We continue our series of recommendations for new cat owners. See the entire new cat shopping list here.
Many rescues will let you take your newly adopted cat home in a cardboard carrier that they provide. Even though they're just trying to be helpful, we feel that this is a mistake. It's always best to require prospective guardians to bring their own carriers in order to determine just how serious they are about caring for their new friend. Sure, there are budgetary constraints, but even the most budget-conscious family can afford a modest carrier. If they can't or won't, then they shouldn't adopt a cat.
As to which carriers are best, we prefer soft-sided carriers. Our cats do too! There are several advantages that they have over the hard plastic carriers. They're much more comfy for your cat, they're easier to store, and they can be small enough for air travel too! The Bergan Comfort Carrier line is our current favorite. They come in several sizes, have access at both ends as well as the top, and have removable fleece beds.
When travelling by car, be sure to buckle your cat carrier in place just like you would a child in a car seat. Many soft-sided carriers are designed to accommodate a seat belt. If yours doesn't it might be time to buy a new one. If you're in an accident with your cat in a carrier, the carrier can be flung about the cabin or even ejected from the car. The safest place to be in a car accident is strapped into a seat!