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How Big Should A Cat Carrier Be

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What Size Cat Carrier Should I Buy

How to get a cat into a carrier

The carrier should be 1.5 times the size of your feline.

This gives them ample room to sit down, stand up, lie down, and turn and is true both for hard and soft carriers.

As tempting as it may be to buy a much bigger box, cats prefer small spaces to hide in. If youre buying a hard carrier, getting one thats a lot bigger just means the cat will be slipping and sliding around inside.

Online retailers should always include the dimensions of the product for comparison with the measurements youve made. Sometimes a manufacturer will list an item as a large when its more of a medium. Its what we found when we bought ours from Argos in the UK.

Measure from the nose to the tip of the tail

Measure from the ground to the tip of the ear

Add 4-inches to each measurement

· There are a few methods of finding out and the best is to measure your cat. This might be easier when theyre half-asleep or lying on the ground. You just need a tape measure.

· Add 4-inches to each measurement so theres enough additional space around it to be comfortable.

· You should weigh your pet, too, particularly as soft carriers can dip in the middle. Cat carriers often include a maximum weight and you should take notice of his. This is for the cats benefit but also your own as an unbalanced heavy carrier could cause you an injury.

Not A Fan Of Taking Measurements No Problem

In some cases, it might be tedious to take the measurements of your pets to allow you to choose the right carrier or crate. In such instances, you can rely on a crate and carrier sizing chart that uses the weight of your pet to approximate the size of your pet, hence getting an accurate idea of the necessary the carrier size.

For instance, smaller cats that weigh up to 10lbs will in most cases be nine inches tall and sixteen inches long. With such information, choosing the right crate size gets much easier with little effort. Using the measurements provided by the charts, you can add four inches to both the lengths and heights to get ample space for your cat.

What Size Carrier For 12 Pound Cat

Most adult cats weigh between 8-15 pounds. So, if you have a 12 pound cat, she is most likely in the adult stage of her life. To find the right size of carrier, youll want to use a measuring tape and measure from the root of her tail to the tip of her nose and multiply by 1.5 times.

The answer you get will determine the size of carrier you should buy.

However, there are things questions you need to consider such as:

  • Are you planning to travel internationally with your cat? If so, youll want to check with the airlines to find out what the dimension requirements are before purchasing a carrier. Airlines have very strict regulations when youre flying with a pet.
  • If youre going on a long road trip, youll want a cat carrier that has plenty of room. Shop for one that has enough room for your cat to sit, stand and move around freely. A carrier that is too small will cause your cat to become anxious or nervous.
  • Are you shopping for a carrier for quick trips to the vet? If so, then you can choose one based on the size the calculator above gave you.

Once you have the proper measurements, go here to check out the top recommended cat carriers for pet owners.

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Choosing The Right Type

There are essentially three types to choose from:

  • cardboard,
  • soft, and
  • hard.

Which type you choose could depend on how often you think you’ll use it, and of course, your own preference. Do you hope to only use the carrier once a year for your kitty’s annual physical exam? Do you move a lot and need to transport your kitty more often? What are your storage space considerations?

Remember, you should keep this essential cat supply in an easily accessible place in case of an emergency. And you should be able to get to it immediately.

When choosing a carrying enclosure, be sure to pick the right size. You want to make sure that he or she can stand up and turn around and also stretch out while lying down . However, you also want to make sure that it’s not too big. Cats feel more secure in smaller areas. Bigger is not better in this case.

If you’re adopting a kitten, you may want to start with a cardboard carrier until you know how big your cat will be in adulthood. Then, if you like, you can make more of an investment to get something stronger and more permanent.

How Do You Properly Size A Cat Carrier For A Flight

How Big Should A Cat Carrier Be?

To fly with a cat in the cabin of a plane, a soft-sided carrier must fit within the dimensions allowed by the airline, which vary a little from company to company. United Airlines, for example, requires carriers to fit in a space 18-inches long, 11-inches wide, and 9-inches high while Southwest Airlines allows carriers 18.5-inches long, 8.5-inches wide, and 13.5-inches high. Within these parameters, make sure your cat has enough room to stand up, turn around, and comfortably lie down inside, said Wolko. Additionally, there should be at least 2 to 3 inches clearance from the top of their ears to the interior roof of the crate.

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Cats And Carriers Do Not Have To Be Mortal Enemies

These tips for buying the right cat carrier should eliminate any stresses not only in getting the right carrier for your pet but also in getting your cat to go inside without any undue pressure.

