I barely remember not having a cat. I do remember holding my first cat wrapped in a towel on the way to the vet. Unless my cat was hurt or sick, he would squirm out and hide under a car seat before we reached the vet. My mother would then have to pull the cat out. Cat carriers certainly help.
I have used many types of carriers. I have used copier/printer paper boxes and cardboard carriers shaped like houses. The problem with these is that eventually they would be ruined from clawing escape attempts or cat accidents.
Eventually plastic, washable carriers came along. Getting the cat in and out was definitely a challenge. I have even tried to put a too large cat into a too small carrier by mistake. Taking the cat out at the vet became easier when you could take apart the carriers. It usually took most of the vet visit to put all the screws back.
My daughter found a cute fabric carrier with different zipper mesh openings to transport her cat to college. The carrier can be washed in a washing machine. Her cat has figured out how to escape the carrier.
I gave away a larger, rated for 20 pound animals, carrier with a rescued domestic bunny and started searching for a replacement. I needed a carrier to fit my 20 pound cat. I didn’t want a dog size carrier as it gave my cat too much room to move around and therefore shift his weight while being carried.
Finally, we found a new, and I consider it the best, cat carrier ever – the Van Ness Calm Carrier E-Z Load Sliding Drawer Cat Kennel. It has a full size bottom insert that slides in and out like a drawer. The door attaches to the insert and locks to the top when closed. The back of the insert is carrier height to prevent the cat from getting between the carrier and the insert.
To put a cat in, unlock the door from the top, slide out the insert just enough to plop the cat (facing to the back) into the sliding insert, push the drawer in, lock the door to the top. Done!
At the vet, just unlock the door from the top and slide out the drawer. The cat is fully exposed to scoop out or examine.
Now I admit our first two uses were a surprise to the two cats. Both cats were confused about how they ended up in a carrier. Our largest cat was the first to use the carrier. Even when our cats figure out how this carrier works, I feel this carrier offers enough room for us to maneuver the cat into the “drawer” and hold the cat down long enough to slide the carrier shut.
The sliding drawer also makes it easier to gently place a cat in and take out of the carrier if injured or in a fragile state. Recently my ex adopted a feral cat that then gave birth within 48 hours. We loaned him our drawer carrier to get the new mom and kittens to the vet. He decided to keep the carrier and bought us a new one.
If you need to take it apart for cleaning, the top is locked down with the door; 4, yes only 4, screws; and 12 interlocking, moulded to carrier top and bottom parts, slide latches.
The Van Ness Calm Carrier E-Z Load Sliding Drawer Cat Kennel is truly the best cat carrier I have seen! A worker at our vet office called it what every cat carrier should be. I completely agree.