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Cat Carrier – The Right Solution for Transporting Feline?

  • 12 min read
Cat parents know it: a trip to the vet is coming up and suddenly you have to think about transporting the animal. Do I definitely need a transport box for the car seat, solution for transporting? How do I get my cat used to it? And most importantly, how do I secure the cat transport box in the car? Help available here!

How do I secure the cat carrier in the car?

In order to transport your pet safely on the journey, you must secure your cat’s carrier adequately. According to Section 22 of the StVO, your animal passenger is considered “cargo” and must therefore be kept and stowed very securely. In the event of an emergency stop, the cat carrier must be able to withstand the force and be securely anchored so that nothing happens to you or your cat. In addition to cat carriers for feline, there are also special car harnesses that can be used to secure cats. However, in the event of braking or an accident, your animal is much more likely to be injured by the centrifugal force on the harness. cat carriers not only prevent your cat from being catapulted forward, but also prevent it from injuring itself. Depending on its size, you can store your cat’s carrier either in the back seat or in the trunk. Since most cats usually have very small cat carrier that are tailored to their size, the mouse hunters can often ride in the back seat. The transport box is simply strapped on with the strap and tightened. If you want to be on the safe side, you can place the cat carrier in the floor space between the front seat and the back seat and move the front seat back until the transport box is “wedged in” and cannot slip. This also provides darkness, which has a calming effect on some cats.
Cat in a transport box
Source: Global International Relocation

 Are there cat carriers for small and large cats?

There are cat carrier in different sizes for cats of different sizes. A Maine Coon cat, for example, needs more space than a small domestic cat. Only for kittens, i.e. baby cats, can you choose an adult version. The kittens grow quickly anyway and get used to the right cat carrier straight away.

The bigger the cat carrier, the better for the cat?

This cannot be said in general terms. If cat carriers are too large for your cat, there is often the problem that the cat can slide back and forth in them. Likewise, a small animal can feel all the more lost in a large box – so it’s better to buy a size that’s right for the cat and make transport easier for the cat.

How do I determine the right cat carrier size?

The transport box for your cat should always fit the size of the cat. Your pet should be able to stand upright, turn around and sit without any problems. This is therefore slightly larger for very large cats and slightly smaller for small cats. Tip: When buying a transport box for your cat, make sure that the box does not have any sharp edges on the inside, otherwise the cat could injure itself. If you have a very stubborn cat, an additional opening at the top is also a good trick to make it easier to maneuver the cat into the transport box.
Kitten in transport box
Source: Pet Keen

How can I get the cat used to the cat carrier?

The key here is: practice early. If you were able to get your cat used to the best cat carrier as a kitten, it would save you and your pet a lot of stress and effort. By establishing your cat carrier as a piece of furniture and placing it in the apartment, the cat can see the box as something everyday. You should leave the front door open so that the cat can go in and out as he pleases. With small treats or your favorite toy Your cat may begin to perceive the cat carrier as something positive. Then start to close the door of the cat cat carrier again and again when the cat is in it and then reward it for doing so. This helps the cat understand that the door opens every time and that it is not locked up forever. Slowly increase the time the door is closed and start carrying the cat a few meters in the carrier to the next room. There you can release them again and praise them. Here too, you can slowly increase the distances and even go outside.

What to do when it’s already “too late”?

Even then, if possible, you should leave the pet carrier in the apartment for some time. This means the cat doesn’t immediately smell bad things on the day of the trip. If she goes in: Praise your cat and reward her with treats ! Pad your pet carrier with a soft carpet or blanket on the floor to prevent it from slipping and to make it soft cat carrier. Add a few sheets of paper towels if your cat can’t contain himself due to excitement. There is also the trick of spraying the box with a special cat spray or catnip to put in. If all of this doesn’t work, talk to your vet about sedatives and have them recommend a remedy – there are various natural-based drops that can calm your animal.

How do I get the cat into the transport box?

The problem is familiar to most cat parents: getting the cat into the pet carrier is nothing short of a miracle! If your cat gets scared or panics very quickly, we recommend relaxing products. These often contain pheromones and relax your cat with their smell. It’s best to spray the pet carrier with it, this will at least calm your cat on the way and reduce the panic a little. Catnip in the box can also help your cat feel comfortable. In the case of a very anxious cat, it is advisable to place the transport box with the opening facing upwards and place the cat in it carefully. Close the door and put the box back in the correct position. It is recommended by vet.
Maine coon in a transport box
Source: iStock

 How long can my cat stay in the pet carrier?

