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The 15 Best Cat Carriers Available

We aim to make our cats' lives as comfortable and stress-free as possible as cat parents. Travel is one of those unavoidable situations that might be stressful for sensitive kitties.

One of the greatest methods to reduce this tension is to select a well-designed cat carrier that allows your cat to be as comfortable as possible during the travel.

If you must transport your cat by plane, it is critical that you select an airline-approved carrier.

Choosing a comfortable carrier for infrequent vet visits can also make your life easier when it comes to the annual immunization journey.

However, the sheer number of cat carrier options available might get bewildering. That's where we can help!

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) combed through all of the available cat carriers and picked our top recommendations for the best cat carriers.

Our top best cat carriers available are listed below, along with detailed information about each one.

Reviews

Best Buy: Petmate Soft-Sided Cat Carrier Bag

The finest cat carrier for the money is the Petmate Soft-Sided Cat Carrier Bag. If you know you won’t need a cat carrier but don’t want to spend a lot of money, this spacious, soft-sided carrier is a perfect option.

Because of the comfortable shoulder strap, this is an ideal way to transport larger cats. The bag’s two-door design features one door at the bottom and another at the top.

Some cats like to be placed in a carrier from the top, thus this feature may make your life easier! There are two sizes available, both of which are airline certified.

This cat carrier also has a pouch on one end for easy storage of your cat’s stuff while traveling. There’s plenty of ventilation, thanks to mesh portions on all sides except the bottom.

Pros

  • There are two sizes available.
  • Side and top doors
  • Approved by airlines
  • adequate ventilation

Cons

  • Some cats tear the mesh.

Cat-in-the-bag E-Z-Zip Cat Carrier Bag – The Best Option

The Cat-in-the-bag is an excellent choice for a quality cat carrier. The E-Z-Zip Cat Carrier Bag is unique, but it comes highly recommended!

The ingenious design features a head opening for your cat as well as a zippable sack that encloses the remainder of your cat’s body.

You must be careful to tighten the neck opening so tightly that your cat’s head does not slip inside the bag, but otherwise, most cats adapt nicely to this carrier!

The carry handle can also be used to fasten your cat to your car’s seatbelt. Many cats who dislike being confined in a hard or soft-sided carrier appreciate the sense of freedom that this bag provides when traveling.

The only reason this didn’t make our top two is that, for obvious reasons, it can’t be utilized for airplane travel!

Pros

  • This form of carrier is preferred by many cats.
  • There are three sizes available.
  • Simple zipper access

Cons

  • Airline travel is not recommended.
  • It must be properly adjusted.

Sleep & Go Cat Carrier by Doc & Phoebe

If your cat suffers from travel anxiety, you should look into this 3-in-1 cat carrier. When you’re at home, the Sleep & Go from Doc & Phoebe’s Cat Co. functions as an open-sided bed.

When you’re ready to go, zip on the comfortable dome, which comes with padded carrying straps and a zippered door. Furthermore, the plush cushion is machine washable, and the vinyl liner makes cleanup a breeze.

This cat carrier is a bit more expensive, so make place in your budget for it. It’s also not soft-sided, which makes it a little more difficult to store.

However, if you use it as your cat’s bed and carrier, it provides excellent value. And this carrier was created particularly to make trips to the vet more convenient – something we can all get behind.

Pros

  • Convertible 3-in-1 design
  • Cushion and vinyl liner are machine washable.
  • Choose between a warm cave and an open bed shape.
  • Carrying straps with padding and a zippered door

Cons

  • A little more costly
  • Reduced ventilation

Original Deluxe Airline-Approved Cat Carrier by Sherpa

The Sherpa Original Deluxe Airline-Approved Cat Carrier is another favorite of ours. This soft carrier is approved for usage with most major airlines, however it’s always a good idea to double-check before you travel!

This carrier’s hold-all design includes a shoulder strap for added convenience, and the sides are supported by a flexible wireframe so they never collapse over your cat.

This carrier has ample of ventilation, making it ideal for summer trips. The zippers self-lock, which is a crucial feature for keeping your cat from escaping!

There’s also a back pocket for your cat’s leash, treats, and whatever else you need for your trip.

Pros

  • Zipper closures
  • Seatbelt fastener
  • Approved by airlines
  • Lining is machine washable.

Cons

  • Some cats are capable of ripping the mesh.

Mod Capsule Cat Carrier by K&H Pet Products

This unique carrier also functions as a cat bed or playhouse! The modular structure is made out of a robust circular base and top plate, as well as sturdy sides that zip together.

Once your cat gets home, this carrier can be used as a bed or playhouse, or it can be easily zipped apart and stored flat. When necessary, the soft polyfil cushion can be removed and washed.

The little circular door is difficult to get a wiggling cat through, and the zippers do not lock, which is a major disadvantage in our perspective.

