Best Cat Carrier For Car Travel – Updated Guide

by Jayley

Every time you take your cat outside their safety and comfort should be the primary priority. The use of cat carriers for car travel gives them both safety and comfort, especially for long rides. There are a lot of brands in the market that claim to be the best cat carrier for car travel but only a few can do its job well.

If you and your cat want to have a worthwhile experience that is less stressful for both of you, invest in a cat carrier. Here is a list of the best cat carriers for car travel that will cater to both owner and pet needs. 

Why Get A Cat Carrier?

If you love to take your cat outside in the park or on a long trip, it is good practice to protect them from different factors that may harm them. One of the importance of cat carriers is that it protects your cat from the scorching heat, rain, wind and even from other animals. During a long drive, you would want your cat to be comfortable and have a sense of privacy to rest.

 When your cat is out of its comfort zone, it can be aggressive easily especially when they are not comfortable. Preventing stress and aggressive events is the main use of cat carriers when they are outdoors.

If they are enclosed in a carrier and if it so happens that they are irritated, you can protect yourself from the harm that they can give such as biting and scratching. Cat carriers are not only useful during land or air trip but it can also be utilized when there are natural calamities.

Best Cat Carriers: Quick Summary at Our Top Picks

Best Cat CarrierBrandExpert RatingCheck Price
PPOGOO Pet Travel Carriers Soft
Sided Portable Cat Carrier
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SportPet Designs Foldable
Travel Cat Carrier
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PetLuv Happy Cat
Premium Cat Carrier
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AmazonBasics Soft-Sided
Pet Travel Carrier
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Aivituvin Expandable
Cat Carrier
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Petmate Two Door Top Load
for Cats and Dogs
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Mr. Peanut's Parisian Series
Travel Tote Pet Carrier
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Necoichi Portable
Stress-Free Cat Cage
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Sleepypod atom in-cabin
and carpet carrier
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Pawfect Pets Premium
Pet Travel Carrier
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List Of Top Rated Cat Carriers

1. Sleepypod Atom In-cabin And Carpet Carrier 

This cat carrier for travel ensures that your cat will not only be comfortable but safe during a long ride because of its features. During the manufacturing processes, this carpet carrier undergoes quality assurance tests. This cat carrier works well whether in a car or in a plane. 

Your cat can comfortably stay on this carrier even for hours because of its ventilation features. You will not have a hard time placing your cat in this carrier because of its spacious entrance. The breathable material used in this carrier helps give the cat a secure feeling inside the carrier.

It is made functional and comfortable so you wouldn’t waste paying a little extra money to get it. It has a large compartment for the cat where it can move spaciously. You can take your cat’s essentials with the pockets on the side.

It doesn’t require high maintenance because you can easily clean it through a wet cloth or through machine-washing. This is one of the best cat carriers for car travel because of its helpful features.


  • Overall dimensions of 17″ L × 8.5″ W × 10.5″ H exterior part and 16″ L × 8″ W × 9.5″ H interior part.
  • Durable Ballistic nylon exterior
  • Wind and rain protection features
  • The ripstop mesh that is tear-resistant
  • Washable polyester bedding
  • Expandable ends
  • Equipped with large pockets
  • Maximum weight capacity of 18 pounds
  • Available in different color selection
  • Breathable because of its ventilation features
  • The standard size that fits all airplane cabin
  • Tear-resistant mesh top
  • Made from a washable fabric
  • Approved and preferred by most veterinary
  • Relatively small compared to another carrier

2. AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier

As its name implies, it has a soft-sided fabric because of its mesh fabric. It can be used anywhere, whether for a short trip to the veterinary clinic or long rides. Whatever the height and weight of your cat, they will surely be accommodated through this brand. 

It is ideal for longer trips because your cat can move comfortably and breathe easily inside making it the best cat carrier for car travel. It’s top and front opening makes it easier to place and remove your cat in it.

It wouldn’t be difficult to look after your cat when they are on this carrier because it has mesh materials on the sides.  Not only that your cat will be safe staying on this cat carrier but it will be comfortable to lie on it because of its soft and cozy resting surface.

With its mesh surroundings, you can easily watch your cat inside even if the zip entrance is closed. This is also a versatile carrier because it can be used for your dog, just make sure the size is correct.


