Selecting the right cat carrier, crate, or kennel is essential for your pet’s safety, comfort, and well-being, especially during travel. This article will guide you through the various types of carriers available, the features to consider when making your choice, and some of the top picks for cat carriers and crates. Additionally, we’ll cover airline-approved options for those planning to travel by air with their feline friends, and provide tips on maintaining your cat carrier to ensure its longevity.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the different types of cat carriers—hard-sided, soft-sided, wearable, and cardboard—is crucial for finding the right fit for your pet’s needs.
  • Key features such as size, comfort, ventilation, visibility, durability, and ease of cleaning should be considered when choosing a cat carrier.
  • Some of the top recommended carriers include the Frisco Two Door Top Load, Petmate Soft-Sided Carrier Bag, and the Sherpa Forma Frame Carrier Bag.
  • For air travel, it’s important to select an IATA approved carrier and to be aware of specific airline requirements to ensure a smooth journey for your cat.
  • Regular maintenance and proper storage are important for the longevity of your cat carrier, and knowing when to replace it can ensure your pet’s safety.

Understanding Cat Carrier Types

Understanding Cat Carrier Types

Hard-Sided Carriers

Hard-sided carriers are a classic choice for pet owners due to their durability and protection. These carriers are typically made from sturdy, hard plastic and often feature both top and front access, making it easier to place or remove your cat without causing stress. However, some users have noted that aligning the two halves for locking can be challenging.

  • Made from durable materials
  • Offers top and front access points
  • Easy to assemble with various size and color options

Despite their robust construction, hard-sided carriers may not be suitable for larger pets and can be difficult to lock at times. It’s important to ensure that the carrier you choose is not only secure but also comfortable for your cat, with adequate ventilation and a removable interior cushion for added comfort.

When selecting a hard-sided carrier, consider the ease of cleaning and the quality of materials to ensure a safe and comfortable journey for your pet.

Soft-Sided Carriers

Soft-sided carriers offer a blend of comfort and convenience for both you and your feline friend. They are typically lightweight and may include features like ergonomic handles or shoulder straps, making them easier to carry than their hard-sided counterparts. Many models also boast exterior pockets for treats and supplies, adding to their practicality.

  • Designed to be comfortable for the cat with soft sides and often a removable interior cushion.
  • Good ventilation and airflow through mesh windows are essential for your pet’s well-being.
  • They should be easy to clean, with materials like waterproof fabric and removable fleece mats.

Soft-sided carriers can be particularly useful for car travel, ensuring your cat’s safety and comfort during the journey. While some may be on the pricier side, the benefits they provide can be well worth the investment.

When selecting a soft-sided carrier, consider the ease of loading and unloading your cat. A double-entry design can make this process much smoother, as noted by users who found the soft side carrier easy to use and more comfortable for their pets.

Wearable Carriers

Wearable carriers offer a unique combination of convenience and closeness, allowing pet owners to keep their cats secure while maintaining mobility. These carriers are designed to distribute the weight evenly across your body, making it easier to carry your pet for longer periods without discomfort.

  • Ergonomic features such as padded straps or adjustable harnesses are essential for comfort.
  • Look for carriers with safety tethers to secure your cat, ensuring they can’t escape during transport.
  • Ventilation is crucial; opt for designs with mesh panels that provide ample airflow.

Wearable carriers are ideal for pet owners who prefer to keep their cats close while on the move. They are especially useful for trips where you need your hands free, such as hiking or shopping.

When selecting a wearable carrier, consider the style that best fits your needs—whether it’s a backpack, sling, or purse-style carrier. Each style offers different benefits, and the right choice will depend on your lifestyle and your cat’s temperament.

Cardboard Carriers

Cardboard carriers offer a temporary and cost-effective solution for transporting cats. They are particularly useful for short trips, such as a visit to the vet or moving a cat to a new home. Cardboard carriers are not designed for long-term use, but they can be a convenient option when you need something disposable and lightweight.

Cardboard carriers should be seen as a one-time use option, ideal for situations where a more durable carrier is not available.

While they lack the durability and features of more permanent carriers, they can be surprisingly sturdy for their intended purpose. The Disposable Pet Carrier by Oasis, for example, is made of 200 lbs test white cardboard, ensuring that it can safely carry small pets for short distances.

Here are some considerations when opting for a cardboard carrier:

  • They are not suitable for air travel or long-distance journeys.
  • Cardboard carriers are not weatherproof and can be damaged by moisture.
  • They offer limited visibility and ventilation compared to other types of carriers.
  • It’s important to check the weight limit and size to ensure your cat’s safety and comfort.

Features to Consider When Choosing a Carrier

Features to Consider When Choosing a Carrier

Size and Comfort

When selecting a cat carrier, size and comfort are paramount for the well-being of your pet. A carrier should be spacious enough for your cat to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. However, it should not be so large that your pet feels insecure or is jostled during transport.

