Best Cat Carriers
Want to bring your cat along with you on your travels? Pick up one of our choices from our best cat carriers list.
There are a lot of things to think about when shopping for a cat carrier. Not only do you need to make sure it will be large enough, and comfortable enough for your pet, but you also want to be certain that it will be light enough and easy enough for you to carry. Plus, if you are planning on using the carrier to take your kitty on trips with you, you’ll need to narrow down your options to those that are airline approved.
With so many things to think about, and so many products to choose from, shopping for the right carrier can become frustrating. That’s why we’ve created this short guide to help you out.
Ready to shop for a carrier that both you and your kitty will love? Here is our list of recommendations, listed in no particular order, that boast some nice features and are worth checking out.
1. Editor’s Choice: Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed
This multi-use product is a cat carrier, car seat and a mobile pet bed all in one. It’s your pet’s ‘safe space’ while on the road, helping them to feel comfortable regardless of where you travel. Many cats find that travelling or visiting new locations is a source of high stress and anxiety. By providing them with a familiar space, both in appearance and scent, the Sleepypod helps to comfort your pet during your road trips, veterinary visits, and more. Between travels, just leave the padded base of the carrier out in your pet’s favorite corner as a go-to bed.
The carrier is made from luggage-grade nylon outside and lined with ultra-plush polyester. It is crash tested and certified by the Center for Pet Safety for pets weighing 15 lbs and under. By buckling it in with your vehicle’s seatbelt, it will ensure that your cat is secure regardless of what may happen. For cleaning, simply remove the Ultra Plush interior. This can be machine washed and dried using the gentle cycle. For the exterior, wipe it clean using a damp cloth.
2. Runner Up: Pet Magasin Soft Sided Airline-Approved Dog & Cat Travel Carrier
Another carrier that is worth considering when you want to travel with your feline friend is the Pet Magasin Soft Sided Airline-Approved Dog & Cat Travel Carrier. It boasts quite a few features that help it stand out against other carriers on the market.
First, this carrier is designed to be easy to carry and lightweight, weighing only 2.2 pounds. You can use the handle or the padded shoulder strap to take your pet with you wherever you go.
Inside, your cat can remain comfortable and cozy, thanks to the extra pads and the mesh windows that provide plenty of ventilation and let your furry friend see outside.
The exterior is waterproof, the end panels are designed to hold their shape, and the carrier is easy to clean. Plus, it comes with a 2-year limited warranty. And, when not in use and ready to be stored away, this convenient carrier will fold flat so you can save space.
Overall, if you are looking for a basic soft-sided carrier that gets the job done, this might be the one for you.
3. Customer’s Choice: Pet Gear I-GO2 Escort Backpack & Rolling Pet Carrier
For something a little fun and different, check out the Pet Gear I-GO2 Escort Backpack & Rolling Pet Carrier. You can put your cat inside this carrier and then wear it as a backpack, making it easy to transport your kitty when you’re both on the move. Alternatively, you can carry it by the handle, or you use the long handle and wheels to roll it along the ground.
Described as a five-in-one carrier, tote, backpack, roller bag, and car seat, this one product can do a lot. Its innovative design makes it easy to travel by car with your pet, as well as make your way through the airport when traveling by plane. Or, if your pet is the adventurous type who likes to go outside with you, you can let her check out the views while taking a walk and carrying her in this backpack. And when you want to give your kitty even more room, you can use the extendable sides too, as they provide another 3 inches of space for your pet.
Other nice features include the fleece lining that helps your cat feel cozy and comfortable, the removable pad that is easy to clean, the storage pouches on the side of the backpack, and the tether that can be attached to your kitty’s harness in order to allow for more secure transport whenever you need it.
4. Best Collapsible: Necoichi Ultra Light Collapsible Cat Carrier
The Necoichi Ultra Light Collapsible Cat Carrier is a unique product that is another great choice when you need something that will keep your kitty at ease, while making it easy for you to take your furry companion wherever you go. It weighs only 1 pound, so it’s really lightweight, and it’s also really stylish.
The exterior consists of a sturdy, durable, easy to clean fabric that boasts a plaid pattern. The ventilation hole on the side is large and shaped like a cat, so it’s super cute and fun. Plus, there are mesh sides as well to provide more ventilation and help your kitty see everything that is going on outside. And there is a large zipper at the top for putting your cat in the carrier or letting her peek out of the side when it’s opened a bit.
When not in use, this carrier is completely collapsible, making it super easy to store away—and by fully collapsible, we mean it will fold into a little ball that you can hold in your hands.
5. Best Ventilated: Henkelion Cat Carrier
Transporting a kitty can be quite a challenge, no matter how patient and careful you are. Cats can be hard-headed and scared of confined spaces and that’s not a good combo for transportation- needless to say, you need a reliable and sturdy cat carrier to make things easier for everyone involved. Henkelion Cat Carrier is easy to use, comfortable, and safe for your cat. It is made from a lightweight and durable polyester fabric, and is also waterproof to boot. The design features mesh windows on all four sides, providing plenty of air circulation inside the carrier.
