As a cat parent you’ll need something to transport your feline friend in, and may be asking “what is the best cat carrier?” In this post you’ll discover all about cat carriers and which are the best types.
Whether you’re taking your cat for a quick trip to the vet or moving home, you’ll need a carrier that’s comfortable and safe for her.
Most cat parents dread visiting the vet. Whether you have one kitty or several, it can be a daunting task. Dogs are so much easier and some even enjoy seeing their favorite vet!
Cats however, are a different story! If you’ve ever tried to entice a cat into a carrier with 10 minutes to spare before your appointment, you’re not alone!
Your normally placid feline friend has suddenly become all teeth and claws! With cat arms and legs all over the place, getting your cat in the carrier has become a battle of wills.
Keep reading as I share tips on how to get your cat used to a carrier and even enjoy sitting in it! But first lets look at the type of cat carriers available, and which are better for you and your kitty. Plus, why you absolutely can’t do without a carrier for your feline companion.
Why you need a cat carrier
As a new cat parent uninitiated in the cunning ways of cats you may be asking why get a carrier anyway. Maybe you believe a short trip in the car to your vet is no big deal. After all, your calm and docile cat spends all her time sleeping.
You may be imagining a happy kitty snoozing on the back seat of your car as you drive. In reality you’re more likely to get a frazzled feline trying to grab the gear stick or claw your arm!
As you can imagine, this scenario would be highly dangerous, putting your life and your cat’s at risk. A dog will happily sit next to you on the passenger seat, but you can’t expect a cat to do the same.
What to look for in a cat carrier
You will at some point need to take your cat to the vet, and whether you’re walking or driving you’ll want something to carry her in. An average domestic cat may not be very big, but can weigh heavy in a carrier.
After even a ten minute walk you may feel your arm is about to drop off! I’d never advise walking further than this with a yowling kitty poking her paws through the sides of a carrier
Of course, the first priority must be safety. You don’t want to lose your best friend on the way to the vet. Broken catches, and a carrier that falls open is a nightmare scenario.
For many years I used a wicker cat carrier that had been in the family for as long as I can remember. It had safely transported many cats to and from the vet until one day the straps broke.
Using string to hold the lid shut never worked well, and there was always a danger of it falling apart in transit. On adopting my latest cat, the centre kindly gave me a very secure top loading carrier with plenty of room for my new friend.
Comfort is another very important point to consider especially for longer trips. You must always ensure whatever carrier you choose has enough room for your cat to lay down comfortably. In addition, there must be plenty of ventilation, so your kitty stays cool on hot days.
You will need to clean the carrier before and after each use so make sure you bear that in mind when deciding which one to get. You’ll notice there are those made from soft materials, and others which are hard plastic.
I’ve also noticed backpack designs, but I wouldn’t recommend those as they could be very uncomfortable for your cat. Also, avoid any cheap carriers made from flimsy material as they could soon fall apart.
What is the best cat carrier for you and your feline companion?
Reviews of the following carriers are based on my own opinion and customer ratings. In addition, I may receive a small commission for sales which won’t affect the price you pay.
CLEEBOURG Pet Carrier Cat Carriers, Airline Approved Travel Pet Bag, Collapsible Soft-Sided Dog Kennel with Reflective Side Strip, Mesh Window and Escape-Proof Buckle, Best for Small Medium Cats Dogs
Cleebourg cat carrier is a very portable design. This would be ideal for walking to the vet as you can either carry it on your shoulder, or pick it up by the handle.
As the handle is easy to grip you won’t find it uncomfortable on a short walk. Of course, you can also put the carrier on your car seat as well if you want to drive.
If for any reason you’re traveling by air with your cat, you may find this type of carrier suitable. In fact it’s advertised as being airline approved.
The carrier is made from durable oxford material and supported by a solid steel frame. This makes it hard wearing and less likely to fall apart.
Breathable mesh on the top and sides allows for plenty of air circulation. This will help keep your cat comfortable and cool. In addition, mesh lets your cat see outside as well as allows you to keep an eye on her in transit.
A removable soft mat provides comfort, and support pad underneath keeps it from sliding. In addition, the mat is washable making it easy to clean.
You also get a reflective strip on the side of the carrier. This makes it easy to see in dim lighting or darkness.
Average rating 4.7 out of 5
Petisfam Soft Pet Carrier for Medium Cats and Small Dogs with Cozy Bed, 3 Doors, Top Entrance | Airline Approved, Escape-Proof, Breathable, Leak-Proof, Easy Storage
Petisfam cat carrier is very portable as well as being easy to store. This is because it can be folded flat when not in use.
As Petisfam carrier has 3 entrances it makes it easier to put your cat inside. You get a top loading entrance as well as a door each side.