Your cat will think of his carrier as a second home, a comfortable, safe and familiar place where he can snuggle up for the ride, no matter where youre going or how long.

Once your cat is used to his carrier, you should not have to fight to get him to the vet for regular check-ups, or worse yet, canceling the appointment because you just cant get him into the carrier.

Making sure your pet is familiar and comfortable with being transported inside a carrier is a big part of cat ownership and in having a healthy, happy cat.

Larger Isnt Necessarily Better When It Comes To Cat Carriers

Actually, its not a comforting feeling for your cat to be placed in a carrier too large for her. Cats prefer to feel their backs up against something and that creates a feeling of security. When you look at a frightened cat in a shelter or veterinary clinic cage, shell be in a corner with her back against the wall. Theres security in knowing at least no one can ambush her from behind. That same feeling helps her when in the carrier. The fact she can easily feel her back against one or two of the carrier sides provides some relief.

When the carrier is too big, its uncomfortable when youre carrying her because shell end up sliding from one side to the other. Its also extremely awkward for you to balance the carrier thats too big. Have you ever tried to balance a large carrier when theres about 12 pounds of cat sloshing around from one side to the other? Its not good for the cat and its definitely not good for the health of your back!

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Do Cats Need To Go To The Bathroom On A Flight

Unless a cat suffers from a medical condition, they will be fine without access to a litter box for the duration of a flight. “Just based on the physiology of cats, they could probably go from Boston to Hawaii and without needing to void,” said Bob Murtaugh, veterinarian and chief professional relations officer at Pathway Vet Alliance in Austin, Texas.

In the cargo hold, kennels cannot be outfitted with a litter box or anything other than an absorbent liner and a soft bed or blanket. “If the travel day will be more than eight hours, during a layover pet owners can arrange a comfort stop for cats to be let out of their carrier,” said Mathis.

Choosing The Right Cat Carrier Size

How To Get Your Cat Into a Pet Carrier

A cat carrier should allow enough space for your cat to stand without crouching and be able to turn around. If youre going farther then your local vets office, make sure your cats carrier can accommodate food and water bowls. Some plastic carriers have these built in on the top of the cat carrier, which is definitely handy. But if you dont have the funds to get a state-of-the-art cat carrier, remember to allow space for whatever cat travel bowls youll be using.

You do not, however, want your cat carrier to be excessively large either. Try the Goldilocks method and choose a cat carrier that makes your cat feel cozy and safe while traveling.

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Other Cat Carrier Features To Look For

There are a few other things besides the size of the cat carrier that you want to look for, so lets go over the most important considerations right now.

  • Make sure that if you have a soft shell cat carrier, that it comes with a good base, something to keep the floor from collapsing, as well as some sort of design to keep the walls from collapsing
  • Whether you get a hard or soft shell cat carrier, make sure that it has some kind of soft bedding so your cat can be comfortable for the duration of the journey
  • No matter what the carrier is like, it should always have plenty of mesh or slits for ventilation and light. You cant keep your cat in an airtight and dark box
  • A good cat carrier should always come with some sort of handles and straps for easy carrying

Setting Up Your Cat Carrier

Once youve chosen a cat carrier, youll need to set it up. Place newspaper or a washable blanket or towel inside to deal with any toileting issues en route. Ideally, choose a synthetic material that will absorb any liquid and ensure your cat is comfortable.

In addition to bedding, take a familiar blanket or towel with you to drape over the top of the carrier while youre travelling. If youre visiting the vet, your vet might want to use it to surround your cat during the examination. A familiar scent can be comforting for cats, particularly if they are feeling anxious.

For nervous cats, spraying the inside of the cat carrier with a pheromone spray like Feliway can help. Spray 15 minutes before your cat is due to travel, using it sparingly. The pheromones in the spray, although synthetic, can help them to feel safe.

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Related Articles And Information

Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Use this Search Box to find more information. Or visit the feline articles below.

Our Cat Supplies article provides a list of essential supplies and some great places to buy them.CatsPlay has a wild selection of luxury pet furniture and supplies that you might find fun and useful.

What Size Pet Carrier Is Good For A Cat

How Large should a Cat Carrier Be? (size guide for your cat)

Finding the right size cat carrier that you need really depends on your situation. Traveling with your cat on a plane would require a different carrier than if you were taking your cat with you on a road trip. What size cat carrier should you get for traveling? You should get the most spacious cat carrier for your cat that still allows it to fit for the occasion you are using it for.

