Best Cat Carriers for Car Travel

Best Cat Carriers for Car Travel 2017 : Terrific Quality

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f you have a pet cat, you are pretty much familiar with the frustration of traveling with a feline. Whether you are on a quick trip to and from the vet or an extended vacation, leaving your cat is always a good option. But if bringing your cat is a must, you need to secure it in a carrier.

Getting one of the best cat carriers for car travel is a necessary investment especially if you love having your cat around. Cats are prone to acting up when under stress so, it’s never a good idea to bring your cat unsecured.

No matter how lovable your cat is, a loose cat in your car always means chaos. The only way to ensure safe journey when bringing your pet is to secure it in a carrier.

**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the buttons above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.


Do I Need a Cat Carrier ?

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Some people would argue that if you are just making annual visits to the vet, borrowing a carrier is acceptable. I don’t agree with this.

Every responsible cat owner needs at least one carrier for each pet. This comes in handy during emergencies and for those annual visits to the vet. If you ever need to do a bit of traveling, you can also use a carrier.

Cats are also prone to stress especially when they are not in the comfort of their home. When in a vehicle, cats should always be secured in a carrier. These cuddly creatures act like little demons when loose in a car and they could distract the driver.

Aside from being a driving hazard, felines could jump out of the car when your door or window is open. When you are traveling, the last thing you want after driving is to chase after a wayward cat.

What Should I Consider When Buying a Cat Carrier ?

The most important factors to consider in a cat carrier are as follows.

Material


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There are three types of cat carriers: cardboard, soft and hard. Of these three, you should try to steer clear from cardboard cat carriers although you can make do with them.

Most cats can chew their way out of a cardboard carrier. Aside from that, this cat carrier is so flimsy that the box could cave in and drop the animal. Although some kittens are shipped in cardboard carriers, try to stay away from these as your main cat carrier.


Size


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The cat carrier that you plan to use to secure your cat in the car should not be too big or too small. If the space is too big, your cat may feel insecure in such a large place. Meanwhile, if it is too small, your cat may feel cramped and uncomfortable.

Look for a carrier with enough size to allow your cat to stand comfortably. This size is just right and your cat can rest easily.

It would be a bonus if your carrier has a size which is compatible to airline specified carrier requirements. This allows you to use the carrier not just for road trips but also for flying to another destination.


Portability and Security


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Carriers are designed to keep your cat secured while you are on a trip. When shopping for a carrier, look for one that would be easy to carry. Also, look for one that your cat can’t claw its way out.

Another basic thing to look for is seatbelt compatibility. There are carriers that can be attached to the seatbelt while others can be secured with a belt. These features are essential to ensure that your pet won’t tumble out on the car seat while you are behind the wheel.


Price


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While all the other aforementioned factors are important, it’s undeniable that price is also a basic consideration. A cat carrier costs around $20 to $40.

Of course, the price would be higher or lower depending on its manufacturer and quality but you can get a decent carrier in that price range.

Recommended Cat Carriers for Road Trips

1. Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carriers

Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carriers

Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carriers (Via: Amazon.com)

If you value portability over any other, your best choice for a pet carrier is a soft carrier. A good choice when that’s what you have in mind is the Sherpa Deluxe pet carrier. With its durable vinyl and leather trim and its neat black color, carrying it is easier on your shoulders.

Aside from that, this is an Airline approved carrier which means that you can bring it on board. Your pet will be secured inside with zippers and all three sides of the carrier are ventilated. Your cat also sees what’s happening around to decrease discomfort during travel.

Since this carrier is approved by veterinarians, ASPCA and the Humane Society, it comes highly recommended to pet owners.

This carrier comes in three sizes: Small, Medium and Large. The small carrier can accommodate cats that weigh up to 8 pounds, the medium up to 16 pounds and the large carrier up to 22 pounds.

Pros

  • Highly recommended by pet associations and vets for its functionality and safety
  • Can be secured with a seat belt
  • Provides sufficient ventilation
  • Liners are washable and the fabric can be cleaned easily
  • Guaranteed onboard approval for major airlines
  • Leak proofing features
  • Comes with locking zippers for pet security

Cons

  • Some zippers were stuck
  • Cats, especially lively ones, could scratch the mesh
  • Carrier sizes are too small for some pets

2. Petmate Two Door Top Load Pet Kennel

Petmate Two Door Top Load Pet Kennel

Petmate Two Door Top Load Pet Kennel (Via: Amazon.com)

Cats are tricky creatures and they abhor being trapped. Just like anyone who owns a cat, I know the struggles of keeping a feline inside a carrier when you are planning a trip.

