10 Best Cat Carriers

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With so many carriers to choose from, it can be tricky finding the perfect match for you and your cat’s needs. The ideal cat carrier helps reduce stress during car rides, trips to the vet, or transporting your pet by plane or train. While individual cats have their own preferences, some carriers consistently rise to the top when it comes to providing quality, reliability, comfort and value.

The top-rated best cat carriers represent the most highly recommended options based on reviews and feedback from actual cat owners. Before selecting a carrier for your beloved furry companion, take a closer look at these top 10 picks. Learning more about the options that consistently satisfy cat parents can simplify your buying choice. Find out which outstanding carriers make the list of the very best for providing safe, comfortable travels.

Our Top 10 Picks for the Best Cat Carriers

Transporting cats safely and comfortably requires having the right carrier. The best cat carriers allow easy access while providing a secure enclosed space for your feline friend. High-quality cat carriers utilize durable, well-constructed materials and are properly sized for your pet. Proper ventilation, padded interior lining, and useful convenience features also contribute to an optimal cat carrier.

With so many carriers to choose from, it can be tricky finding the perfect match for you and your cat’s needs. The ideal cat carrier helps reduce stress during car rides, trips to the vet, or transporting your pet by plane or train. While individual cats have their own preferences, some carriers consistently rise to the top when it comes to providing quality, reliability, comfort and value.

The top-rated best cat carriers represent the most highly recommended options based on reviews and feedback from actual cat owners. Before selecting a carrier for your beloved furry companion, take a closer look at these top 10 picks. Learning more about the options that consistently satisfy cat parents can simplify your buying choice. Find out which outstanding carriers make the list of the very best for providing safe, comfortable travels.

Our Top 10 Picks for the Best Cat Carriers

Top 1: PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack Top 2: SportPet Designs Foldable Travel Cat Carrier Top 3: Pet Magasin Pet Travel Kennel for Cats Top 4: Mr. Peanut’s Airline Approved Soft Sided Pet Carrier Top 5: Amazon Basics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier Top 6: Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel Top 7: OxGord Airline Approved Pet Carrier Top 8: Pet Magasin Luxury Soft-Sided Cat Carrier Top 9: PetLuv Soothing “Happy Cat” Premium Soft-Sided Cat Carrier Top 10: Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Cat Carrier
  1. PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack

    The PetAmi Dog Backpack Carrier is a versatile option for transporting small pets comfortably on trips. This hiking-style carrier backpack provides safety, visibility, and ventilation for pets up to 18 pounds.

    Pros

    • Breathable mesh panels keep pets cool and allow owners to view pets
    • Padded shoulder straps and back support reduce strain for wearer
    • Chest and waist straps stabilize backpack carrier when worn
    • Fleece bed provides cozy interior for pets to relax
    • Front entry makes loading pets straightforward
    • Safety leash attachment helps contain excited pets
    • Reflective strips improve visibility at night
    • Can fold flat for storage and travel
    • Meets most airline underseat requirements for carry-on

    Cons

    • Only available in one size, doesn’t fit larger pets
    • Mesh sides don’t provide privacy for anxious pets
    • Can bounce around more than rigid carriers
    • Difficult for pets to see out horizontal side mesh panels
    • Zippered top access would allow easier pet loading

    Summary

    The PetAmi Dog Backpack Carrier offers a handy portable option for owners needing a well-ventilated, easy-to-carry pet carrier suitable for small dogs, cats, puppies or other small animals under 18 pounds. While not as structured as some plastic carriers, the backpack design evenly distributes pet weight and allows pets to ride comfortably during walks, bike rides, hikes or even air travel. Padded, breathable materials keep pets relaxed while still letting owners monitor them. With safety features like a stability leash and reflective accents, the PetAmi carrier provides pet owners with a versatile hands-free carrying solution.

  2. SportPet Designs Foldable Travel Cat Carrier

    The SPORT PET Designs Foldable Travel Cat Carrier offers a convenient plastic kennel option for transporting cats on trips. This collapsible design features a foam bed for feline comfort.

