How to transport a cat

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cat moving day
This cat is getting familiar with boxes before moving day
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How to transport a cat involves a carrier and preparing the animal in advance

Moving a pet, whether it involves transporting it to the vetís office or traveling a long distance, can be traumatic, particularly for a skittish animal.

At the top of the order is selecting the ideal pet carrier to provide the best way to move any pet. The safest method of how to transport a cat is achieved by placing the animal in a carrier. The owner can select from a soft-sided pet carrier, a traditional hard-sided pet travel crate or a cardboard carrier.  

Make sure that the carrier is sufficiently large enough that the animal can get up and move around as well as lie down comfortably. Check to see that the latch is strong and closes securely.

Are there numerous openings in the carrier so the animal can breathe? An animal can get very hot and potentially overheat when in a pet crate.

Hard-sided plastic travel kennel are popular because they hold up well and are easy to clean. Many pet owners recommend using this type of carrier when transporting a pet on a plane. The hard-sided carrier provides good ventilation and affords good protection.

The disadvantage of this type of carrier is its bulkiness and large size. If the carrier is placed in a vehicle it must be secured with a seat belt because it can tip easily.

A cardboard carrier is cheaper than the others but itís not that durable. If it gets wet, it is going to fall apart. Once soiled itís impossible to clean.

The soft-sided travel crate can be folded up when not in use, which means it doesnít take up as much space in your home (or garage or basement) as does the hard-sided version. Some soft-sided crates have wheels which makes the move a lot easier on the owner.

The soft-sided crates often come equipped with pockets where food, water bottle and a leash can be stored, which is handy.

The drawback to this type of crate is the lack of ventilation compared to that which is present in a hard-sided carrier. The soft-sided crate does not afford the pet with as much protection as does the hard-sided style. Additionally, they are not as easy to clean as hard-sided crates.

If you are taking your pet on an airplane the carrier has to be airline approved. The ideal airline approved carriers are made of light materials which can be used in either the cabin or cargo hold.

When cleaning the crate, avoid cleansers that are strongly fragrant, toxic or ammonia based.  The crate should be completely dry before the animal is put into it.


If you are permanently moving yourself and the cat into a new home the pet has to be prepared for this because itís going to be traumatic for the animal. 

Introduce the pet to his carrier long before the move so he becomes familiar with it. Feed your pet while itís in the carrier.

Let the cat see the moving boxes prior to the day of the actual move. When you start the moving process the pet will become anxious. Place him in a safe and quiet room away from the action. If it appears that it is getting highly agitated the animal may need to be placed on anti-anxiety medication.

On the day of the move, sequester the animal in a room so that he doesnít try to run away. Tell the movers where the cat is and ask people not to enter that room. Put a sign on the door. Donít feed your pet too much on moving day to avoid a sick stomach.

Once your pet is placed in the carrier and ready to be moved do not open it to minister to him because he may jump out of the carrier and run away.

When you arrive at your new residence, put your pet in a quiet and safe room. Put out the food and water, the litter box and his bed and some cat treats. The pet should remain in this room for the first few days. This allows him to get accustomed to the new sights and smells.

When things calm down, let your cat explore the rest of the house. Gradually move the safe room litter box to the desired location. Do this incrementally. Move the box a foot or so away from the safe room each day in the direction where you want it to be permanently.

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