The 15 Best Cat Carriers 2020 [Comfy and Easy To Load]

A cat and Kermit the frog in a suitcase

So you’re in the market for cat carrier and you want to make sure you get one that is just right for your cat. Given there are about a million options on the market you'll want to choose one of the best cat carriers around. ​

Below there's a list of some of the best carriers around and then a bunch of additional info on carrier selection and why you might need one. ​So get to reading, pop open the Table of Contents for easy navigation!

If you're specifically looking for a Cat Bubble Backpack check out this article.

Table of Contents


The Amazon Basics Soft Sided Carrier

a soft sided basic cat carrier made by Amazon

If you’re looking for a dirt cheap reliable carrier that will be used primarily for transport back and forth to the vet a few times a year this is a great go to.

Note there are three different sizes of the carrier available and you should choose accordingly based on the size of your cat.  This particular carrier is what you would call a ‘no frills’ carrier but there are a few things worth pointing out below.

Key benefits worth noting:

  • It is super lightweight and also very cheap from a price perspective
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    Shoulder strap and standard handles are available
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    The ventilation is top notch  & it has multiple entrances
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    There is a pad included that can be tossed in the washing machine
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    It breaks down easily to take up minimum spaceIt does fit under most airline seats, but you’d have to check each airline specifically to verify

A few things worth cautioning you about:

  • The carrier bottom is rather flimsy, if you have a heavy cat it will not be super stable
  • Exclamation Triangle
    This is a basic carrier at a basic price so the mesh isn’t going to stop a determined cat from tearing a hole in it

The PetsFit Expandable Travel Carrier

a grey expandable travel carrier

If you’re looking for a soft carrier that is a hefty chunk larger and has more comfort than something like the Amazon Basics carrier than the Petsfit Expandable is a great carrier to consider. Not only does it include all the major perks of the Basics carrier, but it also has some cool features like the expandable side area that gives your cat a big bump up in real estate space inside.

This is exceptionally useful when you have a long layover or a long trip in a car and you don’t want to let your cat out, but still want her to have some space for comfort or a bowl of water or food. There’s a full video review available below, but the bullets below detail it out pretty well:

  • Lots of extra space for your cat on longer trips in the car or outside of a plane while you wait
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    It has a study frame, but it can be removed before going onto a plane where space is restricted
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    It is super lightweight & both shoulder strap and standard handles are available
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    The ventilation is top notch & it has multiple entrances
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    There is a pad included that can be tossed in the washing machineIt breaks down easily to take up minimum space
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    It does fit under most airline seats (when the expander isn’t out), but you’d have to check each airline specifically to verify (and you will likely need to remove the frame)

A few things worth cautioning you about:

  • It comes in at a much higher price point than the Amazon Basics carrier, but it does have many additional features
  • Exclamation Triangle
    If you are traveling on a really consistent basis, as with any product made of nylon, the edges will fray and the frame will start to push through

The Petmate Two Door Top Loader

a hard sided cat carrier in grey and blue

Petmate is an incredibly well known company and I see these carriers in use on a consistent basis at the shelter I volunteer at all the time.  Not only are they well designed, but they are incredibly durable and they come in a varying set of sizes.

I’d highly recommend you go with the 24 inch version for any adult cat and if you have an extra large cat you might want to consider something even bigger than this. That being said, these carriers are constructed solidly and perform extremely well. You can also check out the video review below.

Key features worth noting:

  • Very solid construction using screws to hold the pieces together
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    The ventilation is top notch with it having a grated door and tons of small air holes
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    It has both top and front entrances for those cats that don't like being loaded in from the front
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    Easy to add your cats favorite blanket or bed inside with plenty of room
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    Super easy to clean after a trip if necessary

A few things worth cautioning you about:

  • As with any hard carrier there is no shoulder strap so it can be annoying to carry it a long distance
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    I’m still personally not a fan of the handle being built into the top gate as it is, but that is more of a personal fear problem than anything founded in research or experience
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    Not fit for airplane travel due to the size and the lack of flexibility (most hard carriers are not)

Petsfit Comfort Cat Backpack

a green and grey backpack for felines

Widely considered one of the best backpacks designed for cats and dogs, the Petsfit comfort backpack is super comfortable for both you and your pet!  

It is designed for cats that are 15 pounds or less and I would recommend staying under that mark. Anything bigger would definitely start to get cramped inside the space available.

Key features on this backpack include:

  • Super easy to transport your cat in because all the weight is on your shoulders
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    Both top and front loading, though admittedly the front loading is small and not easy to use
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    Has a harness attachment & the front window unzips for better viewing (be very careful with this as your cat can and will jump out if they want to)
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    This particular backpack has solid ventilation as well with 4 major ventilation gratings
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    The bottom is fully removable for easy washing and cleaning
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    Has additional stability straps for your waist and chest to keep the backpack tightly against you
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    Breaks down for easy storage just like a regular soft carrier

A few items worth cautioning you about:

  • There are no pouches or pockets to carry anything like snacks or treats
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    When upright it will be cramped for a cat to lay down other than in a tiny ball
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    There is no handle to carry it if you don’t want it on your shoulders

Paws & Pals City Walk Stroller

a black stroller made for cats

This stroller is definitely the most popular stroller I’ve seen around for pets of any kind, but for cats especially. I’ve generally seen folks with older cats use it to get their cats some air outside in a completely safe environment where nothing will bother them.

