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Cats are nothing like dogs though. While it's also important to socialize kittens as soon as possible to make them comfortable around humans, I don't think it's a good idea to haul them around town in a car. Cats don't like to be taken outside their known environment at all, and they don't like to be locked inside a box, or transported in a noisy car.

Just to give some perspective, my own cat loves people, strange or familiar, it doesn't matter at all. Take her to the vet in a car though, and she will go mental, crap and pee in the cat carrier, meow and hiss when she gets let outside of it (never does that otherwise) and be extremely edgy for sometimes 2 days afterwards. I wouldn't go as far as saying this is 'cruel' to the kittens, and it's great that the proceedings are donated to an animal shelter, but I'm pretty sure the kittens will not enjoy it nearly as much as the people who get to cuddle with them.

Might kittens be different from cats in this regard? I don't really have experience with either, but I imagine kittens may be more tolerating of environment changes.

It really depends on the kitten. If you are ever in the market for one, a visit to your nearest cat/kitten rescue centre will illustrate just how much of a unique personality each kitten has. Some sit on your lap and purr almost instantaneously, some are very nervous, some are playful, some mischievous, some seem to love kids, some don't etc etc.

I think it does depend on the cat, though. I've had several cats that are just fine being in a carrier and like sniffing the air and looking around outside when they're in one (they don't get outside normally get more outside than looking out the window here in NYC).

You can train cats to like this too. I knew a guy who would take his cat out for walks like a dog. It loved the attention and seemed quite happy wandering around looking at new things.

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