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Old 09-09-2013, 08:05 PM
 
Location: FL
1,119 posts, read 2,039,971 times
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Don't care for hard side variety because they are heavy and I'm a small person so they are difficult for me to grapple with as well. The two I have will need to be replaced and Orion barely fits in it so it's always a battle to get him it it, sometimes I literally have to stuff him in it. I have been looking locally but haven't found anything suitable. I found one at the Humane Society's thrift store today it was large enough but weighed as much as Orion it seemed.

I need something large, sturdy but lightweight since Orion weighs between 14 and 15 pounds - he's big not fat. The other guys are about 9 and 11 pounds so they're not such a problem. If I EVER get another cat it WILL learn to walk on a leash like a dog, I swear, LOL (Right, 'Man plans, God laughs!)

I'd look online but prefer to hear from people who've 'been there.' I sometimes find reviews so conflicted I can't make a decision based on them and want to close my eyes and just pick one.
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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I feel your pain. Tucker is a large boy, and I have a larger hard-sided carrier that fits him well, but it's darn heavy and cumbersome to move.

My favorite carrier is hard sided, but it has both a top and a side door, which is great for getting cats in and out. However, it comes in only a medium size. I can stuff Tucker in there, but he doesn't have a lot of room.

Have you considered one of those carriers with wheels, that is sort of like rolling luggage?
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:32 AM
 
Location: US
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What type of travel is it for? Vets and kennels? Air lines etc? I ask because sometimes you have to meet some airline standard.

Whats your desired price range?

I know what you mean. I have to use a heavy duty resin carrier for my big old man cats. At his heaviest the one was 27 lbs and it was more awkward than heavy. He has since lost weight (5) but the two are still over 20lbs each. I have to watch for construction quality on carriers just for the weight and to keep them inside it. The smaller one (22lbs) actually tore the door off one of those cheap plastic carriers as the door tabs were just plastic and not metal. He wasn't even freaking out at all. He just wanted out when I went to the other room for 2 seconds. I hear a snap and rattle and there he is....sitting in the middle of the room looking proud of himself. LOL I am glad that happened in my apt rather than at the vets etc. So...make sure what you find is sturdy for your big guy.

What about this one?:
The Original Sherpa - Small Dog Carriers and Airline Approved Pet Carrier from petco.com

Fits an 18 lb beagle (comments/reviews)

It would be worth a look in person at least.

This is what I have: (small)
Petco Home and Travel Premium Kennel - Travel Dog Kennel from petco.com

It has the measurements and weight/height limits listed. Because its sturdy, it is less awkward than the old one that was similar, smaller with cheaper plastic.

They do make crate wheels you can buy separately too if you really can not lift the crate much.
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:36 PM
 
Location: NoVa
18,434 posts, read 32,233,388 times
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I got a soft sided one for Charlie, I thought he would rather it than the hard sided one we already had.

I am not so sure about that after having used it 2x with him. He would rather not be in a carrier at all and does well in the car trip sitting on my lap but it is the wildness of the vets office that is where he needs the carrier.

I have a feeling he probably would have rathered the security of the hard sided one when we were at the vet once and there were animals galore there. The soft sided one was made of a lot of mesh and I am willing to be he felt pretty exposed to the other animals. He could 'hide out' in the hard one and we could have the door facing the wall.
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:44 PM
 
Location: FL
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Thanks for the suggestions. I only take Odie to the vet, never to a kennel and hope I never have to take him on a plane!

Mesh is good for Orion, he likes other animals and is quite uh, interested in seeing what's happening even if he's not involved. He doesn't get frightened easily, so that's not an issue and he usually won't try to escape once he's enclosed. The problem is he is wiggly and 14 pounds of wiggling cat is scary - I don't want to hurt him. He has never scratched me when we tussle to get him into the carrier but I'm always concerned I might hurt him. I've tried wrapping him in a towel, that works once in a while.

The double door carriers work well for our other cats but as you said they tend to be heavy. I can open the top and drop the kitty in through the top fairly easily but to do that with Orion the carrier has to be fairly large.

I've never seen one on wheels, that might work as lifting it in and out of the car wouldn't be so bad. It's carrying it from the house/office that's the real problem, I'm afraid of dropping him. I'd never forgive myself if I hurt him <shuddering>
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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The last one I had was my favorite, made by Iris and was shaped/styled like a picnic basket. Unfortunately they don't seem to make it anymore, but if you can find it, I recommend. Opens at top for ease of getting cat in. Cozy inside, not too open. Hard plastic. Handles were not attached to the top (a problem with other 2-door hard side carriers).

Before that I tried a Sherpa and we only had 3 bad experiences with it, never good. I think she did not like how open it was, and the softer floor was also not appealing. Whatever the reasons, she felt much less secure and showed it by soiling the carrier 3 times in a row. Ditched it after the 3rd bad run. So just be aware that in switching to something like this you MAY get problems. It certainly won't happen to everyone though.

Another thing about the Sherpa which was not its fault is that it was probably too big. A carrier for a quick vet trip certainly needn't be big at all. In fact, cozy is probably better. The cat should be able to stand and turn around, but this doesn't take much space really. They can turn around in a pretty narrow box and stand up (somewhat, maybe not full height) in a fairly small space too.
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Talmadge, San Diego, CA
14,782 posts, read 29,646,059 times
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I like the hard plastic carrier, even though they're heavier. I feel that they're safer than the soft sided ones.
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:57 PM
 
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 23,620,891 times
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why not, if its just used for in the car transport to the vets ect...try one of those fabric and mesh "pop up" dog kennels.
something like...

Amazon.com: Medium Professional Pop Open Kennel (Asst Colors): Pet Supplies

the smaller sizes usually have handles and a shoulder strap.
that's about as light as your going to get.

in terms of regular travel the only carriers id ever own again are not cheap but they are amazing workmanship, and an even better guarantee...and those are Pet-Flys. therenot realy "light" there a molded leather ect so while not a true hard sided carrier they are incredibly sturdy, designed origionally for air travel to replace the Sherpa carriers that have a tendency to squash down/crush ect.
i LOVE my petflys.
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 22,939,227 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxywench View Post
why not, if its just used for in the car transport to the vets ect...try one of those fabric and mesh "pop up" dog kennels.
something like...
I don't think those are made to be carried with a pet inside. I don't think they have the floor structure for that.

The Pet-Flys looks pretty good though, at least the molded leather type that you mentioned (which seem to be mostly sold out right now).

Picking out a carrier is a big chore. I'll be forever stuck with the idea though that short of an airplane trip I will not use anything that's soft sided or where the floor flexes too much. Even the Sherpa had something to stiffen the floor a bit but it's not the same as a hard plastic one. I felt like that contributed to the distress. Some cats would probably be fine with it though.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:30 AM
 
Location: FL
1,119 posts, read 2,039,971 times
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Thanks Foxy, googled 'pop open kennel' and found that Target has something I can look at in person. I think that might work. Orion doesn't seem to mind hard or soft, he just doesn't like being manhandled, confined against his will or transported. Can't say I blame him, nothing good ever happens at the vet!
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