Cats are lovable animals that love being outdoors, rolling in the grass and exploring everything around them. So, to confine these free-spirited creatures into a compact carrier box may be difficult. Yet, there is no choice but to use a carrier while transporting your beloved friend from one place to another.
Quick Look at Our Top 3 Picks
Soothing Happy Pet Premium Soft Sided Cat
Necoichi Portable Ultra-Light Cat Carrier
Airline Approved Soft Sided Pet Carrier by Mr. Peanut’s
Types of Cat Carriers Available
Some people might think that cat carriers simply come in one form. As a matter a fact, in this day and age, it would be weird to find any product that has only one type. With so many different sizes of cats and diverse modes of travel, there are several types of cat carriers out there.
- Cardboard – Although flimsy and weak, but cardboard carriers often found in adoption facilities are a great disposable option. They are however provided only to transport the newly adopted kitten from the facility to your home. So these aren’t strong enough to deal with all the scratching of the cat. Therefore these aren’t meant for frequent use and must be used once in a while. Also, they are not the best option to hold liquids like urine that the cat may pass, not to mention, they are horrible in rain.
- Soft-side carriers – These types of carriers are made of soft materials like nylon. These are very easy to carry around and also quite lightweight. They may be comfortable and nice while traveling, but it must be noted that such soft materials may be easier for cats to rip-off. Also, for more aggressive travelers, these types of carriers don’t serve the purpose. Moreover, soft-sided carriers may sag over a period of time.
- Hard-side carriers – These are the types of carriers that are made of plastic. So just as the name implies, they are made of harder material, and are therefore sturdier. Also they are quite easy to clean and can often be seen with steel mesh doors in the front for your cat to peek out of. The downside of having these, however, is that they are quite large and difficult to place under an airline seat or in small spaces.
- Rolling suitcase carriers – These are quite comfortable for the owner since, much like those rolling suitcase bags, you can extend the handle and literally roll the carrier around. It is easier for families that are moving around from place to place. However, make sure to get your cat used to all the sounds and bumps that this type of carriers make. Else this type of carrier may frighten it.
What To Look For When Choosing a Cat Carrier
You need to make sure that a cat carrier isn’t something your feline friend associates with negative experiences or discomfort. If you are going to use this item for transporting your cat, it needs to be a place where it won’t stress out. For that reason, there are plenty of factors you need to consider while choosing a cat carrier.
- Size – This is undoubtedly one of the most important things for any carrier. Never get something that is too small, even if it is convenient and comfortable for you. Cats are free-spirited animals that don’t like being confined to one particular place. In fact, if they feel as if they are restricted or confined, they can become easily agitated. So you must ensure that the cat is able to stand and turn around within the carrier. Therefore it is recommended that the carrier must be one and half times larger than the size of your feline friend. Make sure you also take your cat’s growth into consideration while buying a cat carrier.
- Comfortable – This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is quite surprising how owners give very little consideration to choosing a cat carrier that is, in fact, comfortable for the cat. To ensure that. you can tap on the inside and check it before making your purchase. Also, you can place a towel inside and feel how comfortable the carrier is. If it feels a bit stiff and small, your cat may not feel like sitting inside it and may get restless.
- Ventilation – It is very important for your cat to be able to breathe. You don’t want to get it something that it feels suffocated in. Whatever carrier you get, it should allow air to pass through well. There should be multiple entry points. Else your cat is likely to feel trapped or confined inside a box.
- Off top – This feature is extremely important since it makes things a lot easier for you and your cat when it comes to putting them in. Tops that can be taken off are necessary since, cats in general love to back up against the wall, as it makes them feel a sense of security. They feel as if there is nothing that will attack them from behind.
- Easy to clean – This is why a lot of owners tend to purchase cat carriers that are made of plastic. Also because getting a softer one or even using a home-made carrier is often difficult to clean. So if your cat happens to urinate inside it or some sort of liquid pours over it, you won’t be able to wipe off the stains. However, with an easy-to-clean cat carrier, you do not have to go through the hassle of finding other methods to clean it up.
- User-friendly – At the end of the day, you as the owner are going to be carrying the cat carrier around. So although the first thing you should look at is how comfortable it is for the cat, you must also be a bit wary about how user-friendly the product is for you or any other person in your family or group of friends.
The Key Features to Look For on a Cat Carrier
These days, there are a wide variety of different features that are installed on the cat carrier that allows your feline friend to have a pleasant time, while also making things a bit more convenient for you, the owner.
- Plastic knobs – These are knobs that allow you to latch and unlatch your purchased carrier. For the most part, they are quite quiet, so it shouldn’t disturb your cat.
