It’s quite unfathomable to bring your cat in the car without first placing them in a proper, sturdy cat carrier. Keeping your cat safe and secure in a cozy container works to calm them down during the drive, as well as ensuring you—the driver—don’t become distracted by your cat’s movements. In short, it’s downright unsafe to travel with a cat roaming freely in your vehicle—no matter what those Instagram reels suggest. And of course, the right cat car carrier for you depends on the size of your pet, the distance of travel, and your budget.
Moving house and taking a trip to the vet are just two of the reasons you may need a cat car carrier. Or, perhaps you’re taking your feline to a friend’s to be cared for while you’re on vacation. Either way, make sure your cat’s journey is safe, comfortable, and stress-free with the help of the best cat car carrier. We’ve handpicked our favorites here in our guide.
Top Pick Jespet Car Cat Carrier
Jespet Soft-Sided Airline-Approved Travel Dog & Cat Carrier Bag
Best Cat Car Carriers: What to Consider
Soft or Hard
There are 2 primary types of cat carriers on the market: soft-sided and hard-shell. Soft-sided pet carriers are generally more comfortable, lighter to carry, and easier to store, while a hard-shell carrier offers more protection and shock absorption.
Your chosen cat carrier should be roughly 1.5 times the size of your cat. You don’t want them to feel cooped up, but neither should the backpack cat carrier be so large that your cat is sliding around everywhere when in transit. They should be able to sit, stand, and turn around inside.
Ensure your cat carrier has mesh windows to ensure ventilation is adequate. We hope it goes without saying, your kitty needs to be able to breathe normally inside their carrier.
If you’re going on a very long drive, consider picking up a litter tray and perhaps some food bowls that are suitable for cat car carriers. We also advise seeking options with shock-absorption qualities to minimize stress in the car.
Jespet Car Cat Carrier
Traveling with your furry friend just got easier with the Jespet Cat Car Carrier. This soft-sided carrier is designed to provide maximum comfort and safety for cats of all sizes, so you can take your pet on the go without any worries.
The large mesh windows provide excellent ventilation, and the seatbelt strap keeps it secure in the car Plus, it fits the under-seat dimensions of most airlines, so you can take your cat on the plane, too. We love the budget-friendly price tag, proving that comfort and quality needn’t cost the world.
- Extra-large windows for good ventilation
- Seatbelt strap
- Fits most airline’s under-seat dimensions
- Great value
- Not the most stylish
Cat Car Carrier with Straps
Travel in style and safety with Tucker Murphy Cat Car Carrier. This airline-approved pet carrier is designed to make traveling with your furry friend less of a headache and actually enjoyable. Crafted with durable and lightweight polyester fabric, it features shoulder straps for hands-free portability, as well as mesh on three sides for proper airflow and good visibility.
We like that it also includes two connecting loop handles for balanced carrying; after all, you don’t want them sliding about all over the place. Pick it up in two cool colors to suit your wanderlust style.
- Shoulder straps for hands-free carrying
- Mesh sides for ventilation
- Cool colors available
- No cons here
Double Compartment Cat Car Carrier
If keeping your beloved kitties safe and secure without compromising comfort sounds good, check out this 2-in-1 cat car carrier, designed for a duo of darling cats. The Double Cat Car Carrier’s dual-compartment design offers the perfect solution if you need to hit the road with your cats in tow. The breathable mesh windows and ventilation holes ensure plenty of air and visibility, while zippers on the front allow for easy access.
It’s definitely geared more towards two smaller cats, but the removable divider allows you to transport a single medium-sized cat if necessary, giving that lone kitty lots of space to stretch out. We rate the roll-down window covers and handbag-style carrying option, so you can tote your cats around wherever you go.
- Great for 2 cats
- Possible to remove divider to make larger carrier
- Packs down into a handbag style
- Breathable mesh windows
- Best for 2 smaller cats or kittens
CHEERING PET Large Cat Car Carrier
Treat your furry friend to the ultimate traveling experience with the Tucker Murphy Klemm Cat Car Carrier—and forget worrying about their bathroom needs along the way. Yep, this extra-large cat travel carrier condo cage is designed to provide maximum comfort and space for litter boxes and cat bowls when you’re on the road with your feline.
Take your kitty companion with you wherever you go with this portable carrier, complete with everything they’ll need for a pleasant voyage. We particularly like the handle and wheels, meaning you can pull your feline along the ground if you prefer to tote them that way.
- Large and spacious
- Sturdy feel
- Lots of ventilation
- Ideal for larger pets
- Some cats may prefer a cozier space
Cat Carrier for Car
Keep your pet safe and sound during a long, arduous journey with this Tucker Murphy Cat Car Carrier. This cat car carrier is designed to provide the perfect level of safety and convenience while you travel. And, as far as comfort goes, this one takes the top trumps.
Designed with car and airplane travel in mind, this carrier will stay firmly in place with the help of a seatbelt. Plus, with the large mesh windows and a cozy fleece pad, your pet will be safe and snug during the journey. We also like the rear pouches, giving you space to stash treats and toys for the voyage.
- High-quality feel
- Seatbelt loops built-on
- Large windows
- Cozy fleece pad
- Not the largest option; best for smaller kitties
For all cat owners, taking your curious cat on the go is an exciting time, when you have the right tools, of course. Having the perfect cat carrier makes long car trips a breeze for both you and your pet. Most carriers are designed to keep your pet safe and comfortable on the go, so to ensure a lovely trip, consider these tips.
You want to make sure you select a sturdy carrier that your feline friend can’t knock over and that won’t collapse on your pet mid trip. It should also be compatible with your seat belt straps to further enhance security. If you can find one that has been crash tested, that would be a bonus, but with limited testing it’s not always possible.
Also, make sure the carrier offers your fur baby enough room to fully relax. They should be able to lay down comfortably and adjust themselves easily throughout the trip. The carrier should also feature mesh components to allow them plenty of fresh air for the ride.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long can you keep a cat in a cat carrier?
You should only keep your cat inside their cat carrier for the length of time necessary for your journey. Cats don’t take kindly to being cooped up, especially feisty cats, so letting them roam freely again as soon as possible is the best option.
What should I look for in a cat carrier?
Look for proper ventilation (usually coming in the form of mesh windows), secure straps for your car seat, a comfortable floor, and a generous size. It’s best to snap up a cat car carrier that’s roughly 1.5 times the size of your feline.
Should cats stay in the carrier in the car?
Do not allow your cat to roam freely around the car when you’re driving. If it’s necessary to bring them on a journey, always safely transport them in a cat carrier for the duration.
What type of pet carrier is best for cats?
We generally recommend hard-sided carriers when it comes to cats. This is because they’re far less likely to become damaged by claws than their soft-sided counterparts. They also provide as much protection as possible, and are easy to transport. Soft carriers are good, and typically more comfortable, but they can bow in the middle when being carried. They’re also susceptible to scratches and snags since they’re mostly made from fabric.
What’s the safest way to transport a cat in a car?
Never leave your cat roaming freely around your vehicle during long distance car travel; make sure you’ve got a suitable cat carrier that can be secured to the car seat belts, and offers plenty of space for your cat so they can remain calm and comfortable throughout their journey. After all, driving with a nervous animal can make your car rides less than safe. While most cats like to be near their owners, it is safest to keep your pet carrier in the back seat. Make sure they’ve had a good meal of healthy cat food before you set off, too.
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