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Cat carriers: do you always take your cat to the vet in a carrier??

Discussion in 'Grooming & General Cat Care' started by ut0pia, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. ut0pia

    ut0pia Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

    Nov 25, 2008
    Well, I have a few questions about cat carries because in two weeks I'm taking Jake to the vet for his yearly check up and shots. One, do you always use one to take your cat to the vet?? My common sense tells me definitely YES, but some of my friends were saying how they just carry their cat in their hands to the vet....
    My next question is, is this cat carrier big enough?
    I bought this one today it is a pretty standard one- ASPCA carrier in medium size , it was very cheap only $25, but I put it together at home and I feel like it's too small...Jake is a large cat about 20 pounds and he can't really sit in it, he has to duck, which IMO would be very uncomfortable..So I'm thinking of returning it and getting a bigger one....Anyone have any suggestions for an inexpensive cat carrier that will be used just for vet visits??

  2. white cat lover

    white cat lover TCS Member Veteran

    Nov 17, 2005
    Yes they ALWAYS go to the vet in a carrier - I've seen cats FLIP when going outside & there is no way I'd be able to contain them - we've actually had people come pick up their cat at the shelter as it was picked up as a stray - got away from them when they were going out the door to take it to the vet.

    I have carriers of all sizes, as I'm transporting multiple animals often & fosters - I tend to try to buy the large size or XL size when I can.

  3. darlili

    darlili TCS Member Top Cat

    Oct 16, 2007
    My vet 'requires' that cats be in a carrier - most people do use one at the practice I go to. I ended up with Sherpa bags - my cats like to sleep in them as well.

  4. strange_wings

    strange_wings TCS Member Top Cat

    Dec 20, 2006
    I've held and carried Sho in the past (haltered). But he's an unusually calm cat - he always impresses vets with how well he behaves. [​IMG] I wouldn't trust the others, at all. [​IMG]

    I have carriers that are probably a little larger than need be but I feel that is fine because I have good sized male cats. When Tomas was a kitten he and Sho went together in one carrier (Tomas is whiny and undersocialized). I take the kittens all together in one carrier, too. ...I don't do this with adult cats because I like actually being able to lift the carrier, btw. [​IMG]

    For prices, it really depends. I've gotten them for under $20 on sale - usually PetMate brand.
    Think outside the box a little - here there's a farm supply store (they actually sell a lot of stuff) that has carriers a lot cheaper than other stores, and they usually have good sales on a lot of things, too. [​IMG] I've seen people mention that Family Dollar used to sell cheap but nice soft sided carriers.

  5. missymotus

    missymotus TCS Member Top Cat

    May 8, 2005
    My vet won't let you in the door without a carrier (or lead for a dog).

    My cats are all in the same size (Aussie made PP20 carriers), they are good up to 10kg, even my boys can sit, turn and move around.

    I don't like cheap carriers, which can be flimsy and I also require airline approved. I also don't like soft sided carriers, they are not as durable and some cats can escape them.

  6. ut0pia

    ut0pia Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

    Nov 25, 2008
    How does this type of carriers look?


    What are the advantages of having a plastic carrier vs. one that is made of fabric and looks more like a bag? I'm not sure if it is more comfortable for the cat and whether or not it's better to have one that looks like a cage so that in case he has to stay at the vet he will have somewhere to stay. Do the vets have cages for animals staying overnight??

  7. strange_wings

    strange_wings TCS Member Top Cat

    Dec 20, 2006
    Of course they do! They're larger than most carriers so that there can be room for a litter box/papers if needed. Their cages are also sterilized, which the carrier you bring in isn't.

    They always have me take my carrier home and bring it back the next day when picking up the cat. Likely to save them some space.

    As long as it's sewn well I don't see what's wrong with a soft carrier. I wouldn't use it for a heavier animal, though.

  8. fifi1puss

    fifi1puss TCS Member Top Cat

    Jan 2, 2007
    Jake is a bog boy. I would get the largest size possible. Some of the carriers have weight limits too, not just size.

    Plastic vs. fabric is a clean up issue for me. I can clean plastic easier so I choose that over the fabric carriers.

    Two of my kids have no issues with the carriers or going to the vets. Rocko from day one of bringing him home in his carrier poops every single time. It is so gross. I also now for him to do that he must be really freaked out. So I took a chance and harnessed him, hoping he wouldn't poop in my car. [​IMG] He didn't. He loved his harness because he could pace around. I guess he needs to do that for stress release. I would walk him outside like a dog while waiting for my appointment. [​IMG]

    My vet was okay with it. [​IMG]

  9. jack31

    jack31 TCS Member Top Cat

    Nov 1, 2007
    Cincinnati, OH
    Mine go in carriers at present. But in the future Ginger will go on harness. She is so calm people at petsmart have asked if she is drugged. I hate to put her in a carrier if not necessary. The boys always go in carriers because they hate the vet and car.

    I use plastic carriers, rather large, I don't buy cat ones, I buy from the dog dept. All are different sizes, Jack goes in the largest as he's the biggest.

    I use the plastic carriers for my turtles as well.


