Have you ever given a thought about the humble cat carrier? Thought not. Most people don’t give it a glance until it gets called into play to take their cat to the vet. If the cat carrier had a conscience, it would feel pretty miserable about itself. But cat carriers are not just for carrying cats.
7+ Uses for your Cat Carrier
Taking your cat to the vet
A given, but effective.
It’s Not just about Cats
“Pet carriers are small portable boxes, crates, or cages used to transport small animals such as cats, lap dogs, miniature pigs, ferrets, chickens, guinea pigs, and so on, from one location to another” (Wikipedia) Such a selection!
We have used our cat carrier to carry all manner of other animals. Not just to the vet, but also to bring an outside pet into the house to check them over. When we were looking after rabbits, we used carriers to carry them comfortably and with less fright, not to mention less worry that they would leap and get away. They are proper wrigglers after all.
As a Separator
We often use the carriers if we have to seperate any one of the animals from the others. This is particularly useful if animals are in heat or fighting and you want to create a little peace. We might also separate to monitor or, at the other end, for recovery from an ailment.
When our Sir Studly, a male mallard, ate something that did not agree with him and I had to doctor him with carbon to neutralize whatever poison was harming him, we used the cat carrier to give him a place to rest and recover, away from the others but still able to see what was going on with his flock.
Cat carriers are obviously the perfect means to transport your cat, or other animals, if you are traveling or moving house with your pet. But once there, the carrier becomes the only home your pet has known. If your pet is the type to come out of the carrier (cat, dog), don’t remove it as soon as you arrive. Rather, let the cat (or other pet) continue to use as a familiar base while it explores its new home.
Having a place that they can see as their own, a place they can return to, gives them a sense of place. A cat carrier, because it is generally enclosed as well, gives them a sense of protection and comfort, too.
The Comfort Zone
I know our cats, and ducks, return time and time again to the carriers we have. We have never put them away in storage, but instead keep them out and about, in the house and garden. Yes, this means a clean up before using to transport anywhere, but it is worth it. Our pets really like knowing, expecting the carriers to be there to protect them, give them peace from the others or just to laze about in on a sleepy day.
The inside carriers generally have a piece of flannel or similar in them, something comfy and cozy, that the cats adore sleeping on, and consequently in. The outside carriers have straw in them. Ah, the happy peeps that ensue when the ducks go into the carrier. They just adore fresh straw. Even the cats have been found time to time sleeping in the outside carrier.
The Simple Bed
With the majority of carriers you can remove the lid, giving you a nice curved base. This is perfect as a cat or dog bed (depending on the size of your carrier). We just put in a cushion, cover with a piece of fleece or towel and voilà we have a bed for them to curl up in.
Doing this means there is no need to buy an additional bed. And with some we can even turn the lid over and create a second bed. Win, win all around as far as our pets are concerned.
Nest for your duck (or other birds)
And finally, for us, the cat carrier makes a perfect nest for Maggie, our pet duck. As she varies between being indoors and outdoors, when it comes to nesting season we have found she much prefers the cat carriers. We put down some flannel, add some straw and it isn’t long before she has made it her own.
In fact, as I write this post, I can hear the peep, peep, peep of Maggie’s 2 week old duckling. It is such a happy, cheerful sound. They will use the carrier as their home for the next couple weeks until they are too big and adventurous to stay put. Then it will be cleaned out, have fresh straw put in it and remain in situ for sleepy cats and ducks until the next nesting.
If you are unfortunate to find yourself with a cat carrier and no cat, or other pet, it can still be put to good use, if not too emotionally painful. A few suggests off the top of my head – as a basket for market, to keep clutter contained in the car, or keep muddy or wet boots away from clean ones. It would even make a good planter in the garden, or storage for garden tools. It’s uses truly know no bounds.
We have Maggie with already one duckling. Currently we also have Macey nesting in her cat carrier in the stable (see video below). Neige, Macey’s sister has her cat carrier in the duck enclosure. She is not quite nesting full time, but will be in a few days. And our little BeepBeep started sitting on her nest in, you guessed it, her cat carrier also in the duck enclosure.
The delight of these is that at night I can life the carrier, duck, nest and all and take it in to the safety of our enclosed stable at night. Thus keeping all our nesting girls quiet, calm and broody.