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Best Cat Carriers for 2020

Cats are not like dogs, in the sense that you can clip their lead to their collar and take them wherever they need to be while they wag their tail excitably – including to the vet.

Felines can get nervous going to new places. They may not like harnesses and leads, and you may need maximum security to take your feline Houdini anywhere with you. A carrier could become indispensable, from trips to the vets and cattery to moving home, or simply collecting them after adoption.

Choosing from all of the models out there can be a hard task. It all depends on your cat, your needs and where you’ll be going, which is why we have stepped in to help you decide. These are the Best Cat Carriers for all sizes, needs and breeds of cat.

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    Our Top Picks

    Image Product Details
    Siivton Pet Carrier for Cats
    • Folds out on four sides
    • Mesh windows
    • Lightweight
    Check Price
    Catit Cabrio Carrier
    • Sides fold down
    • Non-slip base
    • Suitable with a seatbelt
    • Dish area included
    Check Price
    MDC Cat Basket Carrier
    • Top opening
    • Secure fastening
    • Easy to keep clean
    Check Price

    Top 10 Best Cat Carriers Reviewed

    1.
    Siivton Pet Carrier for Cats

    There is a multitude of fabric pet carriers out there, so what made this one catch our eye?

    Simply put, it is expandable on all four sides. So not only does your cat have a secure amount of space when being carried if it is folded up, but if you are going on a long car journey, they can have a bit more room in order to stretch out, play or cuddle into a corner. You could also pop their water and food dishes at one end so they have a separate area to eat in.

    Folding it all out also means maximum air circulation, and they can see all around at what is going on if you feel it will help them to travel better, and the space could help with anxiety. Some users have also said that their cat likes to go into it just in the home if they’re feeling a bit nervous or need a nap, but it can be folded down flat if not in use.

    It comes with a fleece pet bed inside, and this is machine washable for a freshen up. There is an attachment inside should you have a harness on your cat for security and want to leave the top open for visibility.

    Features

    • Folds out on four sides
    • Mesh windows
    • Lightweight

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 45.7 x 27.9 x 27.9 cm
    • Maximum Weight: 6kg
    • Material: Cationic Oxford and high density EVA board
    • Colour: Grey/Black

    2.
    Catit Cabrio Carrier

    Top-loading carriers are great if your pet is never ever going to go into the carrier of their own accord, and you need to gently place them inside without tipping the carrier up on its side or risking having your arms scratched.

    This is quite a futuristic-looking carrier, and almost like a little temporary home for your feline. Both sides fold down to create a really open shallow dish-style base, which makes it one of the easiest to work with. Your cat won’t feel like it is being pushed into a confined space, and there won’t be any injuries for either party. It also means you won’t have to lower the top half onto them which could be stressful, like with other plastic carriers.

    The front door is clear so your moggy can see out, and this can also be opened so they can come out of the carrier in their own time. Within this door are two dishes for food and water, and these can be accessed externally without risk of escape. There is a collection gutter around the sides to collect any stray food or water.

    If you are travelling by car, the entire carrier can be attached to a normal seatbelt. The skid-resistant base will help keep your cat from sliding about, and the integrated moulded handle has been designed to reduce the risk of travel sickness and movement. There is also a shoulder strap option.

    Features

    • Sides fold down
    • Non-slip base
    • Suitable with a seatbelt
    • Dish area included

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 51 x 33 x 35cm
    • Maximum Weight: 11.3kg
    • Material: Plastic
    • Colour: Red, Turquoise, Blue

    3.
    MDC Cat Basket Carrier

    Wire carriers can be great if you think your kitty will want to see everything going on around them, and they are often a very secure option as well with rods and eye fasteners rather than zips, clasps and clips.

    The square steel mesh will not wear away, rip or crack over time so it is definitely good if you are after a long term solution. It is 2.5cm gaps, so even if you have a kindle of kittens, none will be able to break free.

    The basket is lightweight overall, so it isn’t going to be a strain to carry. A removable deep plastic tray on the inside gives a secure base, and it is easy enough to jazz this up with blankets, towels and toys as appropriate. This will also contain any spills or accidents, rather than them going over your car or the vet’s floor.

    It is top opening, and really spacious so good for those of a nervous disposition. The plastic and wire is easy to clean, and the moulded carry handle doesn’t feel too harsh on the hands. Overall, it is well-made too, with no sharp edges or corners.

