Best Cat Carrier Reviews
Travelling with your kitty in tow can be a very stressful experience for both you and your kitty. Whilst some cats can travel without a problem, others get extremely stressed and nervous, kicking up a fuss and making you feel upset.
For some cats, even leaving the home can be a cause of terror and distress, as much as you may love taking your kitty around with you. The best way to combat this is to purchase the best cat carrier you can which is best designed for transporting your kitty.
Cat carriers are all different, coming in a variety of sizes, shapes and designs. Some have soft sides which are easy to store whereas others come with sturdy sides which offer your kitty some protection.
There is a lot of choice, to say the least, and it is a hard decision to make. Fortunately for you, we have curated a list of seven of our favourite cat carries which, making it much easier to chose one for your kitty.
What to Look for when Buying a Cat Carrier
There are lots of things which you need to look out for when investing in a kitty carrier. Some of the key features are –
Security: cats generally do not enjoy being enclosed in a tight space such as a cat carrier. Many will try to escape and, if your carrier does not have the right security features, they may find it easy. You need a carrier which securely keeps your kitty inside with a lockable door which is tamper proof. For extra peace of mind, invest in the Best GPS Cat Collar.
Design: The carrier’s structure should be appropriate for use. For example, if you’re going outdoors you may want one which is made out of a hard-wearing material which predators can’t break (just in case!) If you’re just using your kitty carrier for a trip to the vet, then this doesn’t matter so much.
Space: It should be big enough for your cat to move around in; your cat should not be squeezed into a tight space with no wiggle room. Not only will this make your cat very uncomfortable and stressed, but it is dangerous. There are lots of carriers which have ample space for your cat to stretch in, turn around and stand up.
- 1 What to Look for when Buying a Cat Carrier
- 1.1 2. AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier
- 1.2 3. Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel
- 1.3 4. Pet Gear I-GO2 Sport Roller Backpack for cats and dogs up
- 1.4 5. Luxury Soft-Sided Cat Carrier
- 1.5 6. SportPet Designs Foldable Travel Cat Carrier
- 1.6 7. Travel Transport Pet Carrier
- 2 Airline Approved or Not?
I love this cat carrier because it’s very comfortable, is made from strong and hard-wearing materials and is very well-ventilated. With its mesh window panels on all sides, it avoids problems associated with a kitty who might not like tight spaces and lets plenty of air in. It also opens from the top, making it very easy to load and unload your kitty.
Again, the materials here are exceptional. Not only are they comfortable, but they are strong and will not be easily damaged by scratching or chewing (read our article on How to Stop Cats from Biting for more information). Its 100% cotton rest pillow is double padded for extra comfort; your kitty may even enjoy being inside it!
The HappyCat also offers your kitty some privacy, which is great for nervous felines who might be spooked by the goings on of the outside world. You can also open all four mesh panels, so you can see what’s going on inside, or close them all to provide ultimate privacy.
Its zippers lock for extra security, the mesh is made from rubber to protect against scratching and ripping and it even comes with stake down rods to help secure your kitty’s carrier in place… it can even hold two cats at the same time, so there’s plenty of room for one! Absolutely great if you’ve got a kitty who needs some extra space or likes to move around.
AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier comes in three different sizes – small, medium and large – so it you will for sure find one to fit your kitty! Although it is a fairly simply designed cat carrier, it is suitable for small dogs too.
Its maximum load is around 22lbs for its large size and 8 pounds for its small size, so you really need to be careful and make sure that you buy one that is the right size for your kitty and which will hold its weight.
It has carrying handles and an adjustable shoulder strap, conforms to under-seat dimensions of most airlines and has a machine washable fleece pet bed, so you don’t need to worry about Dirty Cat Paws. The fleece bed is quite comfortable for long-distance travel, too.
The mesh on all sides promotes good air circulation and gives the carrier an open feel, but there is no possibility for privacy like the HappyCat carrier above. Also, the mesh is not made from a durable plastic. But, this is a great budget option nonetheless.
The Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel provides a higher degree of security than the soft-sided cat carriers. Although these are not the most convenient carriers for storage purposes, they are guaranteed to keep your cat safe and comfortable as they are made from hard wearing materials.
This carrier is constructed from a very heavy-duty plastic which is durable, safe and keeps your cat secure in their own little bubble. There are two doors on this carrier – one at the front and one on top – so you can load and unload your kitty with ease. The doors are made from a wire mesh which is coated in steel and secured with a latch, so it is super safe and secure.
Its latch will keep your cat very safe. The top loading feature cannot be understated too; it’s much easier to load an awkward kitty in through the top rather than the front. Plus, the durability and safety of the hard-wearing plastic exterior makes this our top pick when it comes to hard-sided carriers.
Petmate’s carrier is a very popular cat carrier and is one of the best available on the market. It does require some assembly, though, however it is worth it when you take into account just how durable the end-product is and all of the benefits associated with safety and ease.
Pet Gear I-GO2 Sport Roller Backpack is certainly something to behold. Not only is it a cat carrier, no, but it is on wheels AND can also be worn on the back! A brilliant all-rounder, that’s for certain… plus, it comes in FIVE different sizes!