Take a look below at my in depth guide to choosing the right sized cat carrier. I have listed several different scenarios where you would need a cat carrier and have detailed explanations on which size carriers would be best for each situation.

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How To Measure Cat Length

Get the dimensions from the top of its nose to the tip of its tail using a measuring tape. Once you have that, add 4 inches to the measurement you took. For instance, your cats nose to tail length is 12 inches add 4 inches. It will give you a size of 16 inches. This measurement should give you the right range for the best carrier for your cat.

What To Consider When Choosing The Right Size Carrier

The best carrier comes down to your preference and if it is big enough for your feline friend. Youll have to decide whether you want to go with a soft-sided carrier or a hard plastic carrier.

A soft-sided carrier is collapsible, which means that it will in tighter spaces with your cat inside. A hard plastic carrier will be limited in terms of the tight spaces you can put it.

If you plan on traveling with your cat via air, then the soft-sided carriers are recommended. They will fit easily under your seat in the cabin.

A hard carrier is perfect and recommended if youre traveling with your kitty in the car. It is easier to secure tightly in the backseat. And is sturdier and provides more protection in case of an accident.

Other features that you will want to consider when shopping for the right size carrier are:

Handles

Shoulder strap

  • Screws
  • Plastic knobs
  • Zippers/velcro/snaps

Its important to find a carrier that is built with durability and safety in mind. You want something that can hold your cat safely and will prevent them from getting out. All cat carriers are different, thats why we put together a list of safety features to look for in soft carriers.

Now lets take a look at choosing the right one based on the size and transportation mode.

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What If You Have A Small Kitten

While it has been said that the cat should be able to stand up and turn around freely inside the cat carrier and how it should be at least 1.5 times the length of your cat, it is different for kittens.

Baby cats have a significant amount of growth rate. Therefore, when you get a carrier that is 1.5 times larger than your kitten, do not be surprised when after a couple of months, she has outgrown the cat carrier. Eventually, you will have to buy another one.

How Do You Find The Right Size Carrier For Your Cat

Top 5 Best Cat Carriers (We Tested Them All)

As mentioned earlier, your cat should be able to stand and turn around in his carrier. This is the best size for taking short trips, like going to the vet or visiting local friends and family.

However, if you like taking your cat on longer or overnight trips, the carrier should have enough room for food and water bowls, but not overly large so that your cat gets bounced around from one side to the other while traveling.

The best way to know what size carrier to get is to measure your cat. If your cat is still a kitten, you can estimate how large the cat should grow and use those dimensions.

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How To Clean Your Cat Carrier

Cleaning your cat carrier is important to avoid infection, especially if your cat has vomited or toileted on the journey. While cats like a clean space to enjoy, they arent keen on strong cleaning scents. Instead, use mild non-toxic soap and water to clean the carrier with a scrubbing brush. Then, rinse it with water and leave it outside to dry. Cleaning the carrier will give it a neutral scent and may even avoid it smelling like a vet surgery making your cat more inclined to use it!

A Guide For Choosing The Best Cat Carrier

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With so many options, finding the best cat carrier for your furry friend can feel overwhelming. Should it be soft-sided or hard-sided and top-loading or front-loading? And what’s the best cat carrier for difficult cats?

This guide will help you make sense of the many cat carrier choices out there and choose the best one for your kitty.

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Make Your Cats Carrier Comfortable

Making your cats carrier comfortable will help them feel safe during your car ride and may make it easier to get them into the carrier in the first place.

There are a few things you can do to make your cats carrier more comfortable and alluring:

  • Since cats use their facial pheromones to mark things that they have deemed safe and secure, spritzing a synthetic feline facial pheromone such as Feliway into the carrier 15 minutes before scooting them inside can give them some comfort.
  • Leaving the carrier out when its not in use will make it a familiar object in your cats daily life. Instead of hiding it in a closet, leave it somewhere accessible so theyll be able to smell it, explore it, and mark it with their happy facial pheromones.
  • Giving your cat treats when theyre rubbing against the carrier, showing curiosity towards it, or voluntarily entering it will help them associate the experience with a happy time.

Of course, whether of not your cat is comfortable in the carrier depends a lot on the carrier itself. Cats are sensitive and finicky creatures, and choosing the right carrier can make a huge difference in how your cat reacts to it.

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