Using a Pillowcase When Transporting Cats

Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 170 Posts
November 23, 2010

Cat Laying on BlanketUse a pillow case to transport your cat. Make sure the pillow case is in new or very good condition and has absolutely no holes whatsoever. Tightly tie a cotton shoelace or something of that nature to tie up the pillow case. Pillow cases also come in many sizes. I received this tip from my vet many years ago.


When it comes time to put the cat in the pillow case, just leave it open on the floor and casually put the cat inside. Pull it up and quickly tie it up. Make sure the tie is tight. I usually double tie it.

As explained to me by the vet, the pillow case allows the cat to breathe and the cat cannot see where it is going. Usually cats get upset when they see outside a crate. You can carry the cat safely in your arms as normal. It is calming to the cat when you hold it. Also, usually the cat can remain in the open case when being checked by the vet. If it becomes upset while waiting, it will have the security of the case to stay in.

We have used this method for many years on many cats without any problems. Just be sure to use a pillow case that is in good shape. I recommend buying a new one just to be used for this purpose. It can be washed very easily. If in doubt, try it at home to be sure that this will work with your cat.


One thing to keep in mind, if your cat usually becomes car sick, do not use this tip.

By it' from NE PA / USA

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November 23, 20100 found this helpful

I learned this method years ago too. Did you know they can give them shots right through the pillowcase? Didn't really work well with my cat though, unless you consider it successful that he didn't tear the vet & tech to pieces! He did not do well with vet visits at all, we ended up with scars from him & they wouldn't touch him because he would be so vicious. We put him in the pillow case, which only made him angrier & nearly tore through the pillowcase, but he got his shots! He is a totally indoor cat, so we finally quit taking him in because it was too stressful for everyone, including him.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 205 Posts
November 23, 20100 found this helpful

How would you like to be stuffed in a sac and carried around in it? The poor cat has no idea what or why you are doing this to him/her. Put out a little bit of money (you can usually find them at yard sales or on Craig's list or in the want ads) and buy your poor cats a crate!


To get them accustomed to the crate simply put it on the floor in the living room and leave the door open. You can even put their bed inside along with one or two of their small toys. They will soon go in and out of it and will even sleep in it many times.

When it comes time to put them in it to go somewhere, I use a laser light to coax my cat inside. He chases the light and when he gets inside I give him a small treat and calmly close the gate. When we get to the vet, if that's where we were going, and if he doesn't want to come out, I simply remove the top of the crate and lift him out. It only takes less than a minute and is no stress on him, me or the vet.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 846 Posts
November 23, 20100 found this helpful

I am appalled and highly upset that anyone would even think this is an okay thing to do!

I would also be highly suspect of any vet that would 'ever' advise this as a good idea as an alternative to a kennel crate or a soft sided kennel bag (which you can carry over your shoulder to snuggle the baby at your waist or hip area to calm them) to take them on a trip to the vet or when traveling!


I am with Cricketnc! And, having rescued several cats of various personalities over all my years, I can tell you there is absolutely no reason you can not get a cat used to a kennel for a visit to the vet or anywhere else and be able to do it without cruelty! A couple of the cats I rescued, that seemed to be the worst of the worst, just needed love and soothing and they even ended up letting me just carry them free of any restraint other than my loving hugs and talking soothingly to them! All it takes is having some compassion!

I will also add that any vet or vet assistant that does not know how to humanely handle and calm any cat or dog is not worth their humanity weight!

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April 10, 20141 found this helpful

I just wanted to say to the post author. I have worked as a vet tech for 10 years. We have never had any issues with a cat in a pillowcase. Usually it an easy way to restrain a cat who is stressed instead of me sticking my hand in a carrier to get bit or scratched.


Also, if a cat is stressed do you know what the "approved" method of restraint is ( at least in the USA)? Towel! Kitty so If you choose to use this method just use common sense as listed in the post. Hold the cat don't leave it unrestrained while traveling. If your cat freaks it's not for you.

I appreciate the author and I hate that you were attacked for offering a personal suggestion. Also, a cat can see out of a carrier while traveling in a car. Not a lot but enough to stress them out because they aren't clear on where they are.

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