Tips for Choosing the Best Pet Cat Carrier
A pet cat carrier is a necessary item for any cat owner. Whether the kitty is going on a long trip or a short one, a reliable and sturdy pet travel carrier is the way to go to transport a feline safely.
There are three kinds of carriers to choose from:
• A cardboard cat carrier
• The traditional hard-sided pet travel crate
• A soft-sided pet carrier
No matter which type the owner chooses, there are several essential features any cat carrier should have.
What to Look for In a Pet Cat Carrier
1. The most important consideration is that the carrier is put together well. The last thing a cat owner needs is a flimsy pet carrier that falls apart and allows the cat to escape and possibly get lost. Good sturdy latches that close securely are a must, also.
2. If the owner is planning to fly, it is wise to check the guidelines from The International Air Transport Association for choosing pet travel carriers. It is also recommended to make sure that the selected carrier is acceptable to the airline being used.
3. Choose a cat carrier that’s big enough for the cat to move around. She should be able to stand up and lie down comfortably.
4. Ventilation is important. There should be plenty of openings for air circulation, and to prevent the cat from feeling the heat while in the pet travel crate.
5. The pet carrier should be easy to clean since accidents sometimes happen when cats are traveling.
Cardboard Cat Carrier
A pet carrier made of cardboard is the least expensive option. However, it is also the shortest-lived, especially if it gets wet. If the kitty has littered inside of the carrier, it is impossible to clean.
The most significant disadvantage with a cardboard pet crate is that a determined cat will shred it quickly. This type of pet cat carrier is all right for temporary use, but it is best to invest in a plastic pet travel kennel, or a soft-sided pet carrier, as soon as possible.
Hard-Sided Plastic Pet Travel Crate
This is the type of pet cat carrier most people are familiar with. These pet crates are easy to clean after use. They hold up well and are probably the best type of pet travel carrier for plane trips. The door latches are usually very good, and there is excellent ventilation on all four sides. This type of pet carrier offers the most protection for the feline traveler.
The biggest problem with these pet carriers is that they are large and bulky. They take up much space in the car and can tip easily unless secured with a seat belt.
Soft-Sided Pet Cat Carrier
This type of pet travel crate takes up a lot less space when in use. They can often be folded up for storage. These carriers can sometimes be used in an airplane cabin, although it is always best to check with the airline company to see if it allows soft-sided pet carriers onboard.
Many of the soft-sided models are pet carriers on wheels, which makes transporting a pet much easier. These carriers often have pockets to store water, food, and a leash.
The main disadvantage of a soft-sided pet carrier is that the ventilation is not as good as in a hard-sided pet carrier. This can be a problem in warm weather. They also don’t offer as much protection as a hard-sided pet crate. The soft-sided models are also harder to clean in the event of an accident.
Which Pet Travel Crate is Best?
Usually, it boils down to the cat owner’s preference. An individual cat owner may like a soft-sided pet carrier because it is convenient to wheel it around, and easier to store it when not in use. Another person may prefer the better protection provided by a hard-sided pet cat carrier. Either way, it is always good to have a pet travel crate at hand, so that a cat can be transported quickly and easily in an emergency.