If you have been searching for the perfect carrier for your feline companion, you’ve ended up in the perfect place. We’ve gone through hundreds of reviews and have looked at hundreds of sales figures to find out just what product is worth investing in. Based on our research, it seems that the Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel is the first you should consider. It’s heavy-duty, it has vented sides and it’s convenient and comfortable for cats. Taking your cat to the vet can be a traumatising experience, but this one is sizable enough to avoid stressing your pet out. If this particular unit is no longer available, we suggest trying out our next favorite option, the Pet Gear Soft Car Seat and Carrier.
Best Cat Carriers [Reviews] – Our Favorites
- Best Cat Carriers [Reviews] – Our Favorites
- 1. Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel
- 2. Pet Gear Soft Car Seat and Carrier
- 3. One for Pets Portable Pet Kennel
- 4. Pet Magasin Collapsible Hard Cover Pet Carrier
- 5. SportPet Designs Travel Cat Carrier
- 6. Sherpa Original Deluxe Carrier
- 7. Catit Design Cabrio Multi-Functional Carrier System
- 8. Ferplast Atlas 20 EL Cat and Dog Carrier
- 9. K&H Pet Products Mod Capsule
- 10. Tutto Medium Pet on Wheels Stroller
- 11. Prefer Pets Travel Gear Hideaway Duffel
- 12. Petmate Compass Fashion Kennel
- Cat Carrier Buying Guide
1. Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel
This heavy-duty plastic kennel is designed for small pets weighing up to 10 pounds. It has vented sides and a two-entry steel door system. Its interiors measure at 19”x 12.8”x 10”. The kennel floor can accommodate an 18” pet bed sold separately.
This 3.7-pound kennel has a wide top opening that can fit both of your hands to help a fussy cat in and out. The front entrance is ideal for kennel training at home. It has an easy-squeeze latch which opens with one hand plus wingnut and bolts for security.
A plastic handle is anchored on the top door for traveling. The holes on the sides of the kennel provide ventilation and visibility, but are quite sharp from the inside. Some cat owners have reported instances when their cats cut their noses from the sharp holes. Also, while this is advertised as a travel kennel, some airlines ban top-loading kennels.
2. Pet Gear Soft Car Seat and Carrier
This soft carrier is made with mesh sides for proper air circulation. It measures at 19” x 12” x 12.5” and can accommodate up to 20 pounds. It has top and front mesh entrances with zippered enclosure on both. For fussy cats, zip locks should be purchased separately. It has a fleece pad at the bottom with a machine-washable cover.
Made for traveling, the portable carrier has a durable handle, a car seat belt strap, and a tether inside. It also has convenient rear pockets for cat food and small cat toys. The entire carrier is machine-washable and folds up when not in use.
Some customers a strong chemical odor when unboxing. Some found airing out the carrier before use helped diffuse the odors. Take note that the product comes with a California Proposition 65 warning which determines that some chemicals found in this product are linked to cancer, birth defects, and reproductive issues.
3. One for Pets Portable Pet Kennel
This 2-in-1 carrier converts into two separate single carriers or unzips from the center mesh partition to make a single big carrier. The tan-colored kennel measures at 20” x 20” x 39” as a whole. It has mesh front and side zippered doors that can also be rolled up.
The pet kennel is suitable for home use and for traveling. It has two interior mats and two hammocks for comfort. It also has an ergonomic top handle but the bottom needs extra support when carrying the cats. Also, once a cat is on the hammock, it will sink low with no leftover space at the bottom for a litter.
The cat kennel comes with a water bottle holder and a pocket for storing cat essentials. The new model also has straps in the back for a seatbelt to go through. Value-wise, this product only has 4 and 5-star ratings on Amazon.
4. Pet Magasin Collapsible Hard Cover Pet Carrier
A neat and compact carrier, it takes up little space with 17x13x14 dimensions. Assembly is required out of the box. It has a hard top and bottom that attach to the body with zippers. The body is made of plastic with holes for ventilation and a see-through entrance with a zipper lock enclosure. The carrier can also be opened from the top.
The bottom is also hard plastic with a non-slip mat. The carrier is lightweight at 2.2lbs but have been used by satisfied customers for adult felines. While it folds up easily for storage, proper assembly is crucial for cat safety. Some reviewers noted that the zippers on the top or bottom covers can give way when not assembled properly.
Cats should not be left without supervision in this carrier. Some cat owners reported their cats scratched their way out of the front entrance. Other customers also reported a strong plastic odor.
