When it comes to buying a cat carrier, you might be under the impression that bigger is always better. It's not. Obviously, neither is a cat carrier that is too snug. A carrier too big will leave your cat feeling isolated and anxious, not to mention keep throwing her against the carrier walls when carrying it (posing a threat to her safety). A small carrier is not comfortable; plain and simple. So, what size of cat carrier do you need? Find out more below.
General Sizing Rules
Buying the right size of carrier for your cat is the first step to ensuring your pet’s comfort during travel and other transportation activities. The cat carrier should be large enough to allow easy movement and turning around of your cat, allowing it to raise its head without scratching the top and sides of the crate.
However, the general rule of getting the right carrier size is that it should be significantly larger than your cat’s dimensions so that the movement within it is not restricted. While at it, get a solid, well-built carrier as it will ensure comfort, freedom and stress-free rides for your cat during your travels. For this, you have to get down and dirty by taking the actual measurements of your cat.
Take Her Actual Measurements
First, while your pet is standing, take her measurement from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail. After that, you should add four inches to the measurements taken. This dimension gives you the approximate length of the suitably sized carrier for your cat. This allows for wiggle room and a chance for her to wag or raise her tail without being excessively restricted by the carrier.
Another essential measurement that should be considered when your pet is still standing is determining how high the carrier should be. Measure from the floor to the top of your cat’s head to get her height. After that, add four inches to the measurement to get the relative height of your intended pet’s crate. This provides her with ample room to stand without her back constantly scratching the roof, which can be really uncomfortable.
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 Kind Of Trips Do You Take With Kitty?
It is such a bummer to buy a cat carrier only to notice it does not quite fit in your car. This is especially if you are accustomed to traveling with kitty on the passage seat. Air travel is an even bigger deal when considering the size of your crate. Most airlines restrict overly large carriers from traveling in the cabin. More so, extra large carriers can take up a lot of your cabin space when traveling. For this reason, it may necessitate the use of different kinds of carriers for different kinds of trips.
Smaller and lighter carriers such as cat backpacks are useful when traveling for shorter distances that include five minutes drives to a vet's surgery or a trip to the "daycare". As such, any journey that is short enough for your cat to endure some discomfort can incorporate the use of smaller carriers. This ranges between fifteen to forty-five minutes in the carrier.
However, longer trips usually necessitate the use of larger crates which allow frequent moment for your cat. You don’t want her to be stuck in one uncomfortable position for long trips. Large carriers also come in handy as they can accommodate extra essentials such as a litter box, pee pads or even a water bowl. For the sake of a peaceful trip, please ensure you go with a large enough carrier for long trips that last more than an hour.
Do You Have Enough Storage Space?
Sometimes the space in your car or room is not enough to accommodate extra-large carriers. No worries. There are different types of carries available with all sorts of adjustments hence saving on space. Take for instance, cat carriers that come with built-in food and water bowls. This makes them compact yet functional, saving you on space. While getting such, it is still important to get the size right. So, don’t skip the measuring process.
Get Accurate By Using Online Calculators
Yep, things are timely going digital! Using online calculators, you can really narrow down the size of the actual carrier you need to get for your cat. The only catch is that you will still have to do a lot of measuring. But, for the benefit of accuracy, that is a small price to pay.
You will need to note down and fill in the various dimensions of your cats including the length and height. Some sites require you to go further and measure the distance between the ground and the elbow joints among other vital cat measurements. Additionally, details of the shape of various external features including the nose and tail will be needed to ease the process of finding the appropriate carriers for your pet.
Also, you will need to indicate the travel services for which you need the carrier, whether international or domestic flights or purely for road travel. With such details, it becomes easy for the online calculator to determine the most suitable carrier for your cat according to the purpose for which you need it. The use of an online calculator has proved to be a reliable method thanks to its high accuracy levels.
If the measurements are taken correctly, the crate should be high enough for your pet to stand up comfortably. Furthermore, your cat will not have to duck to see out of the container. Additionally, the right dimensions will ensure that the crate is wide enough to allow smooth and comfortable turning as well as laying in the carrier with extended limbs.
Read The Measurements On The Carrier
It is hard to find a cat carrier without clear dimensions indicated. As pet parents, there is no way we can miss this information. But the trick is not in reading the indicated dimensions but rather noticing where they are indicated.
Carriers will have dimensions from inside the carrier or outside. To get the right fit for your cat, pay attention to the inside dimensions. Outside measurements usually affect storage and space rather than your cat’s comfort. Great carriers indicate both!
Seek Advice From A Professional
In some cases, the advice of your pet specialist or vet might be useful in the determination of the right dimensions of the carrier for a cat. The specialist will ask for information including the breed and current weight of your cat before advising on the brand, model and appropriate size of the carrier that will serve your pet.
Some manufacturers’ can indicate false dimensions and information on flight crates to entice you into purchasing them. However, such containers will only breed discomfort, anxiety, and stress to your pet. Professionals like vets, relocation specialists and even cat groomers often know a lot about cat essentials such as carriers. So, the next time you have an appointment, don’t be afraid to ask for pointers.
You Own Two Cats, Now What?
The first instinct for any cat owner with more than one cat is to stick them all in the same carrier hence saving on space and expenses. This often proves to be a big mistake especially if the two don’t get along well. A different scenario is when you need to travel with only one cat and now you are stuck with an awkwardly large carrier. Other than being awkward, a carrier too big is never safe for your cat.
In such a case, the way out is by getting your cats separate cages, you get to keep the peace and most importantly, focus on the needs of each cat individually.
What Do You Do For Kittens?
Obviously, kittens are too small for a regular carrier. Then there is the fact that these little fur balls grow way too fast and in no time, they will have surpassed a kitten carrier. When buying a carrier for your kitten, the smart thing to do is to buy a regular sized carrier, but one that is plush and soft-sided.
This way, you don’t have to keep buying a new carrier every time she grows. To avoid her rattling around all over the carrier, line the floor of the carrier with her bedding or just a simple clean towel.
Do Your Research
It isn't difficult to make sure that you buy the right sized carrier, first time. Throughout this website you will find a wealth of information so simply browse at your leisure and buy the right one for your needs.
If you do make a mistake, most stores will have a refund and exchange policy so don't panic!