  • Maximum weight capacity of 16 pounds
  • Overall dimensions of 16.5” L x 10” W x 10” H inches
  • Four full sides of ventilation
  • Equipt with base insert with a fleece mat inside
  • Adjustable straps for easy carriage
  • The sides are flexible for easy storage
  • Budget-friendly
  • Top and front opening for easy access
  • Spacious and lightweight
  • Three carrier sizes to choose from
  • User-friendly design
  • VIP style carrier
  • All-black design for easy cleaning
  • Washing machine washable
  • Since it is transparent on all sides, your cat may be disturbed easily

3. Petmate Two Door Top Load for Cats and Dogs

This cat carrier is described to be durable, secure, and versatile that is made to last. Aside from your cat, other furry animals and even your cat can also fit in this carrier. Plastic and steel are its usual composition so it’s 100% durable and easy to clean.

Visibility and ventilation are the key features of this carrier perfect for all kinds of travel whether inland or by air. Your pet will be comfortable in this career because they can see what’s happening on the outside while they are safe and sound. The mat inside is removable for easy cleaning and its overall interior can be cleaned by wiping.

Sanitize it anywhere without any hassle so you don’t have to worry about the mess. The doors on both entry points are sturdily built with strong hinges so there is no way for your pet to escape.

Even though it doesn’t have the lightweight feels, this carrier still offers the same comfort as what they can get from a cloth-based carrier. If you are looking for a durable, secure, and versatile carrier, consider in buying this top of the line cat carrier.


  • Top loading door for easy access and removal of pets
  • Ergonomic handle and easy-squeeze door latches
  • Two-door entry
  • Available in two sizes with dimensions: (19.25″ x 12.8″ x 10″) and (16.5″ x 10.5″ x 9″) 
  • Maximum weight capacity of 15 pounds
  • Equipped with security lock features
  • Available in 4 color selection
  • Made from high-quality plastic and steel
  • Meets airline cargo specifications
  • Easy cleaning
  • Sturdy exterior design
  • Heavier compared to other carriers

4. Necoichi Portable Stress-Free Cat Cage Always Ready to go

At first glance, this carrier looks like a miniature tent or a closed hammock. It is a uniquely-made carrier equipped with a mesh window and front panel. This portable cat carrier may be lightweight but it can hold large and heavy cats conveniently. Beautiful, functional and lightweight, this is how you describe this type of carrier.

This carrier is not only used for traveling but it can also be used as a private room for your cat at home. It can be machine washed to make sure that it is always clean and fresh. The fabric used is not only comfortable but it protects your cat from different factors such as the rays of the sun, wind, and rain. It wouldn’t be difficult to look after your cat when they are on this carrier because it has mesh materials on the sides.

You can easily store it in a cabinet if not in use. It may be an affordable carrier but it is one of the most functional among the list of the best cat carriers for car travel. This cat carrier serves as a private place for your cat where it can rest and play. You will not have a hard time placing your cat in this carrier because of its full entrance on top.

You can fold it in flat so it can be taken anywhere. When it is set-up, it has the ability to stand firm through the steel framing that ensures that it is always in shape. This is not only for outdoor adventures but your cat can also use it indoors as their sleeping area.


  • Roll-up opening mesh entrance equipped with a zipper
  • Mesh windows for ventilation
  • Easy to clean fleece mat
  • Maximum weight capacity of 24 pounds
  • Overall dimensions of 15” x 13” x 19” inches
  • Equipped with a sturdy handle for easy transport
  • Steel framing for firm shape
  • Spacious that can fit two cats
  • Fully collapsible for easy storage
  • Carrier doesn’t add up to the overall weight with the cat
  • Can be assembled in seconds
  • Affordable
  • Washing machine washable
  • Only applicable for calm cats because the mesh can be clawed for an escape

5. PetLuv Happy Cat Premium Cat Carrier

This cat carrier makes your pet have a luxurious feeling sitting on warm and soft bedding even for hours. The plush pillow included not only helps them relax but it somehow reduces anxiety. Its features cater specifically to your pet travels to ensure that you won’t be stressed out inside the car.

It has a total of 4 window panels that you can fully zip up so your cat won’t be totally caged inside the carrier. These window panels allow you to place and remove your cat in a convenient manner every time. 

Whatever the weather condition is, your cat will surely be protected and comfortable. This carrier promotes great ventilation functionality because of its tear-resistant mesh windows. Your cat will be able to breathe comfortably even if the flaps are closed.

It is considered as the best cat carrier for car travel because of its features such as durable lock zippers, seat belt loops, and the added seams for superior durability. This carrier has multi-purpose, it can be used for outdoor use when you travel and indoors as a shelter for your cat.


