The Best Cat Carriers in 2021

There are lots of reasons that we can need to transport our pets. From moving them abroad, taking them on holiday or just running them to the vets, there are lots of reasons a cat needs to be securely and comfortably moved from A to B.

Top Picks

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When you move a cat outside of the home their safety is imperative. There are lots of products that are secure but, how do you choose the very best one for your kitty?

Don’t worry, we can help.

Here are some top tips, Q&A’s and product reviews to give you a head start in picking the very best cat carrier for your furry friend:

How To Choose The Best Cat Carrier

To help you choose the best product to safely transport your cat, here are some top tips:

Hard Or Soft?
Soft cat carriers are great for relaxed cats who travel well. They offer comfort for the cat, and tend to be stored easily too. Soft carriers are, however, generally not the best idea for cats who are very determined to escape. Even the sturdiest designs can be bust through by a cat who just won’t be contained. If your cat is Houdini, opt for a hard carrier.

Durability For Regular Use
If you travel with your cat regularly, look for durable materials and signs the product is well made.

Airline Approved
Check with your airline provider about their pet carrier restrictions, before ordering a carrier. Some say they are airline approved but, it’s important to check with your airline first. Some are also only approved for cabin use, and others are only approved for use in the hold. You might also find this video handy to help you fly with your cat comfortably using the best airline approved cat carrier.

Your Cats Weight
If you have a particularly heavy cat you should be aware that some carriers can lose their shape when lifted. Some carriers may also have designs that cause an entry to pop open when lifting the handle. If your cat is a chonky guy or gal, do look for signs the carrier is able to hold them safely.

Look For Multiple Entry Points
If your cat is notoriously difficult when you try and contain them, look for a product with multiple entry points. Top and front entry products can be really handy for cats who really don’t want to be contained.

Easy-To-Clean Carriers Are Handy
It’s easy to clean plastic and metal made carriers, whereas material carriers may not be so easy to clean. If your cat is prone to accidents you may want to choose a plastic carrier as soft carriers can carry odors.

Your Comfort Counts
With lots of cat products like a cat collar, toys or blankets, the cats comfort and enjoyment is the top priority. When it comes to transporting them, your needs are important too. If you have dexterity issues, look for easy-to-use locks. You should also look for a padded strap if you intend to carry it over the shoulder, or a comfortable carry handle, especially if you have a heavier cat.

Best Cat Carriers

Pet Magasin Airline Approved Cat Carrier

Pet Magasin Airline Approved Cat Carrier

The Best Cat Carrier for Plane Travel

If you are relocating your pet to a new home abroad, or you bring your cat with you as you travel, you’ll like that the Pet Magasin carrier is airline approved. It’s designed with ventilation, leak-proofing and the correct under seat dimensions to keep your kitty safe during the flight.

The product isn’t just useful for keeping your pet safe during the flight though. It’s perfectly designed for transporting your pet easily to the vet, cattery and other locations during day to day life. It has soft sides and a padded floor for comfort and security, with a rigid frame to hold the shape of the carrier.

Owners will love that the product is durable, wipe-clean, washable and it can be folded flat for storage. Even better, it comes in a variety of colors to suit your cats personality.

Why We Like It:
  • Airline approved
  • Comes in a range of colors
  • Can be folded between uses
  • Washable & wipe-clean
What We Don’t Like:
  • Particularly determined cats may not be contained by the carrier
  • May not be suitable for very large cats

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Petmate Two Door Top Load

Petmate Two Door Top Load

Perfect for Cats Who Grow Superhuman Strength When Avoiding the Cat Carrier

The Petmate Two Door top load carrier is designed to be strong, secure, durable and safe for transporting your cat. It features a wingnut and bolt design for optimum security, ventilation slats, and comfort grip handles for an ergonomic hold.

The dimensions fit most airline cargo load specifications so if your travels are a little more far-flung, your pet could safely come with you.

Owners with cats who bend into pretzel shapes to avoid getting in a carrier will appreciate the two door design. If kitty won’t be persuaded in the door, you can simply lower her in through the top door, saving a lot of stress for both of you.

