Sammy the Cat is a 9 year old boy that gets very stressed while travelling in the car. He meows constantly, drools, and pants most of the trip whether it is 15 minutes or 2 hours. Although many cats do very well with travel, there are many cats as anxious as Sammy and need some help to make the travel more manageable for them and their worried kitty parents. Some people think actual sedation is the only option.
Last week at the beginning of a routine feline wellness exam here at Chico Hospital for Cats, I removed the top of Ruby’s carrier, as is our standard way of beginning the exam without causing undue stress to a cat. Immediately upon removal of the lid, I could feel the heat emanating from Ruby, a domestic short haired, solid black female of–shall we say–rubenesque proportions. Like many carriers vets see in daily practice, this one was proportionately too small for its cargo, creating a “lunchbox” effect of limited free space and air movement within.
When my cats leave the house, they are in a carrier. It really isn’t optional. It is truly the only safe way to transport cats for veterinary appointments, travel or in emergency situations. Humans should not try to deal with a panicked cat who’s teeth and claws can turn into lethal weapons. The cat has a safe place during a potentially scary and stressful time.
Here are some tips to do the carrier thing properly: