10 Best Cat Carriers Reviews and Buying Guide 2018
People who own a cat know that cat carriers are an essential accessory to have. There are benefits to this, and one of them is that it helps keep cats secure and safe. It also prevents them from jumping from open car windows.
So, whether you have adopted a cat or you have been a cat parent for years, you have to ensure that you have the best carrier for your furry friend. But now the question is; which carrier should you buy for your cat? And how do you know it is the right one for your furry friend?
To help you answer these questions, you will need to consider several important factors such as size, load capacity, durability, and other factors. Let’s discuss these factors.
If you are in a hurry, check out our recommendation list below.
How to Choose the Best Cat Carriers
Like any other carriers, the size matters a lot. You have to buy the right size; not very big and bulky, especially if you are traveling on a plane. There are specific size restrictions when you are carrying your cat on the plane.
Besides, a large crate will be awkward to carry around in the cities as it is difficult to balance. Additionally, you don’t want a carrier that is too small as that will be uncomfortable for your cat. This can make it anxious and stressed out. Therefore, you will need to figure out the right size for your cat carrier.
To ensure you get the right size, you need to take accurate measurements of your cat’s actual size. Measure its length from its nose to its tail. Next, you will need to measure the height by taking measurements from its paws to the topmost edge of its back. Once you have these measurements, add 2-4 inches as allowance. This will give your cat enough room in the carrier.
TIP- your cat’s carrier should be about 1.5 times the size of your furry friend. This will give it an ample room to move around and at the same time ease the carriage of your carrier.
You also need to consider why you need to invest in a carrier and the kind of situations it will be used for. Is it for carrying your cat to your vet? Or is it for taking your cat in the boot of a car? If you are going to be holding your carrier in public, then you might need to have a carrier with a harder case for added security.
Cat carriers are available in various types and durability is based majorly on the material used in its construction. Most carriers are made of fabric materials including canvas, cotton, polyester, and microfiber. Some are also made of specialty synthetic fabrics.
The most important factor to look for is the stitching of the fabrics to ensure they don’t get damaged easily at the seams. Carriers that are double stitched are way better than those with single stitches. You might also consider the strength and durability of various materials.
Some cat lovers prefer polypropylene while others prefer durable plastic materials. Carriers made of tempered plastics provide better strength, protection, and durability than those made of fabric. They are also easier to clean. But on the other hand, carriers made of polypropylene are easier to store and carry around.
You also need to consider maximum weight capacity a carrier can accommodate. You may buy the right size, but if construction is not steady enough, then you risk damaging the bag and hurting your furry friend.
For instance, if your cat weighs 15 pounds, then your carrier should have a load capacity of at least 17 pounds. It is not advisable to buy a carrier that has equal load capacity to your cat’s weight. Remember that you will also be carrying your cat’s accessories and care items in the bag. Therefore, you need to factor this as well.
There are carries with plush beddings that offer more comfort for your cat. The cushioning enables your cat to feel more relaxed throughout the journey. If your carrier doesn’t come with beddings, you can still purchase them separately. However, make sure that the beddings don’t take too much space as your cat needs to have room for moving around.
A cat crate with mesh panels is better than one without enough ventilation. Mesh panels allow for optimum ventilation and help prevent suffocation. This will help your cat feel calmer and more relaxed.
Handles are an important consideration. They need to be sturdy and ergonomic for easier and secure handling. Once your cat is inside the carrier, it can get reasonably heavy. You don’t want to drop your carrier when the cat is inside as this can be traumatizing for both you and the cat. Unfortunately, this is a common cause of injury, and it is avoidable if you go for a carrier that has a decent handle.
Cats don’t like getting into a carrier. In fact, getting them inside their carrier is the least enjoyable part of owning a cat. You might suffer bruises as the claws come out. Some of the best cat carriers on the market feature multiple access points that may give your cat different entry points into the carrier. This can make your life easier if you have a cat that hates traveling.
Food and Water Points
If you are taking your cat for long journeys, then you should go for a carrier that has water and food points inside. Traveling is always a stressful experience for any cat, and they are going to need to eat and hydrate. Therefore, consider going for a carrier that is compatible with food and water containers. You can also find a product that has them already included.
Ease of Cleaning
Your kitty will need to go to the toilet due to the sheer amount of time they will spend in the crate or due to stress. Accidents do happen once in a while even if you have trained your cat not to relieve themselves in the carrier. Therefore, it is important to have a carrier that has a surface that is easier to clean. Ensure the carrier is machine washable or has removable parts if it is a soft product.
Before we review the best carriers for cats in the market, let’s discuss the different types available;
Types of Cat Carriers
Now that you know the important things to look out for in a good cat carrier let’s discuss some of the most common kinds of carriers that are on the market.
