Are you searching for the best cat carrier for long distance travel? Cat carriers are necessary utilities, but purchasing one can be difficult because pet carriers have different features. There are the best cat carriers for long car travel, cat carriers for two cats, the best airline-approved cat carriers for long trips, and more.
Our Top Cat Carrier Picks For Long Distance Travel!
|Overall Best Cat Carrier For Long Trips||Smiling Paws Pets 4-Way|
|Best Cat Carriers For Long Car Travel||SPORT PET Large Open Kennel|
|Best Cat Carrier For Two Cats Trip||PawHut Dual Pet Carrier|
|Best Airline-approved Cat Carrier||Silvton 4 Sides Pet Carrier|
|Best Budget Cat Carrier||Vceoa Soft Pet Carrier|
Here is the complete list of cat carrier products we recommend below. All the products listed here have been prescreened and are great products. You can go for anyone suitable for you.
We have also written a cat carrier buying guide to help you choose the best product for your needs and also an FAQ section below where we answered some frequently asked questions so read on to the end to see that part.
Smiling Paws Pets has the best cat carrier for long-distance travel you can get.
It’s a soft-sided pet carrier that you can fold and unfold in just 30 seconds. The mesh top entry is wide enough for your pet to enter freely; there’s a hook to hold it in place securely when you roll it back.
If you also have luggage to carry, you can attach the carrier’s side slip pocket with the luggage handle. This product is a sturdy one, thanks to the superb A-grade metallic clips.
- Easy to fold and unfold
- Internal washable removable pad in case of accidents
- Sturdy construction
- Suitable for car and airline travel
- Zippered pockets
- Can be attached to luggage
- Internal fabric is leakproof
- Internal leash to secure your pet
- Not for extra large cats
This product will make a good buy for car travel. It’s a car seat pet carrier built for cats of all life stages. The product is durable, made with locking metal gates and heavy-duty plastic frames.
You can easily attach the item to your car’s back seat with the headrest straps and seat belt loops for car trips. The locking metal gates allow you to access your pet from any of the car doors.
You can fold the cat carrier when not in use easily in 3 steps. It folds nicely into a very compact size, and there are buckles to hold it in place. In addition, you get a drawstring carry case.
The SPORT PET Large Pop Open Kennel isn’t for you if your cat constantly chews and claws. It’s only ideal for crate-trained cats.
- Metal gates
- Heavy-duty frames
- For crate trained cats
- Drawstring carry case
- You can’t hold cats that are not crate trained
Here we have an airline-approved cat carrier. Nevertheless, you can still use it for non-airline travel. It’s available in black, grey, and blue colors. Prodigen made it with 3-layer fabric materials.
Despite the sturdy construction, the Prodigen Pet Carrier is lightweight, weighing a little over 2 pounds. There are mesh windows at the top and on all four sides for proper ventilation.
You can also use this approved deluxe airline-approved pet carrier in the car, as it’s seat belt compatible. With the padded carrying handle, you can comfortably carry the item around, even for walks.
The Prodigen Pet Carrier is collapsible, but that can be difficult due to the added steel ring for better support.
Nevertheless, you can follow the manufacturer’s instructions to collapse. You can also remove the steel ring.
- 3-layer fabric
- Mesh windows
- Added steel ring
- Padded carry handle
- Fleece bed
- Not very easy to fold
- Not for weighty cats
From PetLuv, we have this 25 inches long premium cat carrier. It’s for outdoor walks with features that make it easy to carry. The product weight is 8.8 pounds.
This cat carrier comes with a padded top carry handle with adjustable length straps. It folds flat when not in use, and assembling is not tricky.
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The four access panels and top openings allow you to get your pet in and out quickly. There’s a heavy-duty rubber mesh to prevent ripping and locking zippers to keep your pet in place.
The all-around windows guarantee optimal airflow while allowing you to get a clear view of your pet. You can store items in the large side pocket, and there are seat belt loops for car travel.
- Four access panels
- Large side pocket
- Padded rest pillow
- For large cats
- A bit heavy for hand carrying
Customers love the Vceoa Soft-Sided Pet Carrier for its sturdiness and durability. It’s a medium-sized cat carrier airline-approved therefore suitable for air and car travel.
This product weighs around 2.5 pounds and has a 16-pound maximum weight recommendation. The locking zippers keep your pet safe and secure, while the mesh windows allow proper ventilation.