    Features

    • Top opening
    • Secure fastening
    • Easy to keep clean

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 30 x 46 x 30cm
    • Maximum Weight: 10kg
    • Material: Plastic
    • Colour: White

    4.
    PetGear Pet Carrier

    If your cat is prone to accidents before you even put them in the car, then a plastic carrier could be a good option for ease of cleaning.

    The plastic is tough and durable, so if it is scratched or suffers a few bangs in storage, it shouldn’t become unusable. A good amount of ventilation in the sides will help with airflow without leaving your cat too open to the elements, and the front door is wire which helps if they do want to look out.

    There is a strong, secure door locking system which is great if you are concerned about escape attempts. This is a quick release latch too, so they won’t have to spend ages in the carrier on the vet table as you both struggle for access.

    If you would rather lower your cat in gently, the sides can be unclipped and the top half removed fully, which also makes it easier to clean. We will say it can be fiddly to get these back in place though, so maybe isn’t an option for very nervous cats.

    It is available in medium and large so great if your moggy is rather fluffy and on the bigger side. There is also a seat belt feeder at the top for secure car transportation and enough room for some extra bedding.

    Features

    • Secure door lock
    • Top loading option
    • Easy to clean

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: Regular 33 x 30 x 48cm/Large 39 x 35 x 58cm
    • Maximum Weight: 7kg
    • Material: Plastic
    • Colour: Grey/Black

    5.
    Prestige Wicker Igloo Pet Carrier

    Your cat is spoilt. You aren’t ashamed to say it. Not only do they have the best of the best though, but everything is handmade and natural.

    This wicker basket is all of the above. Handcrafted to ensure maximum care and attention, from a brand who specialises in all things wicker. This makes it durable and ensures security and longevity.

    The front door can be completely removed by sliding out the secure central bar, which could make it a fabulous option for a kitten who needs to get acclimatised to the carrier of their own accord, or a nervous cat who would like to use it as a bed.

    Wicker is natural, so great if you’re trying to cut down on the plastic in your home but need something more solid than fabric carriers. The downside of wicker is that it isn’t the easiest to clean however, so not great for a cat which is prone to travel sickness.

    Size-wise, we would say the large is actually just normal, so opt for the extra-large if your cat is on the larger side. It is definitely one for calmer cats, but lovely and attractive if you want to spoil your moggy.

    Features

    • Natural material
    • Secure door lock

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: Large 50 x 40 x 40cm/Extra Large 60 x 40 x 45cm
    • Maximum Weight: 8kg
    • Material: Wicker
    • Colour: Wood

    6.
    KONG 2-In-1 Cat Carrier and Travel Mat

    If you want to buy your younger cat a dedicated, smaller carrier rather than one they will grow into, then KONG could be the one. It is slightly less wide than a lot of others, meaning a bit more of a compact size for their comfort.

    It is well built and waterproof and includes a shoulder strap which should help you keep it as steady as possible when taking it from A to B. There is a removable travel mat inside so they are cushioned and kept warm, and it can be machine washed in case of accidents.

    Loading can be done by the side or the top. It doubles up as a travel mat too, so unzip the side and your kitten has a little play area if you are having to have a break while on the road. Despite being on the more compact size, there is enough room for two or three kittens which is good if you have a mini family off for their first vet visit.

    It can also accommodate weights up to 8kg, so is just as good for smaller adult cats too.

    Features

    • Top or side loading
    • Doubles up as a mat
    • Hand or shoulder carrying
    • Small mesh pads for air

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 50.8 x 22.86 x 33cm
    • Maximum Weight: 8kg
    • Material: Polyester
    • Colour: Grey/Red

    7.
    FEANDREA Lightweight Fabric Pet Carrier

    We have picked this carrier as the best for two cats because of the sheer choice in sizes. Do you have two sleek Sphynx cats, two Ragdolls or two burly Scottish Folds which are mistaken for wild cats when out and about? Maybe you have a litter of kittens ready for their first injections? We don’t know, but there will be a size for you here.

    Not only will your cat(s) have plenty of space, with enough to add furnishings too, but there is plenty of mesh which will allow them to see out and get some much-needed air. One side rolls up, so they can get into it themselves, or the top also opens.

