Awesome Cat Carrying Cases
When your cat is in transit, it can be a stressful time for them whether they´re spending half an hour in a box heading to the vets or seven hours in a cage on a flight. The average cat is used to having a free run of its local area and suddenly finding itself in a small box with very limited space can send him or her into a bit of a panic or depression. Of course, this all depends on the personality of the cat and there are ways to make the little guy less afraid of, or even happy to enter the carrying case by using positive reinforcement tactics once you have advanced warning that you will need to use one.
At the bottom of this page we have written a few tips on how to encourage your cat to see the carrying case in a more positive light which we hope will be of some assistance to you, just scroll down past the cat carriers to see them.
But First, we have chosen a few of our favourite cat carriers which for various reasons we think are awesome for the job.
These are a range of modern carriers and to be fair, they do look pretty cool. The bubble gives the cat a choice of looking out as the world passes them by or settling down and curling up for a nap. They have a Built-In security leash so if kitty sees the opportunity to make a bolt for it, you´ll never lose them.
Bubble Pet Carriers are well ventilated, soft and washable with top and side access for easy entry. They are very lightweight and take the comfort of your pet very seriously with soft almost luxurious interiors. The bubble itself comes apart easily for cleaning.
It´s a modern and stylish way to transport your cat and one of them even has wheels and a handle making a trip to the vets an absolute breeze. Maybe this range isn´t for the more traditional pet owner, they are a bit “Quirky” and i´m not sure why i feel guilty about saying this, but i really like them. For those who disagree, keep reading, we´ll get to the stuff you´ll feel more at home with vey soon.
Portable Ultra Light Cat Carrier
Anyway, on with the review. Imported from Japan and with a wide top opening, this cat carry case is renowned for being easy to pop kitty into, then just zip it up and away you go. It is extremely light to carry and when not in use it folds flat and can be put away pretty much anywhere until you need it again. The Portable Ultra Light Cat Carrier (there´s that silly name again) gets a huge number of excellent reviews on Amazon and for all of the above reasons and the fantastic price it makes it onto our list. I read a lot about this item and the only complaint i found was that it smells like plastic! I think i could live with that.
How to train your cat to love the carrying case.
Sometimes you have to travel with your cat. Maybe it´s a five minute walk to the vets or a longer trip in a car to a new home the scenario is usually the same…Kitty won´t get in the carry case. Good news though, it doesn´t need to be this way and your little companion can be taught to enjoy this experience.
The thing is, cats are fine with confined spaces, you know this if you´ve ever taken something out of a box at home and the cat dives straight in to play and sometimes even curls up for a nap in this temporary home. The problem comes when the carry case becomes known as the place where your cat becomes trapped or imprisoned and taken to unfamiliar surroundings where they get poked and prodded by strangers and this would upset anybody, right? These trips however tend to be a necessary evil so as somebody who loves their cat and wants to minimise or even better completely eradicate their stress, what can we do?
Easy, we teach the cat that the carrier is a place where good things happen, we make it a safe, friendly, comfortable place with good memories.
Sounds difficult? Well I won´t lie, it´ll take some work, persistance and patience, but you can do it……just hear me out.
Step 1 – Remove the fight to enter the carry case.
For the sake of what we´re trying to achieve right here we need something with a large entry space. If the cat can´t grab onto something then it can´t struggle and we´re trying to avoid a battle when putting the cat into the case, so we´re looking for a carrier that we can simply place the cat into without a fight. If he or she touch any two opposing sides at once the first part of our mission is complete.
Step 2 – Desensitise
This step aims to take away the negative associations which might have built up, and to show them that being around the cat carrier has no significance at all.
The first thing to do is to desensitise the cat to the presence of the carrier. This starts with giving the carrier a thorough clean to remove any smells and then leaving the carrier around the house at all times with the door wide open. (Never use bleach or strong smelling chemicals to clean your cat carrier!)
