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Carriers: Hard or Soft-sided?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
OK, so I e-mailed the breeder asking if I could bring a blanket that had my scent on it for my kitty. She said yes, she would put the blanket in the carrier and let her sit with it for a few minutes every day. I e-mailed her back asking if I should go ahead and buy her a carrier, so the one she is sitting in will be her own so she'll get used to it. The breeder said this was a good idea.

So, I'm off to buy a carrier. Anyone think hard-sided:

or soft-sided:

is better? I want it to be something I can take on an airplane, if I ever travel with her, something to bring her to the vet in, etc. Should I got one that opens from the top and from the side? One that is more open so she can see out or one that is more enclosed so she's more secure? Any thoughts? Or maybe I'm worrying too much . . .
post #2 of 20
I have hardsided for my babies - they feel very secure in it!
post #3 of 20
LOL! Worrying too much! But, I think it is more excitement than anything. Ashley's is your basic carrier that opens from the front. I can tell you from experience when I lived at home with Angel that one of THOSE types with a cat like ANGEL can be total HELL getting them into it! That was horrible!
post #4 of 20
I just got rid of the hard carrier. I bought Max a soft carrier that there is room to move and mesh on both sides. It is much easier to carry and I can hold him on my lap while I wait for the vet. He likes it much better too because he can see so much better. He used to cower (sp) in the back of the hard carrier and was very frightened while being carried in it.
post #5 of 20
It will depend, some cats like the hard, others the soft. Some cats like to be able to see out of it every where, others have to be covered by a blanket so that they can not see outside and get stressed.

Whatever you get, might turn out to be the wrong one for the cat as he gets older or goes in a car.

Good luck!
post #6 of 20
I bought the hard one because soft carrier wasn't there that time. I guess it's up to cats if they like it or not..

Its too late for me and my cats have to get in the hard carrier.. No choice! ha

Actually, they really hates the carrier because they either thinks go to vet or on a long traveling. BUT Mostly, its vet! poor cats!!
post #7 of 20
My cats like them off and on.

We had Isha trained for a while.
Off and on Isha would stay with my mom fo ra while, and then come to stay with me.
So all we would have to do is open up the door place it on the ground and she would run right in an sit and say like "Ok, I'm ready, lets go!"
post #8 of 20
Whenever we are not using the carrier for trips to the vet it is kept open in the living room for them to go in and out of at will. That way they don't only associate it with the Vet. We also store some of their toys in it.
post #9 of 20
The hard ones are easyer to clean. But i think the soft ones might be easy to carry about. The more doors the better. I cover my cats when i go in the car and to the vet. I think its less stress if they dont have to see the dogs and stuff. Mine sit open in the closet and binky sleeps in it sometimes.
post #10 of 20
The side of the soft carrier zips open and will lie flat. I put a little catnip in the carrier and in he goes. I then give him a little push (so he is all the way in) and zip up the side. It works every time.
post #11 of 20
I have a hard carrier for Spike... it's only front-load, and he hates getting in it, so it's a bit difficult to get him in there. The ones you posted are both front and top load... so you might have an easier time trying to go from the top. I have to stand Spike's carrier up on its side to put him in it.

I don't know which kind is safer... for an airplane trip, the soft sort is probably much more comfortable and easier - at least if you take him in the cabin with you. For a car ride, I'm not sure, but I would think hard carriers would be safer... just in the case of an accident, the whole thing is more sturdy, and hopefully, will be more protective. That's just what I'm thinking though.
post #12 of 20
I've always had hard carriers. They seem to be safer in the car and can't be shredded. Right now, I just have the cardboard ones, that the cats came in. We keep one sitting around, for familiarity's sake.
post #13 of 20
I have a hard carrier like the one you have pictured, with the top and front load. I personally like that one because I have ptions on how I get them into it.

I too leave mine out in the open and they will go in it of their own accord and play in it. And I am with Jenn on the safety in the car issue. I feel the hard ones are safer in case of accident. Less, well, squishy. But really, the choice is up to you.

Sorry, I guess that wasn't much help.
post #14 of 20
The hard sided ones are not allowed inside the cab of the plane unless they are only 12 inches tall. Very tight space for a kitty that is full grown. I would get both, one for plane rides and the other one for the car. I only use the hard sided ones in the car for safety sake. There are seatbelt harnesses for pets now if you would rather go with that!
Good luck!
post #15 of 20
This is from my posting on April 9th, 2003:


i have two large Sherpa soft cat carriers for my two kitties. These carriers are great!

It is approved by most airlines in America, and you can bring your kitties along in these, and placed them underneath the seats in front of you.

It has a two large pockets at one end, and you can place a lot of stuff there. It helps to put all the pertinent info in that pocket. i place pertinent health records, plastic bags, food, water, a clean teaspoon, baby food, collars, leash, harness, etc. in them.

Three sides of the carrier are mesh-like. The top of the carrier has a zipper as well. The kittes can enter from the top or one end of the carrier. It is lined with a fleece, on a board. One can place another thick layer of flat fleece bed on top of that as well.

In a LARGE size Sherpa carrier, there is plenty of room for the kitty to move around (turn around), move and even play with a toy or two. i found the small and medium size ones to be a tad too small.

i spent A LOT of time shopping for a really good carrier (researching via the internet, going to many different stores to make comparisons) and found this to be the BEST as a cat carrier. i hope you will check it out, okay? It is available in forest green, white and black. Both mine are black. Also, it comes with a leather tag, big enough for you to put your kitty's pix on it. i place a picture of me and my kitty baby in each of them. Also, i wrote my information on the other side of the photograph.

If you bring the cats out, do feed them a few hours ahead, so they won't throw up. Don't bring them out immediately after a meal, they might feel nauseous.

Also, it is important to let them use their litter before leaving the house. This way, they will not do their small and big businesses as much. It helps me to bring along disposable litter boxes filled with their clean litter as well. When my Daisy meows in a certain way, i knew she wanted to use the litter box, and i get it ready for her immediately.

Bring a bottle of water and their bowl. i let them drink from the bowl every now and then. i feel that putting the bowl IN the carrier is not too good an idea. Venus' tail got wet, when it was accidentally dipped in the bowl. Not good for water and kitty.

post #16 of 20
Here is a pix of Daisy inside the carrier with her favorite toy:
post #17 of 20
Another (top view of the carrier)
post #18 of 20
Cooper LOVES her hard carrier

We we are not in transit.... she uses it as a little house
and sleeps in it!
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
OK, well I ended up getting a hard-sided carrier; I figured it would be safer in the car. I'm not planning any plane trips for awhile, so when/if it comes time for that, I'll get a nicer, soft-sided one that I can take on board with me. For now, it'll be mostly trips to the vet, etc., so the hard-sided should be fine. Plus, the nice soft-sided carriers were really expensive, and with all the other stuff I'm buying right now, I'd rather wait to spend so much money on a carrier. Thank you, everyone, for your help!!!
post #20 of 20

That's what I did. I bought the hard carrier first and when I saved enough I bought the soft carrier. It was expensive, but I felt Max would like it better and I was right. But when you are purchasing all the things you need for your baby, it can get quite expensive.
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