10 Best Cat Carriers For Travel – 2023

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Airline Approved Cat Carrier Under Airplane Seat

There comes a time in every cat owner’s life when they have to travel with their cat. Whether it’s to the vet, to a friend who watches them while you’re on vacation, with you on vacation, or other travels, a way to carry your cat safely is needed.

With such a huge variety and all of the different types of carriers available today, it can be difficult to determine the right one for your cat. Therefore, we have detailed each of the different styles and types and provided the details that make each the best cat carrier so you can easily choose the correct one for your needs and your cat’s.

Top 10 Best Cat Carriers Reviewed

1. Comsmart Cat Carrier Pet Carrier Airline Approved Pet Carrier Bag Collapsible 15 Lbs Carrier for Small Medium Cats Dogs Puppies Kittens – Black

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Best cat carrier for the year 2021. The Airline-approved design fits for under-seat dimensions of most airlines. Adjustable shoulder strap help you hands-free carrying. Mesh ventilation provides not only adequate airflow but also easy viewing scenery. Collapsible to fit into your luggage. Easy to carry and store. The bottom thicker pad can be removed and machine-washed. More durable than most collapsible pet carriers in the market. A winner and my favorite cat carrier, the Comsmart, is a bargain.See more on Amazon…

2. Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier

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It’s a very decent quality cat carrier at a silly inexpensive cost. A patented spring wire frame allows the rear end of the carrier to be pushed down several inches to conform to under-seat requirements. Mesh windows for ventilation, top and side entry with locking zippers for safety. padded adjustable, no-slip carrying strap, seat belt/luggage strap, machine-washable faux lambskin liner. Rear pocket for convenient storage of treats, leash, bags, or anything your furry friend might need. Approved for use on most airlines and included in Sherpas Guaranteed on Board program.See more on Amazon…

3. WDM Cat Carrier Carrier Pet Travel Carrier Airline Approved for Small Dogs Puppies Large Cat Soft-Sided Collapsible Puppy Carrier with Locking Safety Zippers Removable Fleece Pad and Pockets

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Lightweight (2 Pounds) but durable(waterproof-lined oxford fabric), durable mesh, and breathable nets giving your pet enough oxygen. Anti-slip shoulder strap, inner leash, and auto-lock zipper sliders will prevent your pets from escaping. An adjustable shoulder strap can also be used as a seatbelt, and a back strap can fasten the carrier to your luggage. Suitable for daily travel, car seat journey, and pet hospital. Suites for under-seat dimensions of most airlines. Every airline has a specific set of rules and regulations. Please contact the airline before flying with your pet.See more on Amazon…

4. Morpilot Carrier Portable Cat Carrier Pet Travel Carrier Bag for Cats and Small Dogs Breathable Pet Airplane Carrier with Locking Safety Zippers Airline Approved + Foldable Bowl

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Morpilot cat carrier, with breathable nets on three sides and top to ensure normal air circulation. Can make pets observe the surrounding environment clearly, thus effectively helping pets reduce anxiety and make them more comfortable. This airline carrier has three entrances to facilitate pets in and out and interact with the owner. It can be used as a shoulder bag or a handbag and placed on the luggage rod. It comes with a foldable blue bowl, and the soft cushion inside the cat carrier is removable and can be washed by hand or machine. The color is very fashionable, the color is bright blue, not easy to stain, and the bag’s cushion is removable. You can use a soft brush to clean the surface of the pet bag and then place it in a ventilated place to dry it.See more on Amazon…

5. OMORC Pet Carrier Airline Approved Expandable Foldable Soft-Sided Carrier 3 Open Doors 2 Reflective Tapes Pet Travel Bag Safe and Easy for Cats and Dogs (Grey)

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Overall, however, I think it’s a perfect choice, for quite a bit less money. Dog airplane carrier approved designed with microfiber frame prevents the top from sagging. Add 2 green reflective tapes on both sides, increase safety for your pet when using at night. Cat carrier designed with a hard PP pad into the bottom helps to hold and increase load beaning. Mesh cloth increase ventilation and decrease anxiety for traveling. Carry the expandable carrier on an airplane, car, by hand, or shoulder. The pad is made of suede and polyester, washable, and easy to clean.See more on Amazon…

6. Smiling Paws Pets 4-Way Expandable Airline Approved Soft Sided Pet Carrier Pet Travel TSA Carrier Bag for Cats Puppies & Animals Collapsible Kennel Airplane Car & Train Travel 17x11x9 L/W/H (XS)