Although it has a safety loop to which a seatbelt can be attached, this carrier provides minimal ventilation in hot weather. This carrier is also on the tiny side for large cats, which may make long flights uncomfortable.

Pros

  • Simple to store
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • There are no zippers that lock.
  • Inadequate ventilation
  • It’s difficult to bring a cat in.

Collapsible Pet Magasin Bag for Carrying Cats

This adaptable cat carrier combines the advantages of soft and hard-sided carriers! When not in use, the hardtop and sides are coupled with soft and well-ventilated sides that drop down.

The plush padded mat inside makes it comfy for your cat to sit in, and the oval shape allows them to easily spin around. This is a touch tough to put together, and the zippers are small, making the process more more difficult!

However, if you enjoy the notion of a hard-sided carrier with the convenience of a soft carrier, this is a good option.

Pros

  • Simple to store
  • Properly ventilated

Cons

  • Mesh can be torn.
  • There are no seatbelts.
  • Difficult to put together

Ultra-Light Collapsible Cat Carrier by Necoichi

This is your best bet if you’re searching for a lightweight, collapsible, and tiny cat carrier on a budget. Instead of a roof, this lightweight carrier features sloping sides that link together at the top.

Because of the reduced headroom, a larger cat may have difficulty getting comfortable in this carrier. It does imply that it folds flat for easy storage.

There is no provided bedding cushion, so you will need to add your own to keep your cat comfy. Because there is only a little mesh window on each side, this may not be suited for usage in hot weather.

It’s also difficult to get your cat in through the slanted door unless they’re used to getting into a carrier!

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Folds flat for convenient storing

Cons

  • Large cats will find it too small.
  • Mesh can tear.
  • Slanted edges
  • There is no bedding cushion.

Airline-Approved Soft-Sided Cat Carrier by EliteField

As an airline-approved carrier, this hold-all-style cat carrier is an excellent choice. The lightweight material is paired with mesh panels that allow your cat to view outside while also providing airflow.

While the manufacturers indicate that this carrier is airline approved, we recommend checking with particular airlines before going, as several owners have found that the bigger size is not always allowed by all flights.

While this carrier comes in two sizes, the large size is still a little too tiny for huge cats! This carrier has a removable soft bed that is simple to remove and clean after use.

There is also a seat belt loop and strap to connect this to a car or airline seat. The two compartments are large enough to hold your cat’s accessories and snacks.

Pros

  • Six different hues are available.
  • Excellent value for money

Cons

  • Mesh can be torn.
  • Not of the highest caliber
  • Large cats will find it too small.
  • Sides may give way.

VIEW 360 Cat Carrier by Pet Gear

If your cat enjoys looking out the window, the Pet Gear VIEW 360 Cat Carrier is a fantastic alternative. The mesh ventilation provides 360-degree visibility and is ideal for warm weather when your cat requires ventilation.

If your cat prefers to travel standing up, the curved lid provides plenty of headroom. This can be changed into a car seat, but due to the height of the lid, it is not airline certified.

The zipless design is a lovely addition because it allows you to remove the folding cloth lid by just pushing a button on either end of the carrier’s steel frame.

There’s also an inner leash attachment point, so you can clip this to our cat’s leash if you need to open the lid while traveling but still keep your kitty safe.

Because the fleece pad is detachable and washable, it is simple to keep clean.

Pros

  • Handle is padded
  • It is suitable for use as a vehicle seat.

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Carrying is difficult.
  • Not accepted by airlines
  • Some cats will rip through the mesh side.

Cat Carrier JesPet

The JesPet Cat Carrier takes our final slot. This is a fantastic option if your cat is small and you want to carry them in a rucksack-style carrier rather than a typical hand-held carrier.

The well-padded shoulder straps make it easy to carry, while the soft fleece bed and solid base make it pleasant for your cat as well!

There are two openings on the backpack: one on the front and one on the top. Larger cats may find this carrier too small, as they won’t have much place to sit or turn around.

This carrier is also too small for your cat to lie down comfortably unless it is still young.

Pros

  • Carrying convenience
  • Ventilation

Cons

  • Large cats are not recommended.
  • There are no straps to attach to a seatbelt.

How to Choose the Best Cat Carriers: A Buyer's Guide

If you have a cat, you need a cat carrier! Even if you don’t travel with your cat very often, having a cat carrier makes doctor visits much more comfortable and safe for both you and your cat.

A cat carrier is important whether you travel with your cat by car or plane. When it comes to selecting the finest carrier, there are numerous factors to consider.

What exactly is the distinction between soft and hard cat carriers?

Soft cat carriers resemble hold-all shoulder bags, but they usually include hard flooring made of plastic or chipboard to provide your cat with a secure area to stand on.

