold. Not all cats weigh the same even if they are the same size, and if your carrier is slightly flimsy or thin this could be an issue. Durability is a huge factor, and it could be worth spending that bit more to ensure the best quality.
Weigh your cat, and buy a carrier which can accommodate a few extra pounds. Remember that you may also carry some accessories in the carrier pockets, but also think about how heavy the carrier is on its own as you don’t want to risk struggling to carry it all.
Where will you be keeping the box when not in use? As well as checking for size in terms of internal capacity, think about whether you have the space to comfortably store the carrier. If it is a concern, a foldable fabric option could be good.
Remember that, unfortunately, you may need to grab the carrier ASAP should you need an emergency trip to the vet. You don’t want to store it in the loft or somewhere out of reach which could delay you or be hard to get to.
This brings us on to the materials. As mentioned, fabric options are often easier to store and pack away, but the big downside is that they’re harder to clean compared to plastic. If your cat gets a bit nervous on the way to the vet or doesn’t travel well, this could be a little bit messy and smelly.
But there is no doubt that you want the journey to be comfortable, so buying a softer crate could mean it is plusher inside. If you do, check for machine washability.
All cat crates have some form of ventilation – it would be a bit harsh if not. But some have mesh panels, whereas others have gates for doors or holes. Bear in mind how you feel your cat will react to these forms. A mesh cover could be good if you feel they will get nervous about seeing the outside world, but an open gate or window could help if you feel they could get claustrophobic.
A side door, top-loading or something a bit more fun like a tunnel? The way your kitty gets into their carrier could play a massive factor, especially if they are nervous or know that it means they are going to a vet or cattery.
Also, bear in mind that they may not know what is happening at first. If you think they’ll go in of their own accord with a few treats or a bit of trickery, side or tunnel entrances could be good. But if you have to lift them in, get a top loader – your unscratched arms will thank you for it.
You’ll likely put yourself second, but you do need to think about how you want to carry the carrier. Are you going on long journeys or a quick nip into the vet from the car? Do you want a handle or a shoulder strap? Where will you be putting it if you are travelling in the car?
Is your cat a ninja? If so, one zip or a simple clip fastening may not be enough to keep them inside. Accidents can also happen, from forgetting to seal it up to materials breaking. Ensure a bit of a double barrier if you feel your kitty could try to escape.
Also, think about how they will be transported. If in a car, there are belt attachments to keep them secure.