Why We Like It:
  • Doors on the top and the front
  • Airline cargo hold suitable (with most airlines)
  • Wipe-clean
  • Durable & solid
What We Don’t Like:
  • Ventilation holes may be a little sharp
  • May not be suitable for heavier pets

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Necoichi Portable Ultra Light Cat Carrier

Necoichi Portable Ultra Light Cat Carrier

A Snazzy Looking Cat Carrier for Trendy Pet Owners

There’s no denying that the aesthetics of the Necoichi cat carrier are beautiful. The dimensions, colors and finish are all perfect for pet owners who don’t just want a cat carrier, but a visually appealing accessory. The benefits of the carrier run further than the design though. It’s incredibly lightweight, foldable and easily stored. It also has ventilation windows and a zipper lock ring for extra security. The zippers also can’t be opened from the inside.

Owners who take their cat out regularly will appreciate the compact nature of the carrier.

Why We Like It:
  • Stunning design
  • Highly compact & easily stored
  • Easy to clean
  • Comfortable for kitties
What We Don’t Like:
  • Unsuitable for cats over 17 pounds
  • May not be suitable for particularly determined escapees

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AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Hard-Sided Pet Travel Carrier

AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Hard-Sided Pet Travel Carrier

The Best Cat Carrier for Nervous Cats

If you want a strong, sturdy cat carrier without any frills, then the AmazonBasics two door cat carrier could be a great option for you. You can load your kitty in the front or the top, which is handy if they are a little slippery when it comes to cat carriers. Ventilation holes and sturdy walls keep your pet comfortable and safe during their journey.

Owners will love that the carrier is easy to clean and the top and bottom can be secured even more with additional screws included.

Why We Like It:
  • Front and top doors
  • Easy to clean
  • Durable
  • Can be reinforced with extra screws
What We Don’t Like:
  • May not be suitable for heavier pets because of top-door handle design
  • May be too small for very large cats

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Sport Pet Foldable Travel Cat Carrier

Sport Pet Foldable Travel Cat Carrier

Sophisticated Design for Comfortable Cat Transportation

The Sport Pet has a cool side opening door that helps encourage cats to walk inside the carrier before securing them inside. The product looks chic, and enables you to easily load your pet for transport.

Customers will love that the easy to clean, foldable carrier comes with a pet bed which is waterproof and washable. For poorly pets, or pets prone to travel accidents, easily washable bedding is really handy.

Why We Like It:
  • Comes with washable, waterproof bed
  • Compact and foldable for storage
  • Side door encourages cats to walk inside
  • Attractive and chic design
What We Don’t Like:
  • May not be secure enough for particularly determined-to-escape cats
  • May not be durable enough for lengthy travel

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Siivton Airline Approved Pet Carrier

Siivton Airline Approved Pet Carrier

Perfect for Pets Who Travel a Lot

If you’re looking for an elaborate cat carrier that offers that bit more than secure and comfortable travel for your cat, the Siivton might be a great choice. It’s airline-approved, contains a cozy machine washable fleece bed, offers multiple entry and lots of ventilation for your cat. Even better, owners can enjoy giving their pet extra room to stretch out with a 4-way expansion, expanding the size of the secure, internal compartment.

This product is ideal for cat owners who travel regularly with their pet and like to offer them a bit more space to stretch out. Cat owners with indoor cats could also use the product to give their cat some safe outdoor time, without the risk of them running away.

Why We Like It:
  • 4 way expansion
  • Comes with washable fleece bed
  • Airline approved
  • Removable shoulder strap
What We Don’t Like:
  • May not hold shape when carried containing a heavier pet
  • May not be suitable for cats intent on escaping

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Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Pet Carrier

Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Pet Carrier

The Best Cat Carrier for Large Cat Travel

The Sherpa carrier comes in three different sizes, ensuring your cat gets the room and comfort he prefers whilst travelling. It’s airline approved, complete with wire frame and plenty of ventilation for safe and secure trips.
The carrier is also padded, non-slip and has a comfy machine-washable faux lambskin liner to keep your cat cosy.

