Choosing the right cat carrier for your feline friend

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If you are a cat owner, then I am sure you will need a cat carrier. Every loving and caring cat owner will pay utmost care and attention to identify and purchase a perfect cat carrier that meets the needs of their cat. Cat carriers are also popularly known as cat crates or cat taxis and come in variety of shapes and sizes that are aimed to suit different breeds and sizes of cats. Even the design and costs may vary depending on which brand you may decide to choose. The pet market is flooded with cat taxis that cost a few dollars to branded high-end carriers. Identifying the right carrier that meets your needs is essential and forms the basis for your purchase, but how will you decide what type of carrier you should buy for your cat.

Why do you need a cat carrier?

A cat carrier is needed to shift or move your cat from one place to another. The need arises when you have to take your cat for regular vet visits. Most veterinarians prefer to check cats that are contained in a safe carrier whenever there is an appointment. Mostly vet visits are for yearly checkups or for any vaccinations. Other than vet visits a cat taxi can be used for travel or for just moving your feline friend from one place to another. If you are traveling by a plane, then you need to follow the airlines guidelines about transporting pets, which includes size, shape, weight and durability. Choosing the right carrier will depend on how much you travel and how much you can afford to spend.

A cat crate is useful even during emergencies; if at all a need arises to transport your cat to an emergency vet hospital. It will make your cat feel safe and secure while transportation. God forbid if you encounter any natural calamity like an earthquake or a fire; it becomes easier for the owner to safely secure and shift the cat to a safe environment, this will reduce your cat’s trauma to a large extent. During such uncertain situations you cannot go around borrowing a cat carrier for your pet. Being prepared will bring a lot of relief for you as well as your cat. If you have more than one cat, then it is prudent to have more cat carriers where your cat may feel safe and secure.

Types of cat carriers

Cat carriers come in three types, which include hard cat carriers, soft carriers and cardboard carriers.

Cardboard Carriers

Cardboard carriers are good for transporting your cat or kitten from the shelter home to your abode. It is perfect for a short journey as they are not designed for longer travels as they often tend to wear and tear. It is perfect for cats that stay indoors and don’t travel much. If you have less storage space at home, then you can even flatten these carriers to save space.

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These carriers also have ventilation and allow the cat to look out. They can wear out easily if it gets wet or can be torn by agile cats. Some cats tend to chew off the cardboard and hence may not serve the purpose.

Soft Carriers

Soft cat carriers are made of soft nylon and flexible material with a hard and removable bottom that can be easily cleaned. Such carriers last longer and are suitable for traveling longer distances. Some airlines allow passengers to carry such cat taxis in the passenger part of the airline, but you will have to check it out with the airline prior to the travel. Some size restrictions may be applied and rules may change for different airlines. They look similar to a gym bag with mesh sides for sufficient ventilation. Such carriers have a zippered opening usually on the top as well as at the front. Some even come with snaps and Velcro. You can easily access the cat from any of these openings; however people prefer to take their cat out from the top opening rather than from the front. The carriers come with secure latches that prevent your cat from escaping.

cat carrierSoft carriers are good in case of emergencies as it has been observed that some cats under stress can wet cardboard carriers and tend to chew the carrier making it rather useless.

Hard Cat Carriers

cat carrierAs the name suggests, hard carriers are tough and sturdy since they are made of high quality impact proof plastic material. These carriers are also sufficiently ventilated. Some even come with water cups. These types of carriers are good for big cats and are easier to clean as well. Due to the sturdy design, hard carriers need some amount of storage space as they are less flexible. These carriers lasts longer and allows free movement for your cat as getting in and out of the carrier is pretty easy in such carriers. It is a great option for any healthy cat. Some carriers even come with wheels for easy transportation.

cat carrierSafety and comfort should be given consideration before you decide to purchase a cat carrier. The size of the carrier should be such that your cat should be able to move around and stretch itself freely in case you need to travel on longer journeys. A small space will be stressful for cats, hence always select a cat crate that is double the size of your cat. The behavior of your cat should also be considered before selecting a cat taxi; an agile cat will require a carrier that is sturdy and not easy to wear and tear overtime.

What type of cat carrier to buy will depend on how often you will need to use it, the purpose and the comfort of your feline friend? A good high-quality cat carrier will last longer and provide ample comfort for your cat.

Conclusion

Getting your cat comfortable with the cat carrier is extremely necessary. A happy and stress free cat can be easily taken out to a vet in a carrier if he is comfortable and safe within the confines of the carrier. Allow your cat to get accustomed with the cat taxi by placing some toys or blanket in the carrier. You can even offer some tasty treats as a reward, which will encourage it to use the carrier without any stress and fear. Your cat should feel cozy and secure while travelling even if it is for a short journey. This will make your travel with your pet less strenuous. The market is full of different brands, but some very popular brands include Pet Gear, OxGord, Sherpa, CAT1st, Carlson, Cat Mate, and Advantek to name a few and prices can range from as low as $10 to $500 depending on the material and the branding.