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Travel Safely with a Cat Carrier – Best Cat Travel Carrier

  • 10 min read
A visit to the vet is coming up or is your cat allowed to travel with you? You need a cat carrier to transport them safely. This allows you to comfortably carry your pet while on the go. In order to place the animal comfortably in the crate or pet carrier, it needs a flap on the top in addition to the front opening.

What is a cat transport box and what advantages and disadvantages does it have?

A transport box is an important accessory that you use to take the cat from one place to another. It is a safe retreat for your animal when traveling . Therefore, it is essential as a cat accessory for their well-being. Before you deal with the different types, the question arises about the advantages and disadvantages of the cat carrier. Positive:
    • the uncomplicated handling,
    • safe transport and
    • the easy cleaning.
    • high weight in large cat carriers
    • Bulky models make it difficult to store when not in use due to the large amount of space they require

What types of cat transport boxes are there?

You can get a cat carrier in a variety of colors and designs. There are no limits for mistresses. The materials also vary from fabric to plastic to sturdy metal cages. Cat transport boxes can also be roughly differentiated according to their shape:
    • Pet Carrier: 
The classic cat carrier is made of plastic and is available in different sizes. The boxes are usually closed with a barred door, which can also serve as a lookout for the animals. Cat boxes that have a lid that you open at the top are practical. This makes the trip to the vet less of an ordeal and it is easier for the animals to be moved into the box and encouraged to leave the box when the doctor visits.
    • Cat Backpack: 
It is less common to transport your cat in a backpack. Anyone who has to walk with their cat will appreciate this option. The cat can be transported more easily on its back, even over longer distances. When purchasing, look for adjustable shoulder straps and soft padding. A cat can weigh five kilograms or more. So that the four-legged friend does not escape from the unfamiliar means of transport, the cat backpacks contain a carabiner for hooking the collar.
Cat in a cat backpack
Source: mewcats
    • Cat bag: 
A wide variety of products awaits you here too. The transport bag can have a carrying handle or a strap for hanging around your neck. Most of the time these are plastic pet carrier. The cat bag is light, but also less stable than a solid pet carrier. Cat bags are often closed with zippers. These do not always withstand the four-legged friends’ attempts to escape. Here, too, carabiners are usually attached for additional security.

What size and other features should a cat transport box have?

A good pet carrier has the minimum internal dimensions of 45×30×30 centimeters. Choose the pet carrier that is large enough for the cat to stretch and turn comfortably . She will thank you. So that she doesn’t feel uncomfortable, she should also be able to stand and lie down in the box. The size depends not least on the breed and weight of your cat. While Persians or British Shorthairs are considered small breeds, Norwegian Forest cats, Maine Coons or Ragdolls require an XXL cat transport box. Your cat transport box is the right size if the pet is not forced into it, unable to move, but can sit, stand and lie in the cat box. You should try out different models and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. These usually also mention how resilient the respective transport box is. Domestic cats can weigh between four and eight kilograms. It is therefore important to pay attention to the load capacity of the transport bag.
Cat in a carrier
Source: Tufts Catnip

Traveling with more than one cat

If you are traveling with two or more animals, transporting cats requires organizational skills. Since it is difficult to carry two or three cat boxes at the same time, there are XL models. These can accommodate two velvet paws at the same time. However, you should only transport cats together if they get along. The question of whether you can accommodate several cats in one transport box depends largely on their nature. In addition to the size, the question arises as to where the opening of the cat box should be. Models with a front opening and a roof flap differ. The opening at the front of the box allows the cat to get in and out independently. Therefore, the box can also be used as a retreat at home. In order to lift it into the carrying box, the opening at the top proves to be useful. Models with multiple openings offer a high degree of flexibility.

Why are cats afraid of transport boxes?

Cats have a strong desire for freedom. They feel trapped in the closed transport box. In addition, they often associate the container with negative experiences. House cats remember a trip to the vet or an unpleasant car ride for a long time . So that they don’t defend themselves against the box with teeth and claws, it is advisable to get them used to it early and patiently.

How do you get used to it?

Under no circumstances should you force your pet into the cat box. This causes stress on both sides. It is more promising to gain the cat’s trust with treats and toys. If you incorporate the transport box into daily play and cuddle sessions , you will have a positive association with it. This causes the cat to lose its fear. The same thing happens when the carrier acts as a comfortable place to sleep at home. Create an incentive for your cat to accept the transport opportunity. A soft blanket invites you to doze and sleep in a cozy atmosphere. At home, the cat’s beloved toys can be used as accessories in a transport basket or box. On the go, the familiar smell of a toy and a blanket calms nervous little cats. Catnip or valerian is also an option so that the cat is not too stressed. However, the transport box must not be too full, otherwise the animal will feel cramped.
Cat carrier size chart

How does the cat get into the box and how long does it stay in it?

