Vet / cat carrier trauma; ok to carry them in by hand?
On monday, I had a 6 month check up for my two cats. While I was carrying them in their carriers, I slipped on an icy sidewalk. I dropped both cages and actually landed on one of them. The cat inside that cage was already quite tense, and proceeded to make some very gutteral horrible noises.
She seemed to calm down a bit, but while being examined by the vet she was extremely difficult for them. She would try to bite them and was hissing. She would struggle a lot if they tried to do anything. They couldn't even get her out of the carrier for a while. She didn't even leave to use the litterbox.
She's back home now, and seems fine. She even sleeps in the other carrier (but not the one I fell on for SOME reason).
Obviously I don't fall on their carriers often, but I was thinking about some alternate ways to take them to the vet. I see a lot of people carrying their cats in. Is there a downside to that other than the cat possibly running off? What about a harness and leash?
My main goal is to try to make the trips as carefree as possible, and I expect that the cat I fell on is really afraid of the vet and being locked in the carrier now.
I would also consider mild sedatives, and in fact the vet suggested that we could try them if she has trouble the next time as well.