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 10 recommendations, listed in no particular order, that boast some nice features and are worth checking out.
- Editor’s Choice: Mr. Peanut’s Platinum Series Double-Expandable Airline-Approved Soft-Sided Dog & Cat Carrier
Whether or not you are going to be traveling long distances with your cat, the Mr. Peanut’s Platinum Series Double-Expandable Airline-Approved Soft-Sided Carrier is a great choice.
First off, because it is soft-sided, it will be easier to place it under the seat during a flight, and the manufacturer claims this carrier is approved by most airlines (just be sure to check with your airline to be sure it does pass their requirements).
When you want to give your pet even more space while still inside this carrier, it will expand out on both sides, and it also provides plenty of ventilation. And it has a plywood base to keep the carrier stable. While inside, your pet will be able to look out through the mesh sides and the mesh top.
Inside, the carrier features a plush faux fleece bed that is removable and washable, so your cat will remain comfortable whether you’re taking a long trip or you’re just taking her to the vet. The exterior consists of a waterproof, lightweight, durable nylon, so the carrier is also easy to clean, and it can be folded when you need to store it away.
Other desirable features include the padded shoulder strap and padded handle, making it easy to carry this carrier. It even has a leash tether, storage pockets, self-locking zippers, and luggage strap for conveniently attaching the carrier to the handle of your suitcase during travel.
In terms of size, it can accommodate kitties up to 16” long and 10” tall, and it can hold pets that weigh up to 15 pounds.
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.
- 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.
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.
The soft-sided Paws & Pals Pet Carrier is airline approved and designed to keep your cat safe and secure while traveling. Although it is compliant with most airline restrictions when it comes to pet carriers, be sure to check with your airline to be absolutely sure.
Inside, there is a soft fleece bed that is removable and machine washable, so it will keep your kitty comfortable, and it will be easy to clean as well. On top of that, this carrier also features mesh panels for plenty of ventilation and to let your kitty see what is going on outside.
Other convenient features include several storage pockets, along with a padded shoulder strap, both of which can come in really handy while you are transporting your pet from one place to another.
This stylish carrier can be restrained with your car’s seat belt, and it also comes with a lost & found tag, as well as an unwind & bind feature that lets you access your cat without having to worry about her escaping.
Available in two sizes: small/medium for pets weighing up to 10 pounds and medium/large for pets weighing up to 22 pounds.
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.
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.
The Gen7Pets Geometric Roller Carrier with Smart-Level Pet Carrier is yet another option that you can wear as a backpack or pull on wheels. This makes it easy to always keep your pet close even when you’re traveling long distances.
This product is airline approved, but, as always, check in with the airline that you will be using so you can be absolutely sure this carrier will be acceptable.
Keep in mind, too, that this particular carrier is a medium size, and it is designed for pets up to 10 pounds, so if your kitty is heavier, you would need to go with a different carrier instead.
You can gain easy access to your cat via the front and top zippered openings, and the mesh windows on the side are great for getting enough airflow into the carrier for your pet, while also giving her a good view outside. Beyond that, there are storage pockets that are really convenient as well.
Featuring what’s known as a Smart-Level Platform, this carrier will help prevent your furry companion from tipping over, especially when you are pulling the carrier along on its wheels. And it also boasts Smart-Comfort pads that can help your kitty feel comfortable and relaxed while inside.
When you don’t want to pull the carrier on wheels, you can use the hide-away shoulder straps to wear it like a backpack. And when you are in the car, you can use the seat belt strap to keep the carrier securely in place while you drive. On top of all of that, there are safety tethers inside the carrier as well, so your pet can remain secure no matter where you go or how you travel.
The unique and fun looking K&H Pet Products Mod Capsule is a great choice when you are looking for something a little different in the world of cat carriers.
The nice thing about this product is that it can be used in multiple ways. First of all, it can used as a comfortable bed. Secondly, it can be used as a little playhouse for your feline companion. And, finally, it can be used as a carrier whenever you need to transport your pet.
When you want to use this product as a cat bed, use the zipper to take the round mesh door off. Then, when you need to use it as a carrier, just put that door back on. Either way, the soft and cozy cushion inside, which is machine washable, will be inviting to your kitty at home and on the go.
You can easily assemble and break down this lightweight yet sturdy carrier, thanks to the zip-together design. When not in use, it will collapse so you can store it away with ease. However, when it is assembled, the exterior is rigid, so you can rest assured it will keep your pet safe and maintain its round shape. Plus, it’s easy to clean with a damp cloth. And when you put it in your car, this carrier will be simple to buckle it securely into place as well.
When you want a straightforward, hard-sided cat carrier, check out the Petmate Compass Fashion Kennel, which has a larger doorway to make it easier to get your cat into and out of it.
This carrier features the brand’s Quick-Latch 2-Way door design, so it can open to the left or to the right, depending on your preferences and whatever is easier in the moment. And you can rest assured that it is designed to stay closed with the help of safeguard door bars at the bottom and the top. Plus, this carrier also has 360° ventilation for plenty of airflow and visibility for your feline travel buddy.
Made of hard plastic and steel, this product is available in multiple sizes, and it easily assembles and breaks down in no time at all. It also meets airline requirements, but check with your airline to be sure you can indeed travel with your pet in this carrier.
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.