  • Ventilation holes are essential for optimal airflow, keeping your pet comfortable.
  • A clip-on bowl and absorbent furry mat can enhance comfort, with the mat preventing sliding and shifting.
  • Carriers come in various sizes, typically ranging from 18" to 39", to accommodate all sizes of cats.

It’s important to choose a carrier that not only fits your cat’s size but also has features that ensure a stress-free journey for your furry friend.

Remember that while a carrier should be a safe haven, it also needs to be practical for the owner. Look for carriers with features like removable pads for easy cleaning, exterior pockets for storage, and shoulder straps for convenient transport.

Ventilation and Visibility

Proper ventilation is crucial for your cat’s comfort and safety, especially during long trips. Carriers with ample mesh windows not only ensure a steady airflow but also allow your pet to have a view, reducing stress. Look for carriers that feature claw-defense mesh, like the YLONG Cat Carrier, which provides both durability and ample ventilation.

Visibility is equally important as it helps your cat to stay calm by being able to see their surroundings. Carriers with multiple openings can offer better visibility, but ensure that the quality of zippers and latches is not compromised for additional features.

When considering a carrier, balance is key. Adequate ventilation and visibility should not sacrifice the carrier’s overall security and sturdiness.

Remember to check the carrier’s components, such as the quality of the plastic and the metal doors. A carrier with poor-quality components may lead to safety issues, like the risk of cracking or accidental openings.

Durability and Material Quality

When selecting a cat carrier, durability is a critical factor to ensure the safety and comfort of your pet during transport. Carriers made from high-quality materials can withstand the rigors of travel and the occasional scratch or bite from your feline friend.

For example, carriers constructed with thick, sturdy plastic are often more durable than those made from thinner materials. The quality of components such as latches and hinges is also important, as these are the parts that often bear the brunt of wear and tear. A carrier with a poor-quality latch may not secure properly, posing a risk to your pet.

It’s essential to balance cost with quality; investing in a more expensive but well-constructed carrier can save you from future replacements and provide peace of mind.

Here’s a quick overview of customer feedback on carrier durability:

  • Positive: Well-made, sturdy, and durable construction.
  • Negative: Issues with alignment, cracking under slight pressure, and insecure latches.

Always consider the experiences of other pet owners and look for patterns in reviews that highlight the longevity and reliability of the carrier you’re interested in.

Ease of Cleaning

When selecting a cat carrier, ease of cleaning is a crucial factor to consider. A carrier that is simple to clean will save you time and ensure a hygienic environment for your pet. Look for carriers with removable liners or pads, as these can be washed separately. Additionally, materials that resist stains and odors are beneficial, especially for long-term use.

  • Removable liners or pads for easy washing
  • Stain and odor-resistant materials
  • Surfaces that can be wiped down quickly

Carriers with smooth interior surfaces without nooks and crannies make the cleaning process more straightforward and prevent the accumulation of dirt and bacteria.

Ease of cleaning not only contributes to the overall maintenance of the carrier but also to the comfort and health of your cat. A well-maintained carrier is more inviting and stress-free for your feline friend, making travel experiences more pleasant for both of you.

Top Picks for Cat Carriers and Crates

Top Picks for Cat Carriers and Crates

Best Overall: Frisco Two Door Top Load

The Frisco Two Door Top Load carrier stands out as the best overall choice for cat owners seeking a balance of convenience and quality. This carrier is designed with both top and front access doors, making it easier to place or remove your cat without stress. Its construction from sturdy hard plastic ensures durability and safety for your pet during transport.

The ease of assembly is a significant advantage, with two halves that lock together seamlessly. The inclusion of wire mesh doors and multiple ventilation holes promotes optimum airflow, which is crucial for your cat’s comfort and well-being.

Here are some key features:

  • Available sizes: 19 inches, 24 inches
  • Material: Hard plastic
  • Top and front doors for easy access
  • Eco-friendly design made from recycled materials

Cleaning this carrier is straightforward, thanks to the hard plastic material that can be wiped down or rinsed out as needed. Its eco-friendly design not only benefits the environment but also provides a non-toxic and safe space for your cat.

Best Value: Petmate Soft-Sided Carrier Bag

When it comes to value, the Petmate Soft-Sided Carrier Bag stands out as an excellent choice for cat owners. This carrier offers a blend of affordability and quality, ensuring that your pet travels in comfort without breaking the bank. The carrier comes in medium and large sizes, catering to different cat breeds and sizes.

The Petmate Soft-Sided Carrier is designed with your cat’s comfort and safety in mind. It features mesh sides for optimal airflow, keeping your feline friend cool and comfortable during travel. The carrier also includes convenient top and front doors for easy access, and you can carry it using either the handle or the shoulder strap, adding to its versatility.

