Travelling cage/carrier

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Jawramik

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Nov 3, 2021
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233
Hello once again. I really do apologise for all the threads and questions, but Amethyst and others have been so helpful. It seems like whenever I feel like I'm starting to get my head around chin care, something else will crop up and I have yet more questions. I'm just so in love with Margaret and want to be sure I'm doing right by her.

Anyway, what do you folks use for carriers and travelling cages, like for trips to the vet? Currently all we have are either cardboard or soft-sided fabric carriers (and the rats already destroyed one of those fabric carriers 🤦‍♀️ ). When we took Margaret in for her wellness check shortly after getting her, we just used her smaller temporary cage....which was a giant pain in the butt. Even though that cage was too small to be a permanent home for Margaret, it's much too large to be convenient as a travel carrier. It's difficult for one person to carry alone, and it doesn't fit well in the back seat of a car (it also has a plastic bottom pan, which she kept trying to chew and I had to do my best to discourage).

I'd like to get something that's reasonably small and easy to carry that's also sturdy and escape-proof. I know some people use those hard-sided plastic cat carriers, but wouldn't a chin be able to chew their way out of those? Plus even if they don't get out, the plastic still isn't good for them if they swallow it, so I'm leaning against a cat carrier. It also seems like it could really heat up inside one of those on a warm day.

Both Martin's and Quality Cage Crafters make chinchilla travel cages, and currently I'm leaning towards one of those. The QCC one is all-metal, which is nice. The Martin's cage has a plastic bottom, but with the way the wire part fits into the pan, they don't have access to any plastic corners or sides, which would make it much more difficult for them to chew the plastic (albeit not impossible). The QCC cage is more expensive (because of course it is, it's QCC), but not by much, and I'm thinking the all-metal construction is worth an extra $10 or so. QCC also makes a really cool travel cage that collapses to fold flat for storage....but it's like $200, and the folding feature just isn't worth that much money to me. I'd probably go with the much less pricey non-folding model.

Are there any other options I should consider? I know some people use those cheap, small-ish cages sold in pet shops for guinea pigs and the like, but most of those seem to have plastic bottoms and sides, which concerns me. Margaret is typically not too happy to be put in a smaller enclosure and immediately starts looking for any weak points that could offer a means of escape, so I could see her shredding through one of those cheap plastic-bottomed cages in a matter of minutes.
 

Amethyst

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I don't know much about the martin carriers but I have heard mixed reviews on the QCC ones, there have been some issues with the chin getting cut on sharp wires that weren't welded properly. It's very possible it was a one off situation that got spread around though. Another option though would be WARE Chew Proof Small Animal Cage, 25-in - Chewy.com it's all metal too.

Personally I just have one of those cheap plastic bottom cages (kinda looks like https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81kFhr-qJbL._AC_SL1500_.jpg), I just put a fleece blanket over the bottom and clip it down like that, and haven't had a problem. There are also a lot of people that have used hard plastic cat carriers, so unless the trip to the vet is long, most chins kind of settle in the car. I agree though I would be worried about the chin chewing out of a cat carrier, when I first got my current chin and his brother I was giving a cardboard box to bring them home in, they did not settle. The ride was only about 45 minutes and they had already chewed holes and were trying to escape, I had to put my hand over the holes while my husband got the cage setup quickly. :rolleyes: :ROFLMAO:
 

Jawramik

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 3, 2021
Messages
233
I don't know much about the martin carriers but I have heard mixed reviews on the QCC ones, there have been some issues with the chin getting cut on sharp wires that weren't welded properly. It's very possible it was a one off situation that got spread around though. Another option though would be WARE Chew Proof Small Animal Cage, 25-in - Chewy.com it's all metal too.

Personally I just have one of those cheap plastic bottom cages (kinda looks like https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81kFhr-qJbL._AC_SL1500_.jpg), I just put a fleece blanket over the bottom and clip it down like that, and haven't had a problem. There are also a lot of people that have used hard plastic cat carriers, so unless the trip to the vet is long, most chins kind of settle in the car. I agree though I would be worried about the chin chewing out of a cat carrier, when I first got my current chin and his brother I was giving a cardboard box to bring them home in, they did not settle. The ride was only about 45 minutes and they had already chewed holes and were trying to escape, I had to put my hand over the holes while my husband got the cage setup quickly. :rolleyes: :ROFLMAO:
Yeah, Margaret chewed a hole in the cardboard carrier we took her home in. Just a small hole, not big enough to escape through....but the drive was also less than 10 minutes, so I have no doubt she could have escaped if she'd been in there for just a few more minutes.

Ugh, that's concerning about the QCC carrier. Hopefully it was just a one-off, but hearing that does make me a little less keen to shell out $60 for it.

That Ware metal cage actually looks pretty good! It certainly has an attractive price point. It's slightly longer than I was envisioning for a carrier, but it still looks like a perfectly manageable size. Thanks for pointing it out! That could be a good option for us.

I know I could put fleece over the plastic bottom....but it still concerns me a little. Normally Margaret doesn't chew fleece, but when she's stressed and upset, things might be different.

Our vet is only like a 5-minute drive from our house, so I realise that I'm probably being overly cautious regarding the likelihood of her chewing her way out of a carrier, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. We may need to make a longer drive at some point for any number of reasons, plus sometimes she may have to sit in her carrier for a bit before actually being taken out and examined. I just want to be prepared for that kind of stuff and have peace of mind that she'll be safely contained.
 

Jawramik

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 3, 2021
Messages
233
I just tried to order the Martin's carrier (it seemed like a good size and design in spite of the plastic bottom, and I had a Martin's cage years ago for my rats that was fantastic, so I trusted it to be sturdier than some of the cheaper options).....but it says that Martin's is closed until further notice. :cry: The little notice on the website didn't give any details, but I wonder if it has something to do with the supply line issues a lot of industries are being hit with right now. In any case, it's a huge bummer. I hope it's temporary. It would be a shame to see them go under. The options for high-quality small animal cages are already kind of limited.

I'll probably go ahead and get the cheap all-metal Ware cage for now. Some of the reviews were a little concerning regarding the door latch not being super secure, but I'm hoping that I'll just be able to secure it with a binder clip or something.

I remain perplexed and frustrated by how few chew-proof products are available for small animals. When I do searches for "small animal carriers," the vast, VAST majority of products that pop up are made mostly or entirely of plastic and/or fabric. Materials that virtually any small mammal can chew through in minutes.
 
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