They’re a great option if you don’t use your carrier very often because they can be collapsed and stored flat when not in use.

Soft carriers are frequently authorized for airline use, however we always recommend double-checking the dimensions accepted by certain airlines before purchasing.

Soft cat carriers often have mesh panels for ventilation and a loop inside to secure your cat’s harness to.

Plastic hard cat carriers with top, side, or both door openings are available. They’re more secure than soft cat carriers, so if your cat is prone to scratching and clawing at their carrier, this is the best choice.

They are more difficult to transport and are not often permitted in airline cabins. They take up more space in the house, but they might be a good spot to keep your cat’s first-aid kit so everyone knows where it is!

Which is preferable, a firm or soft carrier?

The answer is dependent on your preferences and the type of travel you conduct.

If you frequently fly with your cat, investing in a high-quality soft carrier is usually your best decision, since you’ll get a lot of usage out of it.

Soft carriers are convenient to transport and may be folded and kept flat when not in use. Some cats, especially on long journeys, manage to claw their way out through the mesh of a soft carrier.

Hard carriers are the safest, and many cats enjoy the sense of security that the hard, enclosed sides provide. However, they are difficult to transport, especially if your cat is large! Hard cat carriers require more storage space, but if you use them frequently and your cat enjoys them, it’s a minor price to pay.

If you’re not sure which one your cat prefers, try one of each before making a purchase. Check with friends and family to see if you can borrow each type of carrier.

If your budget permits it, we recommend purchasing one of each. It’s excellent to have the option of using either style, especially if you have numerous cats and require carriers for both travel and veterinarian visits.

Features to consider while choosing the finest car carrier

Ventilation

Cats, especially in hotter climes, might overheat when traveling. As a result, consider a carrier with ventilation. Slots on the sides and sometimes the roof of hard cat carriers are common. Mesh panels will be used on soft carriers.

The number and location of doors

Most hard carriers have one door on the side, but some also have a top opening. Soft carriers often have two access points. If your cat dislikes being placed in their carrier, a top entrance is far easier to navigate than a side door!

Airplane authorized

While most hard carriers are just too large to be approved for airline travel in the cabin, several soft carriers advertise that they are.

Even if a carrier manufacturer claims that their product is airline approved, we recommend double-checking with your preferred airline.

Individual airline dimensions can vary, and nothing is more stressful than getting turned down as oversized just as you want to board the plane.

Zips that lock

If you’re using a soft carrier, ensure sure the zips lock. Some customers have complained that cheaper carriers do not employ self-locking zips. As a result, a resourceful cat may slide the zip open from the inside.

Internal leash loop

Some soft carriers have a small fabric loop inside to which you can attach your cat’s leash. While this is not recommended for long travels where you are unable to directly oversee your cat, it is handy if your cat is an escape artist.

By wearing your cat’s harness and then tying their leash to the loop, you can open the carrier door without fear of your cat bolting.

Seatbelt loops

If you intend to travel in your cat carrier in the automobile, search for seatbelt loops on the outside. This means you can attach the carrier to your car’s seat.

This is typically only a feature of soft cat carriers, although the handle on hard carriers can also be used to secure a seatbelt.

Carry straps

Soft cat carriers typically include carry handles as well as a shoulder strap. The shoulder strap makes carrying your cat easier. Some carriers are also equipped with backpack straps!

Taking measurements for a cat carrier

You may believe you’ve found the ideal cat carrier, but if the proportions are too small for your cat, they won’t appreciate traveling in it.

You want your cat to be able to comfortably lie down, stand up, and turn around. Most carriers are available in two sizes, and the manufacturer will usually specify the size of cat that each is intended to accommodate.

Here’s how to gauge your cat’s size:

  • Height – Take a measurement from the ground to the top of your cat’s shoulders.
  • Measure your cat’s length from the middle of their chest to the tip of their tail.

Soft cat carriers frequently have weight restrictions, so weigh your cat at home or make a note to ask your veterinarian to do so at your cat’s next regular check-up.

If your cat is a large breed, it is even more crucial that the carrier is spacious enough to fit them comfortably. You may read our assessment of the best cat carriers for huge cats by clicking here.

Conclusion

The Original Deluxe Airline-Approved Cat Carrier by Sherpa was chosen as our overall best cat carrier.

This is BestForPets‘ (bestforpets.org) preferred carrier if you need to transport your cat in the vehicle, for frequent veterinarian visits, or even on an airline!

The Petmate Soft-Sided Cat Carrier Bag is the greatest value for money carrier. This is another excellent option, providing excellent value if you require a carrier but do not wish to spend a lot of money.

We hope that our guide has helped you decide which cat carrier is ideal for your precious pet.

There are numerous carriers to pick from, but by selecting one from our best cat carriers available list, you know you’re getting the finest of the best!

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher

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