It’s time to take your cat for some travel! Whether you are making a quick trip to the vet or you are making a trip via air travel, you are going to need a safe cat carrier for your cats. Giving your cat the very best when it comes to safety and comfort should be a no brainer, but when it comes to the large variety of cat carriers, we’ve found you the top five best cat carriers for traveling with your cat.

How to Choose a Cat Carrier for Your Cat

Even though there are several types and styles of cat carriers available on the market, from hard carriers to soft carriers and nearly everything in between. Yet one of the most important factors for you to determining the style of cat carrier will depend on what type of cat you own.

If, for example, your cat is a bit feistier you might want to choose a cat carrier that has multiple entryways. Sometimes it is a bit easier for you to place your cat inside through an opening in the top rather than having to coax them through the door.

The same thing applies to cats that love to scratch. A hard-plastic cat carrier will prove to be more durable and more secure in the long run than a fabric or soft carrier that could be torn down from the scratching over time.

It is also important to consider your cat’s behavior when you rely on zippers, Velcro, or even snaps to securing your cat inside the carrier. If you happen to own a cat that can ‘Houdini’ itself out by fidgeting with the snaps or even by squeezing itself out, you will need to look for something sturdier.

One more thing to think about, the cat carrier will need to be cleaned. Cleanliness is important, especially if you have a cat that is prone to car sickness during car travel. When it comes to soft fabric carriers, they can usually be removed and machine washed, yet the base will usually have to be cleaned by hand. A hard-plastic cat carrier can be sprayed down with a hose or even simply wiped down with a cloth.

After considering all of the above, the size of the cat carrier is really one of the most important things to think about. Your cat should have room to stand without crouching as well as be able to fully turn around once they are inside. If you are just taking a longer trip, you will need to ensure the cat’s carrier will be able to accommodate water and food bowls. Some plastic cat carriers will have these built into the top, which will definitely come in handy. But if you decide to purchase a top of the line cat carrier, ensure it will have room for whatever travel sized bowls you will be using. At the same time, you do not want the carrier to be excessively large. Make sure you end up choosing a carrier that will make your cat feel safe and cozy when they are traveling.

Many times, the cat carrier is used solely to taking trips to the vet’s office. Using the cat carrier for only this purpose will cause your cat to associate the carrier with the discomfort and stress of going to the vet. To avoid this unwanted stress, you can give your cat positive associations with their cat carrier by placing treats or catnip inside or you can have it set up as a little ‘room’ complete with their favorite blanket for them to use whenever they want to hideaway or sleep when the carrier is not in use.

A few other factors to consider before you make your final choice would include:

  • Adequate Ventilation- ensuring your cat will have plenty of fresh air is an absolute must. Search for a carrier that includes openings on at least three sides.
  •  Each Airline will have their own rules- if you are taking your cat for air travel, check with the airlines specific rules and requirements when it comes to pet travel.
  • Make sure the carrier’s handle is stout enough for supporting the weight of the actual carrier and your cat without straining or breaking.
  • Soft cat carriers should only be used for cat’s that are good and calm when they travel. It is very possible a distressed cat can tear their way through the mesh or even escape from a soft carrier should they become highly agitated. They could also have a nail become caught in the zipper or the mesh which could lead to a torn nail.

5 Best Cat Carriers

5 Best Cat Carriers

1. Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carriers

The Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carriers is a soft cat carrier that is perfect for car or air travel. Included with a spring wire frame that allows the rear end of the carrier to be pushed down several inches to conform to the under-seat requirements.

There are mesh windows included for proper ventilation and even roll down flaps to allow for privacy and security. The zippers will lock for added safety as well. Not to mention, the liner is removable and machine washable for easy cleaning and maintenance. And the great news about this cat carrier, it is approved by several different airlines as suitable pet travel carriers.


  • Zippers that can lock in place
  • Mesh walls allow for proper ventilation
  • Roll down flaps included for additional privacy and security
  • Approved by several airlines for air travel
  • Spring wire frame allows the carrier to be pushed down for under-seat requirements
  • Multiple colors and sizes available
  • Can be used with large cats
  • Machine washable-expect the base
  • Durable


  • Only one door for entry
  • Not suitable for overweight cats
  • May not fit under the seats of all aircraft
  • Not a cat carrier for two cats
  • Base is not machine washable

2. Pettom Pet Carrier

The Pettom Pet Carrier is also a soft carrier suitable for air travel on most airlines. This carrier includes a removable soft fleece travel bed for the comfort of your cat. The fleece bed can also be machine washed. Made with mesh walls, you can be sure you cat will receive plenty of ventilation during use.

There is also a safety belt buckle included which will allow for the cat carrier to be secured with a vehicle safety belt for any car travel or trips to the vet. And the padded shoulder strap gives the owner added comfort when they are transporting the carrier by hand.