The carrier’s lightweight design and the inclusion of an outside pocket for treats and supplies make it a practical option for both short trips and longer journeys.

Here are some of the key features of the Petmate Soft-Sided Carrier Bag:

  • Mesh material for enhanced ventilation
  • Top and front entry doors for accessibility
  • Handle and shoulder strap for easy transport
  • Available in medium and large sizes

While this carrier is an economical choice, it doesn’t compromise on safety or convenience, making it a top pick for cat owners looking for the best value.

Premium Choice: Sherpa Forma Frame Carrier Bag

The Sherpa Forma Frame Carrier Bag stands out as a premium choice for pet owners who prioritize safety and durability. This soft-sided carrier is reinforced with a sturdy frame, ensuring a blend of comfort and resilience. It’s been crash-tested to 35 pounds, offering peace of mind for car travel with the use of standard car seat tether systems and included seat belt-style straps.

The Sherpa Forma Frame Carrier Bag is not just about safety; it’s also about convenience. With top and front openings, it provides easy access to your pet, and the options for a handle or shoulder strap cater to different carrying preferences.

However, it’s important to note that this carrier is not suitable for larger dogs. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Designed for safe car travel
  • Lightweight yet durable
  • Suitable for airline travel
  • Multiple carrying options

Despite its many pros, the carrier’s limitation for larger dogs is a significant consideration for pet owners with bigger breeds.

Best for Puppies: Jespet Soft-Sided Sport Carrier Bag

Following the Jespet Soft-Sided Sport Carrier Bag, which is best for puppies, it’s important to consider options for those who travel frequently with their pets. Airline-approved carriers are a must for flying with your cat, ensuring that your furry friend can accompany you safely and comfortably.

The Jespet carrier is not only a hit among puppy owners but also cat enthusiasts who appreciate its lightweight design and durability. Its rounded shape, designed to prevent collapsing, and the waterproof feature make it a practical choice for travel. The carrier’s dimensions and materials are as follows:

Available Size Material Features
16 x 11 x 10 inches Polyester Removable pad, exterior pockets

When selecting a carrier for air travel, always verify with the airline for specific requirements to avoid any last-minute inconveniences.

While the Jespet carrier is on the pricier side, its benefits, such as the ease of cleaning and the inclusion of a fleece mat, justify the investment for many pet owners. The carrier’s soft sides and sturdy frame are designed for safe car travel, making it a versatile option for various modes of transportation.

Traveling with Your Cat: Airline-Approved Options

Traveling with Your Cat: Airline-Approved Options

IATA Approved Carriers

When planning to travel by air with your cat, it’s crucial to choose a carrier that adheres to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) guidelines. Most airlines require that a carrier be able to fit under the seat in front of you for in-cabin travel. Both hard and soft-sided carriers are permissible, but size constraints are strict to ensure they fit under a seat.

It’s essential to verify with your airline for specific carrier requirements, as they can vary. For instance, some airlines may necessitate additional features like dual spring locks to prevent accidental opening or tight grid mesh for ventilation and security. Always check the airline’s pet policy well in advance of your trip to avoid any last-minute complications.

Remember, the comfort and safety of your cat are paramount. Selecting an IATA approved carrier that also meets your airline’s specific requirements will help ensure a stress-free journey for both you and your pet.

Airline-Specific Requirements

When preparing to travel with your cat, it’s crucial to understand that each airline has its own specific requirements for pet carriers. Always check the rules and requirements for pets and pet carriers of your specific airline before making a purchase. For instance, carriers intended for in-cabin use must typically fit under the seat in front of you. Here’s a quick checklist to guide you:

  • Confirm the maximum size and weight limits for pet carriers with the airline.
  • Ensure the carrier meets any material specifications, such as being hard or soft-sided.
  • Verify if there are any additional features required, like dual spring locks or tight grid mesh.

Remember, failing to comply with an airline’s specific pet carrier requirements can result in being denied boarding, causing stress for both you and your cat.

For larger cats that cannot be accommodated in-cabin, a hard-sided kennel may be necessary. These must also adhere to airline guidelines and are often required to be IATA compliant for cargo area travel. The carrier should allow your cat ample room to stand and turn around comfortably.

Preparing Your Cat for Air Travel

Preparing your cat for air travel is crucial for a stress-free journey. Ensure your cat is comfortable with the carrier well before the travel date by allowing them to spend time in it at home. This can include feeding them inside the carrier or placing their favorite toys there.

Familiarity with the carrier reduces anxiety and can make the travel experience more pleasant for your feline friend.

Here are some additional tips to prepare your cat for air travel:

  • Acclimate your cat to the carrier as early as possible.
  • Consult with your veterinarian about travel tips and health precautions.
  • Update your cat’s identification tags and microchip information.
  • Pack a travel kit for your cat, including food, water, a leash, and any necessary medications.