Just as the name indicates, these carriers are designed to be carried on your back while you are traveling with your kitty. They are ideal for journeys when you want to carry your kitty around. Most of them are thinner than other types of carriers but are taller. They are convenient for shorter trips and are thus not recommended for long journeys.
These cat carriers are of different kinds; it is a general term given to a wide range of carriers that do not have a hard shell. They are more comfortable for your cat and are lighter. However, they offer lesser protection.
If you are to go for soft carriers, you should go for one with the highest quality fabric as low-quality soft carries can be opened easily by your cat from the inside. The most important thing to look out for in these carriers is the standard of the zipper. Picking products from renowned brands is important.
Airline Approved Carriers
These are carriers designed to be used by those boarding a plane. They are designed to be placed underneath a plane seat in front of you. They have a soft construction and are designed to meet the strict restrictions and safety standards set by major airlines. Also, they normally have expandable sections to offer extra space while others are generally large but slightly collapsible.
These carriers have limited use cases for kitties. They are the least comfortable and least secure. Your cat will be trying their best to get out of it. They are designed to accommodate the lower part of your cat’s body while their heads are stacked out. Be prepared to struggle and get scratched by your cat while trying to fit it inside. Although there a few situations where sling carriers are better than other carriers, it is best to avoid them.
These cat carriers have soft construction, but some are hard to collapse. As the name suggests, these carriers are designed to collapse to make storage easier. They are easy and quick to expand or collapse, but lower models can be quite flimsy. Therefore, it is important to pick a quality product from a reputable brand.
Top Loading Carriers
These carriers can either be hard or soft-shelled. As the name suggests, they are designed to be loaded from the top as opposed to the side. However, the best top loading carriers also have side access points as well. Many cat owners prefer these carriers as they offer an easier way of getting your kitty inside the carrier.
These are becoming more popular recently as they offer more convenience for cat owners to move their cats with minimum effort. Most are made of soft materials, but there are some with hard materials with wheels.
However, keep in mind that just because it is easier for you to move your cat in it doesn’t make it easier for your kitty. If you are not pushing it on a smooth surface like a sidewalk, then your kitty will suffer from distress because of the vibrations. Ensure that you get a product with a decent handle to enable you to lift your cat in an area with no smooth ground.
Dual Cat Carriers
For pet owners with two cats, this is a good option as it will help you transport them at the same time. Transporting them in one dual carrier will be less stressful as compared to transporting them in different carriers. Ensure that your dual cat carrier has ample space for each cat. You should get a carrier that is roughly 2X the size of both kitties combined.
Those are the most common types of cat carriers. It’s now the right time to let you know the best cat carriers on the market. Here are the top 10 best-rated cat carriers 2018;
Features That Make PetLuv Premium Happy Cat Carrier Stand Out
- Besides being able to accommodate just about any cat, this carrier packs a whole range of amazing features that you expect in the best cat travel crate
- Measuring 22” by 15” in height and width, the nylon canvas material offers enough interior space for cats of all sizes
- This excellent product is complemented by the unmatched level of comfort it offers thanks to the nap pillow that covers the entire bottom surface and the netting on the sides to enhance airflow
- As a result, this is one of the best cat carriers for anxious cats as it eliminates travel anxiety by creating a comfortable environment for your cat
- The premium quality cloth has a sturdy steel frame with reinforced corners and features double stitching. Therefore, you can rest assured that the pet carrier will serve your needs for a long time
Proc of PetLuv Premium Happy Cat Carrier
- Has air mesh windows for a breezy airflow
- Sturdy built
- Ultra soft pillow for comfy naps
Conc of PetLuv Premium Happy Cat Carrier
- May not be suitable for cats larger than 45 lbs.
Why We Recommend It
Overall, the PetLuv Soothing “Happy Cat” carrier is ultra-soft, light and designed to offer reliable feline transportation. Better yet, it’s a game changer when it comes to anxious cats as it offers cat mobility and comfort.
Features That Make Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel Stand Out
- When it comes to pet care, Petmate stands out from the rest and here’s another great product from the company
- Made from sturdy plastic, this pet carrier has dotted pore that ensures proper ventilation hence offering both comfort and visibility
- With this model, it’s easy to get your cat in and out through the securely-latching steel top and front doors
- The sides of the load kennel feature wing nut screws instead of latches which makes it sturdier in travel
- The carrier comes in 2 sizes with the largest size measuring 24.05 x 16.75 x 14.5 which a pretty large interior suitable for most cats
- You can choose from 4 colors of this crate depending on the color you like
- It has a soft towel and blanket on the bottom for cozy naps
- The crate has been made in the USA and is air travel approved
Proc of Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel
- Has two doors to make access easy
- Made from sturdy plastic
- Meats airline guidelines for pet carriers
Conc of Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel
- Not suitable for large cats
Why We Recommend It
This design from Petmate is simple and sturdy and is ideal for small and medium-sized cats. It comes with top and front loading options which makes it easy to get your cat in and out. The cat carrier does well to blend security with comfort.
