What Can I Use As A Cat Carrier? (When You Don’t Travel)

Not everyone travels with their cat, so how do you transport a cat to the vet when you don’t have a carrier? Chances are, your cat will freak out the minute you put her in the car, especially, if she/he has never left the house. So what are some alternatives to a cat carrier?

What Can I Use As A Carrier Carrier?

For a quick visit to the vet, you can use a gym bag, large bag, purse, laundry basket, harness, backpack, or anything else that your cat fits in.

If you’re in the market for a cat carrier, be sure to check out some of the most common questions pet owners want to know.

The most important thing to consider when using a makeshift carrier is to find something that has plenty of ventilation and will keep your cat safe and secure inside.

How To Take A Cat To The Vet Without A Carrier

cat in large bag

That being said, you may want to consider getting a cat carrier for those occasional trips to the veterinarian. The biggest reason is the stress and anxiety your cat will be feeling when she/he is surrounded by other pets, including dogs.

Without a carrier, you expose yourself to getting scratched, or bitten. Even worse, your cat may cause harm to someone else’s pet or they may try running out the front door because they are excited and scared of their surroundings.

Is It Illegal To Drive With A Cat If They Are Not In A Carrier?

Every state is different, but most states do have laws that require pets to be secured properly so they don’t bother the driver. That being said, you should consider having your cat in a cat carrier or something like a cat seat belt to prevent them from roaming around freely so they don’t cause you to have an accident.

In addition, if your cat has never been in a vehicle, they will likely be scared and will run away the first chance they get.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a carrier, there are other options.

7 Things You Can Use As A Cat Carrier

If your cat already has a harness, you could transport them easily without using a makeshift carrier. You can use a pet seat belt attachment to keep them secured in the back seat. This will prevent them from jumping or running in the interior of the vehicle if they hear a really loud noise or see a dog.

Backpack Cat Carrier

cat in backpack

You can use a gym bag or backpack to get your cat to and from the vet. Use a bag that has plenty of ventilation. Most gym bags are machine washable, so it will be easy to clean if your cat urinates in it.

Make sure that the bag has a solid bottom so it won’t collapse against your cat’s weight when you pick it up. The bag should be free from holes and should have a working zipper to keep them secure inside.

Cats seem to love backpacks and they are safe, so there’s no harm in using a good ole school bag.

Pillowcase Cat Carrier

Use a pillowcase to transport your cat. Just make sure that it is in new or does not have any holes in it. Put your cat inside of it and tie the top of it with a shoelace to keep your cat from escaping. The pillowcase allows the cat to breathe, but the cat won’t be able to see.

Make sure you’re using a large enough pillowcase so your cat has plenty of room. I’d recommend buying a new one just for the purpose of transporting your cat to the vet.

I realize some people may think transporting a cat in a pillowcase seems kind of cruel, that’s okay there’s several more options below.

Laundry Basket

laundry basket cat carrier

Another thing you can consider doing is using two laundry baskets to transport the kitty. You’ll want to use two small laundry baskets that have plenty of ventilation. Line the bottom with a towel or small blanket and put the cat inside.

Secure the second basket on top with rope, shoestring or another type of material to prevent your cat from jumping out and running away.

Cat Bed

If you have a well-behaved or older cat, you can try using their cat bed. Your cat won’t mind sitting in the vehicle, plus having their bed with them may make the trip more enjoyable.

Secure the bed in the back seat, so it doesn’t slip if you have to make an abrupt stop. You may even want to consider putting a familiar blanket on the bed to keep your cat more comfortable during the short trip.

Purse Cat Carrier

cat purse carrier

We’ve all seen those social media images where dog owners carry around their puppies in their purse. This method works for cats too. This method works best for smaller cats or kittens.

If you’re a crafty person, you can also create a purse carrier just for the purpose of transporting your cat to the vet. I’d recommend using an old purse you don’t use or care about.

Take an old purse and cut out windows on each side, for ventilation windows. Then secure chicken wire over the openings with string, twist ties or any other durable tying material you can find.

Wooden Box

Maybe you have a wooden box lying around your home? Drill some holes in the sides and line the bottom of it to use it as a cat carrier.

Cat Sling Carrier

This method works best for kittens or smaller cats that are well behaved. Use an old polyester or fleece blanket. If you don’t have one, you should be able to find one at your local thrift store for about 4 dollars or less.

I’d recommend finding one that is at least 50″ in width, you can always cut it if it’s too big. This site will show you how to sew the edges together and make a pocket to secure your cat inside.

If your cat urinates or makes a mess, it’s easy to wash. Imagine the looks you’ll get when someone sees your cute kittens head popping out of the sling. When your cat gets nervous at the vet’s office, just pull the sling closed to keep them calm. It’s fine, they will still be able to breathe.

Cardboard Cat Carrier

Another option is to use a plain old cardboard box. You can either make your own or buy a set of disposable cardboard carriers like these. The downside is that the cardboard won’t hold up well if your cat is aggressive and starts clawing and chewing to escape.

Another problem is if your cat urinates in the box, it will become soiled and soggy, causing it to fall apart.

If you have a calm cat that can be transported in a cardboard box, then here’s a great video on how to make your own cardboard cat carrier with wheels.

Bottom Line

These are just some of the ways to transport a cat to the vet when you don’t have a cat carrier. The most important thing to remember is to use something that is roomy enough for your cat ad has plenty of air holes.

If you’re planning on traveling with your cat for long distances, you should consider investing in a cat carrier. You can find some low-cost carriers that cost around $20, which won’t break the bank.