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The Smiling Paws Pets carrier bag is full of features loved by pet owners. Option to expand either of the four sides, top load entry, included internal leash, safety self-locking zippers, zipped storage pocket, reinforced rotating metallic clips, safety sleeve for luggage handles and car seatbelts, soft machine washable pad, superb air circulation, and thickly padded shoulder and handle holders. Designed to comply with TSA and IATA requirements for soft-sided pet carriers. Carefully sized to comply. with domestic and international airlines under-seat in-cabin dimensions (MAX 9 H) for soft-sided cat carriers.See more on Amazon…

7. Siivton 4 Sides Expandable Pet Carrier Airline Approved Soft-Sided Dog Cat Carrier Bag with Fleece Pad for Cats Puppy and Small Animals

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One of the best-constructed cat carriers on the market today. Easy to fold down and unzip four sides to create the extra room of our spacious pet bag for your cats or dogs to stay comfortable. Allows your pet to move around more comfortably and reduces the anxiety of confinement. Wear this airline-approved pet carrier over the shoulder, secure it in the car with a seatbelt, place atop your luggage or carry it with the top handle. Versatile for your cars or all types of travel. The cozy fleece pet bed can be completely removed and machine-washed.See more on Amazon…

8. Lollimeow Pet Carrier Backpack Bubble Backpack Carrier Cats and PuppiesAirline-Approved Designed for Travel Hiking Walking & Outdoor Use

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With the Lollimeow, you will be traveling with one of the best carriers at your side. With 9 large Ventilation Holes on both sides and front, left and right ventilation nets ensure fresh air for fur kids. Back expandable anti-scratching net provides maximum breathability. Suggested Weight: 0-13lbs for small to medium cats, 0-10lbs for Dogs and puppies. Most Airline Approved under the seat. Please check your airline requirements before traveling.See more on Amazon…

9. YLONG Cat Carrier Airline Approved Pet Carrier Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier for Cats Dogs Puppy Comfort Portable Foldable Pet Bag Airline Approved

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It has many of the features you see in more expensive cat carriers. Carrier measures 17.5L x 7.5W x 11H. Designed with Breathable Mesh on all Sides for Proper Ventilation Removable Fleece Travel Bed Padded Shoulder Strap Storage Compartment for Treats or Meds, Seatbelt Compatible. Weighing in at only 1.3 lbs, it is solid and waterproof. It has been approved by Airline Approved as a pet carrier by several airlines. It is made from ultra-high-performance polyester and cruelty-free cloth. It can be refitted by any pet carrier company.See more on Amazon…

10. SOUNDY Pet Carrier for Cat and Dog Portable Folding Pet Carrier Airline Approved Suitable for Small Dogs Puppies and Medium-Sized Cats (Blue)

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You won’t find a better cat carrier to spend your money on for under $25.00. We use durable polyester materials, odorless, with waterproof coating, and cleaning is effortless. It complies with the regulations under the front seats of all airlines. A blue folding bowl can be folded into the suitcase as a gift, making it easy to carry and store. If you’re looking for a cat carrier that will last, the SOUNDY is a smart option. It’s odorless and odorless. You can use a brush to clean the stains and dirt of pet carriers. The shoulder strap and wool pad in the pet carrier can also be removed for washing.See more on Amazon…

Types of Cat Carriers

The two main types and designs available today are soft-sided designs and solid or hard-sided designs.

In these two categories, you can find many different styles and designs, and some of these include those that are small, large, soft, and hard-sided, those with wheels, some that are top-loading, some that are front loading, some that are collapsible, backpack carriers, and even some that are airline approved. Believe it or not, there’s more we haven’t listed and other types and variations of them available to you, so finding the right one for your cat is made very easy with all of the choices available. What may not be easy is finding the correct one, which is why we’re here to help!

The only difficult thing about choosing the best one for you and your cat will be finding the one with the features and benefits you are looking for. We have decided to make this easy for you by describing the benefits each one offers and why they are perfect for keeping your cat safe during travel.

Small and Large Cat Carriers

The first thing to always look for in the cat carrier you buy is its size. If you have a large cat, a smaller-sized place to carry them will not be very comfortable for them, and it will make traveling a bad experience for your cat. But, on the other hand, large cats, like every living thing on the planet, need space.

If you think about how you like to travel, we know that being crammed into a small space for long, and possibly stressful, periods of time is not a good thing. This is just as true for cats, especially because they don’t usually travel often, which can be stressful for them. So to make traveling a good experience for your cat, the first thing to look at is the carrier’s size that will fit your cat comfortably.

A good point to remember is that your cat will grow if it’s a younger cat or kitten. With this considered, you may want to buy a larger carrier so when they are bigger, they will still be comfortable in the one you choose for them while they are young. Even though most of them are fairly cheap, we all know money does not grow on trees, at least not yet! You can select the pictures below or above to see more information about each type and design!

