6 Best Cat Carriers in 2024: How Do I Choose the Right Carrier?

Matt Matasci Matt Matasci · Updated May 24, 2024

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Every year, we gather data from professional transporters and their customers about the pet products they’ve been using. There’s always one or two surprises, but what we’re really looking for is the reasoning behind every choice they’ve made. With that in mind, here’s our overview of this year’s best cat carriers for when you need to safely transport cats long distance. We list 13 products across six categories and offer advice on choosing the ones that fit your pet’s needs.

Best Carrier for Stubborn Cats

As any cat person will tell you, felines fight tooth and nail when you try to stuff them into a container. Luring them in with treats works on some, but not at all on others. If your kitty is of the stubborn persuasion, your best bet is choosing a carrier that it’ll find appealing. Believe it or not, Amazon makes one of the best cat carriers on the market.

6. Amazon Basics Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel

Leave the Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel open for a while, and the cat may jump in on its own to check it out. If you line it with towels, odds are your cat will take a nap!


  • The container itself is as impact-resistant as they come.
  • It’s easy to place your cat in the kennel.
  • It has a high impact resistance construction.


  • The carrier is moderately heavy.
  • The steel mesh makes it look like a crude cat transport cage.
  • It doesn’t have any special features.

Honorable Mention:

Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier

Best Carrier for Anxious Cats

Then there’s the other side of the spectrum. These are cats who’ll let you put them inside a carrier but just mope around, anxious and miserable, and may even throw up. Each cat has its own quirks, and many of them struggle with anxiety. The best cat carriers for these creatures minimize discomfort by making them feel like they’re not contained at all.

5. Amazon Basics Soft-Sided Mesh Pet Travel Carrier

Made of lightweight materials, this is yet another carrier made by Amazon. This carrier can support cats of up to eight pounds. It features an adjustable wire frame and shoulder straps. More importantly, it has mesh ventilation on all four sides! This gives the anxious little passenger a great view of the surroundings, which can calm the nerves.


  • It provides the cat with an excellent field of vision.
  • The carrier is made with an adjustable wire frame.


  • It offers low impact resistance.
  • The carrier can only support a cat up to eight pounds.

Honorable Mention:

SportPet Designs Foldable Travel Cat Carrier

Best Cat Carriers for Easy-Going Cats

If you have that rarest of beasts, a mild-mannered cat that actually enjoys being carried around, congratulations! Well done! You might want to consider one of those open-air carriers, essentially portable cat beds.

4. Kitty City Large Faux Leather Trimmed Felt Cat Cave

This carrier can be strapped to a car seat to provide a comfortable fixture for the cat inside a vehicle. They’re stylish, they’re affordable, they’re fully washable, but please note that they’re not for everyone. Use them only if you’re 100% certain that the cat won’t hop out looking for trouble. Otherwise, use enclosed containers instead.


  • It provides the cat with maximum comfort.
  • You can buy it for a modest price.
  • The Cat Cave offers excellent adaptability.


  • Provides no security.
  • This product is not accepted as a container by airlines.

Honorable Mention:

Cat-In-The-Bag Cozy Comfort Carrier

Best Carriers for Multiple Cats

Sometimes, cats need to travel together so if they’re small and get along well, you might be tempted to stuff them both into a single container. Terrible idea! Each cat needs its own space.

3. SportPet Designs Foldable Travel Cat Carrier

This carrier is sturdy and durable, with a maximum weight allowance of 40 lbs. It folds down for easy storage and its hard plastic construction makes for easy clean-up after your trip.


  • This cat carrier’s high capacity allows you to transport multiple cats.
  • The construction is highly durable.
  • The collapsible design makes it easy to store despite its large size.


  • It’s large size makes it heavier than the best cat carriers.
  • It can be difficult to maneuver because it’s so large.
  • This multi-cat carrier doesn’t have any dividers so the animals will have to share the space.

Honorable Mention:

Sherpa Travel Crash Tested Ultra Safe Auto Buckle-In Pet Harnesses and Travel Bags

Best Cat Carriers for Fancy Cats

Your cat might take one look at the carrier you bought and declare, “Outrageous! I deserve to travel in style! Do better!” If only the best will do for that spoiled little feline, your options could be limited, but we have you covered.

2. Roverlund Out-Of-Office Pet Carrier

This carrier is made by Roverlund, one of the top names in pet merchandise. This carrier is great for both cats and dogs and triples as an airline-compliant pet carrier, everyday travel bag and a mobile cat bed.


  • The carrier is built with marine and mountaineering-grade materials.
  • It complies with the sizing requirements of most major airlines.
  • It was recently named Wired Magazine’s Best Pet Carrier.
  • The carrier receives rave customer reviews.


  • The carrier comes at a much higher price point expensive than other cat carriers.
  • It has less impact resistance than hard-shelled carriers.

Honorable Mention:

Sleepypod Air in-Cabin Pet Carrier

Best Carriers for Thrifty Cats

On the other hand, your cat might also say, “Look, human, we’re on a budget here, all right? Don’t overdo it.” Obviously, all you can do is obey and try to find an affordable carrier. Our favorite choice in the budget carrier category is made by Pet Magasin.

1. Pet Magasin Airline Approved Cat Carrier

We love this carrier because it will set you back less than $30 but it’s airline-approved, comfortably padded and mesh-ventilated. The carrier is collapsible for convenient storage and made of a durable material. The carrier may not have many bells and whistles but it gets the job done.


  • It offers unbeatable affordability compared with other carriers.
  • It’s extremely durable considering the price point.
  • Pet Magasin is a trusted name in the pet gear space.
  • It’s approved for use on most airlines.


  • This carrier has very low impact resistance.
  • It doesn’t have any special features.

Honorable Mentions:

Necoichi Ultra-Light Portable Cat Carrier and the Paws & Pals Airline Approved Pet Carrier — we couldn’t settle for just one!

Conclusion: The Best Cat Carrier is the One That Works for You and Your Cat

We only provide general-purpose advice on the quality of cat carriers, so we can’t make the decision for you. We suggest you consult your vet and then make the call on the kind of carrier you purchase. Our goal with this post is to help pet owners make an informed choice.

Don’t just Google “cat transport box” and click the first link that pops up! Take into account everything that you know about your feline friends, especially their needs and peculiarities. Think about the journey that’s ahead of them and what it might entail. Think hard on how you want them to travel.

Sometimes you can’t be the one that takes your cat on their journey. If you’re unable to fly or drive with your cat, consider hiring an airline nanny or a driver through the CitizenShipper marketplace. There are many reasons that CitizenShipper is the right choice for your pet transport needs:

  • It’s the only pet transportation company that offers a Pet Protection Plan.
  • You can use the internal messaging system to communicate with potential drivers and find one that fits your needs.
  • Drivers compete for your business in a reverse-auction system, meaning you’ll get the best prices on your cat shipment.
  • All CitizenShipper drivers undergo a background check before they can start their first shipment.

If you need to transport a cat and cannot do the job yourself, head to CitizenShipper today, post your pet shipping job and get bids within minutes! Stay safe, and happy shipping!