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By Jackie Kelly
While there are tons of different types of cat carriers — from soft carriers to hard carriers and everything in between — the most important factor in determining what style of carrier you should get is dependent on the type of cat you have.
If you’re favorite feline is a bit feisty, for example, you may want to opt for a carrier that has multiple entrance ways. Sometimes it’s easier to lift your cat into the carrier via the top then to try to coax him in through the standard door type entrance in the front. The same goes for cats that loooove to scratch. A hard plastic carrier may be more durable and secure in the long run then a fabric carrier that can be torn up and worn down over time. You should also consider your cat’s general behavior when relying on zippers, Velcro, or snaps to secure your cat in the carrier. If your cat can easily "Houdini" himself out by squeezing through you should look for something sturdier.
Additionally, remember your cat’s carrier will need to be cleaned. This is especially important if your cat is more prone to car sickness. A lot of fabric carriers have a hard removable base that comes out for cleaning. The rest of most fabric carriers can usually be washed in the machine; however, the base itself will most likely need to be cleaned by hand. A hard plastic carrier is easy to clean if you’re able to simply hose it down and wipe it out.
A cat carrier should allow enough space for your cat to stand without crouching and be able to turn around. If you’re going farther then your local vet’s office, make sure your cat’s carrier can accommodate food and water bowls. Some plastic carriers have these built in on the top of the cat carrier, which is definitely handy. But if you don’t have the funds to get a state-of-the-art cat carrier, remember to allow space for whatever travel-sized bowls you’ll be using. You do not, however, want your cat carrier to be excessively large either. Try the Goldilocks method and choose a cat carrier that makes your cat feel cozy and safe while traveling.
One of the worst things you can do is to only use the car carrier when going to the veterinarian. This may cause your cat to run or put up quite the fight when trying to get him in it. To avoid this, your cat should have positive associations with his carrier. By putting treats, toys, or a favorite blanket into your cat’s carrier, your cat will grow to think of it as a safe place.
Hopefully, with a little luck and a lot of research you will find the perfect cat carrier for your new furry friend.