Owners will love the versatility of the carrier which has a carrying strap, seat belt strap and spring wire frame which can be pushed down to adjust to under-seat plane requirements.

Why We Like It:
  • Versatile
  • Airline approved
  • Wipe-clean surfaces and machine washable fleece liner
  • Multiple size options
What We Don’t Like:
  • May not be suitable for particularly determined-to-escape cats
  • Not leak-proof

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Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier

Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier

Cute and secure carrier for smaller pets

If you’re looking for a carrier for your cat that’s designed a little bit differently, consider the Megasin. The top and the bottom are a hard base, whilst the sides are soft and can be folded down for storage. The idea is that it combines the benefits of both hard and soft carriers, without any compromise on function and design. It also has ventilation mesh, a padded floor mat, and a non-slip bottom for security and comfort.

Owners will love the compact nature of the carrier, and the cute design.

Why We Like It:
  • Cute design
  • Combines benefits of hard and soft carriers
  • Easy to fold down and store
  • Well-ventilated
What We Don’t Like:
  • Carry strap is not padded and can be uncomfortable
  • Shape distorts whilst carrying heavier cats

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Pet Gear I-GO2 Roller Backpack

Pet Gear I-GO2 Roller Backpack

The Best Cat Carrier for Cats Who Love to Go Everywhere & Anywhere

The Pet Gear backpack is a cat carrier that kind of does it all, and more. Not only is it a carrier, but it can also be a roller bag, a backpack, a tote and a car seat. You can also use the tether to attach to your cat’s harness for further security, and you can expand the product 3 inches at the side for more room.

It is perfect for cats who go everywhere and anywhere with you, offering you multiple choices for how you safely transport them to their next location.

Owners will love that there are two side storage pouches to help store your cat’s things.

Why We Like It:
  • 5 ways to transport your cat
  • Extra-secure harness tether
  • 3 inch side expansion option
  • Attractive design
What We Don’t Like:
  • You may need to add a blanket or pillow to aid your pets comfort
  • The bag is quite heavy

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If you’re still unsure on cat carriers and transporting your cat, here are some of the most common questions and answers on the topic to help you further:

Can I just transport my cat with a harness?

A cat leash or cat harness is a fantastic way to walk a cat and to provide your cat with additional security during travel, but you should use a carrier as well. This provides an extra layer of security for the pet, and keeps them safe, especially in the car.

Does a cat prefer a soft or hard cat carrier?

It depends on the cat, they are all different. Their safety and security comes first, and their preference comes second. Hopefully, though, you can combine comfort and security for the perfect carrier for your pet.

Does my cat like traveling?

It depends on the cat. If you want to ensure travel is as comfy and secure as possible for your cat, this article can help.

Do carriers make your cat car sick?

It’s the motion of travel, not the carrier that makes your cat car sick. There are several reasons cats can be car sick, and several solutions. You can read more about it here.

Why does my cat freak out when I put him in a carrier?

It could be that you are not using the best cat carrier for car travel causing the freak out. Or it might be that you need to try finding the best cat carrier for difficult cats. It may be a case of helping him get used to travel in his carrier, which you can do by training him to associate it with good things. You can find tips on training your cat to like their cat carrier in this article.

Can you put two cats in one carrier?

You can but you should look for the best cat carrier for two cats to ensure there is enough room. You should also only ever do this when the two cats are happy with each other and comfortable enough to be forced together.

Your Cat Can Travel Comfortably With The Right Cat Carrier
There’s a lot to think about with a cat carrier because they keep your cat secure outside of your home. The above tips can help you with your selection, but please do consult your vet if you need further advice. It’s helpful to be sure your kitty is safe, comfortable and secure in their carrier before you make any travel arrangements.

With the best cat carrier your kitty will be able to get around comfortably and securely, for easy trips on holiday or to the vets in the future.

About Anneka Dalrymple

I am a writer of 6 years, and I’m a total animal nerd. I love wildlife, but none so much as my own tiny lion, April. She’s a 10 year old floofer who adopted us, and we’re so much happier for that. I have also grown up with animals and at one point we had 6 cats, 2 dogs and 2 rabbits. Pets are a total gift.

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