Best Cat Carrier
Akinerri Airline Approved Pet Carrier — Best Overall
Akinerri Airline-Approved Pet Carriers are the best cat carriers for large cats. The Akinerri Airline Approved Pet Carrier is large and airline-approved. It can also be used for cats. It comes in medium size in brown and is 17 inches long. It is surrounded by a strong mesh that provides ventilation and has a top entry that will hopefully make getting your cat in and out a little easier. It also has a cushioned handle, padded shoulder strap, zippered pockets for extra storage, and a fleece mat that is cozy and washable. It’s all at a fantastic price.
The biggest negative for this carrier is that the top entry is fastened with Velcro, and a strong and determined cat might be able to push their way out.
- Large and airline approved
- Great price and light
- Top entry for easy access
- Cushioned handle and padded shoulder strap
- Extra storage with zippered pockets
- Fleece mat is washable
- Cat might escape
Roll Carriers and Backpacks
People who prefer the convenience of carrying a rolling suitcase are well-suited for cat carriers that have wheels. They are usually designed with lots of storage for cats’ care items and soft, comfy interiors. The main drawback of a roller carrier is the fact that some cats are scared by the sound of wheels rolling over the ground, especially on uneven surfaces.
Some roller carriers convert into backpacks, which allows you to easily transition between activities and different terrain.
Backpack cat carriers, while not intended for use in an automobile or airline environment, are great for those who love to take their cat on walks and other outdoor activities. Your cat will love having a pack to protect them from any wildlife or dogs.
Bubble backpacks for cats or other bags are worn in one fashion or the other. A large part of that wearing and carrying means that our bag should have proper support. The same is true for cat bubble backpacks for our furry family. It could be as simple as the support you receive from carrying around a live pet for half the day. Or that the straps are sufficiently cushioned so they don’t dig into your shoulders all day. We made sure that all cat backpacks with bubble window featured in this list are a good balance of support and functional usability that benefits both the pet and the owner. After all, they get to live in it, while we get to carry it all day.
Frieq Large Hard Cover Pet Carrier
The FRiEQ Large Pet Carrier can hold up to 26 pound cats. For durability and protection the top and bottom of this pet carrier are made from hard plastic. However, the middle section is flexible so it can be folded flat and stored flat. It also comes with a soft cushion bed, the zippers have locks, and there’s plenty of ventilation.
However, it is expensive, and the zippers are prone to breaking (although not with every carrier). The mid-section is soft plastic, and if your cat is a chewer, they might be able to chew through the material.
- This is a great choice for cats that weigh up to 25 pounds.
- Storage: Hard plastic bottom and top, and flexible middle-section
- Comes with a soft cushion bed
- Zippers have locks and ventilation
- Zipper might break
- The midsection of cats might be chewed by cat owners
A-Z Animal’S Top Picks For Cat Carriers
- For comfortable carry, the shoulder straps are easy to adjust.
- Interior liner made of removable, machine washable sherpa
- Foldable design allows for compact, discreet storage when not being used
- Locking zippers to prevent escapes
- Low cost
- Made of durable hard plastic
- Cats can be transported between 12-20 pounds
- Secure closure with spring-loaded latch
- Plenty of ventilation for comfortable ride
- Side-loading and top-loading doors
- Fits securely under the seat in front of you on most major airlines
- Comfortable strap makes for ease of transport
- Well-ventilated mesh panels ensure maximum breathability and visibility
- Removable, washable sherpa liner
- Top and side entry options with auto-locking zipper closures
- For safe, comfortable and reliable transport
- Cats have the option of dual-entry points
- Large, ventilated main compartment
- Soft sherpa lining and mesh windows
- Easy identification with an ID tag
- Affordable price
- For maximum visibility and ventilation, mesh windows are recommended.
- Large storage space underneath
- Smooth-ride wheels with safety brakes
- Frame is waterproof and easily collapses
- The soft-sided carrier can be very affordable
- Seatbelt loop and luggage strap ensure stay-put transportation
- Approved by most major airlines
- Available in six colors and includes removable, washable bedding
Frisco Premium Travel Cat Carrier
For pet owners with a limited number of pets, the Frisco Premium Cat Carrier is a straightforward and simple design. The cost is reasonable and it does the job. The open shape ensures that nervous cats can breathe easily. The shoulder straps are well-padded and make it easy to transport heavier cats.
The carrier comes in three sizes to accommodate all cats. The removable liner can be machine washed. It can be folded into smaller pieces for storage between uses. Its best use is for short trips instead of long hauls. If your pet is not able to stand while being carried, it can cause discomfort. Many soft-sided carriers find this annoying.