  • Secure locking zippers, extra-large storage pockets, and safety seatbelt loops
  • Fully padded carrying handles and adjustable shoulder straps
  • 4 easy-access window panels for ventilation and privacy features 
  • Double seams on all sides for maximum durability
  • Maximum weight capacity of 50 pounds.
  • Seat belt loops to securely attach carrier on the car seat
  • Equipped with padded easy to carry straps
  • Overall dimensions of 24″ x 16″ x 16″ inches
  • Folds flat for easily for easy storage
  • Maximum ventilation
  • Available in three color selections and two
  • It can sit two small to medium cats or 1 large cat
  • Washable plush polyester pillow
  • Tear-resistant mesh window panels
  • Quite expensive compared to other brands

6. Pawfect Pets Premium Pet Travel Carrier

This cat carrier holds the throne for having the largest size cat carrier that is approved by all airlines making it on the list of the best cat carrier for car travel.  It is thoughtfully designed to be durable, lightweight and functional. Its aesthetic appeal lets you mistakenly perceive it as a human traveling bag. 

For your pet’s comfort and convenience, it is equipped with features such as the extra-large mesh windows for ventilation, detachable and padded handle strap and handgrip, side pockets for extra storage, and soft removable bedding. This cat carrier consists of safety features as well such as the seatbelt straps, reflective strip markings for nighttime visibility and the durable zippers.

You can easily place your cat inside the cat carrier because it has a 3-points easy access entrance. One mesh entrance located on the top and two entry points that also serve as a ventilation mesh on the sides. If you are looking for a top-quality but is still fashionable, this Pawfect cat carrier should be on the list.


  • Removable fleece paddings for easy cleaning
  • Reflective strips for nighttime visibility
  • Overall dimensions of 17.5” x 10” x 11” inches
  • Detachable and padded handle strap 
  • Side pockets for extra storage
  • 3-points easy access entrance
  • Seatbelt straps for added security
  • Durable and lightweight
  • Scratch and tear-resistant mesh windows
  • Made from soft polyester material
  • Great ventilation and visibility
  • Airline approved
  • 4 available colors to choose from
  • Zippers are difficult to open at first.

7. Aivituvin Expandable Cat Carrier

This is described as an average pet carrier suitable for both cats and dogs. It looks unique by its shape and dimensions. Your cat breathes naturally on this carrier and you can be sure that there will be no ventilation issues. It is equipped with mesh interior that is scratch and tear-resistant so there is no way for your cat to escape. 

Just by looking at it, you will have the idea that it is spacious where you can fit two small-sized cats. The carrier maintains its shape by the metal swivel clips that are surrounded on its sides. Its sides expand to give your cat additional space where they can move when they are inside it.

You can ensure a safe and secure stay for your cat because you can easily see them from the outside. This is not only the best cat carrier for car travel but it is also a good shelter indoors.

This cat carrier includes unique inclusions that are not offered by other brands. It has a fleece blanket, a changeable pet mat, and a collapsible travel bowl. It has sides and top opening so it wouldn’t be a hassle placing your cat on it. This cat carrier is suitable for both indoor and outdoor activities.


  • Collapsible food bowl and fleece blanket included
  • Interior leash clip for cat’s secure stay
  • Maximum weight capacity of 11 pounds
  • Overall dimensions of 11” x 11” x 18” inches that expands to 31” x 11” 18” inches
  • Shoulder straps to secure carrier on the car seat
  • Scratch and tear-resistant mesh
  • Top and sides zippered opening
  • Expandable sides for more space
  • Adjustable straps for easy carriage
  • Three color selection
  • Heavy-duty straps and handles
  • Paddings and blanket are washable
  • Fold-flat for easy storage
  • There are only selected airlines that allow its shape and size

8. Mr. Peanut’s Parisian Series Travel Tote Pet Carrier

This cat carrier described as tough yet lightweight is one of the best cat carriers for car travel. This cat carrier is a good investment because of its functionalities and features. A nylon steel frame sturdily supports its edges so it can keep still like a hard plastic crate.

If it is not in use, it can be folded flatly so you can store it easily. The carrier’s surface whether on the sides or on the main bedding is soft and comfortable. Your cat breathes naturally through the mesh windows while giving the cat its private space as well. Observe your cat from the inside even with the zippers closed.

