After the disaster that was the Cabrio Cat Carrier, I got one of these instead, from The Purr Company, for about £40. I really like it. No self assembly, no awkward fiddly bits, a very secure fastening, and if you ever lose the locking bar, you could just cable-tie it shut. It’s top-opening so much easier to get a reluctant cat into, and the plastic-coated wire mesh construction allows for excellent ventilation and drainage. I got the large size, which is approx 46cm x 30cm (18in x 12in) footprint and 28cm (11in) tall.
The wire mesh is quite small so no chance of a cat the size of Pete getting his paws stuck in a hole. I do think it might be a bit uncomfortable for him to stand on though, so I’ve lined the base with some cardboard, and when I take him out in it, I put a folded towel on the bottom (also, he might pee and a towel will absorb it).
It’s not very difficult to get Pete into this; I think it only took me three goes. It has carry handles but I prefer to hold it close to me by the base and sides to minimise sway/wobble. The carry handles are made of narrow wire and they’d be very uncomfortable on the hands after a while. Once he’s in it, Pete settles down quite happily, curls up and looks around. It has full visibility all around which is great if the cat likes what he’s looking at, but might be a bit scary if he can see something he doesn’t like. Luckily, the vet I use is specifically a cat clinic, so no scary dogs to freak him out. It would be easy enough to drape a towel over the carrier if necessary. The holes are just big enough to poke a fingertip through (your fingertips might vary) to stroke Pete on his head reassuringly if needed, and he can see and hear me too.
It’s possible to poke a couple of Dreamies through the mesh but there’s no way to secure a food or water bowl to the inside of the cage, so it wouldn’t do for long journeys or air travel. But for shorter journeys where food won’t be required, it’s more than adequate.
It’s not too difficult to get Pete into it, he seems reasonably happy in it, and it’s not difficult to lift and carry – I think that makes it a success.