How to Measure a Cat Carrier
You might think that you’ve found the perfect cat carrier, but if the dimensions are too small for your cat, then they won’t enjoy traveling in it at all. You want your cat to be able to lie down, stand up, and turn around in comfort. Most carriers come in a couple of sizes, and the manufacturer will usually mention the size of a cat that each is designed to fit. Here’s how to measure your cat:
Many soft cat carriers have weight limits. You can either weigh your pet at home, or ask your vet to weigh it at your next checkup.
It’s important that your cat has enough space in the carrier to allow them to move around comfortably. You can head over to our review of the best cat carriers for large cats here.
- Price: $59.99
Although backpack cat carriers may not be right for everybody, they are indispensable for those who hike and like to carry their pets while on the move.
It has both top and side entry for easy accessibility and has a spacious interior for cats weighing up to 15 lbs. With a combination of front air vents and multiple mesh windows and doors, the backpack has good visibility and ventilation. The top door of the backpack is expandable with mesh and a clear plastic window, giving the passenger additional space and a large viewing area. The mesh windows are rubberized, so they should be able to withstand clawing.
This backpack offers comfort for its wearer thanks to its soft back and padded straps. You can also use the handle at the top if you prefer to hold the backpack by your side.
The Best Hard Shell Cat Carriers
The hardcover case provides stability and durability while retaining the convenience of soft storage. While its top and bottom are firm, its sides are softer and collapse. There is a mesh window that allows people to see it and lots of ventilation holes. The soft, mat-like interior provides comfort and a non-slip surface to ensure your cat is safe.
The hybrid carrier combines the benefits of both hard- and softshell carriers. This hybrid carrier can be used as both a pet seat and a pet carrier. The dome’s mesh breathable fabric can be taken off to make it an ordinary pet bed. You can also remove the plush bedding to make it easy to clean. It is, as with all Sleepypod products tested for safety, crash-tested.
This hard-shell, plastic cat carrier with no frills is durable and breathable. With plenty of ventilation holes and spaces for your cat to look out, it also may not feel as cage-like to your kitty. With a handle at the top for easy moving and two separate holes for easy loading, this cat carrier will fit your travel plans and your budget.
What Should I Look For In A Cat Carrier?
All cat carriers may not be created equally. How do you determine which cat carriers are good and which are not? Here are some boxes to tick during your search.
1. Size: How big should your cat carrier be? PetMD says that a cat carrier must be large enough to allow your cat to stand straight and not crouch.
For short trips to the vet, a smaller carrier will suffice. Longer trips, naturally, will require a size upgrade to accommodate food and water bowls while allowing your cat to stretch her pretty paws. That said, be wary of going too big: an oversized carrier can have your cat sliding around, and it will be a chore to carry.
4. Ventilation: Proper airflow is critical to keep your cat from overheating. You should look for carriers that are made of breathable fabrics and have multiple mesh windows. Additional windows can also increase your cat’s view.
5. The plastic carrier is easy to clean, so they are great for sensitive cats. However, fabric carriers can be a challenge. Most come with a removable liner that you can toss in the laundry, but you’ll have to spot clean the rest.
6. Price: Cat carriers come in a range of prices. The cheapest models start at $20, while the more expensive ones can cost several hundred dollars. A cat carrier that is safe and reliable will be a wise investment. However, it’s possible to find a model within your price range.
Petseek Extra Large Cat Carrier
The Petseek Extra Large Cat Carrier is quite large and can easily hold two cats (although that’s not always recommended). It is a soft-sided carrier with a steel support structure for stability, and it’s foldable for easy storage. It is made with Oxford fabric and nylon mesh for easy cleaning and ventilation. The top has a front and back entry, as well as locking zippers that should keep your cats safe.
It is however expensive and may be difficult to assemble for some. The mesh or zipper may not be strong enough to withstand aggressive cats.
- Two cats can share this large space
- Soft-sided but with a steel support structure that’s foldable
- Oxford fabric and mesh are easy to clean and ventilate.
- Locking zippers for extra security
- Front and top entry
- It might be difficult for some to assemble it
- Some cats are strong and fierce, so they might be able to escape.
Cat-In-The-Bag E-Z-Zip Cat Carrier Bag — Premium Choice
The Cat-in the-bag EZ-Zip Cat Carrier bag is an excellent choice if you are looking for a high-quality cat carrier. This innovative design features a zippered bag to protect your cat’s rest and allows for head access. You need to be careful to fasten the neck opening at the correct tightness that your cat can’t slip their head inside the bag, but otherwise, most cats adapt well to this carrier!
