What is the Best Cat Travel Carrier?
- Best Overall Cat Travel Carrier: Prodigen Airline-Approved Pet Carrier
Soft-sided, airline-approved, and available in different colors, this is our top pick for the best pet carrier.
- Most Affordable Cat Travel Carrier: Sapine Airline-Approved Pet Carrier with Bowl
Costing just over $20, this is the most budget-friendly pet carrier on this list, and it comes with a travel food bowl.
- Best Ventilated Cat Travel Carrier: Amazon Basics Soft-Sided Mesh Pet Travel Carrier
Featuring wrap-around mesh, this is made to allow excellent ventilation and a full field of vision for your pet.
- Best Expandable Cat Travel Carrier: Meowant Airline-Approved 3 Sides Expandable Pet Carrier
This pet carrier expands to fit larger cats or multiple pets and can even be used as a small dog carrier.
- Best Cat Travel Carrier for Long Trips: Prutapet Large Cat Carrier with Collapsible Litter Box and Bowl
This enormous pet carrier includes a litter box and a water bowl, thus being the perfect carrier for longer travel.
- Best Cat Travel Carrier for Car Travels: SPORT PET Large Pop Open Kennel
This pet carrier is made to stretch across the seat of a car and contain pets, so they don’t roam around while you’re traveling.
- Best Airline-Approved Cat Travel Carrier: Henkel Soft-Sided Collapsible Cat Carrier
Made specifically for air travel, the carrier is waterproof, well ventilated, and short enough to fit under an airplane seat.
- Most Reviewed Cat Travel Carrier: Amazon Basics Two-Door Top-Load Hard-Sided Pet Travel Carrier
Boasting over 38,000 reviews on online platforms, this is by far the most reviewed pet carrier on this list.
What are the Benefits of Cat Travel Carriers?
From practicality to comfort to safety, there are several benefits of using a cat travel carrier. Here is a closer look at each benefit.
- Protection. When traveling, there are many hazards. From something falling onto your pet to offering it a place to feel safe, a carrier offers protection. Regarding air travel, it is particularly necessary for the pet to be contained at all times unless it is a service animal.
- Ease of Travel. Traveling with an animal requires preparation and pet gear. A cat carrier can double as a carrier for things like cat food or treats, cat bowls, and cat toys if there is enough space for the animal to also lay inside. This will make it, so everything you need is within reach, and your pet has food, water, and entertainment during travel.
- Stress Management. Car rides and air travel can be stressful for cats. Using a travel carrier can offer a cat a safe place to retreat and also protect the animal from harming itself or escaping in stressful situations. It can also be used as a den for small dogs who may be prone to stress in the house.
The Best Cat Travel Carriers Reviewed
From trolleys to wheeled carriers to pet carrier backpacks – the cat travel carrier comes in different designs. To help you find the right one, we have reviewed the best cat carriers for traveling.
Summary: This nylon soft-sided cat travel carrier is reinforced with polyester and a claw-defense mesh for ventilation. It is foldable for easy storage and machine washable for easy cleaning. Suitable for small pets up to 15 pounds, it includes a shoulder strap and can be used as a cat carrier backpack for hands-free travel.
Dimensions: 7.2″L x 10″W x 11″H
Weight Limit: 15 pounds
- Approved for most air travel specifications
- Includes shoulder strap for hands-free transit
- Removable sherpa padded bed
- Soft-sided carrier with mesh windows
- Washable and easy to keep clean
- The weight limit is not readily available
Review: Out of 14,000+ ratings on Amazon alone, 90% of reviews give this cat travel carrier a four or 5-star rating. Owners of small pets seemed to be happy the carrier was approved for airline travel, and it was comfortable enough for their pets on a long flight. Critical reviews make up less than 5% of total reviews, but the overwhelming majority of the complaints were that the carrier had a chemical smell when they received it in the mail.
Summary: Including a food bowl and mesh windows on all four sides of the carrier, this pet carrier was made for traveling companions. It comes with a padded shoulder strap and a dual handle design to prevent uneven weight distribution inside this cat carrier bag. It is made with air travel in mind with ample ventilation, a pet ID card, and reflective strips for easy visibility.
