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If you’re going on a trip with a pet, there are important things you should “check” before you book. One of them is finding a good airline-approved cat carrier. This is not only necessary for your cat’s safety and airlines’ security measures; It can determine in no small way how well your trip goes.
Other things you may need to take into consideration or bring along on your trip include proofs of vaccinations, toys, and treats. In this article, we’ll focus on the cat carriers. We’ll review the best cat carriers suitable for all kinds of travel. We base our reviews on factors such as size, durability, safety, comfort, and ventilation.
The Best Cat Carriers for Every Situation
- Perfect for travelling in style.
- Mesh windows for ventilation.
- Approved for use on most airlines.
- Roomy interior.
- Auto-locking zippers.
- Designed for everyday use.
- Padded & detachable carrier straps.
- Mesh allows ample ventilation.
- Fits under most airlines seats.
- Approved for air travel.
- For cats and dogs.
- Offers stress-free travel.
- Lots of space.
- Comfortable & cosy
- Hard base & protection.
- Extra safe.
Please continue reading for more in-depth reviews
1. Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier
In our opinion, one of the best cat carriers on the market today is the Sherpa Original Deluxe. It is comfortable, durable, and beautifully designed. The carrier is recommended not just by us but by many societies and vets for its quality.
It is designed with both a top and front entrance to allow you to choose which you find most convenient. The mesh walls on the three sides enable your pet to see the environment around him. The interior is soft, and the carrier is leakproof for when your cat gets nervous during travel.
For extra durability and security, the handles and bottom of this carrier are reinforced.
Like most pet owners who bought this carrier, one of the things we liked about this carrier is the security it provides. If your cat likes to escape, the Sherpa Deluxe carrier gets in the way of that. How? The zips lock together and cannot be undone unless by you outside. The extremely durable mesh cannot be clawed out or chewed away. And the reinforced bottom means your cat cannot find a way out through it also.
You can use this airline-approved pet carrier in the cabin of most major airlines.
Sherpa Original Deluxe is perfect for small pets like your cat. Pets larger than 22 pounds will be too heavy to carry safely in it.
Very few pet carriers boast both style and efficiency, two things you’ll get from the Frisco Everyday Pet Carrier. Designed with your style and your pet’s comfort in mind, the carrier’s roomy interior and floor made with soft washable Sherpa is perfect for use on both long and short trips.
The Frisco Everyday Pet Carrier is excellent for air travel as it fully complies with the under-seat compartment requirements of airlines. The slightly collapsible sides and mesh panels that allow for adequate airflow make it even more so.
The mesh is also perfect for sightseeing, and the zippers controlled only from the outside help keep your pet secured inside, even when placed in the travel compartment or on your car’s back seat.
The side entry is convenient for easy access and exit, and the shoulder strap makes mobility even more straightforward. The carrier is also designed with a back pocket that is large enough to house the essentials. That’s not all; the neatly designed petting window allows for easy access to your pup without needing to open it fully. Finally, the bag folds flat for quick and neat storage when not in use.
- Stylish and designed with your pet’s utmost comfort and safety in mind
- Available to in different size options for pets of different sizes
- Soft collapsible sides that comply with airline requirements
- Mesh areas for adequate airflow and sightseeing
- A handy window for petting and easy accessibility purposes
- Comfortable extendable shoulder strap for mobility
- Machine washable super-comfy removable Sherpa lining for added comfort
- A lost and found tag
Stylish and efficient, the Sherpa Ultimate On Wheels Pet Carrier comes with four swivel wheels, a detachable pull strap, padded handles for easy use. Designed in line with most airline travel requirements, it is both comfortable and convenient during trips.
The roll-down flaps provide your pet with some level of privacy and comfort when he needs to relax. The mesh allows for easy breathing and sightseeing, while the rear storage pocket makes excellent storage for pet treats and other essentials.
The zipper provides security, and there are also top and side entry points for easy entry and exit. The carrier faux lambskin liner is comfortable, of top quality, and machine-washable.
- Long-lasting mesh panels designed to allow adequate ventilation with flaps for privacy when needed
- Padded and detachable shoulder and pull strap for comfort during use
- Comfortable and stylish machine-washable liner
- Compliant and approved for use on most major airlines
This durable two-door carrier is both safe and comfortable. This carrier's front and side doors are made of steel, so if you have a cat that likes to scratch, he won't be able to damage it. Plus, he'll be secured inside.
The remaining parts of this carrier are made of strong and durable plastic; an excellent choice for a trip to the vet or a trip across the country.
It provides plenty of ventilation for your cat and on a long trip; the ample ventilation allowed is one feature you'll truly appreciate. For one, if your cat gets enough air, he will be less likely to give you any trouble during the journey.
