Whether you’re driving your cat to the vet for her annual check-up or hopping on a plane to move across the country, you need a carrier you can trust. Cat carriers come in a wide variety, which can be overwhelming. We recommend starting by identifying two things: travel type and personality. Planes have strict specifications when it comes to pet carrier size and material. Cats who hate confined spaces (or owners who need a hands-free option) will require a certain carrier style. Whatever your particular needs, we’ve found the best cat carriers that cover any need you may need.
1. Best for Durability: Wild One’s Commuter Carrier
This all-weather carrier was made with rain, wind and snow in mind. The shoulder straps have a non-slip design, too. The only issue could be the cut-out. Intended for dogs who like to poke their heads out en route to their destination, this could lead to a sneaky feline escape. One option is to tack on the company’s matching harness and leash kit to secure your kitty safely to its carrier.
2. Best for Jetsetters: Wild One’s Air Travel Carrier
Wild One also makes a stylish airline compliant carrier with several multi-purpose features that frequent travelers will appreciate. It comes with built in slots for suitcase handles, so you can plop it on top of your rolling bag without worrying your cat will slide off. The shoulder strap also doubles as a leash and the carrier folds out into a small bed.
3. Best Space Saver: Necoichi’s Ultra-Light Collapsible Cat Carrier
Is your studio apartment already feeling a bit cramped? This carrier, made with strong, breathable fabric and lined with sturdy wire, folds up into a small disc you could probably fit in your sock drawer.
4. Best for Cuddling and Comfort: E-Z-Zip Cat Carrier by Cat-in-the-Bag
The name might give it away, but this is literally a bag your cat wears. It’s a cat…in a bag. Now, this Snuggie-esque option is ideal for kitties who are terrified of being enclosed in a carrier or who like to be cuddled during their journey. Cats who tend to wriggle out of getting their nails clipped or taking their medicine may also benefit from one of these bags.
5. Best for Shy Cats: Mod Capsule Carrier by K&H Pet Products
Anyone with a cat who practically lives under the bed (or inside the closet or wherever is darkest and quietest) should try out this carrier. It’s like a tiny sensory deprivation chamber, complete with a mesh opening for plenty of air.
6. Best for Cats Who Hate Carriers: Base Camp Combo Carrier Bag & Mesh Cat Crawl by Jackson Galaxy
And if your cat really hates carriers and refuses to be in the same room as one, you’ve definitely got to invest in this ingenious combination from Jackson Galaxy. It’s a playground and carrier in one. Basically, your cat gets used to playing in the tunnels without even realizing she’s getting acclimated to a carrier!
7. Best for Multi-Tasking: K9 Dog and Cat Carrier Backpack by Kurgo
Bringing your cat along to run errands? Stopping at the pharmacy on your way home from the vet’s office? Just want a backpack that is both cat carrier and laptop home? This backpack is for you. There’s a waterproof bottom, removable (and washable) cushion and plenty of room.
8. Best Backpack Carrier: IGO2 Escort Carrier Backpack by Pet Gear
For a more straightforward backpack option, this carrier gives your cat a larger mesh opening for better views. It also turns into a rolling carrier or hand-held carrier, depending on what you need.
9. Best for Accessorizing: Cat Carrier Purse by Pet Gear
Is that a purse? No, it’s my cat carrier. Where are your wallet and keys? Oh, right here in this little pocket. What’s it like being so put together? It’s really nice.
10. Best for Hands-Free Movement: Dog & Cat Carrier Sling by TOMPKAS
This single-strap sling is a great carrier for folks who need to be hands-free. Super soft padding reduces strain on your shoulder. Going about your business, errands or travels with your kitty will be a breeze!
11. Best for Outdoor Excursions: Expandable Soft Carrier by Petsfit
Designed for small pets to stretch out during airline flights, this carrier expands into a tiny living room for your cat. So, for anyone whose cat enjoys stretching out or joining you on a picnic, this is the carrier for you.
12. Best for Road Trips: Collapsible Portable Cat Condo by Pet Fit Life
Take it from someone who owns this and has used it on several road trips with cats: This thing rocks. It’s large enough for two cats to chill out in and small enough to fit in the back seat of a sedan. The structure, its litter box, and the travel water bowl all fold up to save space. You can also buckle it in so it doesn’t move around!
13. Best Hard-Sided Carrier: Two Door Top Load Plastic Carrier by Frisco
Those in the market for a hard-sided, more durable kennel carrier will love this one by Frisco. A top door and a side door give you options (some cats just have to be picked up and plopped in). Even better, the material is an eco-friendly 95 percent pre-consumer recycled plastic.
14. Best Value: Basic Dog and Cat Carrier by Frisco
Frisco also makes a soft carrier that will get the job done for just $20. The interior soft, sherpa cushion is machine washable. The zippers are auto-locking so there’s no fear of escape.
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