Patience is required to get the cat into the cat transport box before the start of the trip. The sensitive animals feel when they are surrounded by stress and hectic pace. The result: you withdraw. Plan enough time to lure the velvet paw into the carrying box. A trail of cat treats is helpful . Before you close the box, pat the cat to soothe it. However, the cat should not have to sit in the cat transport box too long before departure. The confined space makes the animals nervous over time. When it comes to boxes without a viewing window, this nervousness increases. Therefore, a carrier bag with large ventilation windows on all sides is a better alternative for anxious cats. How long the velvet paws can survive in the cat transport bag varies from person to person. However, very few cats like spending more than one or two hours at a time.

Which cat transport box is recommended for car and plane travel?

Few cats like traveling in the car or even on the plane. They are afraid of unfamiliar impressions. Therefore, the risk of an escape attempt is high. To avoid this, you need an escape-proof cat box. Plastic models with a safety lock are a good choice when driving. Place the box on the floor behind the passenger seat. There it is stable and cannot slip or tip over during a curve. When traveling by plane, there are different regulations for cat transport boxes depending on the airline. Stable transport cages made of plastic or metal are common. Transport bags that are specifically approved for air transport are also suitable.

Do I have to strap a cat transport box?

There are no general regulations for this. On short journeys it is common practice to place the box on the passenger seat and access it with your hands if necessary. This poses a risk of accident. It is therefore advisable to secure the cat transport box with the seat belt . This can usually be guided through the carrying handles of the cat bag.

How do you clean the cat transport box?

Hair quickly collects in the cat box. It can also happen that your house cat urinates out of nervousness. For transport boxes made of plastic or wood, remove any contamination with soap and water . Brush off blankets or other surfaces. The laundry is then put in the machine.


Q: What is a cat carrier?

A: A cat carrier is a portable and secure enclosure used to transport cats safely and comfortably, whether for travel, trips to the vet, or other outings.

Q: What should I look for in the best cat carriers?

A: Look for features such as sturdy construction, good ventilation, secure latching mechanisms, comfortable interiors, and appropriate sizing for your cat.

Q: Are there specific cat carriers designed for car travel?

A: Yes, there are cat carriers specifically designed for safe and secure car travel, featuring options like seatbelt loops and crash-tested designs for added safety.

Q: What are some factors to consider when choosing the best budget cat carrier?

A: Consider factors such as durability, safety features, comfort for your cat, and affordability when looking for the best budget cat carriers.

Q: Can I take my cat on a plane, and are there specific airline-approved cat carriers for this purpose?

A: Yes, you can take your cat on a plane, and there are specific airline-approved cat carriers designed to meet airline regulations for in-cabin pet travel.

Q: How can I keep my cat comfortable during air travel in a cat carrier?

A: To keep your cat comfortable during air travel, consider using soft-sided carriers with cozy bedding, ensuring proper ventilation, and providing familiar items such as toys and treats.

Q: What are the benefits of using a backpack cat carrier for travel?

A: Backpack cat carriers offer the convenience of hands-free travel, while providing a secure and comfortable space for your cat to accompany you on outings and adventures.

Q: Can I use a cat carrier to take my cat to the vet?

A: Yes, using a cat carrier is the safest and most secure way to transport your cat to the vet, ensuring their safety and reducing stress during the journey.

Q: Do cat carriers come with features like a built-in pet bed and litter box?

A: Some cat carriers may come with features such as a built-in pet bed and a small litter box compartment, providing additional comfort and convenience for longer trips.

Q: What should I consider when placing the cat carrier in my car for travel?

A: When placing the cat carrier in your car for travel, make sure it is secured properly, preferably in the back seat, and that it provides a stable and comfortable environment for your cat during the journey.

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Hamna Nasir is a dedicated cat lover, avid traveler, and accomplished author. Born and raised in the bustling city of San Francisco, Hamna's education journey led her to Boston where her interests expanded and intersected in unexpected ways. Hamna's ontent explores a multitude of topics, from preparing your cat for its first trip and choosing pet-friendly accommodations to understanding feline behavior in different environments. Her first-hand experiences, love for storytelling, and unwavering commitment to enhancing the bond between cats and their owners have earned her a devoted following. Her insights have been celebrated by pet lovers, adventure enthusiasts, and travel bloggers alike.