The Vceoa soft-sided pet carrier features sturdy carrying handles and an adjustable shoulder strap. The shoulder strap doubles as a seatbelt. Furthermore, there’s a back strap to fasten the carrier to luggage.
There are steel frames on both sides of the soft carrier. As a result, it holds its shape even when folded flat. Folding is effortless too.
- Steel frames
- Backstrap for luggage
- Fleece bed
- Adjustable strap
- Easy to fold
- Small inside pocket
- The fleece bed is not secured
This 17-inch long pet carrier is most suitable for small cats. You can get it in grey color or black color. It’s a soft-sided carrier that’s approved for air travel.
Peteeza Pet Carrier Bag for Dogs and Cats is made with anti-scratch breathable mesh. It allows proper ventilation, so your pet always breathes fresh air.
The carrier features quality self-lock zippers and a sturdy metal hook. You can carry it around for a regular walk thanks to the adjustable, padded shoulder strap.
You can fold the carrier bag when not in use and store it easily. It’s a 2.38 pounds bag, so it’s not heavy. Furthermore, it’s easy to clean as it’s machine washable. Many customers rate it five stars for traveling.
- Good for air travel
- Self-lock zippers
- Adjustable & padded shoulder strap
- Machine washable
- Zippers are a bit sketchy
- Complains of incomplete delivery
Do you prefer a carrier backpack? If yes, then the Farexon Cat Carrier Backpack will interest you. This backpack for transporting cats is a waterproof, breathable, and very portable cat carrier backpack.
It’s an expandable backpack to provide more room for your pet. The four mesh windows ensure proper air circulation, and the anti-slip bottom offers security. Inside is a safety buckle to stop your pet from escaping.
For your comfort, the bag features a widened padded shoulder strap to reduce stress on your shoulders. The strap length is adjustable. The pack also comes with a multifunctional pocket where you can store different items.
Your pet will always have its food and water within reach, thanks to the collapsible bowl. The bag itself is also collapsible after use.
- Collapsible bowl
- Anti-slip bottom
- Adjusts and padded shoulder strap
- Backpack is collapsible
- Multifunctional bucket
- 2-sided washable pad
- Not for heavier cats
Here we have a unique product from the Silvton store. It’s expandable on all four sides, so it will make a good buy if your cat needs a lot of space. The carrier is sturdy as it features three layers of high-quality fabric.
This pet carrier can hold a maximum of 14 lbs and is suitable for cats with 11 inches in height or less. You can attach the item to a car seat, under an airplane seat, or carry the handle and shoulder straps.
The Silvton 4 side expandable pet carrier comes with high-quality zippers, sturdy metal hooks, mesh clothing, and a metal clip. You can store small items like toys and cash in the side pocket.
- High-quality fabric
- Double-sided inner pad
- Non-slip bottom
- Padded shoulder straps and handle
- Easy to fold and unfold
- The leash is not very sturdy
- It can be bulky when expanded
The Aivituvin Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier is famous as a dog carrier. Nevertheless, it works just as well as a cat carrier. It’s perfect for medium-sized cats, and you can get it in rosy or green color.
The carrier has a maximum weight of 17 lbs. it features a firm board base, foam cushioning, and washable fleece pad. The carrier’s premium features include an inner safety leash, quality self-lock zippers, and sturdy metal hooks.
You can attach the bag’s wrap to the handle of your luggage bag or bind it to a car seat and under an airplane seat.
Most of the carrier’s parts are removable, which makes them easy to clean. The bag is lightweight, weighing just 2.25 pounds.
- Foam cushioning
- Washable fleece pad
- Easy to clean
- Adjustable handle & shoulder straps
- Metal hooks
- Fuzzy bed cover
- It doesn’t stand up by itself
The Pet Fit For Life Large carrier is a quality product with solid construction. Pet Fit made it with premium nylon and steel material. However, it’s still lightweight, weighing just around 4 pounds.
You get an extra-large cat carrier if you purchase the product. The interior is very spacious, which gives your cat a lot of room to be comfortable. Inside is an ultra-soft velour pad that can serve as a bed.
The Pet Fit For Life Large carrier is ideal if you need a travel cat carrier with a cat litter box as it comes with a collapsible one. The bag itself is collapsible. After use, you can also easily fold into a small size. It comes with a carry bag for easy transport.
