This post is sponsored by Sleepypod
Cars are not designed with the safety of their feline passengers in mind. Since our cats depend on us to keep them safe, it’s important that you know how to ensure that your cat is safe while in your car.
Has your cat’s carrier been crash-tested?
While most carriers are advertised as “safe for travel,” unless a carrier has been crash tested by an accredited testing and research location, it may not be as safe as you think. In 2015, the Center for Pet Safety (CPS) performed an independent study of carriers that claim “testing,” “crash testing,” or “crash protection” in their marketing materials.
For the study, CPS teamed up with Subaru of America and worked with a NASA engineer to create specifically designed crash test pets of different sizes and weights to fit different carriers. They used the Federal Vehicle Safety Standard crash conditions for child safety seat testing as a basis for their own testing.
“While many brands claim to ‘crash test’ their products to governmental standards, it’s important to understand that only the Center for Pet Safety’s standards have been created to evaluate the performance of pet products,” says CPS founder Lindsey Wolko.
“Once you’ve seen so many pet products fail in crash testing, it makes you so happy when one actually receives a passing grade,” she adds. “We hope more brands step up and value the safety of their customers as much as the CPS Certified brands do.”
You can find the full results of the study on CPS’ website.
How to keep your cat safe in the car
- Don’t belt in your carrier unless it is CPS certified. “Place plastic carriers and soft-sided carriers on the floor of the vehicle behind the front driver or passenger seats,” advises CPS Founder Lindsey Wolko. She admits that it’s counterintuitive, but “we know that hard plastic carriers can fracture in a crash or sudden stop.” Additionally, there are some carriers that torsion when secured with the seat belt. “The torsion allows the carrier door to open or the bolts around the edges to pop off, allowing a greater chance for the pet to escape.”
- Never let your cat loose in the car while you’re driving.
- Prevent driver distraction. Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents. Avoid the temptation to constantly check on your cat while you’re driving.
Sleepypod’s commitment to safety
Sleepypod puts your cat’s safety first when it comes to designing and developing carriers and other products. The Sleepypod Safety Test Program requires each Sleepypod product to meet the highest standards for safety in order to reduce your pet’s exposure to possible hazards.
All Sleepypod carriers and harnesses are put through stringent safety tests. These tests include static material tensile testing and dynamic crash testing at the same standard set for child safety restraints. All tests are performed at accredited testing and research locations.
Sleepypod wants all pets to be safe, and they will replace or provide a replacement discount on any pet carrier or safety harness damaged in an auto accident, regardless of the brand. The integrity of a pet safety restraint may be compromised during an auto accident, so it is critical to inspect a pet carrier or harness for damage before using it again.
Most awarded carrier
The Sleepypod mobile pet bed has gone on to become one of the world’s most awarded carriers, with awards ranging from TICA (The International Cat Association) to Consumer Digest and Country Living magazine.
For more information about Sleepypod and all of their products, please visit Sleepypod.com.
Image at top Depositphotos, all other images courtesy of Sleepypod
*FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, which means that I was compensated to feature this content. Regardless of payment received, you will only see products or services featured on this site that I believe are of interest to our readers.
Sleepypod is so sturdy. Very well made. It has enough room for a cat or small dog. I wish they would make them bigger for larger cats and dogs.
I think these Sleepypod travel cases are wonderful. I wish they made them a little bigger for dogs.
I have both styles of Sleepypod carriers and know when I’m using them, it’s one less worry for me. Yes, they are expensive, but all it takes is watching those crash test videos to know they are worth it! Mine are over 10 years old and still look new. It was also interesting to read that they don’t recommend seatbelting in non-CPS Certified carriers but to put them on the rear seat floorboard for the safest spot in a crash. I listened to an interview recently with Lindsey Wolko from CPS and she advised the same thing, also not to use the clip leash inside many carriers when in a vehicle due to risk of strangulation or injury. And don’t get me started on the risks of booster seats or using suction cup window perches in a car. When I brought it up one time that those window perches were made to use in a house, a fellow adventure cat owner, her response was that we all take risks and that was one she was willing to take…
I always strap my carrier into the seat. I worry when I have one of my cats in the car.