Dimensions: 17″L x12″W x 11″H
Material: Oxford cloth
Weight Limit: 15 pounds
- Includes food and water bowl
- Meets all requirements for air travel
- Compatible with a car seatbelt
- Features a handy padded shoulder strap
- Attaches to luggage for a makeshift cat stroller
- The zipper doors may not stay completely shut
Review: The majority of reviews for this cat travel carrier are positive, with claims that it was very well made, comfortable for long flights, and it was compliant with specifications from American Airlines, Southwest, and JetBlue. Complaints mostly involved the zipper doors and the mesh not standing up well against larger cats, and some pet owners’ cats had gotten free.
Summary: This pet carrier from Amazon is made of fleece to be machine washable and mesh panels all around for fantastic ventilation and visibility. It is made to meet the specifications of air travel and includes a shoulder strap for easy transport. Available in three sizes with a max weight limit of 22 pounds on the largest size, this is a pet kennel made with traveling pet owners in mind.
Dimensions: 14″L x 9″W x 9″H, 16.5”L x 9.4”W x 9.8”H, 9.7”L x 10.2”W x 11.2”H
Weight Limit: 8, 16, and 22 pounds
- Wrap-around mesh for ventilation
- Conforms to under airplane seats
- Machine washable and easy-clean materials
- Carrying handles and adjustable shoulder strap
- Available in three sizes and one color
- The mesh panels may rip
Review: Four and five-star reviews make up about 85% of total reviews on Amazon and Chewy. Satisfied customers were happy with the quality of the doors and the fact the body of the cat travel carrier did not lose shape after washing or heavy use. Complaints were largely about the lack of wheels, although it advertises as coming with wheels. Some customers were also annoyed the carrier would roll over if their pet rolled over.
Summary: Catering to those who have multiple pets but do not wish to have multiple pet carriers, this expandable travel bag is able to fit everything from guinea pigs to medium cats. It features five sided-mesh for ventilation and padded floors. The design is sturdy for pet safety. It is also machine washable and waterproof to prevent odors and stains from animals up to 16 pounds.
Dimensions: 17.7”L x 11.8”W x 11.8”H
Material: Oxford and rubberized mesh
Weight Limit: 16 pounds
- Supports breathability and visibility
- Fiberglass support rods to maintain shape
- Comfortable and airline-approved design
- Expandable to accommodate different-sized pets
- Machine washable and easy to keep clean
- The sides can begin to sag inward if used long
Review: Positive reviews expressed satisfaction with the amount of storage, a shoulder strap, and this product being machine washable for easy care. They also noted they were able to take the cat travel carrier on flights, although one customer who flew Delta said they weren’t allowed to bring this carrier onboard. However, customers who had complaints simply said they did not like it; they did not elaborate any further.
Summary: This is an extra-large pet carrier that includes a litter box and water bowl for long periods of travel. It is made with mesh panels on all four sides and three access doors. The carrier can be folded for easy storage and is machine washable for easy cleaning. It is made of 600D Oxford fabric with a metal frame to make this a carrier that is durable and will hold its shape over time.
Dimensions: 24”L x 16.5”W x 16.5”H
Material: 600D Oxford
Weight Limit: 55 pounds
- Includes cat litter box and water bowl
- Large enough for longer trips
- Foldable and machine washable
- Lockable zippers for pet safety
- Car seatbelt & car seat compatible
- The material is not chew-resistant
Review: 94% of buyers who rated this cat travel carrier gave it 4 or 5 stars and said this was “the best cat carrier” they had ever used. They were also happy with the security loop inside the carrier that is meant to be an anchor for a pet’s leash to prevent escapes. Critical reviews were mostly upset that the kennel is difficult to assemble, and they complained the size of it made it difficult to travel with.
Summary: With the ability to expand to nearly four feet long, this is large enough to accommodate multiple pets on trips. It features plenty of ventilation with a mesh panel on one side and wire doors on either end that is closed with metal latches. It folds up and stores in a bag for easy storage and is a breeze to open and close. It includes headrest straps and is seatbelt compatible for secure transport.
Dimensions: 45.25”L x 17.25”W x 18.75”H
Weight Limit: 25 pounds
- Foldable for easy storage
- Headrest straps for secure traveling
- Easily accommodates multiple pets
- Includes an adjustable security leash
- Durable gate entry on each side
- Weight limit is not readily available
Review: While nearly 85% of reviews on Amazon gave this cat travel carrier 4-star and 5-star reviews, they all said basically the same thing: this carrier is great for long trips. A small number of consumers told stories about leaving their kitten, who was too young to be left unattended inside the carrier while they were at work, and it worked great as a kennel. Negative reviews are rare and mention that cats are able to unzip the carrier.