- Spacious interior
- Waterproof collapsible litter box
- Carry bag
- Premium construction
- Mat is not secured
- Not water resistant
This product is an extra-large cat carrier and works as a double pet carrier if needed. Although it’s collapsible, it features a sturdy metal frame which makes it very durable. You can get it in grey or blue colors.
As an extra-large carrier, it’s big enough to hold two cats. Thanks to the locking zippers, even the most intelligent cats will stay put. There’s also an inside clip for added security.
You can attach the carrier to your seat belt while driving. You can use the adjustable shoulder strap and hand carry handle for walks.
The PetSeek Extra Large Cat Carrier is not very easy to fold due to the sturdy metal frame. Nevertheless, the manufacturers provide simple 4-step instructions that you can follow.
- Extra-large size
- Locking zippers
- Sturdy metal frame
- High-quality oxford fabric
- Anti-scratch mesh
- Adjustable shoulder strap
- Slightly heavy
AmazonBasics Two-door travel carrier is one of the best hard-sided cat carriers in the market. Even though it is a general carrier with basic features, it is a favorite for many customers on Amazon. The product comes in is available in two sizes – small and medium.
The small size can hold up to 11 lbs weight, while the medium size is perfect for 12 lbs to 20 lbs cats. The carrier features an intelligent 2-door design. Your pet can go in via the top door or the front door with a spring-loaded latch.
As a hard-sided cat carrier, this product will work well for stubborn cats. There’s a handle attached to the top door for easy carrying. The item weighs 4.55 pounds. It may not be as lightweight as others, but it’s not heavy.
- Sturdy construction
- Smart 2-door design
- Available in small and medium sizes
- Not easy to fold
- No hinges for the top door
Here’s a cat carrier for you if you own more than one cat. You can save money by getting this 39 inches long product rather than purchasing individual cat carriers. It features dual compartments with two zippered netting doors on each one.
The four doors have a built-in Velcro, so you can easily roll them up, and there are mesh windows for proper air circulation. The two compartments are fully detachable, so you can still use them as separate cat carriers.
You can carry it comfortably using the carrying strap and handle. You can use these to attach it to a car seat too while driving on the road.
The PawHunt dual compartment cat carrier has a unique foldable design which makes it portable. It also comes with an additional storage bag for easy carry.
- Two cat carriers
- Velcro doors
- Durable zipper
- Hammock Included
- Not the most convenient to carry by hand
- Slightly heavy
Midwest travel pet is another hard-sided cat carrier you might want to buy. It’s quick and easy to assemble the product with bright & fun fashion colors. However, you can only use it for small cats.
The MidWest Homes for Pets Spree Travel Pet Carrier was well-designed for safety, security, and comfort. It was made with plastic and is available in different colors – red, blue, and green.
Since you can’t fold, you may have to disassemble after use for easy storage. You can assemble this cat carrier in 4 simple steps, and the manufacturer provides clear instructions.
The MidWest Homes for Pets Spree Travel Pet Carrier weighs just 3.1 pounds, which is relatively light for a hard-sided cat carrier. You get a one-year limited warranty when you buy this product.
- Easy to assemble
- 1-year limited warranty
- Easy to clean
- Not for large cats
- Lacks bottom screws
This easy-to-carry cat carrier from Mancro is a soft-sided one. It features three double-zippered entrance options that make it easy to load your pet. Also, it allows proper ventilation.
Inside the carrier is a furry pad to keep your pet comfortable which is removable and washable. There’s a belt at the back so you can attach it with a luggage bag.
With the removable shoulder strap and handle, you’ll be able to carry the bag yourself. Both feature cushioning to keep you comfortable.
The carrier comes with bottom protection, so it doesn’t wear quickly. There are large-sized pockets where you can store small items for easy access.
You can easily fold the Mancro Cat Carrier after use, just as it comes in the delivery package. Folding isn’t complex, and there are instructions for you to follow.
This cat carrier will work fine with car seats and some airline seats. It’s lightweight at just 3.6 pounds.
- Three double-zippered entrance
- Suitable for car and airline travel
- Large-sized pockets
- Furry pad
- Braces can be hard to install
- It won’t fit some airline seats
Cat Carrier Buying Guide
There are some critical factors to consider if you want to purchase the best product in the market. That’s what I’ll be covering in this buying guide. First of all, let’s consider the different types of cat carriers available.