    Pros

    • Made of durable plastic for sturdy construction
    • Steel door latches and hinges for security
    • Good ventilation from perforated side panels
    • Carrying handles on top and side for easy transport
    • Removable plush foam bed for cushioning
    • Folds flat for compact storage when not in use
    • Front entry door allows easy cat access
    • Top hatch provides alternate access point
    • Bolt locks on main door for extra safety
    • Mesh door provides ventilation when closed
    • Non-slip feet help stabilize carrier

    Cons

    • Only comes in one size, not good for large cats
    • No shoulder strap for hands-free carrying
    • Minimal interior padding besides foam bed
    • May not fit under some airline seats when in use
    • Hatch door opening small for easily placing cat inside
    • Not many view windows for anxious cats

    Summary

    The SPORT PET Designs Cat Carrier offers cat owners a sturdy yet foldable plastic kennel equipped with a cozy foam bed for travel and vet visits. The front entry door and top hatch provide accessible points to load cats. While intended for smaller cats, the durable construction and extra door locks help keep cats safely contained. With carrying handles and ventilation panels, this collapsible hard-sided design aims to provide pet owners with a convenient and secure cat transport solution.

  3. Pet Magasin Pet Travel Kennel for Cats

    The Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier is a top-loading kennel designed for transporting cats, small dogs, puppies and rabbits. This durable plastic carrier features a folding design for easy storage and portability. Keep reading for a breakdown of the pros, cons and overall summary of this product.

    Pros

    • Collapsible design folds flat for easy storage and portability
    • Top-load door provides easy access for placing pets inside
    • Sturdy plastic construction with ventilation holes for airflow
    • Padded faux fleece bedding included for pet comfort
    • Mesh window panels allow pets to see out
    • Locking door latches keep pet securely contained
    • Carry handles make transportation easy
    • Available in multiple sizes to accommodate pets up to 20 lbs

    Cons

    • Only one color option available
    • Door latches could be more heavy-duty
    • May not be airline approved for under-seat carry on
    • Pets may outgrow carrier as they get bigger
    • Bedding can’t be removed for washing
    • Visibility is limited from certain angles

    Summary

    Overall, the Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier is a good option for safely and comfortably transporting small cats and dogs. The folding design makes storage simple, while the durable plastic shell ensures secure containment. The fleece bedding and ventilation provide a cozy ride. Downsides are the lack of color choices, potential durability issues with the latches, and limited visibility from some angles. But for the very reasonable price point, this carrier offers decent quality and portability. Just ensure you choose the right size for your pet.

  4. Mr. Peanut’s Airline Approved Soft Sided Pet Carrier

    The Mr. Peanut’s Airline Approved Soft Sided Pet Carrier is designed for flying with small pets in the cabin. This lightweight carrier features a durable, tear-resistant polyester shell and plush fleece bedding. Read on for the key pros, cons and overall summary.

    Pros

    • Airline approved for under-seat use
    • Low profile design fits under most seats
    • Lightweight soft-sided polyester construction
    • Plywood base for stability and structure
    • Plush faux lambswool bedding included
    • Mesh panels for ventilation and visibility
    • Padded carry handles and adjustable strap
    • Sturdy self-locking zippers
    • Water resistant material
    • Collapsible for storage when not in use

    Cons

    • Only available in black with grey trim
    • May not be ideal for anxious or destructive pets
    • Zippers could be higher quality/more durable
    • Limited padding on sides and base
    • Difficult to clean bedding and interior
    • Needs frequent replacement as pet grows

    Summary

    The Mr. Peanut’s soft sided airline approved pet carrier offers a lightweight and collapsible option for flying with small cats and dogs. The polyester exterior, sturdy base, and plush bedding aim to keep pets comfy and secure. The ability to fit under most seats makes it ideal for in-cabin transport. Potential issues like cheap zippers and minimal padding are concerns, but are expected at this price point. Overall, it’s a decent budget airline carrier for calm, small pets on shorter flights. Just be prepared to replace it once your pet is full grown.

  5. Amazon Basics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier

    The Amazon Basics Soft-Sided Mesh Pet Carrier provides an affordable portable option for transporting small pets. This medium-sized carrier features a lightweight mesh and polyester design with multiple entry points. Below are the key pros, cons and overall summary.

