Your furry friend is likely to go on many adventures. Trips to the local vet for immunizations and check-ups. Possible moves. Perhaps even a fun vacation. Ensure their safety by always having a cat carrier on hand.
Don’t choose just any carrier, however. Select one that is based on your cat’s personality and the expected frequency or duration of their travels. Consider what your cat might need as they grow and age. In short, pick a carrier that can last your furry friend for years to come.
Knowing What to Look for in a Cat Carrier
When it comes to selecting a cat carrier, there are four basic factors to consider: size, safety, comfort, and the style or material of the carrier. We will discuss each point, individually, before diving into the reviews.
While you may be tempted to purchase a small cat carrier when your pet is a kitten, they turn into adult cats quite fast. As such, it is recommended that you choose a carrier that will fit them at their adult size. Use general guidelines on your cat’s breed to determine how big they are likely to get. (Note: You can use a towel or cat bed to keep your kitten from sliding around as they grow into their carrier.)
A carrier’s primary job is to keep your cat safe and secure while you are traveling. As such, it is important that you give careful consideration to the safety features of your carrier. This can pertain to secure locking mechanisms, but it also means ensuring the doors to your cat’s carrier are convenient and easy for you to use. For example, if your cat resists the carrier, you may want to select a carrier that comes apart or has a top door.
Travel is stressful enough without having to be uncomfortable. At the top of the comfort list is breathability; you want your cat to have enough ventilation to breathe and stay cool. Cats who like to look out might appreciate a mesh exterior, but skittish felines might prefer more privacy when inside their carriers, so a plastic model may be a better fit. You may also want to consider selecting a carrier that has a bed or soft interior bottom, but you could also add a towel, blanket, or inexpensive cat bad to the bottom for better affordability.
Style and Material
Though style and materials may not matter to you or your cat, there are certain scenarios in which these factors deserve some consideration. For example, if your cat gets anxious on trips and tries to claw their way out of the carrier, you may want to select one with a plastic frame, rather than one made of nylon. Style may also be important as an added feature, or because it matters to you on a personal level.
Amazon Basics Two-Door Top-Load Cat Carrier
Perhaps the best cat carrier for nervous cats, the Amazon Basics Two-Door Top-Load Cat Carrier is made of durable plastic, which makes it secure. It’s also easy to clean; simply spray the carrier and wipe it out with a rag. This carrier also features a top-load door, and it can easily be taken apart, making it the perfect choice for cats that resist the carrier. Though not the most breathable cat carrier model, it is large enough to transport cats of nearly any size, along with their food and water dishes.
Pros: Two-door model, top door swings left or right, durable.
Cons: No added comfort features.
Amazon Basics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier
Perfect for the posh pet, the Amazon Basics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier allows your cat to travel in both comfort and style. Mesh on all four sides, it is one of the most breathable models, and it allows your pet to see what’s going on around them. (For privacy, you can put a towel or blanket over the top of the carrier.) The removable base insert and fleece bed add even more comfort, and both are easy to spot-clean once the trip is over. As an added benefit, this carrier compresses so that it fits airport carry on standards, meaning your cat can travel with you instead of in cargo. The hands-free shoulder strap also makes traveling with your pet more convenient for you.
Pros: Shoulder-free strap, breathable, fleece bed, removable base gives added support.
Cons: Very little privacy and may not withstand cats that try to claw out of their carriers.
HenkelionCollapsible Cat Carrier
The Henkelion Collapsible Cat Carrier is designed for the sophisticated feline and their owner. Available in a variety of colors (pink, blue, purple, grey, and black), it is certainly stylish. It has four mesh sides, a fleece-lined bottom, and a hands-free shoulder strap to make carrying your pet a breeze. It fits airline standards, allowing your pet to travel safely with you, and it’s fully collapsible for easy storage when not in use. Keep in mind that this cat carrier is a little smaller than some of the other models, so it may not work for larger cat breeds.
Pros: Stylish, breathable, fleece bed.
Cons: Smaller than other models.