One of the best solutions for cats that bolt out when you trick them to enter a carrier is to choose one with a top door. If you have the same idea on how to deal with your cat’s claustrophobia, the carrier from Petmate is a good choice. This comes with two entries: the top panel and the front door.

This kennel comes with good ventilation and allows your cat to see what is going on so it doesn’t get too stressed about being caged. The locks on the door are also highly secured to ensure that your cat will stay in the kennel until you let it out.

The inner dimension of this carrier is 21 x 14.75 x 13.25 inches and it is ideal for pets with a maximum weight of 15 pounds.

Pros

  • Has an ergonomic handle
  • Made from extremely durable materials
  • Assembly is very easy
  • Secured top and front doors
  • ​Good ventilation
  • Meets most airline requirements for pet carriers

Cons

  • Does not include water and food bowls
  • Heavier compared to other pet carriers
  • You need to support the top door to stay open

3. Suncast 23 Inch Round Pet Carrier

Suncast 23 in. Deluxe Pet Carrier

Suncast 23 in. Deluxe Pet Carrier (Via: Amazon.com)

If you know that your feline is always up to something mischievous, you want to keep tabs on him or her once in a while. If that’s the case, this cat carrier from Suncast would be an ideal choice.

Although this is a hard carrier, you can see what your feline is doing since there are metal bars on the carrier’s three sides and there are also slots on the door. Since your cat can see the surroundings, it won’t feel too agitated.

The carrier can hold a pet with a maximum weight of 30 pounds and the dimensions are 15 x 23 x12 ½ inches. It can hold a pet as tall as 11 ½ inches.

Pros

  • Can be secured easily with a seatbelt
  • Carrier is made of strong wires on the side and durable resin
  • S​tylish design and comfortable hands
  • ​Lightweight
  • Can be taken apart for easy storage

Cons

  • Does not come with a mat
  • Taking the carrier apart for storage can be challenging
  • ​The carrier’s color is more baby blue than green
  • Although the latch works, it is a bit flimsy

4. Soft-Sided Carrier

Soft-Sided Carrier

Soft-Sided Carrier (Via Amazon.com)

Flying with pets doesn’t need to be much of a hassle. There are some things you can do to make the experience less stressful. Choosing a carrier that provides enough ventilation and comfort is a must and a soft-sided carrier is a good choice.

This airline-approved carrier is quite handy whether you are carrying a cat or a dog. There’s a padding inside which keeps your pet cozy.

Since the material is waterproof, you have fewer things to worry about. You can zip this carrier up and fold it when you don’t have to use it anymore.

Pros

  • Has a lot of room
  • Lightweight
  • Convenient to use

Cons

  • Cats can cut up holes in this carrier
  • Velcro can be stuck on the carpet in the plane
  • Not totally waterproof

Related: Best Cat Houses


5. U-pet Innovative Patent Bubble Pet Carriers

U-pet Innovative Patent Bubble Pet Carriers

U-pet Innovative Patent Bubble Pet Carriers (Via Amazon.com)

This cat carries looks different from other products in the market due to its share. Just like the name implies, this looks a lot like a bubble with your pet inside.

This is an airline-approved carrier although you should inquire first to be sure. This is not just great for flying on a plane but also for your car seat. Cats will have sufficient ventilation and since they have a window, they won’t die of curiosity as to what is going on around them.

This cat carrier is made from polyester and it is 79 inches. This material only weighs about six pounds, so it is lightweight too.

Pros

  • Comfortable to wear
  • Affordable price
  • Cats find it cozy

Cons

  • Not for large cars
  • Colors may differ in actual product
  • Some products had dents when they arrived

Final Verdict

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While all of the carriers we examined here have redeeming qualities that make them ideal for transporting a cat, there’s one clear winner - Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carriers (on Amazon.com).

It may not be the cheapest among the three cat carriers were reviewed but it has great features that make it worth investing in. The carrier is well made and the materials are sturdy enough for transporting pets by car.

The seatbelt can also be attached conveniently to ensure that your pet is secured in the backseat. The size is good for most cats. Unless you own an exceptionally big feline, you won’t have problems choosing the appropriate carrier for him or her.

Aside from that, this is a lightweight carrier since it is made from leather and vinyl. Although it doesn’t have wheels, you can carry it around without too much strain on your shoulders. The recommendation by ASPCA, veterinarians and the Humane Society also says so much about this cat carrier.

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Considering all of these things, this pet carrier from Sherpa is a good choice for any cat owner. With the combined functionality, security, safety and convenience of using this cat carrier, it is a keeper.

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