The zips are cat proof an you also get a leash hook to ensure added safety. In addition you get car seat belts and a luggage attachment making it very safe for both air and car travel.
In fact Petisfam cat carrier is airline approved by many major carriers including South West Airlines, Jet Blue, and Virgin. Whether you’re going on a quick trip to your local vet or a long road trip, you get plenty of safety features to give peace of mind.
Mesh on 3 sides of the carrier allow your cat to see out. You’ll also be pleased to note the mesh is strong enough to prevent tearing from your cat’s claws. This gives peace of mind knowing your kitty is safe and can’t escape!
A soft fleece mat provides added comfort for your cat and is easy to clean as it’s washable. You could always place a soft blanket inside as well if you want.
Some buyers with larger cats noted there was enough room for them to sit comfortably. This is a bonus as most average size kitties should have plenty of space to move around. Always look at the measurements of any pet carrier before buying as sizes vary.
Average rating 4.8 out of 5
You can buy Petisfam medium size soft cat carrier here. In addition, if your cat is very big you could always buy their larger size.
Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier – Pet Travel Kennel with Top-Load & Foldable Feature for Cats, Small Dogs Puppies & Rabbits
Pet Megasin hard cover collapsible cat carrier can be folded flat, making storage easy. This is great if you live in a small space and don’t want a bulky carrier taking up room.
One of the benefits of a hard cover and base is it keeps your pet protected from damp, wet conditions. In addition, a hard base gives your cat a firm surface to stand on.
As the sides are made from breathable mesh, air can circulate, and your cat would be able to see out. In addition, a padded mat provides a comfortable place for your cat to lie down
Average rating 4.5 out of 5
Midwest Spree Travel Pet Carrier, Dog Carrier
If you prefer a hard plastic cat carrier this may be ideal for you. However, it’s only suitable for short trips to the vet and not long journeys. Also, it’s not designed for air travel and won’t fit under an aircraft seat.
Midwest spree pet carrier is easy to clean, but unlike other carriers here, can’t be folded flat. This type of rigid carrier isn’t ideal if you have limited storage space.
The carrier is easy to assemble with bolts that push in and 2 that twist to secure on the front. Your cat is able to get a view of the outside through the wire door, and there is plenty of ventilation through the sides.
You get the option of three bright colors to choose from, and it comes with a one year limited warranty.
Average rating 4.5 out of 5
How to get your cat used to a pet carrier
No matter how comfortable you try and make trips to the vet, cats will always complain loudly! However, you can make the experience less traumatic by getting your feline friend used to the carrier first.
One of the best ideas is to place the carrier open in a favorite spot. This could be on the sofa, next to a cosy radiator, or even on the bed. Place a few treats or toys inside and let your cat explore.
A cosy blanket will help make it inviting, and you may find your cat makes the carrier a new place to sleep! Let her get used to going in and out of the cat carrier on her own.
Once your cat feels comfortable being inside the carrier, close the entrance for a few seconds. Be careful not to frighten her though as cats get fearful easily.
Be very patient, and take things slowly. Once you’ve tried closing the door a few times and she seems calm, lift the carrier so she gets used to the feeling.
It’s important not to rush this step as cats are easily spooked. Creating a positive experience makes things easier.
If your cat is very nervous you could try using Feliway . Many veterinary surgeries use Feliway to calm their patients.
While not all cats are sensitive to it, a large proportion are. It can make the dreaded trip to the vet a calmer experience both for your cat and you. I found it worked well with my last kitty. She was quite nervous of going out in my car, but spraying the inside beforehand seemed to make her a bit less stressed.
Placing your cat in the carrier
Ideally, your cat would enter the cat carrier on her own, but that rarely happens. You’ll probably have to pick her up and place her inside.
As mentioned earlier, this can be a battle of wills, but if you’ve followed my steps it should be a bit easier. Gently put one arm under her front legs and lift her up, while supporting her bottom with your other arm.
Then lower her into the carrier with the door facing upward ,and quickly close the entrance! You may get loud meows in protest, but you may find she settles quickly after a short time.
One useful tip I found is if you’re traveling by car, put the radio on. Although cats can’t appreciate music like us it can be soothing.
I hope this article has helped give you ideas on what is the best cat carrier for you and your feline friend. Remember to look closely at the size of a carrier before making any decisions.
In addition, consider how you’ll be transporting your cat, and the amount of storage space you have at home. For example, most rigid carriers aren’t suitable for air travel as they won’t fit under a seat.
On the other hand if you only plan on walking to your local vet, a carrier with easy grip handle is fine. This could either be a hard plastic one, or soft carrier with adjustable shoulder straps.
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Wishing you a purrfect day:)