  10. ruthyb

    ruthyb TCS Member Top Cat

    Oct 28, 2009
    Derbyshire UK.
    Hi, I always use a carrier, mine is quite large but, most cats sit/lie down so as long as there is enough room for your cat to do this then thats fine, its only a short journey. I prefer cat carriers as if my cats were to get scared when we got out the car I would never forgive myself if they escaped from my arms. x

  11. zoeysmom

    zoeysmom TCS Member Super Cat

    Mar 13, 2008
    SW Ontario, Canada
    That carrier looks a little small for a big boy like Jake. I have one that is considered OK for "small dogs and cats" and there is no way I'd get either of my girls (approx. 12 lbs each) in them. They might fit, but getting them in would be a challenge. I have a larger one now (big enough for both of them to fit) and they can basically walk into it without having to crouch, etc.

    I've also put a luggage strap around the carrier for extra support...I just don't trust those tiny little latches.

  12. nekochan

    nekochan TCS Member Top Cat

    Aug 5, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    I use carriers or a pet stroller. I have several different types of carriers. I rarely use the plastic ones anymore because my cats like the fabric ones better.
    I have on Sherpa bag, one Sleepypod and a few that look like canvas bags.

    Most of my cats are very calm and would not mind being carried in my arms, in fact most of them I let out of the carrier when we're in the car because they prefer it, so I use a seatbelt harness instead.
    However when I go to the vet I still have them in a carrier in the clinic, because you never know if there may be dogs in the vet's waiting area which may go ballistic when they see a cat and may even get loose and go after your cat if they have a really high prey drive!
    dustydiamond1 purraised this.

  13. momto3cats

    momto3cats TCS Member Super Cat

    Aug 1, 2006
    I always use the plastic carriers when we go to the vet. My cats tend to be skittish, especially there, and would not just stay calmly in my arms. Plus, a hard sided carrier is better protection against any dogs that might be in the waiting room or parking lot.

    I do "walk" my cats on leashes, but I feel that it wouldn't be safe for them at the vet.
    dustydiamond1 purraised this.

  14. sharky

    sharky TCS Member Veteran

    Jan 30, 2005
    Depends on the cat ... I have two that need the hard side ( shockingly they are the semi ferals[​IMG] ) ... the boys go in large soft side on wheels ... I also have harnesses as my main vet is a small practice ( one dr one tech ) and often the cats can roam if they want

  15. ut0pia

    ut0pia Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

    Nov 25, 2008
    Thanks everyone, I ended up getting a soft dog carrier. Jake seemed to like it a lot better, he went right in to explore while with the other one he would not go near...I really like it because it also has pockets like a bag and I can carry it on my shoulder and it's nice and soft on the inside [​IMG]

  16. goldenkitty45

    goldenkitty45 TCS Member Top Cat

    Aug 29, 2005
    SW Minnesota
    We use medium size carriers anytime the cats are in the cars. They are show cats and well used to riding in the carriers (mainly to the shows). As soon as I get them out Charlie and Jack will hop in. Charlie taught Jack to go in the carriers.

    Charlie had that habit of wanting in the carrier even tho he was retired from the shows, so I had to keep the doors closed. We don't have a show till January, so I'm hoping that Jack will remember what Charlie taught him - he's pretty good about going in there when its out.

  17. GoldyCat

    GoldyCat Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Jul 31, 2008
    A lot depends on how far away your vet is. Mine is only 1/2 mile away, so if I'm taking several cats I can still put one in the small carrier that I got for my first kitten. It's a tight fit, but she isn't in there for more than a few minutes. It definitely doesn't work for longer trips.

  18. brookesphynx

    brookesphynx TCS Member Adult Cat

    Nov 21, 2009
    Tampa Bay, FL
    I see you already got a different carrier that you and your kitty are more comfortable with, and that's great! [​IMG] But, in case anyone else is following this thread and is curious...I have that exact carrier in your original post, and my 12 pound boy and my 6 pound girl have ridden in it together for a short trip to the vet. I certainly wouldn't put them both in there for a long ride, but they were fine for a short 20 minute trip, they always sleep together and prefer to ride together in their crate. As far as wondering about him being able to sit up, my cats always end up laying down when they're in the crate and it's being moved - just because it feels unstable, so even if there was head-room, I don't imagine they would use it!

    To answer the other part of your question, yes, I always have them in the carrier to take them to the vet (or to transport them anywhere) - it's just safer that way!

  19. mews2much

    mews2much TCS Member Top Cat

    I have the carriers from sturdy that I use for cat shows.
    Yesterday I took Cleo and Wrinkles for a shot and Cleo had a attitude because she did not feel well.
    She was hissing and growling at Wrinkles and smacked her.


  20. greycat2

    greycat2 TCS Member Top Cat

    Aug 6, 2003
    Mine also go in plastic carriers - the vets strongly urge cat owners to use them and dogs must be on lead or in a carrier (Unless they are being wheeled in in an emergency).

    I have three large cats and the medium size dog kennels are big enough for them to tun around in, lay down and if needed a small litter pan.

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