Monday, April 29, 2013

Why You Need to Take Your Cat to the Vet in a Carrier

Does your cat hate their carrier? Probably, but it's still really important that you use one when you're transporting them somewhere. Specifically, the veterinarian's office. It's also a pet peeve of veterinary staff when people bring their cats in without a carrier. Transporting a cat in a carrier is mostly for their own safety, although the cats might disagree with us there... There are several reasons why you need to take your cat to the vet in a carrier - here are some of the most important. 

cat going to vet in carrier
Photo via pjmorse

Keep Your Cat Safe

I'd have to say the number one reason is safety, as I mentioned above. There are all kinds of things that could go wrong if your cat isn't safe and cozy in their carrier. I hate to think about all the different scenarios, but there are a lot. 

  • Ensure a safe car ride - What if you were to get into an accident? If your cat is roaming the car freely, they are very likely to get hurt. Not to mention they could jump out of a window or dart out of an open car door. 
  • Prevent your cat from running away - Riding in the car can be a scary experience for cats. If they are scared, they may be more likely to run away if they get the chance. It could be hard to catch them, plus you are probably going to be in an area where there are lots of cars around. Another added danger. 
  • Some dogs don't get along with cats - If you've managed to make it safely inside the vet's office without the carrier, you now have to worry about dogs. There could be dogs in the lobby that may not be cat friendly or are just excited. This could be scary for your cat! You and your cat could end up getting hurt in this scenario. 

Keep Your Veterinary Staff Happy

When you bring your cat to the vet without a carrier, it can make things harder on the staff. They will probably do everything they can to make sure that your cat isn't injured or put in harms way. They are vulnerable when not in a carrier. It makes the staff very happy when you bring your cat in a carrier to the animal clinic. 

Also, please try to limit one cat per carrier. I've seen some cats put in a carrier together and by the time they get to the vet's office, they are very angry with each other. Of course, that makes them even more unhappy to be at vet clinic. It also makes it more difficult to remove them and put them back into their carriers. 

Other Tips for Taking Your Cat to the Vet in a Carrier

Photo via KellyReeves
Most vet hospitals will do this already, but you should label your cat's carriers with your cat's first and last names and even your own name. Especially if you have two or more cats and you're dropping them off for the day. It is possible for people to make mistakes and this can help prevent any mix-ups with your pets. Labeling your carrier can also help prevent it from getting lost or sent home with the wrong person.

And don't forget to make your cat comfortable in their carrier! Give them a blanket or towel to lay on. Avoid placing water dishes in the crate as they are likely to spill and get kitty all wet. 

If your cat has an "accident" in the carrier - don't worry. It happens all the time and the veterinary staff should be used to this sort of thing. But don't put any bedding in the carrier that you wouldn't want to be soiled. 

Whether your a seasoned cat pro or this is your first trip to the vet with your cat, hopefully these tips are helpful to you in some way. Do you use a carrier to transport your cat to the vet? If not, I hope you will consider using a carrier for future visits. 

37 comments:

  1. Our vets insist on a pet carrier and dogs on leads and rightly so. The last time we went to the vet just the other week someone had a cat in a blanket but as the poor thing was to be put to sleep the staff did not mind and I behaved myself which is a rare event. Have a marvelous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

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    1. Well, I think that in that case, no carrier is acceptable. So glad you behaved yourself Molly :)

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  2. We just took our three in to the vet last week. Miko actually likes his carrier and the other two don't mind it. We were short a carrier this time due to having loaned it out so Jae was wearing his harness and leash. Luckily our vet's office has the seating set up so that we were in a fairly private area while we waited.

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    1. At least he was restrained! You know, that reminds me that some vet clinics have separate wait areas for cats and dogs. That's beginning to be a more popular thing it seems.

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  3. I can't imagine not having Thunder Kitty in the carrier at the vets...I'd be one scar face for sure! :)

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    1. Lol - can't wait to meet this Thunder Kitty...

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  4. I saw a bad accident with a dog and a hamster who was "transported" in the jacket pocket in a waiting room. Thanks for this interesting and VER IMPORTANT post

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    1. Eeek... well, it's important for other animals too.

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  5. I totally agree, it is just the safest option!!!!

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  6. great tips!!! Luckily I knew you should always keep a cat in a carrier when taking to the vets, but never knew how many reasons there actually were! Good job on another beautiful and informative post Ann!

