Sp Greaney is a writer whose pieces focus on topics relating to animals, food, education and gardening.
What Is a Wire Frame Carrier?
The wire frame cat carrier is designed to be opened and closed from the top. This type of carrier allows your cat to see everything that is happening around them.
At first, you might think that this is fantastic. But what happens if your cat doesn’t like new environments and gets anxious when it is going to the veterinarian? What if the cat you’ve rescued is a traumatized cat and one of the things they constantly do is hide from you when you try to bring them to the veterinarian? What if your cat gets scared or nervous when travelling by car and it constantly pees because of it? What happens if your cat hates to go outside and see other people or animals?
The easy access and enhanced visibility for your cat are reasons why, on first glance, this looks like a great cat carrier. And it is a great carrier for some! It is used by many pet owners who swear it’s the best one for them and their cat. You will also see a lot of rescue centres using it because of the easy ability to open and close it from the top. The major benefit of this type of cat carrier is that the opening is on the top so it is supposed to be easier to get your cat into it.
Many of the cheaper cat carriers on the market make you put your cat in via a side opening, which means you usually end up having to push them in by their butt. Or, they will try to use their two back legs to avoid you getting them into the carrier.
Advantages of the Wire Frame Cat Carrier
- Top opening: This carrier has an opening at the top which can make it easier for many pet owners to get their cat in and out of it.
- Protective coating: The carrier has a protective coating on the wire to protect your cat from getting harmed while being transported in it during trips.
- Flat base: Some brands of this type of cat carrier also have a flat base inside which helps to give extra support to the frame of the carrier.
- Easy to store: It is shaped like a rectangle so this makes it easy to store in your garage or shed.
- Cats can see their owner: This carrier has a wire frame, so for some cats, this might give them extra reassurance that they get from being able to see their owner.
- Variety of sizes: Some pet stores have different sizes which would be a must if your cat is larger than a regular-sized cat. Most models usually are for average-sized pets.
- Easy open/close: To keep the lid closed there is a metal rod that slides across the top of the carrier that makes it easier to open and close the lid. This helps keep the opening securely locked.
- Big enough for two small cats: If you have two small cats, then both of them could fit in this carrier easily. Some brands of carriers will have small holes but others have bigger holes. The brands with carriers that have smaller gaps will make is less likely that your cat will be able to stick their paw out and scratch you or someone else.
- Spacious: If you get a carrier that is the correct size for your cat, then they should have plenty of space to get up, turn around and lie down inside the carrier when they are being transported in it.
There are cat carriers available that have an opening on the side as well as an opening at the top of the carrier.
Wire Frame Carrier Disadvantages
- Might make your cat more nervous: If your cat is anxious or get nervous in new places then this will not be the type of cat carrier for you. In that case, you need to purchase the carrier that is enclosed on the top and sides and that opens only on one side.
- Not good for cats who pee or vomit: If you have a cat that pees or gets sick while you are transporting it, then this is not the right carrier for you as it is opened on all sides. Any substance will likely spill over onto the area that you have placed them in.
- Wide variety in quality: When buying this type of carrier, you need to do research on them because there are a lot of different ones on the market. Not all of the models are going to be the same size. Some models can be flimsy and are not secure enough for holding your cat. Some can be a lot smaller than they look in a picture so you could accidentally purchase the wrong sized carrier for your cat.
- The plastic handle may break: Some of these carriers have a plastic handle at the top of the carrier and if you have too much weight in the carrier this handle might break when you are carrying it. You need to check its sturdiness. It needs to be strong enough to support however many cats you have to transport. If it does break then you will end up having to carry it in your arms against your chest.
- Expensive: These types of cat carriers are usually double the price of the regular plastic cat carriers because of the material used to make them.
- Not too big: Most of these types of cat carriers are usually only designed to hold one regular-sized cat that has enough space inside it to move around. But many pet owners have two or more cats and it can be easier to transport them all in the one cat carrier. This is fine if you live a short distance from where you need to bring them. But if you have a long journey ahead of you then it would not be right to transport more than one cat in this type of carrier.
- Unstable: If there is too much weight within the cat carrier this could make it unstable and then it could impact is stability. Also if you are carrying it with one hand and your cat moves around a lot while in it, you could lose your hold on it and drop it.
- Easy open/close: Some cats might just be smart enough to figure out how to slide the steel rod across the opening which could be very worrisome for some cat owners.
- Risk of injury: There is the danger that your cat could accidentally get their paw caught between that flat base and the frame while inside the carrier.
Some cats hate going into a cat carrier and will always find a way to avoid one. When you are trying to put a cat into this type of carrier, you might find that they keep trying to pop their head out. If you don’t have the technique down, then they will continue doing this. Once they get their front paws out the top, then the rest of their body will follow. This can be frustrating for some cat owners, especially if you have a strong cat.
Always wipe down your cat carrier once you return home from the veterinarian.
Do Your Research Before You Purchase
Before you invest in any type of cat carrier, try and borrow one from a friend. Also, talk to your veterinarian about the range of carriers available, and see if they have any recommendations. It is also wise to ask other cat owners their opinions on the cat carriers that they are using. There are a few different brands on the market, and each type will have its good points as well as its bad points.
You must always check the sizing of the carrier to make sure that it is big enough for your cat because you want your cat to be able to turn around and lie down in the carrier.
If you have two cats, make sure that there is enough space in it to carry both of them together. Also, make sure that you check out the carrier to see how sturdy and durable it is. You don't want one that will break very easily, especially if you are going to be spending a lot of money on a cat carrier. You want to get as many years out of it as you can.
If your cat is being transported by air and they are being put in the plane undercarriage, then the cat carrier with the hard frame and side door opening is the best choice to pick.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2020 Sp Greaney
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on June 15, 2020:
@Liz Westwood, thank you. It's a good carrier and it does the job but it might not be everyone's taste.
Liz Westwood from UK on June 15, 2020:
This is a very balanced review. I especially appreciate the lists of advantages and disadvantages.
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on June 14, 2020:
@ Pamela Oglesby, ah the poor thing. All cats are the same it seems. Our girl hates going to the vet. She is determined to avoid getting in the carrier at all costs.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 14, 2020:
The carrier we have opens on the end just like the picuture of the one on the right. He gets very anxious as I think the only trips we make are to the vet, which he does not like. This is a good article explaining the differences between the carriers.