  • Mesh allows for great ventilation
  • Multiple colors available
  • Available in two sizes
  • Holds up to 15 pounds
  • Secure belt buckle for restraining in a car
  • Fleece travel bed is machine washable
  • Approved by most airlines


  • Not for cats over 15 pounds
  • Smaller than other carriers
  • Chemical smell when purchased new
  • Base is not machine washable
  • Chemical smell when purchased new

3. AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel

The Amazon Basics Two-Door Top Load pet kennel is a hard-plastic cat carrier that allows for easy access due to the multiple entry ways and the top door can open either right to left or left to right for added convenience. There are also included screws you can implement for added security and reinforcement at the bottom of the carrier.

Made from durable steel and hard-plastic, this cat carrier is designed for durability and security when your cat is traveling. There is ventilation included at the sides, top, and back of the crate to ensure your cat has plenty of fresh air available. And the handle will be sure to last under the added weight of your cat.


  • Multiple entry ways
  • Made from steel and plastic
  • Durable
  • Great for any sized cat since there are multiple sizes available
  • Plenty of ventilation
  • Ability to attach a strap should you want/need to
  • Safer than mesh carriers
  • Suitable for multiple kittens
  • Easy to clean


  • Closing mechanism on the top can open during use if not closed properly
  • May not be ideal for airline requirements
  • Not as sturdy as other brands of hard-plastic cat carriers
  • Not suitable for multiple cats

4. Pet Magasin Soft Sided Pet Carrier

The Pet Magsin Soft Sided Pet carrier is approved by most airlines and includes plenty of padding inside and ventilation as well. The carry handle and strap allow for multiple handling when in use by the owner.

Since it is made from waterproof materials, this soft carrier is very easy to clean and maintain. This carrier also has a very sturdy construction which will help keep your pet safe and comfortable during travel and it is great for larger cats.


  • Made from waterproof materials
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Includes carry handle and strap
  • Plenty of soft padding inside for your cat’s comfort
  • Great for large cats
  • Will hold its shape when it is fully zipped
  • Plenty of ventilation
  • Approved by most airlines
  • 2 year warranty


  • May be too big for kittens or smaller cats
  • Cannot machine wash
  • Chemical smell when purchased new
  • Not for use by multiple cats
  • Not for overweight cats

5. Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel

The Petmate two-door Tops Load kennel is a hard-plastic cat carrier that includes not one, but two entry ways for getting your cat safely inside. Made from steel and plastic offer better durability and more safety and strength. There is plenty of ventilation with this cat carrier as well.

The durable and ergonomic handle will allow for safe and comfortable handling when in use. The secure latch and the opening and closing mechanisms work well and ensure security when they are latched and/or closed. And even though the handle is located on top of the top door, it will not open when it is in use.


  • Safe and durable
  • Durable and ergonomic handle for safe and comfortable transport
  • Made from steel and plastic
  • Safer than soft carriers
  • Opening and closing mechanisms work smoothly and securely
  • Multiple colors available
  • Suitable for multiple sized cats
  • Plenty of ventilation
  • Secure latches
  • Secure wing nut and bolt design


  • May not be suitable for all airline requirements
  • Heavier than other brands
  • Bulkier than other brands
  • May be too big for kittens
  • Not for overweight cats

When it comes to bring your cat along with you- either on an adventure or a trip to the vet, you want to make sure they have a cat carrier that will suit their needs and personality, yet most importantly, their behavior when they are in travel.

Finding your cat one of the best cat carriers for travel can be a little daunting but we hope with the help of this list of the top five best cat carriers you can find the right choice for your feline friend.

Although we have given you a list of the best cat carriers, our favorite would have to be the Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carriers. Not only are they approved by most airlines for safe pet air travel, it includes a soft and comfortable base. There is plenty of ventilation since the sides are made from mesh and there are roll down flaps included to give your cat added privacy or a stronger sense of security. And the zippers, while secure on their own, will lock in place to ensure your cat- or someone besides you- cannot easily unzip the carrier.

So next time you want to take your cat to the vet or if you are searching for a great cat carrier for car or air travel, we hope this list of the best cat carriers can give you and your cat the options you need for safe, secure, and comfortable car or air travel for both, you and your cat.

(Last Updated On: April 18, 2021)

Her experience as a veterinarian stretching back more than fifteen years, Lesly Glover has spent ten years of clinical practice as an equine veterinarian and companion animal practitioner.She has also done work as a regulatory veterinarian for the government, giving her a unique and useful perspective of the policies that affect animals and animal owners’ day-to-day lives. An avid writer, she specializes in formal educational pieces and casual blog posts alike, and she has done guest spots on many animal-related podcasts.