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  7. Ahh when I had my tom cat, Jaggar, this was pre-Titan, he always went in a carrier. He would cry bloody murder but I knew he would NOT be able to free run in my vehicle nor would he appreciate a color and leash walking into the vets office. I'm sure you've seen this happen: cat on leash with owner walk into vet office; dog sees cat; cat sees dog; dog lunges; cat jumps straight up in the air 4 feet off the ground; lands as giant fluff ball; owner (mom) pees her pants. haha

    Carriers are a necessity imo and possibly even for some of those "pocket" dogs ;)

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    1. Fortunately not that many people brought their cat in on a harness. Most of the time, the cats just ended up scratching us or being crazy when we had to take them to the back lol.

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  8. I'm a seasoned pro here, but it is not a trip either Austin or I like! lol We are not allowed to travel with a cat loose in the car! You can be stopped by the police and the vets are very clear that a carrier for a cat is mandatory! I do remember as a kid, my father driving with our cat loose and she disappeared down by the pedals! Could have been very nasty!! He never did it again!

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    1. I am not sure if they are laws here against cats riding loose in the car? That's pretty cool. I think the vets that I worked for should have been more "demanding" in that department.

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  9. Multiple cats in one carrier? disaster! lol

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    1. We moved just a few miles and foolishly put four cats in a large crate for the trip thinking the familiarity would be calming. Not only did I fail to plan for the combined weight of four house cats PLUS the metal crate, but when one of them's fear lead to watery stools en route the ensuing mess was epic. Never again!

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  10. Carriers are very important for kitties! When they were at the pet expo, mom and dad found this thing called the Sleepy Pod, which is a cozy kitty bed that you can zip a cover onto so the kitties can travel in their own bed! Mom and dad thought this was a pretty cool idea :)

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  11. We always take our cats in a carrier. Sometimes getting them out can be a challenge LOL! Lee and Phod

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    1. I've already thought up another post about that sort of thing! ;)

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  12. We had to borrow a carrier for our cat, Evelyn a few years ago when she was sick. It's never fun getting her in though.

    Confession: one day, 15+ years ago, our first cat came home dehydrated and we thought she wasn't going to make it. In a hurry, my mom poked muchos air holes into an instant noodle box and placed her inside to take her to the vet.

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    1. OK - I think that's acceptable Kat! There are some situations that it's not such a big deal. I don't know that I would have even stopped to grab a noodle box, so at least your mom was thoughtful enough for that!

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  13. Very informative and true! I havent yet taken any cat to any vet...but I have taken Kame once and yes I took her in a carrier for reasons you have mentioned above, even thought she was not a cat

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    1. Turtles should probably travel in some sort of container as well!

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  14. I remember taking the cats to the vets with mum when I was younger. It was a trial and a half to get some of them in the carriers, especially the tom cat who was castrated at a later age -- he built up a lot of muscle from all that testosterone coursing through him before we got him and had him "done" -- but we would not have even dreamt of taking them without a carrier!

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    1. Some of them can be pretty troublesome to get in their carriers lol... At least most of my experience with them they were willing to go back in their carriers after we were done with them at the vet clinic.

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  15. My cat hated the carrier but I always put him in it when we went the the vet...except for the final time. When I had to take him to be put to sleep he was so out of it I wrapped him in a towel and he didn't move.

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    1. That's an understandable thing to do.

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  16. Great points!
    Personally, I put my cats in a carrier for my OWN protection!! :)

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    1. LOL - I almost put that on the list, but I think I just hinted towards it a bit.

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  17. We've always had trouble getting our cats into a carrier but have found a new style with a door in the top and are having to problem just gently setting our cats down into it.

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    1. Hey Bruny, thanks for stopping by. Those types of carriers are wonderful! I love them. This post gave me another idea for writing one about which types of carriers are the best to use. Those are definitely on my list.

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  18. My cats 97% of the time never go in their carriers. If your cat (or dog) is in a crate when you get in a car crash, no doubt they will be killed. Cats in carriers are not the safest way to go.

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    1. Well, thanks for sharing your opinion with us. I do disagree however. A cat flying across the car and into a windshield during a collision is possible and that would most likely kill them. If you buckle down the crate with a seat belt, you don't have to worry about it flying around. Plus, they can cause distractions that can cause a wreck. It's best to restrain them in some way if possible.

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  19. If you can't control your dog put it in a carrier. My cat is perfectly behaved on a leash.

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  20. I actually don't even have a carrier for my cat. She's super chill, even in rowdy situations she just cuddles up to me. Even as a kitten she didn't need one. Car rides are a dream with her because she just cuddles up in the passengers lap and goes to sleep. I take her on casual non vet car rides all the time. I wanted to nix the carrier when I got her because she should be able to and has been trained to act calmly if she's in my arms. The vet is even impressed with her good behavior and doesn't mind her being free. However, my boyfriend needs the carrier because they're play buddies and when she sees him she thinks "time to run around!"

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