That being said it also works great for pairs of cats that might otherwise not easily fit in a traditional carrier. I ran into one gentlemen at the vet that had bonded cats that loved this stroller. It was the easiest way to transport them since they would meow like crazy if they weren't able to see each other.

Key features worth noting on this model are:

  • Super easy to transport your cat because you’re not carrying any weight
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    Fully enclosed with a large viewing area that is fully ventilated for your cat both front and back
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    Tons of space to carry drinks, accessories, bags, whatever else might come to mind
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    Hooks inside to snap your harnessed pet onto if you don’t want to keep the screen closed
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    Waterproof rain hood, definite necessity, cats don’t love the rain too much generally
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    Cushion included inside to keep your kitty comfy, but plenty of room to include their favorite bed too
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    The wheels are much larger and higher quality than a lot of rolling suitcase type carriers so they don’t get stuck as easy and they don’t make nearly as much noise either

Cautions:

  • The stroller is obviously large and bulky and doesn’t fold down like a traditional soft carrier, it takes up a lot of space
  • Exclamation Triangle
    If you have small animals be sure to fully explore the setup when you get it, there have been some reports of kittens sneaking their way out of the enclosed area through tiny little holes you’d never expect them to fit through

Pet Magasin Collapsible Carrier

a small grey circular shaped carrier that collapses

Looking for all the benefits of a hard sided carrier, but don't feel like dealing with the hassle of all the storage space it takes up?  If that's the case then you've probably found the best of both worlds with this awesome new carrier from Pet Magsin.

This carrier has both a hard top and bottom which give it a nice stable frame, but it can collapse and zip up into the size of a small shopping bag due to the soft sides it has. It is perfect for trips to the vet or short trips in the car!

Key features worth noting on this model:

  • The hard top and the hard base give you a solid framework for the carrier and a nice firm place for your cat to stand on or lay down on
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    There's tons of ventilation built in including a mesh front panel and a boatload of air flow holes
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    The sides easily fold down and the top and bottom zip together for a nice little package that is easy to carry 
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    It measures in at 17" long by 13" high by 14" wide

A couple of notes worth cautioning prospective buyers about:

  • There's only one handle on the top and no shoulder strap so it can be tiring to carry it around
  • Exclamation Triangle
    It isn't great for long trips unless you have a very small cat, it isn't large enough inside for easy movement

​Lifepul Tunnel/Carrier/Kennel

a three in one carrier/tunne/kennel for cats

​If you're looking for one product to provide a bunch of different functions then Lifepul has an amazing option here for you.  This model has three key uses: a carrier, a kennel, and a tunnel.

How you might ask, does one product provide so many features? Well, they designed it to be collapsible/extensible! Pretty darn cool and certainly worth a look.

Key items worth noting:

  • ​It uses spring driven technology to fully collapse for fully expand into each of the modes
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    Converts into a 20 inch long tunnel with a built in hanging bell to drive engagement
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    Plenty of ventilation for shorter trips with a cat face shaped mesh window and a top vent
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    It is made of lightweight sturdy fabric that ​keeps it nice and light, less than 2 pounds

Cautions:

  • ​There's no shoulder strap available, so it can get heavy if you've got a heavy cat

PetLuv Premium Travel Carrier

a blue travel bag for cats with roll down shades

If you've got a cat that stresses out extensively during travel then this option from PetLuv may be the perfect fit for you and your feline friend. Not only does it have a nice roomy design so your kitty has lots of space, but it also has several features to help reduce anxiety and stress.

Key features and functions worth noting on this model are:

  • Optimum ventilation and maximum sightseeing with all-around windows
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    There are window flaps that can roll down and close across each window
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    It also has tear-resistant heavy duty rubber mesh for those cats that may attempt and escape
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    The zippers lock together to keep the genius cats from popping the carrier open
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    There are built in seat belt loops for car travel security
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    It measures in at a Length of 24", Height of 16" and Depth of 16"

A few items worth noting on this model:

  • If you plan to carry a heavy cat or multiple cats then be prepared for the bottom to sag a bit, there's no bracing built in for this

Petsfit Rolling Cat Carrier w/ Removable Wheels

a grey rolling carrier for felines

Tired of lugging your cat around on a single shoulder strap? Or maybe even tired of the backpack you tried out for a few weeks?  This might be the right option for you.

Petsfit has designed an amazing carrier that you can pull along just like a suitcase. And even better, the wheels can be popped off for storage or if you just need them off for a period of time.

Key features worth calling out on this one are:

  • You can easily pull your cat around without any weight on your back or shoulders
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    The handle measures just under 35 inches long so you've got lots of space
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    The carrier folds down flat and you can remove the wheels for storage purposes
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    It is rated to hold a pet up to 28 pounds, but be sure to measure first
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    Because it zips together you can load your cat from almost any direction

A few things worth noting for you potential buyers:

  • When you take it off the wheeled base it doesn't have a firm bottom, it may sag
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    This carrier specifically calls out that it will not fit under an airline seat

​Jet Sitter Luxury Carrier

an expandable carrier for cats with two side compartments

​If you're traveling by plane in the states then you're likely to end up taking United Airlines somewhere. The claim to fame for this particular carrier is of course that it expands, but beyond that it is also specifically designed to meet the United Airlines Cabin Under Seat requirements.

