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22 May 2024
Cats & kittens
Transporting your pet

Cat Carrier Advice Langford Vet Practice

Cat Carrier Advice

Working with our colleagues at the Feline Centre at the Langford Vets Small Animal Referral Hospital, we have a good understanding of the specific needs of our feline friends. We know that it's not always easy to prepare your cat for travel so here are some tips which might make the preparations and journey less stressful for you both.

What Cat box should I choose?

Always choose a sturdy carrier (cardboard, particularly if it gets damp, is no match for a determined cat!), and never travel with your cat loose in the car. It may be difficult to choose the ideal carrier from the huge variety available, but these tips might prove useful:

  • The basket should be easy to clean and not so large that the cat falls about in it
  • A basket that opens at the top is much easier to use as the cat can be gently lifted in or out and does not have to be coaxed out through a narrow opening.


Your cat will be less alarmed if the carrier smells familiar and reassuring. You can do this by:

  • Having the carrier around the house ‘as part of the furniture’ so it does not only appear when a visit to the vet is imminent.
  • Getting your cat used to the carrier by using it as a bed at home or occasionally feeding your cat in it.
  • Using bedding in the carrier that your cat normally sleeps on or curls up on at home.
  • In addition, place an article of clothing belonging to your cat’s favourite person in the carrier.
  • Wipe a soft cloth around your cat’s face to pick up its scent. Rub the cloth around the carrier, especially in the corners and then leave it in the basket.
  • At least half an hour before putting your cat in, spray the carrier and its contents with Feliway if available (a synthetic pheromone which helps cats to feel secure), Feliway can be purchased from our practice without a prescription.

How to place your cat in the carrier

  • If your cat panics at the sight of the carrier because it is unused to it or has bad associations with it, be prepared. Keep calm and work smoothly so that you are successful at the first attempt.
  • Keep the basket close by but out of sight. Wrap your cat in a thick towel or blanket, which smells familiar, and put the cat and the towel into the basket quickly but gently, so that it cannot grab the carrier, struggle and escape – never to be seen again that day!

Travelling to the Practice

  • Cover the carrier with a cloth or towel during the journey to keep your cat calm.
  • Put the carrier in the footwell behind the front seat of the car or secure it on the seat with a seatbelt. Place it on a towel to keep it level and to absorb any ‘accidents’.
  • Drive carefully to avoid your cat being thrown around and keep the volume down on the radio.
  • Stay calm so that your cat doesn’t pick up any tension from you. Speak quietly and reassuringly during the journey.
  • Take some spare bedding (smelling of home) in case your cat is sick or soils in the carrier.
  • On arrival at our practice, try to avoid rushing. Keep your cat in the basket and carry it carefully without swinging or banging it against your legs.

For further useful tips International Cat Care have lots of helpful information and videos.

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