In the world of cats, there are many questions. Do you own them, or do they own you? Is catnip like crack for a cat? What breed is the best for my lifestyle? Dogs have a lot of accessories; but, what about cats? Do I really need a carrier for my cat? While many of these question may go unanswered, or are best answered by the experts, there is one question which can be answered with some certainty. Does your cat need a carrier?
While it is true cats do not travel as often as other pets, there are times when your feline companion may need to be transported from one place to another. There are those times when trips to the vet, a vacation, an emergency trip to a clinic if an accident or illness occurs, or if mother nature comes knocking at your door with a flood, earthquake or fire demands your cat be mobile.
Not every cat owner has a carrier. Often a makeshift carrier made from a shoe box or clothes basket will suffice in a pinch, but these are not the safest means of moving your best friend from point A to point B. They are not escape proof and do not offer protection from injury.
There are several types of commercial cat carriers available. Following is a brief description of the most popular.
These carriers are typically cheaply made and used for temporary or one time use. They are not strong enough to stand up to continued scratching, leaving holes for escape. Urine and feces can cause damage very easily to cardboard, not to mention the unsanitary environment for your cat. They also become soggy with moisture so adequate cleaning is nearly impossible.
Soft Sided Carriers
Usually made from nylon or a blend of nylon and other synthetic fibers, these can be easily torn. Size matters. It should be big enough for the cat to move around; but, not too big, since cats like to be cozy in their space. They should also have access to food and water. These are also easy to clean.
Hard Sided Carriers
This type maybe hard to fit under airplane seats; but, affords more protection from bumping into other objects, or from falling objects than the soft sided variety. They allow for good ventilation; but, must also provide enough room to move around and remain cozy. The handle should be stable enough to carry the weight of the cat, water and other accessories. A top door would be especially helpful, in addition to a side door, if your cat is difficult to place inside. Cleaning a hard sided carrier can be somewhat difficult as well.
Of course, one must take into account the cat’s personality. Some cats are curious, some are not. Some are hyperactive, where others are laid back and chilled. Knowing your cat will affect the type of carrier needed to transport your fur baby safely.