It has a bunch of other amazing features that make it a great carrier as well, here are the key ones worth knowing:

  • ​It is TSA compliant and also fits: Southwest, JetBlue, American, Delta, Alaska, Frontier, Spirit and Allegiant Airlines
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    It is rated to hold animals up to about 14 pounds, but measure your cat first
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    It has both a front and top load entrance and it has expandable sides
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    There are built in luggage loops  to set it on top of roll aboard bags
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    There are seat belt buckles for car travel too
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    There are two key sizes for different cats and the product link has a great sizing chart

​There is one major item worth cautioning you about with this model:

  • ​This model does not collapse at all

​Pet Magasin Luxury TSA Approved Carrier

a bright blue cat carrier approved for airlines

​If you're looking for a small lightweight carrier that will fit on almost every airline (and pretty much anywhere else) then this is an excellent option.While it is a nice cozy carrier, it is not specifically designed for long term travel and it won't support large cats.

Key items worth calling out on this model are:

  • This model is in line with TSA approved, it measures: 18" X 11" x 10"
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    ​It is super lightweight, it only weighs a little over 2 pounds before you add your cat
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    It folds down completely flat for storage so it hardly takes up any space when not in use
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    The material it is made from is waterproof for easy wipe down and cleaning post travel
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    Has great ventilation and two methods for carrying it (shoulder strap included)
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    ​There are two colors: bright blue and bright orange

​A couple of things to consider before your make your purchase:

  • It only has the ability to load your cat from the front
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    ​Given this model is somewhat small (to meet airline requirements) it will not fit large cats

​SportPet Hard Sided Triangle Traveler

a triangle shaped carrier made of plastic

​If you prefer a hard sided carrier, but you're looking for something that cats are a little less stressed by climbing into, then the SportPet Triangle Traveler may be the right choice for you.

This option is hard sided for those that prefer it, but it also gives you a nice large entrance for your cat. It is perfect for trips to the vet and around town or even on a car or train vacation.

A few other key items worth noting on this model:

  • Has a huge opening making it easy to load your cat or have her walk right into it
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    Since it is made of solid plastic it is super easy to clean
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    It folds down into a ​thin briefcase style ​for easy and compact storage
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    Has numerous sliding locks to ensure your kitty can't slip out like Houdini
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    It measures in at 15.2” L x 18.5” W x 14.2” H

​A couple of items worth considering before purchase:

  • ​This model is not airline approved and you'd want to consider another for air travel

​PetPeppy Expandable w/ Built In Tunnel

a cat traveler with a built in tunnel

​Worried your kitty will get bored while stuck in their carrier for a long travel day?  PetPeppy has you covered. You've not only got two expandable sides for lots of room to walk around a bit and stretch out...But you've also got a built in expandable tunnel too!

That means lots of extra room for your feline friend to enjoy. There are a couple of other key notes worth calling out as well:

  • Expands in three different areas: two sides and an expandable tunnel for extra fun
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    Has an added ​​wire frame ​for extra stability to eliminate  sagging corners ​& bunched up edges
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    Comes with a random colored PET BOWL, a shoulder strap, and a bottom fleece base
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    Designed to fit under ​the seats of these major airlines: Alaska, Allegiant Air, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, United, Virgin America
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    ​Designed for compact storage, folds up ​flat into ​these measurements: 18"L X 11"W X 1.5"

​Worth cautioning you about before purchasing:

  • ​There have been several notes that the shoulder strap is not very reliable

Pet Kennel 24" Airline Approved Carrier

an airline approved 24 inch hard carrier

This particular hard carrier is made for pets up to 25 pounds, so if you’ve got a cat that is a bit larger this might be the right choice for you! Not only does it assemble easily and have great built in ventilation, but it also has some nice additional little adds on like a food bowl that hangs on the inside of the front gate.

Key features worth noting on this model:

  • Very solid construction using screws to hold the pieces together
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    All construction can be performed without any tools
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    The ventilation is top of the line with plenty of air flow holes and the gated front
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    Easy to add your cats favorite blanket or bed inside with plenty of room
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    Super easy to clean after a trip if necessary

A few things worth cautioning you about:

  • This kennel is too large to fit under a seat on a plane (most hard carriers are)
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    It only has a front entrance so it is easiest to load cats by convincing them to w in with treats

​One for Pets Cat ​Driving ​Lounge

bright ride cat car traveling setup for two cats

​If you're looking less for a carrier and more for a way to show off your cats in a location away from home, then One for Pets has you covered. This cat house is a great option for your cats to relax in when you're out and about or traveling by car.

There's plenty of space and there are two separate compartments for your kitties to relax in.  A few other things worth noting:

  • ​Built specifically for car travel, it straps right into the seat belts in your car
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