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Transporting Your New Cat Home

Updated: Sep 27, 2022

You've adopted a new cat and you want to take it home. First of all grats! This is a big change in kitty's life and the trip home with you may be stressful.

Help your new feline friend's Settling-in process by taking them home in the most stress-free way possible.

If you’ve never adopted from a rescue organization before, you may not realize that you will need to transport your cat in your own carrier.

If you're thinking of adopting one of our lovely cats, arrive at your Meet & Greet prepared with a carrier, so if you hit it off you can take your new fuzzy friend home right then on the spot, saving the time it would take you to trek back out to wherever the foster home is again.

Even if you don’t plan to vacation and to travel with your cat, you will need a carrier for several other reasons after you bring them home:

  • to safely transport your cat to the veterinarian. Most vets require cats to be in a carrier as they wait for appointments.

  • to provide a safe confinement in the event of an evacuation. No, you may not be in a hurricane zone but you never know when you could need to evacuate your home with your pets due to fire, flood, chemical leaks, etc.

  • to provide a safe confinement in the event of home disruptions. Whether you’re talking about trick or treat traffic, home renovations, holiday visitors, or party guests , there may come a time when your cat needs (and wants!) a safe place for a few hours, away from the hustle and bustle.

  • to lawfully travel by NYC Subway. The NYC MTA states that: No person may bring any animal on or into any conveyance or facility unless enclosed in a container and carried in a manner which would not annoy other passengers.

Have you ever found yourself running late for a veterinary appointment because your feline bud refuses to hop into their cat carrier?

You're not alone. It's a common struggle for pet parents because cats usually equate their carriers with trips to the veterinarian, and they just don't want to leave the comfy confines of their house. When your cat sees you pull out your carrier, they'll bolt to their favorite hiding spot and stay put for hours.

We actually keep carriers open and available in the living room, full of comfy and soft things inside, sometimes toys as well. When it's time to go to the vet, the carrier is a familiar naptime place, full of comfortable smells. If you stow your carrier in the closet, it will be a strange, unfamiliar, possibly scary thing to be forced into, so help reduce your cat's stressful vet visits by introducing your carrier into your catification.

*Note if you have multiple cats:

For surgery appointments [such as spay/neuter], or any vet visits that will require the use of anesthesia, each cat must be in their own separate carriers for security. Each cat is unique in their response to anesthesia, it is unpredictable how they will react. Confusion, fear as they come out of the anesthetic fog could result in lashing out and injuring any other cat that may be crammed in the carrier with them. You don't want a fight to break out in a confined space, and end up having to return to the vet to fix stitches. One carrier per cat is standard.

Subway travel in NYC

We do not recommend that you take your newly adopted cat home via Subway. Depending on the cats personality, they may already be stressed at meeting a new person, new territory & losing their familiar foster family, and a chaotic, loud subway trip home won't help them settle in as well. Do yourself and your new cat a favour: ask a friend for a ride or hail an Uber.

If you really have no other option, bring a towel or small blankie to cover your carrier during the trip home to provide some relief from the multitude of strangers. You can stick your fingers in through the carrier holes, to give your new cat a chance to get to know you better with some basic scent info.

For regular, non-surgery vet visits, transporting your cat on the subway depends entirely on the temperament of your cat, and how far you're travelling.

Bring a towel or small blanket to cover the carrier from the outside, this will reduce visual stimulation from passengers coming in/out of the train that may produce anxiety.

If your cat starts to cry or make anxious noises, stick your hand under the blanket, through carrier grates or holes, and let your cat sniff you and rub against your fingers for comfort.

Under no circumstances should you ever open a carrier door during transport!

Whether on a subway or in a vehicle, even if you think your cat is calm and it won't be an issue. If your cat escapes the carrier and is lose in the world, you may never get it back again. Better safe than sorry, keep the carrier closed until you're safely home!

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