- Multiple doors – You may see that a lot of carriers often have a single door or entryway, but there are a lot of interesting products out there with multiple doors for your cat to exit out of. For example, some carriers come with top doors, while others have a door on the front and rear.
- Screws – This feature provides the owner with the ability to take off the top while your cat is still lying peacefully inside. This may be especially comfortable when taking them to a vet, since their fear may make it a bit difficult for them to be taken out from their box.
- Sliding locks – These are a quick and easy way to latch and unlatch the carrier door. It is less loud than snapping the lock on.
- Zippers and Velcro – A bit louder than the alternative features of plastic knobs or sliding locks, these often exist in soft-side carriers. Just be careful, since these often are easy to penetrate through.
Our Top 10 Recommended Cat Carriers
There are plenty of products that one might come across when they go about searching for a cat carrier. You will no doubt come across a lot of products out there in the market, available in different shapes and sizes. So below-listed are some of the top recommended products out there in the market.
When to Use a Cat Carrier
Cats aren’t like dogs so you can’t just put a leash around their neck and go for a walk. They aren’t the easiest to carry around either, as they may scratch you or leap out of your arms. Yet, sometimes, you need to take them out of the home and to another location, and for those moments, a cat carrier comes in handy.
- Traveling – You don’t always want to leave your cat alone at home while you embark on a new adventure. Sometimes, you also want to take your feline friend along with you. For those caring owners, a cat carrier is a perfect way to do so.
- Check-ups and vaccinations – If your cat is sick or you simply need to go to the vet for that routine check-up, the cat carrier is sure to be of use. That’s because it is a perfect way to move your beloved friend from point A to B without causing much of a ruckus.
- Protection – In the worst cases, if your home falls apart from an earthquake or any other natural disaster that has come your way, placing your cat inside a carrier will help to keep it safe, while also transporting it to wherever you go.
Getting Your Cat Used to a Carrier
If it is the very first time you are trying to get your cat into a carrier, remember that they simply do not like going inside confined places. So there is definitely going to be some trouble getting inside it. Cats are crafty and elusive creatures that can easily escape your grasp, moving into small spaces that are extremely difficult for you to reach. With that being the case, it is never easy to get them inside. You can take the following steps to try and familiarize them with the carrier before making the first move.
- Keep the carrier in a place they love to go to, whether its outside in the sun or in a warm comfortable bed.
- Place a blanket or soft towel at the bottom of the carrier.
- Leave some of your cat’s treats or food inside the carrier.
- If you can, for some additional help, you can get a pheromone spray and wipe it along the carrier to help ease your feline friend into the box.
- No matter what, in the beginning, make sure to leave the door open so that your cat feels comfortable.
- When it does enter the carrier enough number of times, slowly close the door, but only for short periods of time.
- Repeat these steps several times, so that your cat feels like the carrier is a place to play, eat, and rest.
- Make sure to get your feline friend used to the carrier. So keep the carrier in a place where the cat can easily enter it and get comfortable with it. Try to move about a little with your cat in its carrier, for example, use it to take your cat to the vet or somewhere else. This will help the cat get more familiar with the carrier.
Easing Your Unwilling Cat into the Carrier
Just in case your cat is simply unwilling to enter this unknown, foreign box, you should not by any means forcefully put it in there. The moment you start doing that, it will begin to scratch and remain agitated throughout the entire journey. Moreover, with such a negative experience it is inevitable that the cat will resist whatever carrier you use to transport it. Therefore, if your cat continues to remain unwilling to enter your carrier, try to do the following things to ease it in.
- Place warm, comfortable, liquid absorbing towels so that if your cat ever urinates inside the carrier, it will soak it up and prevent it from bothering your feline friend.
- Place the carrier so that the entryway is facing up, toward the ceiling.
- Carefully pick up your cat from under their front legs and hold their bottom with your other hand.
- Gently lower your cat’s rear-end into the carrier. That way it won’t feel like its being pushed into the box.
- Once inside, very slowly and carefully close the door, making sure to secure the latch as quietly as possible. You wouldn’t want your feline friend to feel like they are being locked inside some cage like a prisoner.
- Cover the carrier with a light towel to ensure that they aren’t frightened by the sudden shift in environment.
Regardless of what type of carrier you think of getting, the most important thing to consider is what type of cat you own. Depending on this, the type of carrier you want to purchase will pop into your mind. At the end of the day, a cat carrier is not for your comfort, but for that of your beloved feline friend. Even if its heavy, but is more befitting your pet’s personality and desire, you should get them something sturdy. If, however, they lean toward something softer, a soft-sided carrier will suffice. Whatever the case, make sure you take all the points as shown above into consideration, and use the recommended products as a reference.