Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,818
Registered: ‎09-18-2010

Taking a large cat to the vet

Tomorrow, I'm taking one of my cats to the vet for his yearly shots. He weighs about 22 lbs. He is huge. Last year I put him in our pet carrier, but I know he is a little bigger now. I do not think he would be comfortable.

I don't want a bigger pet carrier as it would be difficult for me to manage.

I think I'm going to pet smart later today to see if they have harnesses for cats. Has anyone ever tried that?

Or do you have any other ideas?


Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,924
Registered: ‎06-19-2010

Re: Taking a large cat to the vet

[ Edited ]

If kitty isn't used to walking on a harness buying one today won't work. Kitties need to be trained to use a harness. Dogs take to them naturally, kitties revolt. You can try to find a rolling pet carrier. I used to haul 4 kitties to the vet at once and I used a luggage trolly to put the carriers on and wheel them into the vets office. 

Super Contributor
Posts: 296
Registered: ‎06-02-2010

Re: Taking a large cat to the vet

I also had a 22 lb cat. He was just a big cat. At 3 months old he was already as big as most adult cats ever get. 


I would put the carrier in the car and then put him in the carrier.  I only had to carry the carrier and him from the car to the office and then in reverse.  Perhaps someone from the vet's staff would help you once you are there.    


He would have never used a harness.


Good luck.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,422
Registered: ‎03-15-2014

Re: Taking a large cat to the vet

I like the harness idea, but cats don't take to them naturally.  Some, in Houdini-like fashion, manage to escape them.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,827
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Taking a large cat to the vet

[ Edited ]

I have a 22 pound + cat. I bought a wheeled carrier. All went well until the second trip. When I got home I found he had ripped the heavy duty mesh screen and was sitting on the floor of the back seat. After that it was back to an extra large carrier and lugging him back and forth.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,104
Registered: ‎08-18-2016

Re: Taking a large cat to the vet

Cats on a harness/leash like to flop down and roll, getting themselves wrapped in the line. You spend all your time trying to unroll the wiggling cat. They can get it looped tight around their neck.


They also feel safer in a pet carrier. They like that sense of being hidden in there, they can see out but think they can't be seen behind that criss-cross door.


A carrier with wheels, or the wheeled luggage trolly idea upthread is your best bet out you have to walk some distance.


-or hire a teenage neighbour to go to the vet with you and do the carrying & lifting.  ☺

Honored Contributor
Posts: 23,047
Registered: ‎05-10-2010

Re: Taking a large cat to the vet

  If he's an adult cat who has never been on a harness and since he's an obese cat, a harness is not going to work.  He's going to put up one heck of a fuss.  There are soft cat carriers, my sister has one of those for her cat.   Pet Smart probably carries them.  My sister got hers from Amazon just over a year ago.  

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,120
Registered: ‎03-16-2010

Re: Taking a large cat to the vet

I agree that trying to put a harness on your cat now, with your appointment tomorrow, probably would not work.


If he is docile in a carrier, you could try a soft-sided one.  Make sure it's sturdy for a cat that size, though.  But if he fights being in a carrier, that would not be an option with him that big.


But have you tried him in the carrier you have now to see how he fits?  As long as he can comfortably lay down (not sprawl) and is able to turn around, he should be okay.  Because reasonably, how long is he really going to be in the carrier?  Aren't you just going to the vet and back?  

You know best, of course, but a carrier is meant only to do that--transport a pet from place to place.  He won't be in there for hours.


And yes, he is a big guy!💪

Valued Contributor
Posts: 509
Registered: ‎03-15-2010

Re: Taking a large cat to the vet

Please, please, please use a secure carrier for your cat.  I have had some larger cats and have used a small dog kennel/carrier for years.  You can always leave him in the car briefly while you get one of the vet staff to help you carry it from the car to the clinic, and back again.


My first two cats were very docile and raised from young kittens.  I used a cardboard carrier to ferry them to and from the vet, no problem.  My third kitty was a former feral.  She did fine on her first trip to the vet.  Second trip, she went berserk.  She managed to escape the carrier - I have no idea how as all remained intact.  Anyway, she was lost behind the vet clinic for nine weeks!  First attempt, I used too small a trap and she managed to back out of it.  I finally trapped her after catching a skunk, raccoon and a pregnant feral mama cat.


Please don't risk it.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 601
Registered: ‎07-14-2010

Re: Taking a large cat to the vet

@chprsp  I had a 15-lb cat who did exactly the same thing. Cats have a mind of their own!