Its durable and strong base has the ability to carry your cat whatever its weight is. This cat carrier is one of the carriers that has a spacious compartment where it can sit at least two cats comfortably. The straps included are long enough so you can carry it conveniently no matter how heavy the weight of your cat is.

If you are looking for a cat carrier that does not require high maintenance and that can be used longer, this brand should be considered. This cat carrier does not require high maintenance and that it can be used for a long time.


  • Overall dimensions of 49.5 x 34.5 x 35cm
  • Pockets for extra storage
  • Made from waterproof nylon
  • Thick and strong base
  • Soft fleece cushion that is reversible
  • Steel frame inserts
  • Breathable mesh fabric
  • Made from durable and lightweight materials
  • Fits in all car seats
  • Foldable frame for easy storage
  • All parts are washable
  • Perfect ventilation properties
  • Suitable for cats and dogs
  • Some may have difficulty in assembling it for first-time use

9. PPOGOO Pet Travel Carriers Soft Sided Portable Cat Carrier

If you love traveling but worries that no one would take good care of your cat, the best remedy to this is to just take them with you. Every time you take your cat out, you would want them to still have their own place away from home. The use of a travel carrier is a handy and useful accessory that will take good care of your cat. 

PPOGOO cat carrier features a safe and comfortable carrier that aims to give your cat a luxurious feel. The carrier’s size is just right to perfectly hold your cat’s body for a snug and fit accommodation. It has 4-sided mesh windows for proper ventilation where your cat can comfortably breathe. This carrier stands firm and has the ability to hold and maintain its shape while it is up. 

It is not only suitable to use during travels but it can also be utilized on other occasions that you can take anywhere because of its cool design. To make sure that your cat is safe and sound during the long trip, it has straps that can be attached to the main car seat and it is also equipped with an interior tether to keep them always in place.


  • Maximum weight capacity of 22 lb
  • Overall dimensions of 20.9″ x 10.2″ x 12.6″ 
  • 4-sided ventilation panel
  • Padded shoulder strap and carry handle
  • Sturdy bottom plate
  • Padded interior sides
  • long straps attached to the car seat
  • Interior tether to keep them in place
  • Spacious pet compartment
  • Water-proof that is easy to clean
  • Can be folded easily
  • Airline approved
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Suitable for small to medium-sized cat only

10. SportPet Designs Foldable Travel Cat Carrier

This basket-like cat carrier works uniquely. Its main feature is its door that can be opened widely and can be closed smoothly. Your cat will not feel any suffocation because of how it was designed. A premium polycarbonate ensures that its latch door is durable to secure the cat inside the carrier efficiently.

This is a veterinarian-approved carrier because your cats are 100% safe and comfortable. You can be sure that your cat will be calm while staying on it because their view from the inside is visible especially when you would open the door. It is just like their ordinary cage at home that is equipped with a handle.

Due to its spacious compartment, one large cat and 2 small to medium-sized cats can fit comfortably on it. It has a durable handle so it can carry about 25 lbs. total weight without any tear. The overall exterior qualities of this carrier are made to last since it is made from polypropylene. If you would check on it, it actually has an ultra-plush at the base made with a poly-fiber and a synthetic fur so you wouldn’t think that it doesn’t have bedding.

These materials provide ultimate comfort than cottony-based bedding. This carrier is versatile because aside from your cat or dog, you can also place your rabbits, turtles, guinea pigs, etc. as long as they can’t escape on the vents. You can easily wipe its interior and exterior parts for easy cleaning.


  • Impact-resistant qualities
  • Overall dimensions of 15. 2” x 18. 5” x 14. 2” inches
  • Maximum weight capacity of 25 pounds
  • Metal hardware handle to keep it in place
  • Multiple vents for ventilation
  • Secured lock system
  • Collapsible for easy storage
  • Easy to clean and sanitize
  • Handy and sturdy built
  • Veterinary approved
  • Airline approved
  • Versatile
  • Great for outdoor activities
  • Available in one size only

Factors To Consider In Buying A Cat Carrier

  • Size and weight

The size of the cat carrier plays an important factor in determining the right one to purchase. Your cat should be able to move freely, sit, stand, and turn around. As a general rule of thumb, the size should be at least 1 ½ times your cat’s size.

It is also not advisable to get an extremely big carrier for them because of the space that it can occupy your car and it is heavier to carry. If the bag is too big, your cat may have a hard time balancing inside. You may need to put some stuffing on the edges of the carrier so your cat won’t slip during the ride.

