My cat stresses severely when placed into a cat carrier for a vet visit. Now she stresses hardly at all when I made my own cheap effective carrier. Two round laundry baskets, place the cat in the bottom, place the other one on to form a dome and tie yarn through the baskets on a few sides to secure. Also with the rounded shape a seat belt fits on perfectly. No more fighting a spread eagled cat to get it into a square box!
When we had cats, my vet recommended to use a pillow case as a cat carrier. It allowed the cat to breathe, the cat could not see what was happening, and it was very easy to hold the cat. We could hold them as we normally did without any problems. To alleviate stress, it is better that the cats cannot see. The cats never became stressed whenever they had to travel. We did this for all our cats but one since he would get car sick. Just be sure it is a new pillow case without any holes or tears. I would wind the lace a few times and tie tightly using a non-slip cotton shoe lace to tie the pillow case. (09/30/2005)
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