A cat carrier, commonly called the “pet taxi”, “cat taxi”, or “cat crate”, is an essential item for all cat owners. Cat carriers can be used to safely transport your cat to the kennel, veterinarian, or emergency clinic or transported from your home in the case of an environmental emergency. There are several styles, materials and sizes to choose from. To help you shop, consider these factors.Features to Consider in a Cat Carrier Materials
Ability to clean
Hardware or locking system
Design to hold water/food
Desirable Features in a Cat Carrier
Desirable features in a cat carrier are: that it be durable, easy to clean, easy to use, airline compliant if you are going to travel, lightweight, stable and relatively “tip proof”, secure closure mechanisms, safe, attractive, has the ability to personalize (if you want that feature), comfortable, in a size conducive to your pet, and finally with a reasonable guarantee.
Ideal Choice for a Cat Carrier
The ideal cat carrier is a sturdy plastic or fabric crate with a secure latch and top and front or side entry is an ideal choice. There should also be plenty of air holes or windows. The size of the cat carrier should be comfortable for the cat to lie down but does not need to be large when used for short trips.
Shopping Tips for Buying a Cat Carrier
Scrutinize the design of the cat carrier. Check the front door to see if it is spring loaded, these doors can snap shut on a paw or tail. Check latches are secure. Metal pin latches tend to be more secure than plastic latches. Dial latches can work fine but can be tricky to operate and may get “stuck” in lower cost units. Taxis or carriers that open from the side or top as well as the front are a very nice feature. Cats generally don't want to get out of their carriers when they arrive at their new location and trying to get them out of a front only style carrier can be challenging. The lift side or top features make this a much easier process.
Plastic crates are easy to clean and durable. They can be easily sprayed or washed out after use. Most plastic crates are airline approved for travel and will be labeled accordingly.
Soft taxis are comfortable and nice for short trips. They are generally not airline approved and offer less ventilation than the hard plastic designs. They are softer and more comfortable and can make cats feel more secure. They can be harder to clean if “accidents” occur. Many have a pull out washable liner which is ideal.
Cardboard cat carriers are less study and is easily destroyed if it gets wet or damp. They are the least expensive carrier and can do the job in some circumstances.
Collapsible cat carriers can work fine if they are good quality and durable.
If you are using the cat carrier for airline travel, make sure the size is approved. Go with a slightly bigger size if possible for long trips. This will give your cat more room and ventilation.
Make sure the water and food bowl attachments are study and secure well to the taxi if you will be using that feature.
More Tips on Cat Carriers
Acclimate kittens early by offering food or treats in the cat carrier, or by throwing favorite toys into the back of the carrier for them play.
When traveling in the car with your cat, ALWAYS put your cat in the cat carrier. Cats can be injured during sudden stops and will run usually run away in the case of an accident. Cats have also been known to cause many accidents as they get scared and try to hide under the seat or near the gas pedal.
Place a towel or blanket that is easily washable in the bottom of the cat carrier to keep your kitty comfortable and dry.
Cat carriers are an essential part of any disaster plan. Have carriers in an easy to locate area and available incase there is a tornado, hurricane, flood, or fire in or near your home. If possible, you should have one available for every pet in your household.