Features That Make AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier Stand Out
- Whether you’re traveling by car, plane or ship, this pet carrier from AmazonBasics keeps your cat secure and comfortable
- The travel carrier works as a dual luggage seat belt for safe transportation
- It comes in various sizes to fit your pet size and has a comfortable bed to enhance comfort
- It sports a sturdy steel frame that conforms nicely to the set dimensions of most airlines
- For easy loading, the carrier features a zipper option with top opening coming with dual zipper closures. This ensures that your pet is securely locked inside while on the move
- The carrier does a remarkable job in offering adequate ventilation through the air mesh used on the sides – the mesh also allows your cat to see outside and also makes it easy to monitor your pet
- The best thing with the carrier is it can be used on dogs and cats if you need this level of versatility
Proc of AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier
- Great ventilation
- Available in various sizes
- Adequate ventilation
Conc of AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier
- Not the best for larger cats
Why We Recommend It
As a product that is both light and sturdy, having a comfortable bed makes it stand out. Besides, both the hand and shoulder straps ensure easy portability making it an ideal travel carrier. All sides contain air mesh for great ventilation.
Features That Make Pet Magasin Luxury Soft-Sided Cat Carrier Stand Out
- Featuring a sleek and simple design, the Magasin Luxury Cat Carrier is a suitable option to carry your kitty in the safest and comfortable way
- The airline-approved carrier boasts soft sides which ensures your cat stays comfortable and the mesh sides allow for good airflow
- The design of construction of the carrier helps prevent the risk of bumping around. This reduces anxiety associated with traveling
- In addition to being safe and comfortable, the carrier features a sturdy built that will contain your pet safely
- The fashionable design sports a zip closure to keep your pet safe during rides
- Carrying the cat carrier is quite easy because it’s lightweight with suit-case style firm straps and can fold for storage which adds convenience
- The large size of the model measures 18 x 11 x 10 inches
Proc of Pet Magasin Luxury Soft-Sided Cat Carrier
- Durable construction
- Made from waterproof material
- Holds its panel when zipped up and can fold for easy storage
Conc of Pet Magasin Luxury Soft-Sided Cat Carrier
- Not suitable for larger cats
Why We Recommend It
Here’s is a durable yet great-looking option for pet owners who need to travel with their cats. The carrier is lightweight weighing around 2 pounds and is soft sided with padding inside for comfort. It is also waterproof, easy to clean, and can fold down for easy storage.
Features That Make Expandable Pet Carrier by Pet Peppy Stand Out
- Here’s an impressive pet carrier that has a side that can be expanded into a tunnel to keep your cat comfortable
- The tunnel will allow your cat to play hence forget the anxiety that comes with traveling
- Two other sides can be expanded with the ability carry up to 14 lbs
- The carrier also features a scratch-resistant mesh fabric which allows ventilation and ensures your cat sees what’s going around them
- The model offers a pocket to store anything that you think might be handy for your pet
- This is one of the best airline approved pet carriers that is fully zipped up and can comfortably fit under airline seats
- The pet carrier includes a machine washable mat on the inside and a random color food bowl
- It is also incredibly easy to transport with a padded shoulder strap and carry handles
Proc of Expandable Pet Carrier by Pet Peppy
- Has an integrated tunnel
- Easily portable
Conc of Expandable Pet Carrier by Pet Peppy
- Carry handles are not padded
Why We Recommend It
Finding a cat carrier as large as this is rare. The pet carrier is also comfortable enough for your pet, featuring a fleece base and tunnel that your cat will love. The bag is fully zipped with ventilated sides on top making it safe and comfy.
Features That Make Pet Magasin Pet Travel Kennel Stand Out
- Pet Magasin is a popular manufacturer in various pet products
- This is yet another special and unique pet carrier that has a hardcover top and bottom
- It offers a great sense of protection as well as a firm plateau that your pet can adapt easily
- It is waterproof and well-built with a security lock on the door zipper to keep even the cleverest of felines and canines from escaping
- The pet carrier dimensions read 17 x 13 x 14 which makes it suitable for cats and small dogs
- This is one of the best pet carriers for traveling as it can be folded down in a neat little package
- With your pet inside the kennel, it is easy to carry it around by use if the firm handle located in the top cover
- The carrier is breathable for your cat with a padded mat on the flow as well as a mesh door that also offers visibility
Proc of Pet Magasin Pet Travel Kennel
- It has a waterproof base and top
- Has a security lock on the door zipper
- Ample ventilation
Conc of Pet Magasin Pet Travel Kennel
- The zipper is too small
Why We Recommend It
Overall, this product has a clever design for a traveling pet carrier. And although it has a few flaws that tend to bring it down, this carrier would be a great addition for your next trip to the vet with your beloved cat.