SportPet Designs Foldable Travel Cat Carrier
With its patented, wide side-opening door, the SportPet Designs Foldable Travel Cat Carrier is the perfect carrier for the skittish feline. You can easily squeeze your cat in the oversized door, and there are no worries about them destroying the durable plastic frame. It is easy to clean—just spray and wipe, and it features a pet bed for added comfort.
Pros: Unique, extra-wide door makes for easy transport. Durable and easy to clean.
Cons: May not be big enough for larger-sized cats.
Necoichi Portable Stress-Free Cat Cage
If your cat seems to enjoy the ride but hates being squeezed into their carrier, then the Necoichi Portable Stress-Free Cat Cage may be the perfect choice for your feline friend. With its wide doors and large lounging space (big enough for a bed, cat box, and food and water dishes), it doesn’t really look or feel like a carrier. It collapses for easy storage but can be put together in a matter of seconds. The mesh sides offer breathability, but they also offer a drop-down cloth for added privacy whenever you’re out and about.
Pros: Extra large doors and interior space. Drop-down cloth for added privacy.
Cons: Cats that dislike travel may try to claw their way out of the carrier and destroy it. Size not suitable for airplane rides or some vehicles.
Siivton Expandable Cat Carrier
If you plan to take long trips with your cat but don’t want to take them out for every stop, then the Siivton Expandable Cat Carrier is a perfect choice. Airline sized, it fits easily under your seat, but the mesh sides can be expanded for more movement whenever you aren’t traveling. With a top and bottom door, you can get your cat inside without too much stress, but these zippered mechanisms are a little smaller than the doors on other carriers. There are added privacy features on all four sides that can be zipped closed. Your cat will also experience the highest possible level of comfort, thanks to the removable pet bed.
Pros: Expandable model lets your cat roam when not in travel. Breathable with added privacy features.
Cons: Small doors and mesh sides may not make this model suitable for nervous cats.
HITCH Pet Travel Carrier
The HITCH Pet Travel Carrier offers comfort, safety, and breathability in one simple but stylish carrier. Its mesh sides offer breathability, and the extra support on the bottom keeps your pet happy and safe. It is airline size, so you can transport your feline friend underneath your seat.
Pros: Breathable. Added support on the bottom.
Cons: No cat bed. May not be suitable for skittish travelers.
Pet Fit for Life Collapsible Carrier
Similar to the Necoichi, the Pet Fit for Life Collapsible Carrier is an easy place for cats to call home. They won’t even feel like they’re going on a trip—not when they can have all of their favorite things inside. It even includes a portable litter box that fits neatly inside. The mesh sides allow you to see your pet, but the drop-down cloth offers additional privacy. It is important to note that this carrier is not suitable for airport travel because of its size. However, it is collapsible for easy storage and comes together in a matter of seconds.
Pros: Large and breathable.
Cons: Not suitable for skittish cats or airport travel.
Petisfam Top Load Cat Carrier
Another stylish collection, the Petisfam Top Load Cat Carrier is completely escape-proof. Thanks to its larger top and front load doors, it also allows you to get your pet inside the carrier with more ease. The removable shoulder strap for this cat carrier also makes it possible to transport your feline friend, hands-free. The soft bottom gives them a comfortable place to relax. It fits airport standards, and it offers breathable mesh windows with zip-up sides for privacy.
Pros: Larger doors. Mesh sides zip for added privacy. Escape proof.
Cons: May not be suitable for nervous travelers.
Pet Peppy Two-Side Expandable Premium Airline Cat Carrier
As the ultimate in comfort and style, the Pet Peppy Two-Sided Expandable Premium Airline Cat Carrier is perfect for the feline on the go. Its durable materials and mesh sides are breathable, but the sides can be closed for privacy. The collapsable sides allow for more room to roam. It also offers a soft bed surface for your pet to relax on during travel. And, of course, it is airline sized, making it the perfect model for storing under your seat.
Pros: Expandable sides. Breathable. High level of comfort.
Cons: More expensive than other models.
Whether you and your feline friend plan to travel a little or a lot, you are certain to find the perfect cat carrier for your needs in our selection. Just focus on your cat’s personality, the features that are important to you, and your budget and you’ll be on your way in no time!