I’m going to start this review with a confession: I’m embarrassed to admit that Allegra and Ruby are not carrier trained. Partially, this is because they don’t really have to go anywhere. The only time either of them has been in a carrier was the day they came home with me. Our wonderful vet, Andrea Tasi, VMD of Just Cats Naturally, comes to our house for their check ups. Both of the girls are healthy and have never needed anything other than the routine care she provides.
Getting your cat used to the carrier could save her life
However, I don’t feel great about not having the confidence that I could easily get then into their carriers in an emergency, and I’m determined to change that by making sure that the girls become familiar with their carriers.
The best way to get cats used to the carrier is to make it an attractive part of their everyday environment by placing it in what behaviorist call a “high value” location. This means in your living space, where you and your cats spend the most time together. Our carriers are out in the open in the downstairs family room, also known as the kitty playroom at our house, at all times. Occasionally, Allegra will nap in one of them. And while the carriers are functional, they’re not the most attractive – which is why they’re relegated to that particular room. Other than to play with Allegra and Ruby, I don’t spend any time down there.
I know I should place the carriers in my living room or office – the two rooms in my home where I spend most of my time, and where, by extension, the girls spend most of their time. But I also like to surround myself with beautiful things, and our current carriers just aren’t pretty. This is why I was delighted when the folks at Sleepypod offered to send me a Mobile Pet Bed for review.
The Sleepypod Mobile Pet
The Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed is so much more than just a carrier. It’s a luxury bed, lined with ultraplush foam. The domed cover unzips easily, so you can adapt it to your cat’s sleeping preference even while using it inside your home. Some cats may prefer the top removed, others may like the security of the cover.
When used as a carrier, the Sleepypod not only lets your cat travel in comfort, it’s also the safest cat carrier on the market. Velcro positioning points that secure a seat belt in place turn the Sleepypod into a safe car seat. The Pet Passenger Restraint System (PPRS) is a safety system designed by Sleepypod to secure a pet in a vehicle and restrict harmful movement resulting from a sudden vehicle stop or frontal collision. Sleepypod puts all their carriers through stringent safety tests at the same standards set for child safety restraints.
All this, and it’s gorgeous!
Vets love carriers that open at the top
Carriers with easily removable tops or tops that open are ideal for stress-free veterinary visits. “Carriers with a top-opening design help make my interaction with my feline patients much calmer,” says feline veterinarian Dr. Fern Crist. “The Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed is one of the the best I’ve seen. I love that the entire top simply zips away, so my patient does not have to be ‘dragged’ or ‘dumped’ out of a carrier that only opens to the front. Even better, I can often leave my patients sitting right in their own bed for most of the examination process.”
Our experience with the Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed
When our Sleepypod first arrived, I gave the girls a chance to check it out for a while, then I put away the top, and set it up as a pet bed. Ruby took to it immediately – she loves beds with high sides, and napped in it for hours the first day I had it out in our living room.
After a few days of just having the bed set up, I started using treats to lure the girls into the carrier. It worked pretty well, and increased interest in the carrier. A few days later, I put the top on, and placed treats inside the carrier. Allegra figured out how to fish the treats out of the carrier without actually going inside, but Ruby had no such qualms – she climbed in and, after eating the treats, circled a few times and settled in for a nap.
I will keep the Sleepypod in our living room as a permanent fixture, and I’ll continue to make it attractive to the girls with treats. I’m hoping it will become a favorite napping spot. I’m also hoping to add a second Sleepyod, because I’d like to train them to go to their carriers on command, which is a bit challenging when they both rush toward the treat at the same time. Once they’re comfortable with the Sleepypod, we’ll go to the next steps: zipping up the top, carrying them around the room for short periods of time, and eventually, taking the carrier into the car.
My take on the Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed: I think it’s the cadillac of cat carriers in terms of design, safety and ease of use. But I also think the fact that it’s just so gorgeous is a big plus, as it will allow design-conscious cat guardians to make the Sleepypod a regular part of their living space, which will make life less stressful for cats when it’s time to get into the carrier.
The Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed comes in several beautiful colors. For more information, and to purchase, please visit Sleepypod.com.
FTC Disclosure: We received a Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed in exchange for an honest review. Receiving the free product did not influence my review. All reviews on The Conscious Cat will always reflect my honest and unbiased opinion. Or, as the case may be, Allegra and Ruby’s honest and unbiased opinion.