It’s a well-known fact that cats are not avid travelers. Frankly speaking, most of them hate being moved somewhere, and a mere vet visiting often results in the scratched hands and face. Though you can’t make your kitty love traveling, it is within your power to make it as easy and comfortable as possible. A convenient cat carrier is a must-have for any feline owner. Here is our ranking of top cat carriers of the year. Choose the one that suits you best.
Our Top Pick: PetLuv Premium Cat Carrier & Travel Crate
This is an amazing soft sided cat carrier for the maximum comfort of a pet during trips. It is spacious but lightweight, soft but durable, medium-priced but very comfortable. Due to the regulated flaps from three sides, a cat will see everything about it during transportation. If the kitty is scary, you may easily close two flaps and leave only one for ventilating. A soft pillow inside the crate will add even more comfort. It is a large cat carrier – its inner space is sufficient for large cat breeds and even for small dogs. It is easily secured on a car seat if necessary. The product is available in three sizes plus one wheeled option. Currently, it has 4.8 stars on Amazon and 1500+ positive customer reviews. PetLuv Premium is loved by both felines and their owners, which is absolutely no surprise. The used crate can be folded for easy storage; is lightweight and compact.
- Excellent ventilation.
- Enlarged inner space.
- Easy to carry and secure on a car seat.
- Durable, non-toxic materials.
- All the components are washable.
- Not for air flights.
The Runner-Up: Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed
If you are looking for a premium option for your kitty, this soft cat carrier is the number one choice. It serves as a bed, as a carrier, and as a secure shelter for your pet. The outside of the crate is made of durable nylon, while the inside part is a soft plush cushion for comfortable sleeping. It is easy to carry over the shoulder or secure on a car backseat. Another advantage of the Sleepypod Mobile is its versatility. The meshed top can be zipped off completely if needed, turning the carrier into a comfortable sleeping place. The cat carrier bag is easy to clean: all the inner parts are removable and washable. The only small downside that prevents us from ranking the Sleepyhood as the best cat carrier is its price. But if you are ready to invest in the comfort and well-being of your pets, there is every reason to love it. Currently, this is one of the most popular pet carriers for cats with 4.4 stars on Amazon.
- Lightweight and ergonomic.
- Durable and tear-resistant.
- Suits for the pets up to 15 lbs.
- Easy to wash.
- Versatile – can act as a carrier or a bed.
The Best Cat Backpack Carrier: Texsens Innovative Traveler Bubble Backpack
Like having your hands free when traveling? Then a cat carrier backpack option is ideal for you. Texsens Innovative offers a smart ergonomic design and an increased level of comfort for both you and your pet. The stylish backpack is made of eco-friendly synthetic leather and has a removable two-sided cushion inside. The cat backpack carrier features a lot of ventilation holes, so a cat has enough air to breathe. A smart, transparent semi-sphere serves as a window. Soft shoulder straps are adjustable that provides the maximum comfort during the cat carrier backpack wearing. This is a unique solution for curious cats and small pups who don’t want to sit in the darkness of a plastic bag during traveling. Now your pet is not luggage – he is your companion!
- Stylish ergonomic design.
- Suits for the pets up to 10 lbs.
- Comfortable to wear and helps to keep hands free.
- A removable cushion is easy to wash.
- Available in eight colors.
The Best Low-Budget Option: Luxury Soft-Sided Cat Carrier by Pet Magasin
Pet Magasin offers one of the most affordable pet carriers for cats that are airline-approved. It means you may travel by plane with it. This cat carrier bag is soft-sided, but it keeps its shape well. The durable outside and soft inside makes the carrier comfortable for a pet and convenient and practical for its owner. It has simple but stylish design and can be carried in hands or over the shoulder. The materials used are waterproof and easy to clean and wash. Despite its compact design, the carrier is spacious and suits for cats up to 18 lbs. or small dogs. When empty, the bag is easily folded for convenient storage.
- Durable waterproof materials are easy to clean.
- Lightweight but sturdy construction.
- Approved by all major airlines.
- Stylish look; comes in two colors.
- A meshed window provides good ventilation.
- One of the most affordable options.