I love this one because it lets you bring your cat along when you don’t have a hand to spare, and it can be rolled along like a suitcase. This backpack carrier will keep your kitty safe during travel and keep your hands free at the same time, brilliant if you’re moving a lot of stuff. It’s also well ventilated due to the presence of mesh and it will keep your kitty perfectly safe… especially when you’re wearing it as a backpack.
Pet Gear’s I-GO2 backpack is a great all-rounder. Not only is it a cat carrier you can wear on your back, but it has wheels on it for additional functionality and fits snugly on a car seat; you can very easily fit a seatbelt around this one. It is easy to switch between all the different modes of use, it is as easy as just zipping or unzipping something and off you go!
This carrier is flexible for all sorts of travel, but the odd shape of the carrier means it may not be suitable for air travel with some airlines, so just check… you always should double check anyway.
Pet Magasin’s Luxury Soft-Sided Carrier is airline approved and, as far as I am concerned, is the best cat carrier you can buy if you are going to be travelling a lot by air with your kitty.
It is made from durable, sturdy high-quality materials which are also lightweight and safe. With mesh panels for ventilation and a super comfortable padded bottom, it is a brilliant carrier for occasional use and it can easily be folded away for storage when you are at home with your kitty. It has an adjustable shoulder strap too, so you can still rush through the airport without having to carry extra baggage in your hands.
It is waterproof, which is a must for air-approved carriers. It might be a little bit too small for extra-large kitties but, for most of them, the size won’t be a problem. There is ample room for stretching whilst in flight and its shape allows your kitty to lay down and rest with ease.
SportPet Designs Foldable Travel Cat Carrier is a sturdy and durable hard-sided alternative to the soft-sided carriers we have featured. It is a fully collapsible carrier which is made from hard-wearing plastic.
For short travels, though, this is a great product and it is super easy to store away when not in use. Its door latches shut securely, though it is made from plastic and not steel.
Not only is this carrier perfectly suited for all types of travel, but it doubles up as a living quarters for your cat if you are away from home. The design is durable and made from hard-wearing materials and provides optimum comfort for your kitty. Although it’s made from durable materials, it is super soft on the inside and
The polyester shell is non-toxic and resistant to tearing, scratching or anything else your cat can throw at it. There is plenty of air circulation and visibility too, which is great for nervous travellers. It has shoulder straps, side straps and carry handles, so it is very versatile. The carrier is fairly big, too, so you can be safe in the knowledge that your cat will comfortably fit inside and have plenty of room to stretch their paws. Read our article on How Big Will My Cat Get to learn more about how much cats grow.
Airline Approved or Not?
If you’re going to be transporting your kitty overseas or anywhere on a plane, it is necessary that you buy a secure cat carrier which is airline approved. The general requirements for a cat carrier to be airline approved are:
- ones which have a waterproof bottom
- provides adequate ventilation (two sides should be open to the air)
- locks with a secure zipper (not a latch)
- must enclose your pet entirely; nothing can stick out
So, if you’re going to be using your cat carrier to travel on a plane make sure it fits these requirements. Another thing you should do is also check with the individual airline which serves your route or which you use, because airlines may have their own specific rules.
Some will allow small household cats to travel in the cabin with you, whereas others will not and require animals to travel in the hold. A lot of countries require pets to travel as cargo, even for inbound flights. These countries include: Australia; the UK; Japan; Hong Kong; South Africa; and a few others.
Generally, most airlines will only allow one pet per traveller and a maximum of three on the plane. It is always good to plan your flight far in advance when you know you’ll be travelling with your kitty, so that you can be sure of the rules and that your pet will be able to fit on the flight.
Airlines will need some information first, regarding your kitty’s size. You will need to measure your cat (good luck!) whilst he or she is stood up. You measure from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail and from the top of the head to the ground. Compare these measurements to the measurements of the carrier; your kitty will need to be slightly smaller than the carrier’s measurements.
This is something you should be doing anyway, regardless of whether you are going to be using it for air travel or not, so that you know whether your kitty is going to be a good fit for the carrier.
Think Like Your Cat
When purchasing a carrier, you need to think like your kitty so that you buy what truly is the best cat carrier for your furry friend. Your cat’s personality has a big role to play here, and it’s something to think about before you commit to one.
If your cat doesn’t like wide open spaces (or is an indoor cat) a mesh-sided carrier which has good air circulation will work great. However, if your cat loves to stretch, scratch and move around, you may want a hard-sided cage with plenty of space because claws won’t fare well with a mesh-sided carrier.
The Round Up
So, there we have it, our top seven cat carriers. Hopefully we have helped you find the best cat carrier to suit your kitty!
No cat loves to travel in one of these things – they hate small spaces and being made to do something they don’t like - but sometimes it’s just not avoidable. Travelling with your kitty is just part of owning one and by having the best cat carrier, you make the whole situation a lot less stressful and safer for your kitty and make travel so much easier.