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Carriers and crates are designed to keep your cat safe and secure. You have a number of choices available, depending on your particular needs.
When choosing the right size crate or carrier, keep in mind that it should be no more than one and a half times the size of the cat. There should be enough room for the cat to lie down flat, and to stand up straight and turn around.
In general there are three different types of cat carriers:
These are generally made of a high-density polypropylene. These durable crates are the only type of crate accepted on airlines.
They make an excellent indoor home for your pet because the pet feels safe and secure inside it. Padded, washable foam pads are available to make the crate a little more comfortable.
These are made of a softer, more flexible material and are used for transporting small pets. They are equipped with handles and have "windows" for the pet to see out.
Some airlines allow pets to travel in the main cabin under your seat, and these soft carriers are ideal for this. Make sure you allow adequate space for the cat to stand up, move around, and be comfortable.
These are typically how cats are transported from one place to another, but they may be used for transporting cats a short distance; for example, to the veterinarian. They are lightweight, economical, and come with small holes that allow the cat to see out while giving him a secure feeling.