5. SportPet Designs Travel Cat Carrier
This carrier sports a patented design with a wide side opening that opens all the way and shuts securely with a swivel latch. The wide door makes for cleaning those hard-to-reach spots in carriers a breeze. Included in the box is an 18-inch polyfiber bed that is also machine-washable.
This product has a briefcase-style design with vertical slats on the side and front for ventilation. The carrier measures at 15.2” x 18.5” x 14.2” and can carry up to 25lbs. Do note that with this type of carrier, your feline buddy will have limited movements once inside.
The carrier is made of impact-resistant polypropylene with polycarbonate latches and front door. It is collapsible to a flat four inches for ease of storage. Assembly instructions should be followed strictly for the safety of your cat. For trips to the vet, the carrier has a top handle secured by metal hardware pins.
6. Sherpa Original Deluxe Carrier
This product is advertised as an airline-approved carrier and come with hand-carry and shoulder straps. The large side pocket comes in handy for keeping travel documents and cat treats. It also has a seatbelt strap for security on the road. The carrier maintains its shape with a spring wire frame that conforms to under-seat requirements for flying.
The 17” x 11” x 10” four-pound carrier can accommodate up to 16lbs. The package includes a soft faux lambskin liner that is machine-washable. However, the carrier itself can only be spot-cleaned. Also, be wary when purchasing online as some unsatisfied customers got a SHERRA knock-off.
This carrier has top and side entry options with zipper enclosures to make loading your cat easy and safe. For extra security, purchase a zipper lock. All three sides of the rectangular-shaped luggage-style carrier is made of mesh. Aggressive cats can scratch their way out of the mesh sides.
7. Catit Design Cabrio Multi-Functional Carrier System
Futuristic and akin to a spaceship is what most say about this product. The carrier is made of heavy-duty plastic with vented sides. The front door is made of clear plastic that is see-through for visibility and also has a food-and-water bowl that is easy to refill with the cat inside. The feeding bowl insert is removable.
The top hatch can also be removed but needs to be aligned together to close securely. It has a top handle as well as a shoulder strap that helps to carry this nine-pound carrier and a feline weighing 25 lbs maximum. The whole carrier measures 10.7” x 16” x 21” and is roomy inside for a large adult cat up to 13.75” tall.
Assembly is required with no special tools needed. It only has to “click” into place. While it is advertised as airline-safe, some airlines require bolted or screwed locks.
8. Ferplast Atlas 20 EL Cat and Dog Carrier
This plastic carrier is suitable for cats that scratch and chew their way out of mesh carriers. The top and bottom halves are easy to assemble and disassemble with large clasps for security. No tools are required for assembly. The plastic-coated front door entry has side locks on all four corners. Side grills allow for better air circulation inside.
The carrier measures 22.8” x 14.6” x 12.6” with a maximum load capacity of 17.64lbs. Some customers accommodated larger-sized felines in this carrier for home use. The product has a carry handle. For your cat’s safety, make sure to adhere to the maximum load capacity for transporting cats in this carrier.
The conventional carrier has a durable plastic bottom that can fit a pet bed or cat litter if so desired. The whole carrier takes apart for thorough cleaning. However, the size is not so compact which makes it inconvenient when storing.
9. K&H Pet Products Mod Capsule
If you’d like to provide a comfy hiding spot for your feline friend at home, this would be a good one. The front hole is around 9 inches and has a removable mesh that zips in place for traveling. The whole carrier unzips for storage but it’s unlikely that you will be storing this good hiding place for a cat. Know that larger cats may find this too cozy.
The carrier is made with a polyester exterior and soft Lycra interior. It can only be spot-cleaned with a damp cloth. It does come with a polyfill pillow that is machine-washable. However, customers noted that the pillow included is not highly-absorbent. Unless your cat is litter-trained, urine can seep through the carrier.
The product is 17” x 11.5” x 17” suitable for kittens or an average-sized cat. For traveling, the lightweight carrier has a top handle and a seat belt strap.
10. Tutto Medium Pet on Wheels Stroller
This carrier looks like an average luggage with four wheels and a telescoping handle for ease of maneuvering. There are plenty of storage pockets on one side of this carrier. It has three dedicated entrances all with zipper enclosures. The side entrance is narrow while the front entrance is wide; both are made of mesh.
The top has a handle and zips open to pick up or gently drop the cat inside. The carrier is 20” x 9” x 13” and weighs 9.5lbs. This size option can fit a maximum of 18lbs. Some customers found it challenging for air travel. It features a collapsible frame and may fit under airline seats but on its side (where the storage pockets are behind it).