The base of the carrier features a sturdy wooden board bottom, which is covered with a woolen mat and cushioned with a soft foam layer. Your cat will be comfortable, and the carrier stable and secure. It also features a lot of carrying straps and zippers – you will have no trouble lugging your four-legged feline friend around, even if they are a bit chunky. Best of all, the carrier is TSA Airline approved, so hopping on a plane with your kitty is no problem at all!
6. Best Backpack: KOPEKS Deluxe Backpack Travel Pet Carrier
The KOPEKS Deluxe Backpack Travel Pet Carrier makes it easy to travel with your furry companion. It has loads of features that make this carrier surprisingly versatile, while ensuring your pet remains safe and comfortable.
This carrier features backpack straps that make it a snap to carry your pet comfortably on your back. However, you can also use the handle to carry it by hand instead. And there is even a telescoping handle that allows you to pull the carrier on its wheels when you would rather not carry it.
Other attractive features include the durable oxford fabric, strong zippers, soft and cozy interior for your pet, and the three reinforced mesh panels that provide ventilation and let your cat see outside. Plus, the large pockets allow you to store what you always need within reach while you are on the go with your fur baby. And it’s available in more than color so you can choose your favorite.
Overall, if you’re looking for a backpack style carrier, this one has everything you need, so it is definitely worth putting your list of considerations.
7. Best Padded: JesPet Soft-Sided Pet Carrier
Yet another great soft-sided carrier is the JesPet Soft-Sided Pet Carrier, which is available in several different colors. It weighs only 1 pound, so it is really easy to carry around with your pet safely inside of it.
One of the great things about this carrier is that it is airline approved, so it can be a good choice if you are planning on flying with your kitty. Just be sure to check with your airline in advance to be absolutely sure this carrier will be acceptable according to their requirements.
This carrier is constructed from durable material, and the interior is soft and comfortable for your cat. There is a removable fleece pad inside, along with a convenient safety hook to help keep your pet secure.
When it comes to carrying this carrier, you have a few options. You can use the adjustable shoulder strap or the padded handle. Plus, you can use the safety loop to slide it onto your luggage handle so you can roll your luggage and your pet carrier at the same time. Then, when traveling by car, you can use the same safety loop to effectively and easily restrain the carrier with a seat belt for added security.
Other features are: the breathable mesh windows, including the one at the top that provides additional ventilation, the storage pockets, and the side entry that can make it easy to get your cat into and out of the carrier. Plus, there is a small opening at the top of the carrier for quick and easy access whenever you need it. And this carrier can hold up to 15 pounds.
8. Best High End: Sleepy Pod Robin Blue In Air Pet Carrier
If you travel a lot with your cat you will want to make sure they are as safe as possible. For that there is just one choice, and even though it is a bit more expensive, we know your cat is worth it. We remember when the original sleep pod came out and how revolutionary the shape and look was, it’s one issue, you could not take it on a plane. That has now been remedied. The Sleeplypod Air in Cabin Pet Carrier has been independently crash-tested safe. It is longer and thicker than most other carriers on the market but it will still fit under the seat in front of you thanks to the ingenious design of ends that fold up like wings. It is even easier getting your cat into the bag since they have designed it to unzip in one long motion from tip to tail. Also, we are a sucker for the pretty colors it comes in and we think you will be too.
9. Best On Wheels: Coopeter Cat Carrier
Not everyone wants to lug around their feline everywhere they go. If you’re on the hunt for a versatile and alternative solution to a cat carrier, this Coopeter bag is worth a look.
Similar to most of the products on this list, this cat carrier features two carrying straps as well as an adjustable, no-slip shoulder strap, so you can carry your furry friend when the situation calls for it. If your hands are full, you can set this bag down and pull it around thanks to it’s four wheeled detachable platform, all the while keeping your pet comfortable and horizontal. The four sided mesh helps maintain proper air flow, while also giving you easy access to check on your cat.
10. Best Lightweight: Morpilot Pet Travel Carrier
This lightweight and breathable cat carrier is equipped with not only two sturdy carrying handles, but an adjustable shoulder strap as well to provide you with multiple ways to transport your pet.
The Morpilot Pet Travel Carrier is a great option for small pets weighing under 15 pounds. Made from durable polyester and breathable mesh, this lightweight bag will be able to go from place to place with ease and maximize air circulation.
It also comes with it’s own folding bowl and a removable cushion. Other impressive features include a safety inner leash, a front pocket, a wear resistant, non-slip bottom and multiple carrying options!
11. Best Expandable: Siivton Expandable Pet Carrier
The Siivton Expandable pet carrier is an amazing bag that boasts a wide range of features both you and your pet will love, from expandable mesh panels to an internal leash and a removable fleece bed!
Although car carriers are a great way to bring your furry friend from place to place, they’re not always the most spacious bags on the planet. If you want a carrier that is compatible with airline restrictions but won’t leave your pet feeling confined at all times, this is the bag for you.
This bag is equipped with 4 expandable mesh panels that provide not only more space for your pet to roam, but also maximizes their air flow. It also includes a double sided inner pad that offers a soft, comfortable place for your fur baby to rest.