    Pet carriers large enough to fit two animals can be rare, especially if your cats are both very huge, but it can really come in handy if they are inseparable or it makes life easier for you. Measure well, because the largest is actually plenty big enough for a medium-sized dog so won’t be necessary, but could instead be good if you want to give your cat a play area or dedicated sleeping space when indoors.

    Features

    • Choice of size
    • Fleece mat for comfort

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 50 x 35 x 35 cm/60 x 40 x 40 cm/70 x 52 x 52 cm/81 x 58 x 58 cm/102 x 69 x 69 cm
    • Maximum Weight: 7kg
    • Material: Oxford cloth, PVC, Fleece, PP cotton
    • Colour: Beige

    8.
    Sleepypod Air

    Travelling with your cat on an aeroplane is probably only something you’d do once or twice in your cat’s life, but big moves do happen. If you are about to undertake one, then you need to do things properly.

    Airlines can be strict when it comes to sizes, materials and weights, so no ordinary old carrier will do. The bag usually needs to be kept under the seat in front, and secure enough to ensure your animal won’t escape. This Sleepypod is specially designed with flying in mind, perfect for in-cabin travel. Made from luggage grade nylon, the inside is nice and plush for comfort too.

    We love the fact that there is a dedicated large strap section so it can be secured to the handle of your suitcase, freeing up your hands and shoulders for other bags and keeping your cat as steady as possible.

    The exact rules of each airline can vary, so if your flights are already booked then double-check before you buy. This carrier could also be a great option if you are going on a boat or a really long drive and you need something secure in the car.

    It is a bit of an upmarket pick but must be done if you’re sticking to regulations. It weighs over 2kg on its own, so double-check it is okay for your airline depending on how much your cat weighs.

    Features

    • Very sturdy
    • Nice and roomy
    • Easy to carry around
    • Plenty of circulation

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 26.7 x 61 x 26.7 cm
    • Maximum Weight: 7kg
    • Material: Nylon, Polyester
    • Colour: Silver, Red, Orange, Blue

    9.
    Fauna Pet Travel Carrier

    Another carrier which is good for taking on planes. Although on a smaller scale and not quite as strong as the Sleepypod, it could be good for smaller cats or puppies and if your airline regulations allow it.

    There is a pocket on the back which can fit over a suitcase handle, and also pockets on the sides which will allow you to keep any treats, water bottles or leads to hand and all in one place. A clip on the inside will attach to a collar or harness for extra safety.

    Two opening options, top and side, allow your cat to choose the one they like the most. The top carry handle is comfortable and there is also a shoulder strap which is removable but could help if you need your hands free at check-in.

    We would say it is more likely to be best for trains, boats or buses than aeroplanes; ideal if you need something simple, small and easy to manage to get to the vets on the underground or in a taxi.

    Features

    • Side and top load
    • Comfortable handles
    • Pockets for carrying extras
    • Zipper window for comforting

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 50 x 26 x 30 cm
    • Maximum Weight: 6kg
    • Material: Polyester, Mesh, Fleece
    • Colour: Blue, Grey, Pink

    10.
    AmazonBasics Pet Carrier Bag

    Available in either small, medium or large, this is a good option if you need the choice of size and something which is spacious on the inside, too.

    It is soft sided, so comfortable for your cat and also easy to fold away when not in use. The entirety of the build is mesh panelling, great if your animal wants to be able to see out or you are concerned about airflow.

    There is a soft blanket on the inside for a lining, and this can be taken out and washed as and when needed. Two generous length carry handles and a shoulder strap means your choice of carrying is a bit flexible, as well.

    The carrier is on the small side, so measure your cat rather than thinking the large will suit your cat. Also bear in mind that as it is mostly mesh, it may not be good for those who like to be cut off from the world.

    Features

    • Mesh outer
    • Fleece lining
    • Easy large access

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 41.9 x 23.9 x 24.9 cm
    • Maximum Weight: 7.3kg
    • Material: Polyester, Fleece
    • Colour: Black

    Buying Guide

    What To Look For In A Cat Carrier

    There is a huge scope of choice out there for prospective cat carrier buyers, but depending on your lifestyle and your cat, there are a few things you have to look out for.

    Size

    You want something perfect for your cat. Not too small so they don’t have enough room to move and make themselves comfortable, but not too big so they are being thrown around when you’re carrying the box.

    As a general rule, it should be around 1.5x the size of your kitty. Take all measurements, including standing height and full length, then add around 2 inches on. If you want to bulk up the inside with blankets and towels, take these into account too.

