Unlike dogs, who can easily leave the house on a leash, cats are usually transported in carriers. Even if you don’t plan on taking your cat out of the house, it is still a good idea to have a carrier in case you need to temporarily confine your cat. While most cats don’t look forward to a trip in the carrier, an appropriate carrier can make the experience a less stressful and more comfortable one.
There are several factors to take into consideration when selecting a carrier for your cat such as size, ventilation, and construction.
- Size - The carrier should be large enough for your cat to lie down, stand, and turn around. Depending on the length of time the cat will be in the carrier, it may also need to be large enough to contain food and water bowls and a small litter box. To enhance your cats comfort you can even place a small bed or mat in the carrier.
- Ventilation - Open wire fronts allow air to circulate while preventing your cat from feeling overexposed. Some styles have additional small holes along the sides for greater air flow. However, if your carrier has a large number of open areas, you may want to cover it with a towel when taking it outdoors in the winter to prevent your cat from becoming chilled.
- Construction - Plastic is the most common material and these carriers are very sturdy and durable. Most airline-approved carriers are plastic. Fabric carriers are lightweight and some types are collapsible for easy storage.
No matter how carefully you select a carrier for your cat, if it only appears when your cat needs to go to the vet the experience is unlikely to be pleasant for either of you. However, with some training and advance preparation you can teach your cat that the carrier is not something to fear.