    Pros

    • Durable mesh and fabric exterior is lightweight
    • Multiple access points on top and sides
    • Mesh panels provide ample ventilation
    • Interior clip secures pet’s leash or harness
    • Padded carry handle and shoulder strap
    • Folds flat for easy storage when not in use
    • Waterproof base protects from accidents
    • Available in multiple sizes for different pets
    • Very affordable price point

    Cons

    • Not airline approved for under seat use
    • Minimal padding or plush comfort features
    • Mesh sides don’t provide privacy or security for anxious pets
    • Zipper quality could be more heavy duty
    • Difficult to fully clean interior and bedding
    • Not suitable for destructive or escape-risk pets

    Summary

    The Amazon Basics soft mesh pet carrier offers a basic and very affordable portable option for cats and small dogs. The lightweight mesh promotes ventilation and the multiple entry points allow accessibility. However, the lack of padding and plush bedding means it may not be ideal for long trips. And anxious pets may not feel contained in the open mesh material. But for quick jaunts with mellow pets, it provides ventilation and portability without breaking the bank. Just don’t expect bells and whistles.

  6. Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel

    The Petmate Two-Door Kennel provides a sturdy plastic carrier for transporting small dogs and cats safely. With top and front loading doors, this USA-made kennel aims to offer versatility and durability. Read on for an overview of the pros, cons and overall summary.

    Pros

    • Made in the USA with recycled materials
    • Durable plastic construction
    • Ventilation holes for airflow
    • Top and front door loading options
    • Steel wire doors with latch locks
    • Ergonomic carry handle
    • Meets most domestic airline requirements
    • Easy to clean plastic exterior
    • 1 year manufacturer warranty

    Cons

    • Only one size and color option
    • Minimal padding or bedding included
    • May not be airline approved for underseat
    • Dimensions may be tight for some pets
    • Pets can outgrow the kennel as they grow
    • Does not fold or collapse for storage

    Summary

    The Petmate Two-Door Kennel offers a sturdy and versatile plastic carrier for small dogs and cats. The ability to load pets from the top or front provides flexibility based on your needs. The latching doors and durable leak-proof plastic offer secure containment during transport. Downsides are the limited sizing, lack of fleece bedding, and non-collapsible design. Airline approval also depends on the specific airline and underseat dimensions. But for the reasonable price point, this Made in USA kennel is a decent option for domestic travel with pets up to 15 pounds. Just measure carefully as some pets may find it cramped.

  7. OxGord Airline Approved Pet Carrier

    The OxGord Pet Carrier Travel Tote provides a soft-sided airline approved option for flying with small cats and dogs. This lightweight carrier features a durable polyester exterior and mesh ventilation panels. Below are the key pros, cons and overall summary.

    Pros

    • Airline approved for under seat use
    • Soft polyester fabric is lightweight
    • Mesh panels allow ventilation
    • Padded carry handles for comfort
    • Fleece bedding included for cushioning
    • Plywood bottom board for stability
    • Locking zippers keep pet securely contained
    • Available in multiple color choices
    • Affordable price point

    Cons

    • Only accommodates pets under 10 lbs
    • Minimal interior padding on sides
    • Bedding is not removable for washing
    • Zippers may not be extremely durable
    • Not ideal for destructive or anxious pets
    • Will need replacing once pet is fully grown

    Summary

    The OxGord Soft Sided Airline Approved Pet Carrier offers an affordable option for flying with small cats and dogs under 10 lbs. The inclusion of fleece bedding and mesh ventilation provides comfort for short flights. The plywood bottom aims to prevent collapsing while the polyester fabric resists tearing. Potential drawbacks are cheap zippers prone to breaking and lack of removable washable bedding or padding. Also, destructive pets could compromise the carrier’s integrity. But for the low price and airline approval, it gives a basic under seat carrier for brief trips with tiny, mellow pets. Just expect to replace it as your pet grows.

  8. Pet Magasin Luxury Soft-Sided Cat Carrier

    The Pet Magasin Soft-Sided Airline Approved Pet Carrier provides a lightweight polyester kennel for flying with small dogs and cats. This collapsible carrier has mesh ventilation and fleece bedding for comfort. Below are the notable pros, cons and overall summary.

