Soft vs. Hard Sided Traveling Case
RC has experimented with portable lodgings since he was a kitten. He now uses a modified Sherpa bag, but he's tried out a variety over the years.
At first, he used an oversized beach bag with a firm plastic floor. This solution worked when he was young and he only went from the car to the vets or hotel room. But, he had to leave the beach bag behind when he added too many pounds and learned how to jump out faster than I could catch him.
Next, RC tried out a molded plastic hard case approved by most airlines. We feel this has several disadvantages.
RC switched back to a soft-sided case when we learned that the airline refused to allow him to board with us in his hard sided case. We were in a third world country where commercial traveling cases for pets are hard to come by, so we had to make a soft-sided case. Personally, I wouldn't recommend this, but it was preferable to having RC travel in the cargo hold. We used it for over a year with great success and no regrets that we abandoned his hard molded case. (Continue)
Modified Deluxe Sherpa Bag
Today, RC uses a medium sized deluxe Sherpa bag (outside measurements: 18" long x 11" wide x 10" high). RC measures 16" from his shoulder to his rump so he can comfortably lie down in it. The carrier's not tall enough for him to stand his full height, but that doesn't worry us because cats rarely just stand -- they either are in motion or they are reclining. He can easily turn around in the case.
RC weighs between 5.5 and 6 kilos (~12-13 lbs). His weight wasn't as important a consideration as his length was when selecting the carrier's size.
I added cloth window coverings that attach inside with Velcro so they're easy to remove. The bag looks like a regular suitcase when the window coverings are attached.
We considered buying a soft-sided case that had roll down windows, but the coverings were made of a heavy material that made us concerned about adequate air when closed. Plus, the built-in coverings were attached to the outside so RC couldn't decide whether he wanted to "people watch" or maintain his privacy.
We suspect RC will use the Sherpa bag for years to come. It's easy to encourage him inside through the side "door" and he loves hopping out through the top hatch.
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