How do I transport my cat in an emergency?

Written by Carla Murphy MRCVS
May 28, 2024

If your cat becomes ill or has an accident it can be a very stressful and frightening situation. Getting them to the vet for treatment quickly is the main priority. How do I transport my cat in an emergency? is often the primary concern. Transporting an ill or injured cat is sometimes difficult. Here are some transport tips, and things to think about. These will keep your cat as safe and calm as possible during the journey to the clinic.

Keep calm and call ahead

It’s important that you stay calm, remember your cat will pick up on your anxiety. Contact your veterinary practice immediately – they will often ask you some questions about your cat. It could be things like “Is your cat having difficulty breathing?” or “Can your cat walk ok?”. It’s important to calmly answer these questions as first aid advice can sometimes be given over the phone. This can help to make your cat more comfortable during transport. Answering these questions also means that the Veterinary team will be able to give the appropriate advice for your situation. Your emergency Vet may also be able to prepare equipment and medications ready to receive and treat your cat when you arrive at the clinic.


How do I transport my cat in an emergency? If you don’t have access to your own vehicle you need to plan what you would do in an emergency. This forward planning should include speaking to a neighbour or friend that could give you a lift if required. If you are unable to get a lift, there are also pet-friendly taxis and pet ambulances in some areas that will transport your cat in an emergency. It’s worth having a check what is available in your area and having the phone numbers in your mobile.

Careful movement

When lifting or moving a sick or injured cat into your car, it is very important to do this as slowly and as gently as possible. Always keep in mind that frightened or painful cats can react by biting or scratching. It is best to try to avoid moving their head, neck or spine at all if possible.

How do I transport my cat? Gently place your cat in a strong, secure pet carrier. The pet carriers that open at the top are easiest for this. If your cat is very stressed, then sometimes using a small soft towel to wrap them in as you lift them up can make your cat feel more secure.

Once your cat is in the pet carrier try to make sure that you can see them easily to enable you to check on them during the journey. Slowly and gently take the pet carrier out to the car and secure it in the vehicle. Make sure that the carrier cannot move around too much or roll into the footwell if you stopped suddenly.

The journey

Whatever method is used, it is always beneficial to have another person to help. This is in addition to the driver in the vehicle, so that one person can monitor the patient, while the other person can concentrate on driving safely to the veterinary clinic.

When you get to the clinic, park as close as is safe, and one person can let reception know that you have arrived while the other person can stay with your cat to keep them calm.

Become a member

Members get more peace of mind. If you would like information on pet health welfare or wellbeing become a member to call our team at any time 24/7/365

© 2024 Pet GP. All Rights Reserved

  • Environment
  • Health
  • Travel