    Pros

    • Airline approved for in-cabin use
    • Durable polyester exterior resists tearing
    • Mesh panels allow ventilation
    • Padded handles and adjustable strap
    • Plush fleece bedding included
    • Sturdy plastic floorboard for structure
    • Top and side entries for accessibility
    • Locking zippers keep pet contained
    • Collapses for easy storage
    • Available in multiple sizes

    Cons

    • Only available in orange and black
    • Minimal padding on sides
    • Bedding is not removable for washing
    • Zippers prone to breaking with rough handling
    • Not ideal for destructive or aggressive pets
    • Pet may outgrow carrier over time

    Summary

    The Pet Magasin Soft-Sided Airline Approved Carrier provides a lightweight and collapsible option for flying with small pets. The polyester shell, mesh ventilation and fleece bedding aim to keep pets comfortable and secure. The ability to collapse it makes storage simple. Potential issues are cheap zippers prone to malfunction and lack of padding or removable bedding. Destructive pets could also compromise the carrier. But for the reasonable price, it gives an easy to store, TSA approved option for air travel with pets under 15 pounds. Just expect to replace it as your pet grows up.

  9. PetLuv Soothing “Happy Cat” Premium Soft-Sided Cat Carrier

    The Pet Stroller and Carrier with Detachable Wheels provides a 2-in-1 option for transporting medium to large dogs and cats. This stroller converts to a carrier for versatility. Below are the notable pros, cons and overall summary.

    Pros

    • Detachable wheels convert from stroller to carrier
    • Accommodates pets up to 50 pounds
    • Spacious interior with ample headroom
    • Mesh panels and windows allow ventilation
    • Padded fleece mat included for comfort
    • Multiple entries including front, top and side
    • Interior tether secures pet harness or leash
    • Locking zippers prevent escape
    • Padded carry handles for lifting as carrier
    • Collapses for easy storage

    Cons

    • Heavier than regular soft carriers when used without wheels
    • Minimal padding on sides and base as carrier
    • Mesh allows minimal privacy or security
    • Does not qualify for under seat airline use
    • Wheels may wobble or catch at high speeds
    • Difficult to thoroughly clean interior and bedding

    Summary

    The Pet Stroller and Carrier with Detachable Wheels offers a 2-in-1 solution for transporting medium to large dogs and cats. The inclusion of a fleece mat, ample entries, and ventilation makes it comfortable when used as a stroller. Removing the wheels allows it to convert into a basic but spacious carrier. Downsides are the lack of robust padding in carrier form, potential wheel issues, and non-airline approval. Also, anxious pets may not feel contained without solid sides. But for safely transporting larger pets both on wheels and on foot, it provides flexibility at a reasonable price point.

  10. Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Cat Carrier

    The Sherpa Original Deluxe Pet Carrier provides a sturdy, airline-approved soft-sided option for transporting small pets by air. This lightweight carrier features mesh panels, top and side entry, and seatbelt/luggage straps. Below are the key pros, cons and overall summary.

    Pros

    • Airline approved for under seat use
    • Durable nylon construction with reinforced base
    • Mesh panels allow ventilation
    • Top and side entry points for accessibility
    • Interior tether can secure pet leash/harness
    • Seatbelt and luggage straps for securing in transit
    • Padded carry handles for comfort
    • Locking zippers prevent escape
    • Machine washable faux lambskin padding
    • Collapses when not in use

    Cons

    • Only available in gray or black
    • Sizing may be small for larger pets
    • Minimal interior padding on sides
    • Zippers prone to breaking with rough handling
    • Not suitable for destructive or aggressive pets
    • Pet may eventually outgrow the carrier

    Summary

    The Sherpa Original Deluxe Pet Carrier offers a lightweight, collapsible option for flying with small cats or dogs. Its approve-able dimensions, reinforced base, and machine washable lining aim to keep pets secure and comfortable in-cabin. However, minimal side padding and questionable zipper durability are potential drawbacks. Anxious or destructive pets may also compromise the carrier. But for the affordable price, it provides an easy to store airline-approved carrier for trips with pets under 15 pounds. Just plan to buy a larger carrier as your pet grows.