In a long traveling, it is important that their food and water bowl should fit well into the carrier. Check the suitability of the size and weight of the cat carrier if you would travel via airbus. There are certain airline companies that are strict when it comes to carriers.

  • Styles

The different styles of cat carrier for car travel come in different styles. Before determining the suitable style for your cat, check the features first to know if the carrier is more than its style. Sometimes, the style dictates how well your cat would be able to fit in comfortably inside the carrier aside from its actual size. Be keen on choosing the right carrier because sometimes the prices depend more on the style over the quality of the carrier.

  • Consider the age of the cat

If you would buy a cat carrier for your kitten, you must consider its future size. Cats grow fast, you wouldn’t want to waste your money purchasing into something that your pet can only use in a short span of time. Likewise, if you know that your cat achieved its maximum size and weight, make sure that it is just enough for them to move comfortably. Some cat carriers offer different sizes to cater to different cat sizes whether small, medium or large.

  • Ventilation

The number 1 feature that the best cat carrier for car travel should have is the ventilation. Remember, you would place your cat inside the carrier that is why they should be able to breathe properly. The ventilation windows overcome the cat’s anxiety. Some cats feel uneasy when they are in an enclosed environment. As much as possible, choose for a cat carrier that has ventilations that are scratch proof and durable so that your cat won’t escape.

  • Portability and foldability

When using the cat carrier for travel, make sure that it is lightweight or is equipped with materials that are not too heavy so that you can easily carry it with your cat on it. Most cat carriers now feature collapsible or detachable parts for easy storage when not in use. The design of this cat carrier will help you have a convenient use of it.

  • Budget

The different cat carriers in the market come with different prices. Some brands depend the prices of the cat carrier on what it offers. The different features on the carrier make your cat comfortable that is why when you find one that is affordable, it is surely a good catch. Make your own research and list down the pros and cons of each product and weigh if it is worth the price.

Types of Cat Carriers For Car Travel

1. Hard Plastic Carriers

The cat carriers that are known for their sturdy capabilities are known to be made from hard plastic. Most hard plastic-made carriers allow your cat to move around the carrier without a change in the carrier’s shape. This type of cat carrier is easier to clean and maintain because you can just wipe the mess easily.

When it comes to durability, you can count on this type of cat carrier that can be used to buy your future pets. Invest in this type of cat carrier so you can be sure that it can be passed on for generations. The downsides of using hard plastic-based carriers are that since it is not compressible, it takes so much space in your car.

2. Soft Carriers

The soft materials used for a cat carrier is where your cat finds comfort. The key features of soft carriers are their lightweight feature and comfortability. They are not a bulky type, unlike hard type carriers that is why it is easier to take them in long travel that won’t demand so much space. Its mesh is polyester-made for a firm and flexible usage.

Tips in Getting Your Cat Inside The Carrier

Tip #1: There is a possibility that your cat would freak out if they are inside a closed carrier. Before introducing them to the use of a carrier, it is advisable to let them associate positive thoughts towards it. You can use rewards such as treats to let them feel that the use of carrier connotes positive ones. 

Tip #2: If you are planning to have a long drive together with your cat, it is advisable that before the actual long trip, take them to smaller trips such as going to the veterinarian. With this, you would have a glimpse of how your cat would behave when they are inside the carrier in a moving vehicle. 

Tip #3: Cat suffers from motion sickness accompanied by anxiety so to have a smooth ride, consult your veterinarian about the possible medications. During the trip, make sure that your cat is comfortable. As much as possible, avoid behaviors that may scare them during the trio such as loud music, too much horning, etc. 

Tip #4: Every after use, clean carrier. There are cats wherein they will refuse to stay in it when they see and smell that it is dirty. Create an environment that is comfortable for a long term use. You will carry this carrier with you inside your car, you woudn’t want that your car will smell stinky if you will not clean it before use.

Final Thoughts

If you love traveling with your pet, investing in a cat carrier is the best way for them to have their own place even though they are not at home. There are different guides on how to choose the perfect carrier for your cat. This guide directs you to the best cat carrier for car travel that suits you and your pet.

Our Top Pick

Product Name: PPOGOO Pet Travel Carriers Soft Sided Portable Cat Carrier

Product Description: PPOGOO cat carrier features a safe and comfortable carrier that aims to give your cat a luxurious feel. The carrier’s size is just right to perfectly hold your cat’s body for a snug and fit accommodation. It has 4-sided mesh windows for proper ventilation where your cat can comfortably breathe.

Currency: USD

Availability: InStock

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