Allow the cat to ignore or investigate the carry case, just don’t make a big deal out of it.
Quietly observe your cat’s reactions and interactions to the carrier. From time to time pick it up and move it somewhere else, see if they get nervous. If they look nervous around the basket then stick with this stage for as long as it takes.
After a few days (possibly a few weeks if a really strong negative association has built up) you will find that the cat is at worst indifferent to the carrier, but possibly has now developed a little bit of interest.
In time they will eventually work out that the carry case is no threat, even when it’s being moved. Don’t rush to the next step, make sure the cat is as desensitised as it’s ever likely to get.
Step 3 – Positive Association
Step 3 aims to show the cat that good things happen when he or she interacts with the carrier. We will be making the cat mentally link the carry case to something they already like, food, toys or maybe sleep.
If we have successfully done our job on the previous step, the negative association is now gone or minimal and we can now start to build an effective positive association with the carrier.
- Food – Start by leaving some tasty food in the entrance of the carrier, things like tuna or chicken can work well. If you can, try to ensure the cat is in the area and is aware that you are putting something in the carry case, but again, don’t make a big deal out of it. If they ignore it, be patient and just try again.To start with leave the food at the entrance so they can get to it without actually having to go inside. Gradually move the food further inside until it is at the back and they have to pluck up a little bit of courage if they want the tasty treat.
- Toys – As we did with the food, just leave them at the door at first, then gradually getting further inside.
- Sleep – After a small amount of success with the previous two, try leaving some cosy bedding materials in, on or near the carrier. The nearer to the case we can get the cat to snooze, the better.
The general principle is to try to make good things happen when the cat has an interaction with the carrier. As you know your cat better than anybody, try to come up with things that he or she would get involved with.
Step 4 – More Positive Association
Now we are looking to make the positive association even stronger and at the same time removing all the novelty of interacting with the carrier.
If you successfully managed to get the cat to eat inside the carrier then then try to always feed the cat in the carrier, at least for a while.
If the cat hasn’t eaten inside yet, begin to bring the carrier nearer and nearer to the food at feeding time, until they are so used to it that you can actually put the food inside the doorway, and eventually at the back of the carrier.
Step 5 – Closing The Door
This step shows them that being shut in the carrier doesn’t mean being shut in for a long time and it also doesn’t mean they are necessarily going anywhere.
From this point give them lots of praise when they go into the carrier, followed by more praise when they come out. This will help to strengthen the positive association in the face of potential stress.
Once the cat is comfortable eating inside the carrier, try pushing the door closed while they are eating. Don’t lock it yet and if the cat becomes distressed or agitated open the door straight away and reassure them.
When you can do this without a problem you can begin to lock the door. Start with just a minute or two, and if the cat becomes distressed open the door immediately.
After a few days you should find that you can leave the door shut for several minutes without too much complaint from the cat.
Step 6 – Getting Your Cat Used To The Car
When the cat is happy enough to spend 10 minutes or more in the carrier we´re ready to try taking them out for a drive. The aim with this step is to show them that going in the car doesn’t mean going anywhere in particular – in particular, it doesn´t mean we are going to the vet.
Line the carry case with something absorbant, maybe newspaper, just incase of an accident and on top of that something warm and comfortable, a towel or a fleece blanket.
Ecourage the cat to enter the carrier or place them in there yourself if there is no sign of a struggle. If this proves difficult you may need to revert to the previous two steps for a little bit longer.
Place the carrier on the car seat, preferably on a pillow to reduce vibration and secured tightly by a seatbelt, avoiding strong sunlight as this could be unpleasant for the cat ….at this point we are keen to avoid any possible stress which may undo our hard work.
Make your drive a short one, just a few minutes will be fine.
Go for slightly longer drives every day or two and very soon trips out in the carrier will be completely stress free for your cat.
Continue building positive associations and in no time you will find that you have actually trained your cat to love the carrier basket!