Features That Make A4Pet Collapsible Carrier Stand Out
- Need a soft aided carrier? This one from A4Pet is popular with a side and top loading to get the hesitant cats in and out easily
- The A4Pet Collapsible carrier is well ventilated and comfortable with a bottom of soft, rigid floor which is sturdy
- There are 3 sizes for the cat crate, so you get the best fit for your pet. The large size measures 19 x 12 x 12 inches
- The carrier is airline approved and can easily buckle into a car whenever you need to travel with your pet
- A car buckle is also present with a luggage attachment and shoulder strap
- The carrier can fold down when you need to store it. Assembling it is very simple as you just need to zip up
Proc of A4Pet Collapsible Carrier
- Features top and side loading options
- It is well ventilated
- Has 3 size options
Conc of A4Pet Collapsible Carrier
- Some cats, particularly the most anxious might not like the soft sided carrier
Why We Recommend It
The A4Pet Collapsible Carrier is one of the best airline-approved pet carriers available in 3 different sizes. The easy-to-assemble cat carriers come with top and side loading options to make it easy to get your pet into and out.
Features That Make Pawfect Pets Pet Travel Carrier Stand Out
- Here’s is one of the most attractive pet carriers with a vintage look and has shoulder and hand straps
- The travel carrier is made from reinforced polyester that comes with a durable mesh making it a high-quality pet carrier
- The durable cat carrier comes in just one size with dimensions of 17.7 x 12.2 x 11.8 which is suitable for most cats
- Apart from charcoal gray, you can find this bag in blush tan, and navy colors
- If you have an escape artist, this is an ideal choice for you as it’s a hard sided crate
- The soft-sided carrier comes with a fleece bed that’s machine washable
- This carrier meets airline travel guidelines
- It has mesh panels that offer your cat full ventilation
- Besides, the carry strap features a Velcro closure and 2 seat-belt buckles to secure easily on a car seat
Proc of Pawfect Pets Pet Travel Carrier
- Attractive design
- Has a sturdy built
- Ideal for airline travel
Conc of Pawfect Pets Pet Travel Carrier
- Has a pliable structure
Why We Recommend It
The Pawfect Pets Soft Sided carrier many positive reviews and this shows it is a quality pet carrier that works on long journeys. It has met all rules and regulation for USA flights. The product is safe even with clever pets and is easy to clean and store.
Features That Make PetAmi Pet Travel Carrier Stand Out
- Here’s a suitable pet carrier for small and medium cats
- It’s designed to make it easy to travel with your pet as it comes with a detachable strap for easy carriage
- This is one of the best pet travel carriers that features a safe design with a safety buckle, zippers and safety strap
- Your cat will travel in comfort thanks to the air mesh that provides ventilation and the Sherpa lining that feels cozy
- The carrier can be strapped inside a car or luggage to keep your cat stable during the journey
- It has a bowl included to keep your pet hydrated
- It offers two side loading option to make it easy for your cat to get in and out
- The unit comes in 14 colors and 2 sizes with the large size measuring 19.5 x 10.2 x 12 inches
Proc of PetAmi Pet Travel Carrier
- Made with high-grade polyester
- It’s airline approved
- Comes in 14 colors
Conc of PetAmi Pet Travel Carrier
- May not be suitable for large pets
Why We Recommend It
This carrier offers a comfortable design that’s safe for your cat. If you have a small or medium sized, you can get this best cat carrier with dual side access. It is safe for air travel with a safety buckle that prevents your cat from escaping.
Features That Make AmazonBasics Top-Load Pet Kennel Stand Out
- AmazonBasics is a popular brand when it comes to some of the best cat products
- This carrier comes in 2 sizes with the large size measuring 23 x 15 x 13
- This is a two-door pet carrier with one on the side and the other one on top for easy entrance and exit
- It is made of a sturdy plastic and a steel wire front which not only makes it durable but also breathable with ventilation on the sides, back, and top of the kennel
- The kennel is light with screws to secure the kennel further and has a plastic handle on top for easy one-handed carriage
Proc of AmazonBasics Top-Load Pet Kennel
- Heavy-duty design
- Has a smart 2-door design
- Has sufficient ventilation
Conc of AmazonBasics Top-Load Pet Kennel
- Some customers said that the top lid is not secure enough
Why We Recommend It
This carrier has a sturdy plastic structure with 2 smart doors that will keep your cat protected. The handle on top makes it easier for owners to carry it around. The ample space it offers is suitable for just about any cat.
Traveling with your kitty can be a fulfilling experience if you have the right carrier. Therefore, it is important to invest in the best carrier for your cat. Consider size, weight capacity, comfort, durability, handles, security, and other factors we have discussed in this guide.
All the above 10 best cat carriers we have reviewed will help you have a fulfilling experience traveling with your cat.
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