How to Transport a Cat Without a Carrier? | CitizenShipper

CitizenShipper CitizenShipper · Updated: March 8, 2023 / Published: May 1, 2020

How To transport a cat without a Carrier? | Citizenshipper

Whether your family is large or small, it can be argued that it is not complete without a pet. Cats make amazing pets with their regal dispositions. They are fluffy, soft, and graceful in their movements. There is nothing like the soothing purr of a comfortable cat. It is an indication that your pet loves, trusts, and is loyal to you.

Like any other family member, your cat should be treated with love and care. This of course means regular health checks and even transportation. In the event that you are moving, you have to make special arrangements to transport your cat. Remember, they have more delicate dispositions than the human members of your family. Your cat will feel some apprehension towards man-made vehicles, as they prefer the natural and the familiar. Cats hate to travel, it is usually a source of stress for them. This of course is the reason for the aforementioned special arrangements. Here, we will look at several ways to transport a cat without a cat carrier.

Cultivate a Love for the Car

As we mentioned before, your cat naturally hates travel. Cats by nature are comfortable in natural and familiar surroundings. Travel is a scary and stressful thing for them. This is why you have to make the car feel like a comfortable and safe place. Keep the volume of your radio low or off. Also, try to avoid vehicle heavy roads, as these may produce uncontrollable noise. 

Avoid potholes or bumpy roads where possible. Cats do not like to be moved against their wills and the jarring of bumpy roads and potholes does just that. We as humans do not like these situations, why would our cats?

While car trips are usually designated for vet visits, you should also take the time to have regular car rides with your cat. Give them the opportunity to get used to the car.

Transporting Your Cat without a Carrier

First off, we have to give a disclaimer. The most secure way to transport your cat is by using a carrier. Carriers are designed specifically for the transportation of cats. They have the appropriate amount of ventilation and are optimized for cats. However, for whatever reason, you may be forced to transport your cat without a carrier. Maybe it is a case where you have to move based on some emergency and you have to take your cat with you without the use of a carrier. Based on the urgency of the situation you would have to make do with the resources available to you. Here are a few ways to do just that.

1. Use a Cat Harness

A cat harness is typically used when you are walking your cat. However, in the event that you do not have a cat carrier, you may be able to repurpose the cat harness for the purpose of travel. 

Just like with the car scenario that we mentioned earlier, your cat will need to get used to the harness. Gradually increase the use of the harness by taking your cat for walks. Before taking him or her out however you may not want to attach the leash right away. Cats are very fickle animals and they do not cope well with change. It has to be a case of gradual acceptance. Let your cat walk around in the harness and get comfortable with it. Then, when he or she is comfortable you can attach a leash. Walk your cat. Take him or her out to the park and other places so the harness becomes comfortable. 

Then you can take your cat in the car with the harness. Make sure that the harness is secure, using the seatbelt to gently tighten it. Do not tighten it too much. On the flip side, do not loosen it too much. Make it just tight enough to facilitate comfort and security.

It is important to note that a cat harness is made specifically for a cat. Therefore a dog harness will not be as effective. It may even hurt your cat.

2. A Sports Bag May Suffice

 If you did not invest in a cat carrier, it may be logical to assume that you did not get a harness either. It may be a case where you have just gotten your little furry friend. You are therefore on a quest to earn your cat’s trust. It is a critical time that could arguably make or break your relationship.

In the event that you do not have a cat carrier or a harness, you may find some use for your sports bag. However this is not just any sports bag, there have to be some specific characteristics.

For one thing, you need a bag with proper ventilation. Make sure that the bag has enough ventilation. The nylon material used in most bags lends itself to durability. Also, the design is usually adorned with holes on the side that will facilitate ventilation.

Also, make sure that you get a bag with a smooth base. This will make your cat comfortable. You can maximize this comfort by spreading a soft blanket on the base, and even placing some of your cat’s favorite toys in the makeshift carrier. Just try to give your cat as much peace of mind as possible.

Other Cat Carrier Alternatives

  • Cardboard Boxes: Maybe the relationship between you and your cat actually started with a cardboard box. They can be fashioned into makeshift carriers. Make sure to properly ventilate the box before placing your cat inside it.
  • Old Purses: There are many purses that are just big enough to comfortably hold a cat. In the event that you do not have a cat carrier, you can fashion one of these old purses that you may have lying around for that purpose. Make sure to create holes in the purse for ventilation.
  • Laundry Baskets: Many persons use laundry baskets as cat carriers. It is a hack where you tie two laundry baskets together with some strong strings or even wires. Laundry baskets are usually designed with holes in the sides. These designs will double as Ventilation.


We cannot stress enough the importance of using a traditional cat carrier if you have to transport your cat. These carriers are designed specifically for the purpose of carrying cats. In fact, most veterinarians have a strict policy in place where they refuse to see a cat if it does not have a proper carrier. However, in the unlucky event that you do not have a carrier, there are many different methods of transporting your cat. Remember though, cats by their nature do not travel well. They prefer stationary and familiar surroundings.