The Best Cat Carriers for Safe and Comfy Traveling

If you are in a rush and want to skip ahead to our favorite cat carrier, look no further than PetLuv Happy Cat Premium Cat Carrier

Introduction

Pets need to be transported from time to time. It could be for that regular vet appointment, a hiking trip, or a home move. That is where cat carriers come to play. They are comfortable and safe spaces designed to give cats a beautiful temporary home for a happy traveling experience.

In this article, we’ll review the following products:

Why Use A Cat Carrier?

A cat carrier should be at the top of any cat lover’s travel checklist. It doesn’t matter if you’re just driving your kitty a few blocks down or to a nearby park. Without a carrier, he or she could easily get injured or disturb and distract the driver. Besides, a good carrier offers a comforting, secure space where cats can feel safe. This is particularly important for car rides, indeed, unlike dogs, cats tend to hate traveling by car.

Types of Cat Carriers

Soft, Collapsible Cat Carriers

This type of carrier bag uses flexible materials like microfiber, nylon, or polyester. It’s light and easily fits into tight spaces like under an airplane seat

You’ll also find that it’s easy to store when not in use. The only downside is that Kitty could damage the material with its claws and teeth. Collapsible cat carriers also don’t offer as much protection as hard-sided carriers.

Hard-Sided Carriers

Nothing screams durability more than these cat carriers. Not even the sharpest of claws will get through the material.  

Their hard shells provide a sturdy space for your pet friend to relax. 

The majority of these carriers don’t come with padding, but you can place a small blanket or mat for extra comfort. 

On the other hand, hard-sided carriers are quite bulky and difficult to store away when not in use.

Cardboard Cat Carriers

Shelters mostly use these carriers when delivering cats to their new adoptive parents

They are not meant for long-term use. They eventually break down or your cat may chew on it making the sides less rigid. If you’re into DIY, you can probably make one yourself, or you can simply buy a set.

Carriers on Wheels

Did someone say maneuverability? Rolling carriers are a great option if you can’t bear heavy loads.

Consider them as little automobile cat carriers. 

Remember to pull the carrier gently as you would a fragile package. A small movement on the outside can startle an anxious cat.

Cat Strollers and Backpacks

Strollers and carrier backpacks can also be used to transport your pet. They, however, can be more stressful for cats than other carriers. Strollers don’t provide as much protection as sturdy pet carriers. As for backpacks, they can force your feline friend into an uncomfortable and awkward position.

Cat Bubble Backpack

Factors to Consider When Choosing A Cat Carrier

Cost

There are cat carriers for every budget. You don’t need to rob a bank, but you also don’t want to spend too little and end up with a carrier that is too small, heavy, fragile, or uncomfortable.

Size and Weight

The best cat carrier should be just the right size for Kitty. 

As a rule of thumb, a cat carrier should be at least one and a half times larger than your cat. Get one that’s too big, and your pet will slide around in it, making them stressed. If it’s too small then the cat will not be able to freely turn around or lie down. 

In the case of long-distance traveling, ensure it can fit food and drink bowls.

We also recommend considering the weight of the cat carrier you want to buy. Sometimes you’ll end up holding the carrier for a while, and you don’t want to carry extra weight unnecessarily.

Closures and Security

The most effective carriers have two openings – one on top and one in front, these are usually known as top-loading carriers. Compare the closures to find the best fit for your cat. Mesh openings provide both visibility and privacy. 

Some carriers are more escape-proof than others. Solid plastic carriers provide a safer solution than those with soft shells.

Zippers and Velcro closures can be easily opened by the most motivated of cats. Thus, opt for carriers with latched front gates. Not even the cleverest cat will open it. 

Other Features

The possibility of needing to transport your cat in a car is very likely if you’re using a cat carrier. The best cat carriers for car travel are specially designed to clip into seat belts. 

This will prevent the carrier from sliding around in the car. Be on the lookout for padded straps, ID tags, safety tether, and extra pockets for storing treats and toys.

Maintenance

Cat carriers need regular cleaning. It’s best to choose carriers with easy-to-clean surfaces or removable padding.

Top Cat Carriers Reviews

Best Carrier for Car Travel

PetLuv Happy Cat Premium Cat Carrier

PetLuv Happy Cat Premium Cat Carrier

Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 16 inches.

We all want something comfortable and roomy for transporting our cats over long distances. This product is the best cat carrier for long car trips

An average cat can comfortably stand and turn around in the carrier.  It’s about four times the size of the other carriers and can hold up to 45 pounds. You can even make it a cat carrier for two cats.

Mesh openings on all sides provide a great view of the outside world. You can roll down the flaps to give kitty some privacy. 

The crate includes adjustable seatbelt straps to secure it to the car seats. The shoulder straps are adjustable and a padded handle helps you easily get it out of the car.

As if all these weren’t impressive enough, the manufacturer introduced a pull-along version of this carrier. Introducing PetLuv Pull-Along Cat carrier On Wheels. The front wheels swivel 360 degrees for easy movement. Simply detach the roller base and use it as a regular carrier.

Pros Cons
Ample spaceA bit pricey
Adjustable seatbelt straps
Ideal for multiple cats
Great visibility and privacy
Carrier-on-wheels version available
Four access panels
Easy to store away

Airline Approved Cat Carriers

SleepyPod Air In-Cabin Cat Carrier

Sleepypod Air in-Cabin Pet Carrier

Dimensions: 22 x 10.5 x 10.5 inches. Compresses down to 16 x 10.5 x 8 inches.

