Riding in the car part 2 – Crate reviews

If you read my last two posts over on the Stroller Brigade website, then you know we’ve been experimenting with crates for the car. Mom finally figured out that what I hate about being in the car is being in a little bitty PTU, no matter how much I like that same PTU when it’s sitting on the living room floor or how easy it is to get me to go into it to start with. We went through three crates before we found one I liked and that Mom could manage easily with her hands that don’t work real well.

Candy trying out the crate. It was furry comfy.

Crate #1 was the Pet Gear The Other Door Steel Crate with Plush Pad and Carry Bag. We all loved it when Mom first assembled it. It was easy to put together, and opened from the front, sides, or top. It came with a nice comfy bed and a carry bag that could be used to transport the crate when it was taken apart or could be used for my stuff. We thought it was perfect. That is, until Mom tried to move it with me in it. For our trial run, Mom put me in the crate, carried me and the crate out to the car, and put us in. Suddenly, the doors which had worked perfectly in the house suddenly wouldn’t stay closed. Mom kept trying to get them lined up right to shut and just couldn’t.

Mom decided to take me for a ride anyway just to see how I reacted to being in the car when I was free to get up, walk around some, and see out the windows. I didn’t cry once! I was too busy watching the world go by. So the idea of a crate was a success (so far) but the crate itself wasn’t. What Mom figured out when we got home was that when she lifted the crate, the clamps that held the top on had come loose so the top wasn’t tight enough to keep the side doors closed. The plan was to have a crate that could be easily removed from the car for potty stops (Mom refuses to leave alone in the car even for a 5 minute stop). A crate the kept coming apart when it was lifted was no good. so back it went. This crate is good if you don’t have to move it with the pet in it.

Crate #2 was the Nature’s Miracle™ AdvancedSingle Door Port-A-Crate. It’s a soft-sided crate with a metal framework that collapses for storage. It set up easily, but had no bed in it. Also, it was difficult to take down. One of the parts had a metal button you had to push in so a part could slide over it, and Mom had a terrible time with that button. Her poor hands couldn’t manage it. So this one went back to the store, too. But the price was good, and everything else about the crate was good, so we’d still recommend it if it doesn’t have to come apart too often. Sorry, Mom forgot to take a picture of this one.

Crate #3 – success! It’s another model by Pet Gear, the same people who made my stroller. It’s the Pet Gear Generation II Deluxe Portable Soft Crate. This is also a soft-sided crate with a collapsible metal frame. It has roll up windows and sides to get in and out or you can unzip the top. It came with a bed (though not as nice a bed as the one in the hard crate) and a waterproof liner to put under the bed in case of accidents. It also has a pouch on top for your stuff and a bag on the side. The side bag can carry more of your stuff or hold the bed and liner for storage. Although Mom put extra comfy cushions in there for us, she could still fold it up without taking out the beds or the liner. The handle of the side bag comes off and can be used as a leash.

The mechanism in this crate for collapsing the frame was much easier for Mom to operate. She still had to push buttons, but they’re large plastic buttons and much easier to push. Nothing slides over anything. The frame is jointed and folds up. We didn’t get pictures of the car ride I took in this crate (you can read that adventure here) but did get some pictures at home.

Exploring my new crate. You can see the top and side pouches.
Treasure and me relaxing in the crate. See the extra cushions mom put in under the bed that came with it?
On the back patio enjoying some fresh air. If you biggify the picture and make your screen really bright you can see me in there.

So this is the crate I’m taking to go to BlogPaws. I’ve never been on such a long car ride before. Mom’s hoping that since my 3 1/2 hour outing was such a success, I’ll tolerate the car ride as I won’t be squished into a PTU. Wish us luck!


Pet Carriers

Peek-a-boo! Here I am in my little red tent. I just love love love my little red tent. So do EK and Candy. We love them so much, we have two of them! We play in them, we sleep in them, & we hide in them and jump out to pounce on each other. We have fun every way a kitty can have fun in our tents.

You’re probably wondering, “What does this have to do with pet carriers?” Well, I’ll tell you. Our magnificent little red tents are actually pet carriers. They have two zippers, so you can arrange them to open front, back or top. There are handles at the top for carrying. We love our tents so much we don’t even mind getting in them to go to the v-e-t. That’s right. Off to the v-e-t no muss, no fuss, no crying, no hiding. We just get in our tents and go.

We’ve read about a lot of furriends that have had to visit the v-e-t lately. They dread getting in the PTU (prisoner transport unit). They hide and run away and make it very difficult for their humans to get them in the PTU. Now, none of us, anipal or human,  likes going to the v-e-t. But sometimes you just have to go. So why not make the PTU fun?

Our tents are out all the time. We don’t have any warning about being off to the v-e-t since nothing new happens until we get there. Mom scoops us up, puts us in our tents, and off we go. Our first hint that this isn’t a new game is when she seatbelts the carrier into the car. And since I’ve had stroller outings involving the car, for all I know we’re going on an outing!

I think everyone should have a fun carrier. I think it would make going to the v-e-t or anywhere else you have to go much less stressful. Don’t forget to get nice fleecy beds to put in them. That makes them extra cozy and comfy!

My tent came from Target. I’ve never seen this type of carrier anywhere else. If any of you know of other fun carriers, post the link in the comments. There’s three of us and soon the two little ones will be too big to share and we’ll need a third carrier. It would be fun to have a new shape.