We know how stressful traveling with a cat can be, but with the right carrier, the journey can be made much smoother! There are many types of carriers, but not all of them are designed with your cat's best interests in mind. That's why we've compiled a guide to help you choose the best carrier for your cat!

When your cat comes to our clinic, the visit actually starts at home! Choosing a good carrier is important to your cat's visit as it sets the foundation for a positive experience amidst a potentially stressful situation.

The journey to the clinic, combined with unfamiliar surroundings and procedures, can already be overwhelming for your cat. Stressor stacking, as depicted in this graphic, illustrates how each component of the vet visit contributes to your cat's stress levels. A secure and comfortable carrier serves as a familiar and safe space amidst this cascade of stressors, offering your cat a sense of security and stability throughout the entire process. By selecting the right carrier, you can help minimize your cat's anxiety and ensure a smoother and more pleasant veterinary visit!

Features to Look For

The best carriers are made of hard plastic or have a sturdy frame. It is a good idea to purchase a carrier that has a top-entry and front-entry door. It's also important that your carrier has a top that can be easily removed. This way they can remain in the bottom of their carrier during our physical exams if they prefer! If your cat has had previous bad experiences with their carrier, it may be necessary to buy a new carrier to have a fresh start.

  1. Adequate Space: Ensure the carrier has enough room for your cat to stand up, lie down, and turn around comfortably. This helps reduce stress during travel.
  2. Safety and Security: Opt for carriers that are sturdy and secure, with features like secure latches and durable construction.
  3. Ventilation: Good ventilation is essential to ensure your cat stays cool and comfortable during the journey. Ensure your carrier has ample ventilation holes.
  4. Ease of Cleaning: Choose carriers that are easy to clean, preferably made of plastic or plastic-coated materials. This helps maintain a hygienic environment for your cat.
  5. Accessibility: Consider carriers with a removable top half, allowing veterinarians to perform check-ups without having to move your cat. Plus, the base can double as a cozy cat bed at home!

Avoid These Pitfalls!

  1. Backpacks: While they may seem convenient, backpacks are often too small, poorly ventilated, and can lead to a bumpy ride for your cat. Opt for traditional carriers for a safer and more comfortable travel experience.
  2. Soft-sided Carriers: Soft-sided carriers can collapse and are challenging to clean.
  3. Harnesses and leashes: Carriers provide your cat with a safe haven, offering a sense of security and protection from potential hazards during travel.