Remember, a well-prepared cat is a happy traveler!

Maintaining Your Cat Carrier for Longevity

Maintaining Your Cat Carrier for Longevity

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

To ensure the longevity of your cat carrier, regular cleaning and maintenance are essential. After each use, remove any debris or soiling to prevent odors and stains from setting in. A well-maintained carrier is not only more inviting for your cat but also helps in preventing the spread of germs.

Proper maintenance also includes checking for signs of wear and tear. Inspect the carrier for any cracks, loose threads, or damaged zippers. Addressing these issues promptly can extend the life of the carrier significantly.

Here’s a simple maintenance checklist to follow:

  • Clean the carrier with mild soap and water after each use.
  • Dry the carrier thoroughly before storing.
  • Regularly inspect for damage and repair or replace parts as necessary.
  • Store the carrier in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight.

Storage Tips

Proper storage of your cat carrier is crucial to ensure its longevity and readiness for use. Keep your carrier in a dry, cool place to prevent any damage from moisture or extreme temperatures. If you have a collapsible carrier, make sure it’s fully dry before folding it down to avoid mold and mildew. Here are some additional tips:

  • Avoid placing heavy items on top of soft-sided carriers to maintain their shape.
  • Hang wearable carriers in a closet to prevent creases and to keep them out of reach of curious pets.
  • For hard-sided carriers, consider storing them upside down to prevent dust accumulation inside.

When not in use, it’s best to keep your carrier in a location where it’s easily accessible. This ensures that in case of an emergency, you can quickly locate and use the carrier without any hassle.

Remember, a well-maintained carrier is a safe and comfortable haven for your cat during travel. Regular checks for any signs of wear or damage can help you determine when it’s time to replace your carrier.

When to Replace Your Carrier

Knowing when to replace your cat carrier is crucial for your pet’s safety and comfort. Over time, carriers can suffer from wear and tear that may not be immediately visible. Regularly inspect your carrier for signs of damage such as cracks, loose doors, or worn straps. If any part of the carrier is not functioning as it should, it’s time to consider a replacement.

  • Look for visible damage like cracks or tears
  • Check for loose or malfunctioning parts
  • Assess the overall stability of the carrier

Remember, a compromised carrier can lead to escape or injury, so it’s essential to ensure that all components are secure and in good working order.

Additionally, consider the comfort of your cat. If they seem reluctant to enter the carrier or are visibly uncomfortable during transport, it may be time to find a more suitable option. Comfort is not just about padding; it’s also about space. As cats grow or age, their space requirements may change. Keep an eye on how your cat interacts with their carrier and make adjustments as needed.

To ensure your feline friend’s carrier remains a safe haven for all your travels, regular maintenance is key. At Cats Luv Us Boarding Hotel, we understand the importance of a durable and clean cat carrier. Visit our website for insightful tips on keeping your cat carrier in top condition and discover our range of services designed to pamper your pet. Don’t forget to take advantage of our special offer: claim your first night free with a 3-night stay for new customers!


Choosing the right carrier, crate, or kennel for your pet is a crucial decision that impacts their comfort and safety during travel. Throughout this article, we’ve explored a variety of options, from the Pet Privacy Protection Travel Carriers to the IATA-approved Pet-Express Pet Crate, catering to different sizes and preferences. Whether you prefer a soft-sided carrier for quick trips or a durable kennel for air travel, the key is to consider your pet’s needs and your travel requirements. Remember to check for features like proper ventilation, ease of assembly, and the right size to ensure your furry friend’s well-being. With the insights and recommendations provided, you’re now equipped to make an informed choice that will keep your pet secure and content on every journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of cat carriers are available?

There are several types of cat carriers, including hard-sided carriers, soft-sided carriers, wearable carriers, and cardboard carriers, each offering different features and levels of comfort.

How do I choose the right size carrier for my cat?

The carrier should be large enough for your cat to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. It’s important to measure your cat’s length and height and compare it with the carrier dimensions.

Are there any cat carriers approved for airline travel?

Yes, there are cat carriers that are IATA approved for airline travel. It’s essential to check with your specific airline for their requirements as they can vary.

How often should I clean my cat’s carrier?

Regular cleaning is recommended, especially after each use. A deep clean every few months can help maintain hygiene and comfort for your pet.

What features should I look for in a durable cat carrier?

Look for carriers made with high-quality materials, sturdy construction, and secure latches or zippers. Ventilation and visibility are also important for your cat’s comfort.

When should I replace my cat’s carrier?

Replace your cat’s carrier if it shows signs of wear and tear, such as cracks or broken parts, or if it no longer closes securely. Upgrading is also recommended if your cat has outgrown the carrier.