Choosing the Right Cat Carrier

On the market today, there are many kinds of cat carriers—large, small, plastic, fabric, soft, hard, and everything in between. How do you go about choosing the correct type of cat carrier for your feline? Below, a Farmington Hills veterinarian discusses the factors involved in choosing a carrier that will work well for your pet.


Cat carriers should be neither excessively large in comparison to your cat, nor should they be cramped. The carrier needs to provide enough space for your cat to stand and turn around comfortably. If you’re going on a longer trip, make sure there is space in the carrier for food and water dishes. It may take a little time and research to find the carrier that’s just the right fit—cozy, not too big or too small—but it is well worth it. Ask your vet for his or her recommendation on a particular cat carrier for your pet.


If your cat isn’t declawed and scratches a lot, you’ll want to purchase a carrier made of hard plastic so he can’t rip it up. Fabric carriers can be destroyed or worn down over time if your cat is persistent.


Is your cat particularly slippery? Does he get out of even the smallest spaces? If so, you’ll want to make sure your carrier is secure enough that he can’t possibly squeeze through the latches or doors. If the latches or locks aren’t sturdy looking, opt for something else.


A practical concern for you, the cat owner, is the ease of cleaning the cat carrier. If you cat is especially inclined to get carsick, or goes to the bathroom a lot in the car out of fright or anxiety, you’re going to want an easy-to-clean cage so that every trip in the car isn’t a hassle. A hard plastic carrier is probably the easiest to clean, as you can just hose it out and wipe it off. Fabric carriers sometimes contain a hard removable bottom that is easy to hose off. You may want to consider purchasing such a carrier depending on the proclivities of your cat. Ask your veterinarian about cat-safe cleaning products and sanitizers, for use on your cat’s carrier or anywhere else.

In addition, your cat probably won’t like the carrier—no matter what kind it is—if you only use the carrier for trips to the vet. He’ll associate the carrier with anxiety and discomfort. Try putting treats and toys in the carrier while at home to help him associate good things with the carrier. Consult your Farmington Hills vet for more information on this, and have fun shopping!


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