Cat carriers are indispensable feline pet accessories. For many, these are essential gadgets for safely and effortlessly moving felines from one location to another and may also serve as a temporary shelter for our furry friends. Because these contraptions are designed specifically to ease the stress that’s often associated with travel, it is important to look for certain features that will help you achieve this purpose. Choosing from a multitude of options can be dizzying. True to our goal of helping pet owners, we’ve come up with a comprehensive guide on how you can buy the best possible transporter or kennel for your furry pal. We’ll start by sharing with you the 10 best cat carriers in the market before we move on with a comprehensive buyer’s guide.

Cat Carrier Buying Guide

From what we have shared above, you can easily see why these are currently the world’s 10 best cat carriers. There are those that look for affordability while others would go for the form and style. You can always consider these 10 products or you can perform your very own search as there are literally hundreds of feline carrier systems in the market. As promised, we’re here to share with you a comprehensive buyer’s guide in choosing the right cat carrier in the event that you would want to explore the market on your own.

What Should I Look for in a Cat Carrier?

One of the very first things that buyers would want to know are the things that they need to look for whenever they have to buy something. These are intrinsic qualities of products that buyers find to be particularly suited to their needs. The following are some of the things to look for when buying a cat carrier.

  • Size 

Like any other pet transporter, the size of the product matters a lot. You do not want it to be very large and bulky especially if you intend to travel on a plane. There are certain size restrictions when it comes to airplane travel. Also, a substantially larger crate will make it awfully awkward to carry with your 15-pound tabby sloshing around, making it difficult to balance. You also don’t want it to be too small as it will be too uncomfortable for your pet, making it anxious and stressed out. Figuring the right size of feline transporter is thus, necessary.

To do this, you need to make accurate measurements of your furry friend’s actual size. First, you need to measure its length which is accomplished by measuring your cat from the outermost edge of its chest right down to the outer edge of its rear. Next, you need to measure its height by placing one end of your measuring tape on the floor and stretching it upwards to the level of the topmost edge of your kitty’s back. Once you’ve taken the measurements you can then add some 2 to 4 inches as allowance. This should be the minimum dimension for your crate.

Just a tip: your pet’s kennel should be about 1.5 times the size of your kitty. This should give it ample room to move about without affecting the balance and ease of carriage of the kennel.

  • Load Capacity 

The maximum weight capacity of the product is a very important consideration. You may have the correct size, but if its construction is poorly made, then you run the risk of damaging the bag and, more importantly, hurting your tabby. For example, if you have a tabby that weighs 15 pounds, then make sure that the product you are going to get has a load capacity of at least 16 pounds. We do not recommend getting a bag that is equal in weight capacity to your feline’s weight. Remember, you will also be placing accessories and other pet care items in the bag so these should also be factored.

  • Level of Comfort 

You can choose carriers that have accompanying plush bedding so your tabby will feel more comfortable and more relaxed throughout the ride. If you don’t like accompanying bedding, you can still get a kennel and purchase separate bedding. However, you need to make sure that you have taken into consideration its effects on the height of your pet crate.

Moreover, you might want to look for a cat crate that has mesh panels to allow for optimum ventilation. You don’t want your kitty suffocating inside. At any rate, you’re helping it feel more relaxed and calmer.

  • Durability and strength of materials 

Kitty carriers come in various types based on the principal material used in its construction. Majority of the products in the market are made of fabric materials including polyester, canvas, cotton, and microfiber and specialty synthetic fabrics. The important thing to look for is the stitching of these fabrics as they can get easily damaged at the seams. If you can get double-stitching then that would be a better option. You might also want to brush up on your knowledge of the durability and strength of various fabric materials.

There are cat lovers who prefer polypropylene or some other form of durable plastic material. These provide better protection, strength, and durability than fabric materials. These are also easier to clean. However, the downside is that these products don’t have the ease of storage that fabric products have.

As much as possible, avoid getting products that are made of metal as these will simply negate the purpose of traveling with your kitty. While they are very strong and durable, most metal cages are heavy that it will be cumbersome to carry.

  • Travel-friendliness and portability 

Your choice of feline carrier should also reflect your need to travel. That’s why it’s crucial to learn how to choose an airline approved pet carrier. Fabric carriers can be easily folded, requiring very little space to store. They are a lot easier to carry on board airplanes, too. It doesn’t matter if they’re large. You can always squeeze in some sections to fit inside the space under your airplane seat. These are lightweight, too, ensuring ease of carriage.