The principle is that the cat should only stay in the pet carrier for as long as necessary and for as short a time as possible. Cats are usually stressed in transport boxes or backpack – that’s why good ventilation is important. If you darken the transport box with a blanket to calm your furry passenger, you should definitely make sure that he still gets enough air. Offer him water and food regularly. Use kitchen towels to pad the box if your cat defecates, urinates or vomits. If possible, clean the box quickly after the incident so that the cat feels comfortable again. There are also travel toilets for cats for longer trips. For longer trips ( air travel or vacation trips), you should use a pet carrier in which your cat can stretch out. Here it needs more space than with shorter transports. Bowls should be integrated into the transport box so that the cat has water, food and a toilet with him on the journey. Make sure to keep in touch with your cat every now and then during long car trips. Pet her during break or take her for a short walk with the cat harness. Never leave your cat alone in the car and try to keep transport times short if your cat is very excited. Let her drink and eat occasionally and check again and again whether she is okay. Before long trips, you should definitely get your cat used to the transport box for a longer period of time. This is the only way you can keep stress to a minimum. Make sure your air conditioning is draft-free; the cat should not sit in the wind, but there should be a comfortable temperature.

Transport box for the car – back seat or trunk?

This depends on the size of your cat transport box. If you have a long journey or a large cat ahead of you and the transport box is correspondingly larger, you can put it in the trunk and secure it there. You can either strap smaller cat boxes to the back seat to secure them, or place them on the floor behind the passenger seat. Here you can push the passenger seat so far back that the box cannot slide forward or back and is wedged in.

What options are there to transport the cat safely in the car?

Pets can either be attached to the harness on the back seat or can be transported in a transport box . However, the transport box for your cat is by far the safest option. In the event of an emergency stop or collision, your fluffy passenger is much safer in a box than with a harness, which can tear on the animal and injure it.


Q: What is the best cat carrier for traveling with my feline friend?

A: The best cat carrier for traveling with your cat will depend on your specific needs. Soft-sided carriers are lightweight and easy to carry, while hard-sided carriers provide extra durability and protection. It’s important to consider factors such as size, comfort, and ease of cleaning when choosing the right carrier for your cat.

Q: Is a backpack carrier a good option for transporting cats?

A: A backpack carrier can be a great option for transporting cats, especially if you need to be hands-free and want to provide your cat with a cozy and secure space while on the move. Make sure to select a backpack carrier that is comfortable for both you and your cat and allows for proper ventilation.

Q: What is the best budget-friendly cat carrier option?

A: If you’re looking for a budget-friendly cat carrier, consider a cardboard cat carrier. These carriers are economical and can be a good option for short trips or visits to the vet. However, they may not be as durable as other types of carriers and may not be suitable for long-term use.

Q: How can I calm a scared cat inside a carrier?

A: To calm a scared cat inside a carrier, try placing familiar items such as a blanket or toy inside the carrier to provide comfort. Additionally, you can use calming pheromone sprays or treats to help alleviate anxiety. Gradually acclimating your cat to the carrier in a positive way can also help reduce their fear over time.

Q: Can a backpack carrier be used for transporting larger cats?

A: Yes, there are backpack carriers designed to accommodate larger cats. It’s important to ensure that the backpack carrier is spacious enough for your cat to move comfortably and that it provides adequate support and ventilation for their size.

Q: Are there specific carriers for transporting cats without the need for a traditional carrier?

A: Yes, there are alternative options such as the Lollimeow Pet Rolling Carrier or carrier backpacks that offer innovative ways to transport cats without using a traditional carrier. These options provide mobility and convenience for both you and your cat during travel.

Q: What are the advantages of using a hard-sided cat carrier?

A: Hard-sided cat carriers offer enhanced protection and durability, making them suitable for air travel or longer journeys. They also provide a secure and stable environment for your cat and can be easier to clean compared to soft-sided carriers.

Q: Can I use a backpack carrier for both cats and small dogs?

A: Yes, many backpack carriers are designed to accommodate both cats and small dogs. These carriers offer versatility and can be a convenient option for pet owners who have both cats and small dogs.

Q: What is the best way to transport a cat to the vet if I don’t have a carrier?

A: If you don’t have a traditional carrier, you can use a small pet travel carrier or a secure backpack designed for pets. It’s important to ensure that the transportation method you choose provides a safe and comfortable environment for your cat during the trip to the vet.

Q: How can I keep my cat calm and comfortable inside the carrier during travel?

A: To keep your cat calm and comfortable inside the carrier during travel, try to acclimate them to the carrier at home by associating it with positive experiences. Use familiar bedding or toys inside the carrier and consider using calming aids such as pheromone sprays or treats. It’s important to ensure the carrier comes with proper ventilation and is large enough for your cat to move comfortably.

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Hamna Nasir is a dedicated cat lover, avid traveler, and accomplished author. Born and raised in the bustling city of San Francisco, Hamna's education journey led her to Boston where her interests expanded and intersected in unexpected ways. Hamna's ontent explores a multitude of topics, from preparing your cat for its first trip and choosing pet-friendly accommodations to understanding feline behavior in different environments. Her first-hand experiences, love for storytelling, and unwavering commitment to enhancing the bond between cats and their owners have earned her a devoted following. Her insights have been celebrated by pet lovers, adventure enthusiasts, and travel bloggers alike.