Transportation of your Cat to and from the Cattery
We had a situation earlier this week which very nearly resulted in tragedy. Hindsight is a fine thing however this scenario is something we can all learn from and we at the cattery will be putting procedures in place to ensure episodes such as this do not happen again. Whilst we have no control over how your cats are transported to the cattery, we will be exercising control on how they leave the cattery. If we feel that the mode of transportation is in anyway unsafe or inappropriate, we will be strongly advising an alternative. Cat carriers are available for hire at our cattery. This is surely a better option than expensive veterinary treatment or worse…..the death of your cat.
The circumstances of this story were that three adult cats were squashed into a single cat cage, designed to transport only one cat, and then driven home. While only a short drive, it was a very hot afternoon. The cage was plastic with the only ventilation being at the front through the grilled door, which by the way was facing into the dashboard. Cats can get stressed enough already by just having to go into a cat carrier, followed by car travel, let alone being squashed in with little or no air. In a hot car, high body temperature and dehydration can occur very quickly. If the temperature inside the car is higher than your cat’s body temperature, then there is a considerable chance that heatstroke will occur. In this situation the problem was aggravated by having three cats packed together in one cat cage. The cat at the back must have been near suffocating. As it was, when all three cats were released from the carrier, the cat from the back collapsed. Rushed to the Vet, it had a temperature of 40.1 and was dehydrated. The cat was stabilized and given fluids. Had the drive home been another 5-10 minutes longer, the outcome could have been very different.
We as humans can become complacent if it is convenient for us but be aware of how you are transporting your cats. Their needs are different to ours. Buy an additional cat cage if necessary or at least borrow one. The life of your cat is not worth the risk, even for short drives. Always ensure your cat has adequate ventilation while travelling. For longer drives, provide water. Having only one cat per cage provides them with better airflow and thus less chance of overheating. On hot days, do not cover the carrier in such a way that air flow is impeded. Turn on the air-conditioning if you have it or leave the windows down. Never, ever leave your cat unattended in a vehicle.