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Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

A move is coming up? A visit to a veterinary clinic is unavoidable? Then it probably means, off into the box. But what makes a cat transport box suitable for animals? What do you have to look out for when buying a box and how do you get your cat used to the box?

Which cat transport boxes are there?

Suppliers and models are a dime a dozen and not every transport box is equally suitable. When deciding which box to buy, it also depends on the purpose for which you want to purchase the box. For example, when traveling by air with cats, certain requirements are specified for the box.

Basically, the boxes differ in the most diverse designs and designs, according to the taste of master and mistress. However, you should go less by the appearance, but more emphasis on quality and safety.

The cat transport boxes can be divided into four divisions:

– Plastic transport boxes: The most common are probably these transport boxes. They are usually made of plastic and can be closed with a mesh door. Some also allow you to remove the lid, like a litter box, or open it from the top. This is pretty handy for getting your cat out at the vet with less stress. A big advantage of these boxes is also their sturdiness. Because of the hard materials, they are escape-proof and protect your furry friend in case of accidents, for example. Also the easy cleaning is given with these boxes.

– Transport boxes made of rattan and Co: There are also transport boxes made of natural materials. Some cats feel comfortable in them, but the disadvantage is that they are less safe and worse to clean. Also, the removal of the cats, for example, at the vet, is usually associated with stress for your darling, because only a relatively small hole can be opened.

– Transport bags: are usually made of natural fabric or chemical fibers. These bags usually have a carrying strap, which makes it easier for master or mistress to carry a heavier cat for a long time. They are usually washable, lightweight and very comfortable for our pet tigers. They should still have a sturdy sidewall and not collapse on themselves. An advantage is that you can usually open the bags from several sides. However, they are less advisable in terms of safety for car or air travel.

– Transport backpacks: This type of transport option is seen somewhat less often. Mostly it is about hard shell backpacks, in which a viewing window is built in. Quite suitable for longer trips with the cat, as they are lighter than a box. Usually there is also a carabiner to attach to the chest harness. However, since there is no “protection from above” – as in a box – it is more suitable for stress- and fear-resistant conspecifics.

How big should a cat carrier be?

For the well-being of your beloved cat, it is extremely important to find the right size of the transport box. If you pay attention to the following things when buying, you can not do much wrong:

– Your cat should be able to stand upright in it without any problems.

– It should be able to turn and sit comfortably.

– It should also be possible for your cat to lie stretched out.

– However, too big is also not recommended for safety reasons, otherwise your darling could slide harder against the inner walls of the box in case of an accident.

– The following calculation can support you: Length of the cat (from snout to tail base) + 10-15 centimeters.

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How should a cat transport box be equipped?

What makes a cat transport box suitable for the species? The interior plays a decisive role in terms of the feel-good factor:

– A soft carpet pad, such as a cuddly blanket or a cushion, ensures comfortable lying. This can be 10 cm thick.

– Under this you can lay out a waterproof foil in case of a mishap. Tip: Waterproof, pull-out floor tray or patient pad.

– A non-slip pad is recommended in any case, when traveling by car, public transport or the like.

– A piece of clothing that smells like you can give your pet a sense of security.

– Also catnip or Matatabi, as well as so-called Lickimats can contribute to the reassurance.

– A small favorite toy or favorite cuddly toy.

– Always make sure there is adequate ventilation. When cats are stressed, they tend to breathe or pant faster.

– Safety always comes first. Sharp edges, protruding wires or the like, can cause bad injuries.

Keep in mind that it would also be of great advantage if your cat is accustomed to the box in advance. Only under this condition, the transport for your darling is not a stressful and stressful affair.

How do I get my cat used to the transport box?

A training to the box is recommended in advance in any case. To lock an untrained cat in the box is hardly animal-friendly and can cause fear and panic in cats. But how can you take away the fear of the transport box from your velvet paw?

– The first step is to place the transport box in a freely accessible and quiet place. Your cat should get to know the “strange thing” independently for the first time, sniff it out and explore it. Caution: remove or fix swinging doors so they don’t slam shut and scare your cat.

– Positive reinforcement is the key. That is, “correct” behavior is rewarded. When your pet shows interest in the box, reinforce that behavior by praising her profusely. If your cat goes inside on her own, you can give her a treat. Clicker training is also a good training method.

– If your cat doesn’t go in on its own, you can also try putting a trail of treats in the box (or its favorite toy, catnip). When your cat is skeptical or fearful, click every time she looks in the direction of the box and don’t lure her in initially.

– If the box has a removable lid, you can begin training without the lid. 

– Patience, forbearance and composure are important during these first steps. Try to give your pet the time it needs and don’t rush it.

– The box should be closed only when your pet can stay in it without problems and come to rest. 

– Initially, you can leave the door ajar or something similar, then close it briefly and open it again.

– The time span in which the box door is closed is then slowly increased. However, only as long as your cat feels visibly comfortable.

Important: If you have more than one cat, each cat gets its own box. You should not transport several cats together in one box.

What is meant by a living box?

Living box instead of transport box, ever heard of it? Basically, it is about providing your four-legged darling the “transport box” 365 days a year. Placed in a quiet and safe place, the living box can become the ideal retreat, hiding place, sleeping and playing place.

The great advantage is that the usually unpopular transport box – which is usually used only a few times a year – becomes a familiar and beloved living box. If you ever need to transport your cat somewhere, he will always have his safe home with him.

Which transport box for anxious cats?

Especially anxious cats should be accustomed to the transport box in peace and like it as a place of retreat at home. Also pay attention to the following:

– Box with large openings in as many places as possible to make removing the cat stress-free.

– A removable tub is also an option. This allows the cat to remain seated on its familiar surface during the exam.

– Windows darkened so that the cat can look out but does not feel observed.

– Avoid noise. Close the box as quietly as possible. Also avoid dropping the handle on the hard plastic and scaring the cat in the box’s resonating chamber.

– Stable carrying! Cats hate to fall back and forth like in a roller coaster. So try to carry the cat carrier as calmly and straight as possible.

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With the variety of cat transport boxes available, it is often not easy to decide on the right box. Criteria such as safety, the right size, as well as the “living quality” are crucial for the purchase of such a box. After all, the well-being of your furry nose always has top priority 😊.