Plastic-free Pets


I experienced an unexpected and irritating plastic-related scenario today. We are considering adopting another cat from a shelter and so we made enquiries. We were told by the shelter that under no circumstances could we take a cat home in anything other than a plastic carrier, since they deem anything but plastic to be ‘insecure’.

We purposely chose a natural and sustainable wicker carrier for our cats. In all my 34 years of owning cats, we have never used anything else and not once has a cat ever escaped. It does make me wonder what the world is coming to. We are offering a homeless, unloved cat a loving home and they want to refuse us unless we are prepared to spend out on a plastic cat carrier.

This is our cat carrier shown above and I have inspected it and failed to find anyway that it is insecure. There is about 1 inch give in the top and bottom which a cat could never fit through. Besides, I can easily remedy that with a few more leather buckled straps top and bottom. I suspect I have two options from here: to explain that I choose to live plastic-free and offer to leave my carrier with them whilst I borrow one of their plastic ones and return it later. Or, find someone willing to lend me a plastic one for a single journey so I can comply with their daft rules!

Have you ever come across any bonkers plastic-related rules? How did you overcome them?

4 thoughts on “Plastic-free Pets

    • No – it’s just used for visits to the vets. Unfortunately it does seem that the cat charity has been proven right and we are going to have to get a more sturdy carrier. We have one that will try to get out at all costs and almost strangled herself yesterday, trying to get her head out the gap! We are looking for a metal cage type option.

  1. Hi, I’m a bit late to this post, but I’d like to make a comment here from the perspective of a long-time shelter volunteer. Humane societies’ first goal is the protection of all animals under their care. The needs of human adopters come second. If there’s any chance of an animal being harmed – which includes the ride home from the shelter, and to vet appointments – then they will not release the animal for adoption. It sounds like the charity’s concerns were validated here, too, when that “tiny gap” proved to be too tempting for a cat. I’ve worked with a no-kill humane society shelter in the U.S. for almost a decade, and nothing surprises me now when it comes to cats and small spaces.
    If you must use a plastic-free carrier, then please look into a sturdy metal cage with a liner. I’ll simply continue to use the rigid plastic boxes that we bought years ago when my SO and I adopted our three cats.

    • Thanks for your feedback. We have managed by putting extra ties on our wicker carrier. But when it breaks we will definitely consider a metal carrier. I understand that these charities are solely concerned with the welfare of animals. I guess the rest of us have a slightly broader world view which may lead to us coming to different conclusions about animal welfare. I am not saying that I condone the mistreatment of animals in any way, but these days most average humans have a lesser perception of risk than those bodies, such as charities or healthcare providers who have to be super-cautious because of the likelihood of being sued. At the end of the day, these things are personal decisions based on weighing up the facts, with our personal experiences.

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