A 12-pound cat is likely to require a carrier that’s around 15 lbs in specification weight. That way, your kitty will have enough space to move around without getting cramped. A carrier of this size will also provide extra capacity should your cat fluctuate in weight and size with age.
A cat weighing anywhere in this region is, according to Whiskas.co.uk, near the average weight (10 pounds) of an adult cat.
Cats a little larger might be considered overweight. But before you get offended on behalf of your podgy cat, this is also highly dependent on their breed.
Whatever the weight or size of your cat, picking out a great carrier for them is an absolute must. Let’s take a further look at some key considerations.
What Size Carrier Do I Need for My Cat?
Measuring the length of your cat from nose to the root of its tail is the best way to work out what size carrier is best.
You can do this by using a standard tape measure. If you can keep your cat as still as possible (a little fussing goes a long way here).
From there you’ll have a good measure inch-wise of what to look out for.
Size is potentially the biggest factor to get right when it comes to purchasing a carrier.
But you’ll also want to consider the following factors too:
- Growth: kittens or younger cats will continue to grow so be sure to pick out a carrier that provides space in anticipation of this
- Space: you don’t want to fit a carrier to the exact size of your cat. Make sure you have ample space for a litter tray, water, and food bowls too.
- Oversize: carriers too large in size can sometimes exacerbate a cat’s anxiety when traveling. Make sure it’s confined enough to provide for their feeling of security.
Obviously, it’s going to be tough to find an exact fit for the measurements of your cat. But it’s always better to overshoot than undershoot when it comes to carrier size.
It is possible to travel with your cat in your car without a carrier. I’d recommend following these precautions, however.
Do Cats Prefer Hard or Soft Carriers?
A cat’s preference, in terms of the carrier material, is dependent on their personality. Agitated cats, for example, might best be transported in hard carriers.
This will stop them from biting, clawing, and frantically moving around too much in the middle of a ride. Something that can be very distracting for you while you’re driving.
Placid (spoiled) cats, on the other hand, might be better suited to soft carriers. Cushioned fabrics might even help them sleep or relax better too. It’s really case dependent.
Another important thing to keep in mind is the mode of transport. When you’re driving your cat around, you have the choice of hard or soft when it comes to carriers.
Airline travel however, due to flight restrictions, might mean you have no choice in the matter and that you must use a hard-cased carrier.
So a cat’s preference might not always be able to be accounted for!
Can Two Cats Fit in a Carrier?
Whether two cats can fit in a carrier depends entirely on two things:
- The size of each of your cats
- The size of the carrier
There are some carriers available that are specifically made for multiple cats. Kittens too, given their smaller size, would have no problem traveling in a cat carrier.
Obviously, you don’t want to put two cats in a carrier if the whole situation proves uncomfortable. Each cat should have enough space to stand up, move around, and turn.
Cramming two into a tight space might compromise that. I explain this in more detail in this post.
Should I Put a Blanket in My Cat Carrier?
It’s generally considered a good idea to line the floor of a carrier with a blanket or towel. Preferably a blanket your cat has used so it smells of them.
That way you protect the bottom of the carrier, provide extra comfort to your cat, and it can also be reassuring for them.
In hard carriers, this might prove doubly important as it helps prevent them from sliding around too.
Some owners like to place blankets over the carriers also. This can be an effective trick for calming cats who don’t travel easily and can become quite agitated when transported in any type of vehicle. Covering provides a greater sense of security.
A blanket that is covered in a familiar scent, one that’s used regularly by your cat at home, for example, is probably the best addition.
How Long Can My Cat Stay in a Carrier?
It’s not a great idea to keep a cat in a carrier for anything longer than 6-8 hours. Doing so is only likely to irritate your cat and make future travel more difficult.
Traveling for that amount of time requires breaks and a chance for your cat to take some water and go to the toilet.
Keeping your cat in a carrier any longer than this could also cause adverse health issues. Especially in terms of musculoskeletal, respiratory, and cardiovascular problems.
So make sure there is good ventilation and space enough in a carrier for your cat to adjust its positioning.
Related – How long you can expect a cat to hold its poop on a long trip!
Buying a cat carrier isn’t as simple as looking at your cat and choosing a size you think might fit. Although don’t worry, it’s still not a difficult task.
Hopefully, this article has helped explain what you need to take into account and how to go about picking a suitable one and why it’s important.
Image credits – Photos by fotografierende and Gena Okami on Unsplash
Average cat weight – Whiskas.co.uk