12. Best Budget: X-ZONE PET Cat Carrier
Perfect for cat owners shopping on a budget, this soft sided cat carrier is another option that’s airline approved and is outfitted with a variety of features to keep your pet safe and comfortable.
Sure, that fancy cat carrier has lots of appealing features, but you don’t need to spend a fortune to enjoy a quality bag. If you’re shopping for a cat carrier with a limited budget, then the X-ZONE PET Cat Carrier is a great choice. It’s available in a handful of different colors as well as two different sizes so you can mix and match to find your perfect bag.
The carrier itself is made from a lightweight, durable and waterproof polyester fabric and also features mesh windows for ventilation. This bag comes with a removable base insert in addition to a cozy fleece bed, so your pet always has a soft and sturdy place to lay down.
13. Also Consider: Henkelion Space Capsule Cat Backpack Carrier
Made from durable ABS materials as well as a nine-hole vented system, this sturdy and comfortable backpack is a great way for you and your pet to explore the outdoors.
Last but certainly not least, is the Henkelion Space Capsule Cat Backpack Carrier. You may have seen this backpack take the internet by storm, or are intrigued by the futuristic design and are dying to give it a try for yourself. It’s unique design allows you to keep an eye on your four legged friend as well as let them take in their surroundings – and for everyone you pass to gush over your fur baby
Available in a handful of colors, this unique bag is both spacious for your pet, and comfortable for you to wear.
14. Honorary Mention: LOLLIMEOW Pet Carrier Backpack
Your cat carrier shouldn’t just be comfortable for your pet – you need to be comfortable wearing it too. That’s why this bag has a handful of features both you and your cat will love.
The best cat carriers are the ones that combine durability and portability – and this LOLLIMEOW Pet Carrier Backpack does just that. Whether you’re hopping on a plane or heading outside for a hike on your local trail, this backpack was built for adventure.
Outfitted with a soft mat, a support pad and adjustable straps, both you and your cat will be comfortable on the go. The bag also features all mesh walls to provide your furry friend with maximum visibility and air circulation!
Take Your Cat on an Adventure with the Right Carrier
Whether you’re going on vacation and you want to take your cat with you, you’re moving to a new home, or you simply need to take your pet to the vet, there are a variety of scenarios in which you would need a durable, sturdy, and comfortable carrier designed with felines in mind.
Cats are well known as adventurous and energetic pets. There is that natural, inborn desire for exploration, for jumping, and spending all that feline energy that accumulates during snooze time. And if you want to allow for a safe and secure way for that energy and need for exploring to be enjoyed, then taking your cat on an adventure can be a great choice. Of course, a nifty cat carrier will be ideal for the journey. It helps keep everything under control while still allowing your cat a good deal of comfort.
Needless to say, cat carriers are a great help in a number of other situations. Cats can be quite unpredictable, and their character can surprise you even after years of companionship. When exposed to stressful situations and new environments, cats can react dramatically even if they have a sweet personality in usual circumstances. Trips to the vet are a great example. Seeing all those bright lights and new faces might not sit right with your feline friend. That’s where the cat carrier comes in hand- both to help your kitty feel safer and to make sure that she actually is confined for her own safety until it’s time for the check-up.
What to Look for in a Cat Carrier?
As with most other pet-related accessories, there are a number of features that could make a world of difference, in terms of quality and comfort both. That’s why it’s important to know what to look for- so your pet can be happy and your own preferences (such as style or price range) be met.
A cat carrier is designed with protection as the first and foremost concern. As such, it really needs to be robust and well made- flimsy carriers simply won’t do. Opt for materials that vouch strength, and spot some of those key structural elements that indicate good integrity. After all, it’s your kitty’s safety in question.
Most cat carriers are designed to be hand-carried and as portable as possible. But not all brands successfully combine durability and portability. The end result might be a carrier that’s way too bulky and cumbersome. And you don’t want to have trouble lugging a hefty crate around, especially with your cat inside it – dropping it is not an option! Go for those that are both lightweight and tough for maximum portability.
Carriers are about comfort too! Sometimes, your four-legged feline friend needs to spend several hours inside the carrier and you wouldn’t want that time to be spent in cramped and uncomfortable conditions. Look for carriers with special padding when possible, and with no sharp edges and similar uncomfortable features. In any case, you can also make efforts to add padding yourself, making the carrier as cozy as possible for your cat
Vision and ventilation
Cat carriers come in all shapes and sizes, and designs can range from plastic to fabric ones. However, not all designs have enough openings at the front or sides. Some cloth carriers leave only thick mesh windows at the sides, which are not enough. Openings are important to allow your cat some vision of its surroundings (to help with anxiety), and also to add ventilation, which is crucial. Always guarantee that air can circulate freely inside the carrier at all times.
In the end, carriers should be a valuable tool in the arsenal of every cat owner. It won’t hurt to have one stored in the house – whether you find the need to travel with your cat or go to the vet, having such an accessory on hand will be a lifesaver. The list above is a great place to start, but there are a lot more carriers where these came from, so you can sort through your options to find the perfect carrier that will have all of the features you want, and need, to ensure your pet’s safety when you’re on the go.
We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.
More by Lisa Selvaggio