The Best Stroller Carrier: BestPet Pet Stroller Cat Dog Cage Stroller
Caring pet parents will love this wonderful stroller immediately! Not only does it look fantastic, but it is really comfortable for pets. Even if your kitty is old, weak, shy, or has health issues, it won’t feel any discomfort when sitting inside this stylish wheeled carrier. The outer cover is made of durable waterproof material so that you can stroll on a rainy day. A soft, elegant pillow inside the cat carrier excludes the risk of traumas and provides the maximum comfort during transportation. The cushion is removable and washable. Unlike most pet carriers for cats, this stroller is convenient for slow walks and shopping – it is equipped with a storage basket where all the bought items can be placed. Finally, it looks really great and unusual.
- Stylish look and design; five colors available.
- Can be folded for an easy storage.
- High-quality plastic and waterproof cover.
- Soft and comfortable inside.
- A spacious storage basket.
The Best Hard-Sided Carrier – Petmate Ultra Vari Kennel
Those who prefer traditional rigid cat carriers must try Petmate Ultra Vari. This is a relatively large cat carrier that provides enough space and comfort for a pet even during long trips. It can be not as comfortable as soft-sided options, but it fully meets the requirements of most airlines. The cage is made of heavy-duty non-toxic plastic that is easy to clean and doesn’t keep any odors. It has a large entry and grilled ventilation windows from three sides. The crate is available in two colors and suits for all cats and small pups. This model has 4.1 stars on Amazon and over 400 positive customer reviews. If you like conventional solutions and your kitty doesn’t mind traveling in a plastic bag, this cat carrier will be a good option for trips, including air trips.
- Heavy-duty plastic doesn’t keep odors.
- Easy to clean.
- Three windows for 360-degree ventilation.
- Complies with the standards of all major airlines.
- Durable, well-made, and quite lightweight.
Who Needs a Cat Carrier
Some owners of indoor cats mistakenly think that they don’t need any pet carriers for cats. In fact, specialists highly recommend buying this accessory even if your kitty leaves home once or twice a year. In any case, you’ll need to visit a vet sometimes. Cats are very tricky: they can escape right from the car or slip out of your hands and run away. For those who travel with pets, the best cat carrier is a must-have. Needless to say, you just won’t be allowed to board a plane (and some trains) without a special cat carrier.
Modern cat carriers are lightweight and convenient units, preventing cats from experiencing stress and providing the maximum comfort. They are made of durable waterproof material that are easy to wash and don’t absorb odors. Moreover, many of them are rather affordable: thus, you can buy a simple soft cat carrier at the price of $20.
Things to Consider When Buying a Cat Carrier
To buy the best cat carrier that will perfectly meet your needs, one needs to understand clearly what characteristics are important for you, and which ones are useless. Choose the right type of transportation crate, relying on the following criteria.
- Hard-sided or soft-sided. Soft carriers tend to be more comfortable and lightweight. They are recommended for car trips – most of them are easily secured on the car back seat. Rigid or hard-sided options are best for air trips. Some airlines approve only hard (plastic) cat carriers. Also, there are some unusual and intermediate solutions. For example, a cat carrier backpack option is perfect for walking and hiking with a curious pet. A pet stroller is for slow comfortable walking or shopping.
- The cat’s weight and size. Most models of cat carriers come in different sizes. It is important to choose an option that is spacious and sturdy enough for your kitty. If the cat is too heavy, the carrier can simply sag or bend under a strain. On the other hand, a small, narrow crate is uncomfortable.
- Air carriers’ requirements. Just imagine how frustrated you and your kitty will be if it turns out that the cat carriers of the chosen type are not allowed. You don’t want your pet to fly in the aircraft hold, do you? Make sure that the crate you buy meets all the requirements.
How to Carrier Train a Cat
The worst way of training a cat to use a carrier is to force it to it. If you don’t want your kitty to get stressed and frustrated every time she sees a carrier, start the training gradually.
- First and foremost, let your feline to get acquainted with a crate. New pet carriers for cats can have an unpleasant odor, so leave a newly purchased unit in a well-ventilated room for a couple of days. Take an old towel or blanket that your kitty likes and put it inside the carrier. Then put it near the location where the pet likes to relax.
- As soon as the cat has got used to the look and smell of the carrier, try to put her gently inside it (if she hasn’t done it yet). Stroke the kitty and give her a treat. She must associate the carrier with something pleasant and comfortable.
- If the feline doesn’t mind laying in the carrier, close the door or zip on the top (for the pet carriers for cats with an upper entrance) and walk along your home with it.
- After some days of training (usually, a week or two), a kitty is ready to her first trip in a carrier. Start with short walks to let the pet get used to the smells and sounds of the street.