Using A Cat Carrier to Get To The Vet

by | May 23, 2023

Cat carriers shouldn’t be scary things. For your cat, their carrier should be a safe space where they can comfortably hide away from the world. For you, they should be easy to clean and to get your cat into and out of. Each cat will have a preference for the size of the carrier, but most enjoy a carrier that isn’t much bigger than they are when fully grown. Kittens should have carriers for cats from 10 to 25 lbs, so they can grow into them. No matter what carrier you get, problems may start if your cat doesn’t want to go inside.

Planning A Trip To The Vet?

It is essential that you familiarize your cat with their carrier before locking them inside for a trip to the vet. Leave your new carrier in a location where your cat feels safe and remove or securely prop open the front gate, so it won’t close on them unexpectedly. Place familiar toys, bedding inside, pheromones, catnip and allow them to explore the carrier at their own pace. If you can remove the carrier lid (for hard carriers), this would give you a tiny, baby step to introducing your kitten. You’ll probably soon find them sleeping inside where they feel safe and comfortable.
Getting together a plan for a safe and calm trip to the vet will help with your cat; routines are something that cats enjoy. Pre-spraying the bedding and carrier with pheromone spray about 30 minutes before you are ready to place them inside is good practice, as well as adding catnip to the carrier before the drive. During the drive cats often appreciate calm, quiet music. Placement in the car can also help with anxiety and nausea, facing your carrier towards the front can help your cat feel more in control of their experiences. Here at the Cat Hospital, we recommend having a towel to cover the carrier for added comfort and to decrease stimulation, like seeing other cats, or fast-moving scenery.

Cat Carrier Features To Look For

Choose a carrier that is easy-to-clean and has a leak-proof bottom (or invest in cat diapers for travel defecation/urination). Also, make sure you can place soft bedding that smells like them on the bottom. Look for a carrier that has a visual shield, and good ventilation to prevent motion-induced anxiety or nausea. If your cat has lost weight with age, you can use rolled up towels around them to create a more secure feeling. Cats prefer to feel their back up against something which creates a sense security knowing they will not be ambushed from behind, so you’ll want a carrier that is not see-through on two or more sides.
Look for a carrier with easy access for veterinary visits. If the carrier top can be removed, we can examine your cat inside the carrier for a good portion of the physical exam. Towels can be placed over the top of the carrier during the exam to create a dark, cozy safe place for your cat for a more positive veterinary experience. When you move the carrier avoid using the handle, pick it up and transport it in a stable manner with both hands underneath the carrier, so it’s not tipping to alarm your pet.
Red Maine Coon Sitting in Cat Carrier

Call Us When You Need a Cat Vet

When your feline friend needs medical care, visit the only vet (cat) clinic in Kamloops that offers a full list of services to keep your cat healthy. We provide wellness exams, dental care, diagnostics, spaying and neutering for cats.
For more information on cat care, watch the videos on our HOSPITAL TOUR page.
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