You can use the carry handle to attach your cat’s seatbelt to your car. Many cats don’t like being held in hard-sided carriers. They prefer the freedom this bag offers them while traveling. This bag cannot be used to fly, which is why it didn’t make our list.
The Sherpa Original Deluxe Cat Carrier is approved by the Airline
Another favorite of ours is the Sherpa Original Deluxe Airline-Approved Cat Carrier. Although this soft carrier can be used with all major airlines, we recommend that you check it before your trip! The hold-all style of this carrier has a shoulder strap that makes it even easier to carry, while the sides are supported by a flexible wireframe, so they will never collapse onto your cat.
There’s plenty of ventilation on this carrier, making it perfect for summer trips. Zippers are lockable, which is a great feature for keeping your cat safe. Rear pockets are available for treats and leashes, as well as any other items you may need during your travels.
What Are The Benefits of Using a Cat Carrier?
Cat carriers should always be a top priority on any travel list. It doesn’t matter if your cat is just going to the vet or walking down the street, it is vital for their safety as well as your pet’s emotional health to be in a carrier. And a DIY carrier — like a laundry basket, tote bag or pillowcase — won’t work, emphasizes CatHealth.com. Cats can easily become lost while driving or interfere with your vehicle.
A cat carrier that is sturdy and secure will keep your pet safe in the car. Cat carriers provide comfort and security for cats who are anxious to travel.
Compare the closings of all the carriers that you are considering. The easiest carriers to use have two openings — one on top and one in front. Most hard plastic carriers unlatch in the middle so you can easily lift the carrier lid up and away from the bottom portion. They are easy to use and your cat can stay put.
Avoid carriers that have Velcro or zipper closures. Cats can easily open these if they are motivated. You should choose a carrier that has a locked front gate. Even the smartest cat won’t be capable of opening it.
Make It Familiar with a Scent
The previous tip mentioned that familiar smells can help cats become more comfortable with the carrier. By placing well-loved blankets, towels, a cat bed, or even your own clothes inside the carrier, you tell your cat “this is yours.”
How to Choose the Right Cat Carrier Size
- You can avoid returning because the carrier is too large.
- Your cat may not fit into a particular carrier’s maximum-weight limit. It is important to determine your cat’s weight and measurements to make sure he fits comfortably in a particular model.
This is how to measure your cat for a cat carrier.
Overall Best Cat Carrier
This luxurious airline-compliant pet carrier combines comfort for your cat and convenience for you. Win-win! You get a breathable mesh wall, a shoulder strap which also acts as a leash and a trolley pocket to keep your luggage in place. It also happens to fold out to create a comfortable bed.
2-in-1 Airline Approved Travel Backpack Pet Carrier
This Sherpa cat carrier backpack is airline-approved, and its spring wireframe can be extended or decreased depending on the size of your pet and your airplane’s seats. You can securely mount your cat to the backpack, leaving you free to carry other bags. There’s a reason why Sherpa is one of our best-selling cat travel carriers–they focus on comfort for both you and your pet.
Since you’ll have to clean the carrier regularly, ideally before and right after use, look for carriers that are simple to clean. Most carriers can be easily vacuumed or washed with warm water and mild dish soap. Some carriers also have removable padding that you can throw in the laundry with pet-safe laundry detergent.
Our Review Process
This buying guide will help you learn more about cat carriers, the qualities that make them stand out, as well as how to pick the right one for your cat.
Because every trip has slightly different requirements, our list of top carriers includes the best choices for various activities and needs including car travel, plane trips, and short trips to the veterinarian.
Making Travel Easier
Many cats will fight getting into a carrier, especially if you only use it for trips to the vet. That’s one reason why we suggest leaving it open for your pet to investigate on its terms. To encourage your pet to investigate, you might even put some catnip in it.
Another thing you can do is to spray the carrier before you travel with a calming spray, such as Feliway. This spray replicates the same scents that your pet would use when it rubs against furniture or you. It’s their way of signaling that it’s safe.
Are Hard-Sided Or Soft-Side Cat Carriers Best?
The choice of carrier depends entirely on the cat you have and your plans for how to use it. These are the pros and cons for each type.
Buyer’s Guide: The Best Cat Carriers
If you’re a cat parent, you need a cat carrier! Even if you don’t travel with your cat all that often, using a cat carrier makes trips to the veterinarian much more comfortable and safe for you and your cat. If your cat comes with you on road trips or an airplane, a cat carrier is essential. When choosing the right carrier for your cat, there are many things to take into consideration.
Use A Pheromone Spray
If all goes well, your cat will eventually mark the carrier with their own facial pheromones. In the meantime, you can use a synthetic pheromone spray to soothe your cat and identify the carrier as a safe place to be.