Summary: This travel carrier is made of polyester and mesh sides to be suitable for small pets up to 15 pounds. Its dimensions are made to be approved for air travel and include a shoulders trap for safe and hands-free travel. It includes a seatbelt strap and can be attached to luggage to create an easy-to-use cat stroller.
Dimensions: 15″H x 9″W x 9″L
Weight Limit: 15 pounds
- Airline approved design
- Breathable mesh on four sides
- Foldable for easy storage
- Comes with a 3-layer cozy mat
- Available in different colors
- The shoulder strap hooks are brittle and prone to breaking
Review: With an average of 4.7 stars and over 31,000 reviews, it is clear people are fond of this cat travel carrier. Most reviews are similar to each other, saying things like “this is a great carrier for small dogs,” and it is well made. They say their cats even nap in it together when they are not traveling. Only 3% of reviews were critical and claimed this product did not contain their cats as they were able to claw through the mesh and the shoulder strap was not strong enough.
Summary: This pet carrier from Amazon is made of plastic to be heavy-duty and sturdy enough for travel. It is assembled with wide plastic clips for security and offers a top door for easy loading and unloading. It is sold in four different sizes to accommodate pets of varying sizes and is made to be easily disassembled for easy cleaning.
Dimensions: 19”L x 12.6”W x 10”H
Weight Limit: 11 pounds
- Top door with a carrying handle
- Easy to assemble and store
- Spring-loaded latches
- Multiple doors allow for easy loading
- Available in four different sizes
- The top door is not very securely positioned
Review: With an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars, this is a popular cat travel carrier among pet owners. They say the carrier is sturdy and easy to assemble. Almost all customers brag about the same thing – that their cats love using the kennel. The only negative reviews are in regard to the top door, which, according to some cat owners, does not seem to be very secure.
What Should I Look for in a Cat Travel Carrier?
When shopping for a cat travel carrier, there are several essential considerations. Here are the most important factors to keep in mind.
- Size. Size is an important aspect for a few reasons. First, your pet should be able to stand and lay down naturally without touching any side or the top when doing so. Often pet owners will place a towel or blanket in a cat kennel to offer comfort and traction when moving, and this should be taken into consideration when looking for a new kennel.
- Ventilation. Adequate ventilation is important for fresh air to be able to circulate into the crate and allow the animal to receive fresh air at all times. Beyond this, it also gives the animal a 360-degree view of its surroundings, so it is able to see what is around it, and this can help mitigate boredom or stress.
- Handle Type. Some carry handles are on hinges, while others are built-in and lay flat, allowing the top to be stackable. Hinged carrying handles are more likely to break with use than built-in handles.
- Door Securing System. There are several ways a cat carrier can lock. They can use plastic or metal latches, screw caps that hold the door in place, a simple clip system, or zippers. The right door security will depend on your pet. If it is an active animal or prone to escape, it is likely a latch system will work best, and these can be spring-loaded and lockable.
- AIRLINE APPROVED PET CARRIER- ACCEPTED as a SOUTHWEST Airlines Pet Carrier, JETBLUE Pet Carrier, DELTA Pet Carrier Plus VIRGIN, ALASKA, FRONTIER, ALLEGIANT, UNITED & MORE. Carrier measures 17.2"L x 10"W x 11"H. DESIGNED with a Ventilated Top to meet all airline regulations of under forward seat.
- ULTRA-SAFE, EXTRA DURABLE- UPGRADED to REINFORCED Polyester & CLAW-DEFENSE MESH on top & 4 sides ensures your pet has ample VENTILATION and AIRFLOW & it WON’T TEAR like flimsy, cheap carriers while MINI ZIPPER BUCKLES ensure your pet stays tucked safely inside.
- EASY ACCESS & VENTILATED: Mesh windows on top and all 4 sides provide optimal airflow. Some have zippers to quickly reach your pet to comfort, touch, or take in or out.
How Long Can a Cat be in a Travel Carrier?
A cat must not be in a cat travel carrier for more than ten hours.
However, if the trip is this long, it is important to leave water and food. Generally speaking, food and water are recommended for all travel longer than eight hours.