Plastic crates, on the other hand, will still require considerably larger storage space in the event that they can be folded. This is where its size can play a major factor. It should fit right under airplane seats as their size cannot be easily adjusted to be squeezed into the tight space. These are lightweight, but not as much as fabric products.

We already mentioned never to get metal crates as these are way too heavy compared to plastics and fabrics. 

  • Ease of maintenance 

An equally important consideration when choosing the right cat carrier is the ease of maintaining the product, especially cleaning and storage. We already mentioned that when it comes to cleaning, plastic products are tops. You only need to wipe them with moist cloth, dry them completely, and you’re done. Fabrics are easy to clean to but not really as hassle-free as plastics, unless you have a washing machine and the product is perfectly machine washable. Just throw it in your washing machine. But if it happens that the product needs to be hand-washed, then it can be tedious.  

  • Security 

You also need to consider the safety and security of your kitty inside the crate. As such, it is important to look for locking mechanisms that will guarantee your pet stays inside. It would really be an awful experience if you’re walking in the mall then your kitty got out from its carrier simply because it was able to work its way through the zipper. Having a double zipper mechanism usually helps.

What Size of Cat Carrier Do I Need?

We already shared with you that the size of the cat carrier should reflect the size of your kitty. It is important that it should be able to move around the crate but not to the point that it can be rocked back and forth when you walk. The idea is to get a cat travel bag that is about 1.5 times the size of your kitty.

It is also important to factor in the standard adult size of your kitty. This is especially true if you’re getting something for your kitten. You would naturally want to choose something that your kitty can use as it grows old.

Do I Need a Cat Carrier?

Some folks don’t necessarily think that a kitty carrier is important. However, like all pets that we take with us when we travel, kitties need a device that will help them feel more comfortable and more relaxed throughout the duration of the trip. It may only be a short one heading to the vet clinic, but the ride alone can already be very stressful for your tabby. To help minimize the stress that your pet cat might experience, it is important to place it inside its temporary shelter where it can feel more secure.

Just look at it this way. The crate or kennel is your kitty’s safest means of getting from your home to your destination. It shields your tabby from potential threats while keeping it comfortable and secure.

how to safely travel with your cat

How to Safely Travel with Your Cat

Traveling with your kitty can be a very enjoyable experience. It strengthens your relationship with your pet cat. While traveling can be fun, you should also do everything you can to make it as comfortable, stress-free, and safe as possible for your kitty. Here are some tips on how to safely travel with your cat.

  • Always secure its crate with a seatbelt. There are pet carriers that have attachments for connecting to car seatbelts. So you really need to think about this.
  • Should you go on a long trip, plan where you will be making stopovers so you can let your cat out of its crate. This way, it can stretch and do its business without getting stressed. You might also want to bring its litterbox.
  • Consider getting a leash so that, if you do let it out during stopovers, you will have better control of your pet’s activities. It also helps prevent wandering.
  • Attach appropriate identification bands or ID tags on both the kitty carrier and your cat. This should help individuals know where to return your cat in the event that it gets lost.
  • Bring plenty of water as kitties don’t have the thirst drive that will make them drink.
  • If you’re traveling on a hot day, bring ice packs or even frozen bottles of water.
  • If traveling in winter, extra blankets will help keep your kitty warm.
  • If you’re staying in a hotel, make sure to inspect the surroundings and every nook and cranny of your hotel room for any potential hazard. You want the room to be safe for your kitty.
  • Always bring important documents about your pet such as vaccination records and the like. You’ll never know what might transpire on the road.
  • If traveling on an airplane, you might want to go to the airport earlier to make sure they will allow your kitty in.

Traveling with your cat can be a very fulfilling experience. That’s why it’s important that you know how to choose the right cat carrier. You need to look at the size, the weight capacity, the comfort it brings, its strength and durability, travel-friendliness, and security. It is also important to know how to make your cat’s travel a lot safer and more comfortable for it. It is with high expectations that the 10 best cat carriers we’ve shared with you will help you enjoy traveling with your cat.

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Olivia Williams
Olivia is our head of content for MyPetNeedsThat.com, mum of one and a true animal lover. With 12 different types of animal in her family, it's never a dull moment. When she isn't walking the dogs, feeding the cats or playing with her pet Parrot Charlie, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest products for your pets!

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