For most people, your cat is like an extended member of the family. It goes far beyond just feeding, cleaning and taking care of your pet. There is a bond, a relationship that has formed between the two of you, and you silently promise to do everything in your power to protect this precious feline.
Part of that protection is making sure that they are safe when traveling, whether it is for vacation or to see the vet. Choosing the perfect cat carrier is as important as choosing a quality car seat for a child. Much like a car seat, there are many makes and models of cat carriers to choose from, so how do you know which is best for your kitty?
3 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Carrier
1. What Are You Going to Use the Cat Carrier For – If you are looking for a cat carrier for simple trips to the vet, your best bet is not to invest in an expensive carrier as it will only be used once or twice a year. However, if you plan to do some extensive traveling, you should invest in a more sturdy and durable cat carrier. For a rambunctious scratcher, a hard carrier will be best and last the longest. For a docile cat, you can purchase a nice, soft carrier for them to snuggle into for long trips.
2. Size – This is determined by not only the size of your cat but also by how often you plan to use the carrier. As a general rule, your kitty should be able to fully stand up and turn around inside the carrier. If you are looking to go on longer trips, then the carrier needs to be big enough to also hold a water and food container inside.
3. How Your Cat Behaves – This is a big one which is often overlooked. If you cat is hyper and hard to get into a carrier, you are going to want to choose a carrier where you can place them inside, instead of trying to get them to enter through just the front hatch. For a calmer kitty, a front door style carrier will be fine and you should have no problem getting him in or out
Types of Carriers to Choose From
Once you have answered the above questions, it is time to make your decision on the type of carrier you want to purchase. There are four types of construction for cat carriers.
- Cardboard Carrier – A cheap and environmentally friendly solution for transporting your kitty quickly and easily. The cardboard carrier is ideal for trips to the vet.
- Soft Shell Carrier – These carriers are often made from nylon or polyester. Although well suited for quick trips, the casing won’t protect your cat from being bumped.
- Hard Shell Carrier – If you are looking for extra-durability, then this type of carrier is your best bet, as the hard shell casing will protect your kitty from bumps and knocks. It is also much easier to clean than soft shell carriers.
- Wheeled Carrier – This is a stylish and convenient solution for cats and pet parents on the go. Many of these carriers contain pockets that can be used for small items such as pet supplies or treats.
Before purchasing a carrier, you need to consider whether you are going to travel by plane with your cat. Airlines have pet policies and specific regulations for carriers, so if you are taking your kitty on a plane, you will want to do your homework and research those requirements before you go shop for a carrier.
Above all else, when selecting the right carrier for your kitty, you want to keep safety at the forefront of your decision. What joy is there if you save a few dollars but lose your precious cat?