    Load Capacity

    Some carriers are limited in terms of the weight they can hold. Not all cats weigh the same even if they are the same size, and if your carrier is slightly flimsy or thin this could be an issue. Durability is a huge factor, and it could be worth spending that bit more to ensure the best quality.

    Weigh your cat, and buy a carrier which can accommodate a few extra pounds. Remember that you may also carry some accessories in the carrier pockets, but also think about how heavy the carrier is on its own as you don’t want to risk struggling to carry it all.

    Storage

    Where will you be keeping the box when not in use? As well as checking for size in terms of internal capacity, think about whether you have the space to comfortably store the carrier. If it is a concern, a foldable fabric option could be good.

    Remember that, unfortunately, you may need to grab the carrier ASAP should you need an emergency trip to the vet. You don’t want to store it in the loft or somewhere out of reach which could delay you or be hard to get to.

    Material

    This brings us on to the materials. As mentioned, fabric options are often easier to store and pack away, but the big downside is that they’re harder to clean compared to plastic. If your cat gets a bit nervous on the way to the vet or doesn’t travel well, this could be a little bit messy and smelly.

    But there is no doubt that you want the journey to be comfortable, so buying a softer crate could mean it is plusher inside. If you do, check for machine washability.

    Ventilation

    All cat crates have some form of ventilation – it would be a bit harsh if not. But some have mesh panels, whereas others have gates for doors or holes. Bear in mind how you feel your cat will react to these forms. A mesh cover could be good if you feel they will get nervous about seeing the outside world, but an open gate or window could help if you feel they could get claustrophobic.

    Accessibility

    A side door, top-loading or something a bit more fun like a tunnel? The way your kitty gets into their carrier could play a massive factor, especially if they are nervous or know that it means they are going to a vet or cattery.

    Also, bear in mind that they may not know what is happening at first. If you think they’ll go in of their own accord with a few treats or a bit of trickery, side or tunnel entrances could be good. But if you have to lift them in, get a top loader – your unscratched arms will thank you for it.

    Your Needs

    You’ll likely put yourself second, but you do need to think about how you want to carry the carrier. Are you going on long journeys or a quick nip into the vet from the car? Do you want a handle or a shoulder strap? Where will you be putting it if you are travelling in the car?

    Security

    Is your cat a ninja? If so, one zip or a simple clip fastening may not be enough to keep them inside. Accidents can also happen, from forgetting to seal it up to materials breaking. Ensure a bit of a double barrier if you feel your kitty could try to escape.

    Also, think about how they will be transported. If in a car, there are belt attachments to keep them secure.

    Other Buyers Ask...

    Does My Cat Need A Cat Carrier?

    You’re going to have trips to the vets and maybe the cattery. There may even be plane travel, public transport or moving home at some point. Carriers are often the safest way to transport any animals, especially if they are in a car or moving about.

    But there are a few alternatives, which could be better for your cat. You will know your cat’s temperament and personality best so can judge this, but always bear in mind that carriers are the most secure if you’re going to be in public.

    What Can I Use Other Than A Carrier?

    There are lead and harness sets out there which could be used if you are only going a short distance, or are confident your cat could travel in the car without being restricted.

    We like the idea of cat carrier backpacks, which are really easy to carry and also keep your feline secure and safe while helping them lookout.

    You can also buy pet strollers, or carriers on wheels, which could help if you want to keep your cat steady and can’t carry them yourself.

    What Else Should I Put In Their Carrier?

    This depends on how far and where you are going, but as a general rule of thumb, this is what else you need to buy.

    • Blankets – Especially if it is a hard case carrier. You want them to be comfortable, and warm in winter too
    • Towels – If your kitty is a bit prone to some nervous wees or travel sickness, this could be a better idea over a blanket as it is easier to wash up
    • Water – Some crates have dedicated bowls on the door latch. This is important on longer journeys as cats don’t naturally have the thirst drive to make them drink unless the water is within easy reach
    • Toys – They may play by themselves, or it could just act as some comfort and normality to them
    • Litter Tray – If you have a large, expandable crate then keep an area for this, especially if is likely they will go
    • Ice Packs – Only applicable on hot days, but place ice under their blankets to help keep them cool. Heated blankets could help in winter
    • Cover – Not for the inside, but the outside. Covering the carrier with a towel, blanket or sheet can help cats who get nervous about going places they’re unsure about