1. With my last cat, I used a clear sided storage bin. The kind with the interlocking lid flaps. I put a towel inside for comfort, and left one of the lids open while in the car. I think being able to see around her was a help in keeping her from getting upset, and she stayed calm in the vets waiting room, even with several dogs in there. They're not airtight, so safe in that regard, and she had room to stand up fully.

  2. Never had trouble getting a cat in the carrier. Grab the scruff tight and twist about 90 degrees. It causes a half-paralysis. It's basically why kittens don't wriggle while the mom carries the by the scruff. Grab back legs and put the cat in butt first. Having a top-load carrier makes it even easier.

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