The carrier folds to 3.5” for storage. It also includes a synthetic fleece pad that is washable. You may need to move the padding when lying the carrier on its side.
11. Prefer Pets Travel Gear Hideaway Duffel
The Hideaway Duffel is made of water-resistant canvas fabric but can also be washed clean with soap and water. It also includes a poly fleece base liner that is soft, comfy, and machine-washable. All contents of the product are air-dry only.
The duffel has three sturdy mesh entryways, one on top and two on both sides. It zips close, but may require zip locks to avoid any escape. The pet travel carrier comes with an internal harness hook to keep a collared feline from escaping. It also a luggage tag with a pet ID card.
It is airline-approved and fits under the seat. Its dimensions are 17” x 12” x 10” with a maximum load capacity of 16lbs. For cats that are anxious about flying, the Hideaway Duffel also has roll up and down privacy flaps. It also has a storage pocket on the side with Velcro enclosure and a luggage strap attachment.
12. Petmate Compass Fashion Kennel
The Petmate Compass is easy to assemble yet durable. Most of the buyers purchased this kennel for their canine friends so it’s bound to keep your feline secure. It comes in a variety of sizing options. For felines, the 10 to 20-pound kennel is suitable. Its dimensions are 24.6” x 16.9” x 15” so it’s roomy enough for your cat.
The top and bottom slide and snap into place. The carrier also uses bolts and nuts to meet airline safety requirements. It also features a two-way entry that allows the cat parent to gently nudge an anxious cat from the other side if needed. The doors are double-hinged with turn-dial latches. The entryways can also be removed completely.
The kennel is well-ventilated on all sides. It is also easy to clean and dry. The 10-20lb kennel also has a handle on the top for carrying. Some larger-sized options are sold sans a handle.
Cat Carrier Buying Guide
Traveling with a cat can be a stressful experience for both the feline and the cat parent. Whether you’re scheduled for a routine vet checkup or are going on vacation with your feline buddy, you will need the right cat carrier.
What’s right for you and your cat won’t be the same as for every other cat household. Here are some considerations that will help you pick out the right one for your cat’s needs.
Pick one for comfort. Check the interior dimensions to ensure that your cat will be comfortable inside. Some carriers include a feeding bowl and a pet bed inside, or you may need to add those features yourself. The important thing is that there is enough space for your cat to stretch, turn, and move about to avoid the risk of the cat getting injured.
When traveling by air, be sure to check with your airline’s requirements of cat carrier weight and dimensions. While your cat must have adequate space inside to move, a carrier that is too large may hinder you from getting on the flight with your cat.
For long trips, you will need to consider a cat carrier that provides your cat with easy access to food and water. Your feline companion needs to stay hydrated and don’t forget to stick to your cat’s regular feeding schedule.
Your cat’s access to air is non-negotiable. There should be sufficient passageways for air and not just a window-like plastic cover. Some cat carriers opt to use mesh while hard shell carriers have slits or holes. Be sure that the ventilation holes are not sharp to the touch, again to avoid injuries.
Your feline friend should be able to get in and out of the cat carrier without much assistance when it is time to enter or come out. Top-loading cat carriers are helpful when your cat gets fidgety and doesn’t want to come out of the carrier.
While you must have easy access to your cat when it’s time to get his shots, you need to think about the needs of an escape artist as well. Cats in heat will want to escape when you go outdoors, and there are stories of cats escaping while on vacation. Be sure your cat cannot reach the locks or tear the mesh easily.
A sturdy strap or an ergonomic handle is as much a safety concern as it is for your comfort. Carrying a heavy cat should not be made more difficult by a poorly-constructed handle. The bolts should also be secure to avoid unintentional falls and accidents.
Soft cat carriers are usually made of nylon fabric, have YKK zippers, and mesh windows. Such material helps make it comfortable for your cat and the interior linings should be breathable. Be sure the flooring is padded to avoid hurting your cat when you put the carrier down.
Hard cat carriers are designed to prevent problems with impact, making it the choice carrier for traveling cats in cargo or even on car trips.
Pockets come in handy so you have access to everything your cat needs in one place–health records, treats, toys, and other cat accessories.
Ease of cleaning
No matter how careful you are, there will be accidents while your cat is in transit. It helps to have padding that can be washed and dried. Hard carriers may not be the most comfortable for your cat, but it will require less cleanup when accidents happen.
Last update on 2019-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API