Here’s one for the coolest cats. SleepyPod Air meets airline and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requirements. Its unique design allows it to fit in the space below airline seats during take-off and landing. 

The space inside the carrier is more than enough to fit cats up to 18 pounds. 

The carrier uses a double-layer design to ensure durability and a chic luxurious look.

It also has a pass-through pocket that allows you to secure it to the handle on your carry-on luggage.

The carrier has an inside tether to keep your pet in place.

Pros Cons
Easily fits under an airplane seatPoor Airflow 
Sturdy material Poor visibility
Nice cushion at the bottom
Top and ends open for easy access

Petsfit Expandable Large Cat Carrier

Petsfit Expandable Cat Carrier

Dimensions: 17 x 11 x 11 inches. Expandable to 29.8 x 11 x 11 inches.

And there was more space! This expandable carrier from Petsfit has two porches on the sides that can open out for extra space. It also gives a wider view of the environment and a playground as your cat awaits its flight. 

Fits cats up to 13 pounds.

The carrier has an excellent solid structure that prevents it from collapsing. It’s flexible enough to fit under an airplane seat

A mesh panel all around it provides the right amount of visibility.

Pros Cons
ExpandableDoesn’t offer much ventilation
Great quality material
Extra pockets on the sides
Easily folds down for storage

Mr. Peanut’s Soft Sided Cat Carrier

Dimensions: 18 x 11 x 11 inches.

Recommended for pets up to 18 pounds.

Crash tested and fits the dimensions of most in-cabin requirements

It’s designed with a breathable mesh on all sides for proper ventilation. There’s a removable fleece travel bed with plywood base for extra support.

Many carriers come with poor-quality zippers that easily break. Not this carrier. It has self-locking zippers that can’t be opened from the inside of the bag; that way, Kitty safely stays inside. 

These bags use waterproof nylon material to prevent sagging or wrinkling. 

Pros Cons
Self-locking zippersShoulder strap can be a bit uncomfortable
Crash tested
Fabric roll-away privacy cover 
Strong waterproof nylon material
Plywood base for additional support
Washable and removable fleece pet bed

Sherpa Original Deluxe Pet Carrier

Sherpa Original Deluxe Pet Carrier

Dimensions: 17 x 11 x 10.5 inches.

Fits pets up to 22 pounds.

This collapsible cat carrier comes with one unique feature: a patented spring-wire frame at the rear end. This frame pushes down several inches to conform to under-seat requirements. It greatly fits under most airplane seats without compromising on your cat’s comfort. 

Secure the carrier in the car by running the seat belt through the specially designed strap on one side. 

The faux lambskin liner is removable and machine washable.

Pros Cons
Collapsible soft sides Zipper is a bit fragile
Ample space for kitty
Comfortable faux lambskin base 
Handle straps extend to the base of the carrier

Best Hard Cat Carrier

Petmate Two Door pet Kennel

Petmate Two Door Top Load

Dimensions: 24 x 17 x 15 inches

This product may be the cheapest top opening pet carrier on the list but it still has high-quality features.

Perfect for those in search of a tough, secure pet traveling environment. It’s made from a heavy-duty plastic shell for strength and safety.  

It has two wide doors, one opening from the front and one from the top. Both doors have spring-loaded latches that lock them securely in place. The two doors make it easier to get your cat into the carrier.

Even though it’s made from hard plastic, you can include a bed inside to keep your cat comfortable. The wire door ensures that Kitty stays inside while offering ample ventilation. 

Does your cat always tear down the material of soft-sided carriers? Then this is for you!

Pros Cons
Strong and sturdy designNot safety-tested for car travel
Self-locking wire mesh door No mat or safety tether
Great ventilation and visibility
Comfortable grip handle

Best Cat Carrier with Litter Box

Pet Fit for Life Portable Cat Condo

Pet Fit for Life Portable Cat Condo

Dimensions: 32 x 19 x 19 inches 

The carrier has a large, spacious interior for your cat to stay in. 

It includes an ultra-soft bed pad, collapsible litter box, and water bowl. These features make it the most versatile cat carrier. It’s like bringing a piece of home along with you.  

This cat carrier with litter box allows your pet to naturally handle its business while on the road, while the bowl allows you to keep her hydrated. Not to forget, this carrier also includes a plush bed for your feline friend to rest in. 

You don’t have to worry about your cat getting bored. There’s a cat wand toy to keep pet dearest engaged. 

The carrier has nylon flaps and Velcro fasteners for your cat’s access to scenery and airflow.

Pros Cons
Collapsible litter box and water bowlOnly one entry point.
Extra-large spacious interiorAvailable in only one color
Ideal for multiple cats
Bonus wand toy included

Conclusion

So, which cat carrier takes the day? The PetLuv Happy Cat Premium Cat Carrier wins by more than a whisker. No pun intended. 

While it’s on the pricier side, it offers the perfect balance between comfort and safety. This carrier endures the longest of distances. Your pet dearest will enjoy a front-row view of the world as it travels, thanks to the mesh windows on all sides. 

The bag is made from sturdy material that holds cats up to 45 pounds. No other cat carrier in the review comes close to this. 

Just when you think this is all PetLuv has to offer, they introduce a carrier on wheels version of this bag. You can easily attach and detach a roller base for flexible movement. Traveling with your pet doesn’t get any more fun and easier than this.

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