The ventilation area also provides him an open through which he can see his surroundings, thus easing his nerves and, by extension, less hassle on the trip for you.
The carrier comes in two sizes. The small measures (19.25″ x 12.8″ x 10″) on the outside and (16.5″ x 10.5″ x 9″) on the inside while the large carrier measures (24.1″ x 16.7″ x 14.5″) outside, and (21″ x 14.75″ x 13.25″) on the inside.
It also comes with a water dish, and this will is required if you intend using it more as a kennel than as a carrier. If your cat will stay in it for a long time, the small water dish can help him stay hydrated. While this water dish isn't included in the larger version, it is big enough to contain a regular water bowl.
We also loved that the ergonomic handle is durable, providing you with a strong grip that will not tire your hands easily.
Like the others on our list, this cat sitter meets airline approval standards, so you can take your feline in it wherever you're going. With the PetMate Two Door Carrier, you'll have no worries about the carrier getting damaged or punctured long before it should, unlike some soft-sided carriers.
Excellent for air and road travel, the Petsfit Double Sided Expandable Dog And Cat Carrier is designed with convenience and comfort in mind for the pet and pet owner. The carrier features a comfortable shoulder strap and side strap, making it super suitable for attaching on the hand of a rolling suitcase or to make carrying easy.
It is spacious, and both of its expandable compartment is designed to give your fur baby enough room to stretch and even play during lengthy plane or car rides. The carrier is also fitted with a comfortable machine-washable fleece pad that your fur baby can relax in as he watches the world from outside the mesh windows.
The stylish but sturdy carrier is also designed with side pockets for storing your pet’s essentials like treats and toys. Lastly, it folds quickly and neatly for storage when not in use.
- Spacious compartments that are both expandable for comfy for your cat
- Suitable for airline and road use thanks to its travel-friendly design
- Comfortable and machine-washable fleece mat
- Self-locking zippers and inner leash for extra security and the side pocket for pet’s small travel essentials
- Comfortable padded shoulder and side straps for use any way you want
One of the things we love about the design of the Pet Magasin carrier is its interesting design. The waterproof and easy-to-clean top, for example, is made with a hard shell. This area is covered with a fabric that is attached to the middle with zipper locks. The middle itself is designed with a soft, foldable material.
Weighing only 2.2 pounds, the Pet Magasin Collapsible Carrier is perfectly suited for your kitten. It even comes with a soft fleece-covered bed to keep your furry friend super-comfortable on trips.
While we love most of the features of this carrier, it is only available in this size and so just fine for kittens and very small cat breeds. If you own a large cat breed, you can make your pick from the other options on our list.
The featured lock keeps your carrier kitten from pawing at the door or accidentally sliding the zippers open from the inside of the carrier. However, if your feline chews, scratches, or bites aggressively or is always trying to escape, this carrier may not be a good choice for him. This is simply because, although the zip lock can protect him from pawing his way out, he could still bite or scratch the soft middle section.
Other than the last two reasons, the Pet Magasin Hard Cover Pet carrier is one carrier we love for its unique design and features. And if you own a kitten or a small-sized cat, it serves the purpose perfectly.
Important information to consider before you travel with your pet in a carrier
- Your carrier is expected to be in good condition without cracks or tears.
- The carrier should be roomy enough for your cat to stand or lie during your trip.
- Most airlines limit the number of pets allowed to one or two for business and first-class sitting.
- Your cat is expected to be inside the carrier throughout the trip.
- Onboard, adult supervision is required. Minors are not allowed to fly alone with a pet.
- You cannot fly a pet in the cabin if it’s not up to eight weeks.
- You are expected to vaccinate your pet against rabies before it is allowed into most countries.
- You are not allowed to sit in any row where the under-seat area is not reserved for you.
The above are some factors you should take into consideration before your trip if you’re traveling on a plane. If you have weak shoulders or back pain, you should avoid carriers designed like backpacks.
Also, pets can easily overheat, and your cat is no exception. So, ensure that any carrier you pick is well ventilated. One of the qualities all airline-approved cat sitters share is the ample ventilation they provide and this, we put into consideration in our review of the best cat carriers.
We also understand that cost can get in the way of purchasing a good carrier with all required qualities such as durability, ventilation, and comfort. Our review features some of the most affordable carriers, so there are really no tradeoffs; you get almost every feature you need in each of the best cat carriers on our list.
Had any experience with any of the carriers on our list? How did you like it? Planning to go on your next trip with your feline? You should! Why leave your furry friend home when you can buy a superb carrier and enjoy your journey together?
About the Author
Kirsten created The Pet Handbook with the aim of sharing her knowledge about pets, pet food, healthy habits, and more. All of her advice is based on years of her own experience with her pets, and feedback that she has received from grateful readers about her tips. If you want to know more please read the About Me page.