The Soft-Sided Carrier

In the past, the only way to carry a cat was in a solid-sided heavy (usually metal grated) cage. Still, with today’s innovation in materials and experts who have focused on a cat’s needs during travel, the soft-sided carrier has become very popular among cats and cat owners. The soft cat carrier is great because it allows your cat a comfortable space for them to travel in.

The soft materials carriers are made out of allowing your cat some room to breathe and places to comfortably rest against the sides and top of the carrier to make moving around inside comfortable and easy. They are also great because they can be stored easily and not in use without harming your cat.

Having soft sides also allows them to come equipped with a strong screen-like mesh that will give your cats the ventilation and uninhibited sight they need to put them at ease while you both travel. Another great feature of the soft-sided carrier is the comfortable handles and straps that allow you to easily carry your cat for long periods of time without the need to put them down to rest.

Most soft-sided carriers come with openings on the top and front that allow you to load your cat without a struggle instead of one with solid sides where you will have to load them; however, the solid-sided design designates. Overall the soft-sided design is a great choice for any cat on the go and wants to be comfortable while they travel.

Soft Sided Cat CarrierSelect a picture to see pricing and reviews!

The Solid or Hard-Sided Carrier

If you own a cat that prefers a solid environment and makes them feel comfortable, this may be the best choice. The solid-sided design is exactly what it sounds like and can be the difference between having a great trip and an uneasy one for you and your cat.

Solid or hard-sided designs are typically made out of hard plastic, and they’re very protective of their delicate contents. While this type of design may not be the easiest to store, you certainly will not have to worry about your cat being harmed while they are inside, and they can be stacked for storage.

Solid-sided cat carriers typically come with openings in the front for loading and can be tilted upright to allow a top entry. Padding can be inserted to make the space comfortable for your cat, and some even come with food or water dishes for the inside. This design allows them to be used as simple homes while you are on or off the road giving your cat a familiar environment to go to.

Solid Sided Cat CarrierSelect a picture to see pricing and reviews!

The Airline Approved Cat Carrier

If you happen to be traveling by air, most airlines make your pets feel welcome by allowing them to travel with you aboard the airplane. Some airlines even allow cats and smaller pets to travel in the cabin of the aircraft with you. However, when this is the case, they require your cat to be contained in an airline-approved cat carrier, so they are safe and protected while you travel.

Always check with the airline you choose to see if they allow pet travel and if they do, you will want to make sure the way you carry your cat is airline approved. Keeping your cat safe when traveling aboard an aircraft is always a priority, so make sure you choose an airline-approved one that will put your mind at ease no matter where in the airplane they travel.

A few airlines that have approved travel with your cat are American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Jet Blue Airlines, and other Airlines.

Airline Approved Cat CarriersSelect a picture to see pricing and reviews!

To Sum Things Up!

To sum it all up, choosing the best cat carrier comes down to finding the one that will make your cat most comfortable and reduce their stress during travel while also giving you comfort knowing that your cat is safe. The size and type, and design you choose can be the difference between your cat-loving to travel and them hating it. So you want to make sure the one you choose is the one you know is best for them by watching what types of environment they like at home and emulating that in the carrier you pick for them.

Your cat should know that you have their best interests at heart, and they should trust that you know what is best for them while also giving them the safety and security they need. The last thing to look for in a style or design is the one that will make them most comfortable while you travel. The rest is just a matter of buying that type and design they love and testing the waters to see how they truly feel in it.

Overall by following what is discussed here, you cannot make the wrong decision, and your travels will be happy and worry-free!


Do cats prefer hard or soft carriers?

Cats with a calmer disposition may prefer a cloth carrier. On the other hand, cats with anxiety or aggression while traveling usually don’t prefer a hard or soft carrier but would be better off in a hard-sided carrier.

What kind of carrier is best for a cat?

The kind of carrier best for a cat depends on that cat’s personality. Most solid-sided type carriers have high vents that have no give or movement, so if your cat wants to hide, the solid kind of cat carrier is best. Otherwise, most cats love soft-sided carriers the best for their comfort.

What is a cat carrier called?

Cat carriers are also called:
  • Pet Carriers
  • Pet Bags
  • Travel Carriers
  • Cat Travel bags
  • Cat Backpacks
  • Cat Bubble Carriers
  • Cat Crates
  • Cat Cages


Do cats have to be in a carrier in the car?

No, your cat does not have to be in a carrier in the car, provided your cat is properly secured with a harness. In addition, your cat cannot pose a danger or distraction to the car’s driver.