Tips for Choosing the Best Cat Carriers

Bringing your feline friend along on trips or to the vet can be much easier with a high-quality cat carrier. The right carrier keeps your cat safe and comfortable while also simplifying transportation. When selecting a cat carrier, consider factors like size, materials, accessibility, and extra features to find the perfect option for your pet. Use these tips to choose the ideal cat carrier for stress-free travel.

Pick the Right Size

Selecting the properly sized cat carrier ensures your pet has enough interior room to sit, stand, turn around and lie down comfortably. However, you don’t want an oversized carrier that allows your cat to slide around during transport. Measure your cat from nose to rump while standing and select a carrier that’s around 1.5 times this length. Also consider your cat’s height and choose a carrier that allows at least 2 inches of clearance above their head when seated.

Opt for Sturdy Construction

A carrier made from high-quality, durable materials keeps your cat protected while traveling. Hard-sided plastic carriers offer rigidity and structural support for feline occupants. Ensure any plastic carrier you select has vent holes for airflow. Soft-sided designs made of heavy canvas, nylon or polyester also make excellent choices, providing flexibility while retaining their shape. Check that zippers, seams and mesh panels are tightly constructed without gaps. Avoid cheaply made carriers prone to breaking, tearing or collapsing under pressure.

Pick a Design for Easy Access

Easy access to your cat makes managing the carrier much simpler. Look for a carrier with a top or side entryway with ample clearance to comfortably load your cat inside. Top access doors often feature a wire or plastic frame to keep the doorway open while placing your pet into the carrier base. Side entry designs allow you to slide your cat in horizontally. Make sure latch access points line up properly and any locking device slides smoothly to secure the door tightly.

Include Proper Ventilation

Proper ventilation keeps your cat from overheating and allows fresh air to circulate. Soft-sided carriers should have mesh panels over at least two walls of the carrier. Avoid designs with mesh only on the top or front. Hard plastic kennels require ventilation holes spaced all around the upper portion of the carrier. There should be no fewer than 10 to 12 ventilation openings spaced a few inches apart from each other.

Look for Removable Base Pans

Many cat carriers include a removable plastic base pan to simplify cleaning. This detachable tray catches any mess from an anxious cat while traveling. Look for a textured surface that helps prevent sliding around. The base pan should have edges high enough to contain minor leaks. Check that the base tray fits snugly back into the carrier floor after removal to prevent openings that could catch your cat’s paws or claws.

Include Padded Walls and Floors

For maximum feline comfort, look for carriers with padded flooring and walls. Soft fleece or synthetic fur lining helps prevent pressure sores on long trips. Thick padding also provides insulation against temperature extremes. Easily removable and machine washable padding enables simple cleaning between uses. Avoid CHEMICAL linings like vinyl that could emit fumes inside the enclosed carrier space.

Select a Carrier with Locking Features

Locking carrier doors keep your cat safely confined during transport. Latch mechanisms should include a spring-loaded or sliding metal clip to securely close the entryway while in transit. Locking cat carriers also help prevent sudden escape if your pet manages to pop open the door. Look for door frames made of steel, heavy plastic or impact-resistant polymer to prevent breakouts.

Consider Extra Convenience Features

Handy extras make your cat carrier more useful. Look for models with built-in carrying handles to simplify transport. Carriers with shoulder straps allow you to wear the carrier hands-free. Interior tethers keep your pet from jostling around as much within the carrier. Carriers with non-slip rubberized feet help keep the base steady in your vehicle. Pockets and pouches to hold leashes, treats, toys or other supplies can also prove useful.

Select the Right Color

Some cats feel calmer in darker enclosed spaces, while other pets prefer light and openness. Pick carrier colors based on your individual cat’s personality. Darker muted tones like gray, brown and black help create a den-like environment. Brighter colors transparent mesh panels provide more open visibility. Carriers with opaque or partially opaque walls offer a balance of exposure versus privacy.

Finding the perfect cat carrier takes careful consideration of size, materials, entry access and special features to meet both you and your pet’s needs. Keep these tips in mind, and you can select a high-quality carrier to make travel comfortable, secure and stress-free for your beloved feline companion. With the right carrier choice, you can focus on fun and adventure with your cat confidently by your side wherever you roam.

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