Types of Cat Carriers
Here are the most popular types of cat carriers, each with its advantages and disadvantages.
Cardboard carriers are very simple carriers. They are suitable for use within the house as a safe spot for your cat. However, they are not for long-term use, and you cannot use them as regular carriers. If you want the best cat carrier for long distance travel, cardboard carriers are out of the options.
Polyester, nylon, and microfiber are common materials that producers use in making soft-sided carriers. The main advantage here is that soft-sided feline carriers are they are much lighter than their hard-sided counterparts.
Also, soft-sided carriers are flexible, which makes it easier to fit them in tight small spaces. In other words, they are easier to store. However, soft pet carriers are less safe than hard-sided carriers. If you have a stubborn cat who likes to chew and claw, you should opt for a hard-sided carrier like the amazon basics.
Hard-sided Cat Carriers
Hard cat carriers are more durable than other carriers and are a general favorite because they are simple. The durable shell protects your cat from the elements and gives him a haven to rest while you travel.
Most hard carriers don’t come with cushioning, which may make them less comfortable for long-distance travel. Nevertheless, you can add a small blanket, towel, or a pet bed to make them more comfortable. Hard-sided carriers have the disadvantage of being heavier and more difficult to store when not in use.
A rolling cat carrier’s primary advantage is its portability. If you’re going on a long-distance walking trip and don’t want to carry multiple items, this is an excellent option. However, you must handle a rolling carrier with caution.
These are motion carriers, so they can roll off on their own if the ground isn’t level and you’re unaware. In addition, some cats are fearful and won’t be comfortable with all the rolling movements. You can skip rolling carriers if your pet is like that.
Cat Strollers and Backpacks
A cat stroller or backpack are other fun options for transporting your pet. However, some cats may find them more stressful than different types of carriers. In comparison to a more robust pet carrier like the hard-sided ones, a stroller offers less protection.
On the other hand, a backpack can keep your cat in an uncomfortable and awkward position. You can opt for a backpack carrier if you’re traveling in your car, as they often feature straps and buckles.
Whichever style you opt for, here are the top factors you should look out for.
Factors To Consider When Buying A Cat Carrier
Choosing the best cat carrier for a long-distance trip is very important. Here are the essential things to consider;
Investing in a good-sized cat carrier now will save you money later as your pet grows. However, this doesn’t mean the item should be extra-large. It will be difficult and frustrating for your pet to stay stable as you carry it around if it is.
For your cat to be comfortable in its carrier, there must be enough space to stand, sit, and turn around. In general, the size of the cat or kitten carrier should be about 1.5 times the cat’s size.
Since you need a cat carrier for a long distance, you should ensure the pet carrier can fit food and water bowls. If you’re planning on traveling for a much longer duration, you should consider investing in a pet carrier large enough to accommodate a bed and a litter box.
You shouldn’t skip the closure mechanism as it’s essential. Notably, cat carriers with two openings are the most convenient to use. Some cat carriers feature a latch in the middle so you can remove the cover from the bottom half.
The benefit of the closure mechanism is that you won’t have to coax your pet out of the carrier, and the spot is nice and cozy.
If your pet is a stubborn and chewy type, carriers with zippers or Velcro closures may not be the best options. In such a situation, your best bet is a carrier with a closed front gate. Such types are challenging to open, even for the most stubborn cats.
You won’t always strap your cat carrier to your car seat or an airplane seat; sometimes, you have to carry it with your hands and shoulders. Hence, finding a product with a solid, durable, ergonomic handle or strap is significant.
Most of the cat carriers you’ll find are lightweight. However, they become pretty heavy with your pet inside. Imagine accidentally dropping your cat carrier because the handle came off – no one wants that. You can easily avoid these types of accidents by choosing a product with a firm grip.
Cleaning and maintenance
Cat carriers are often cat-proof. Being cat-proof means you won’t have to worry about tearing and shredding, messing up the place. However, there are other ways your pet carrier can get dirty.
Since you’re on a long-distance trip, your cat may need to use the bathroom while in the carrier. You can train your pet with a litter box to avoid this mess, but it can still happen. For this reason, it’s vital to purchase a cat carrier that’s easy to clean.
Cleaning is also essential for maintenance. Most cat carriers are hand-washable, while others – especially the soft ones – are machine washable. You can go for any type you find most suitable.
You can buy a cat carrier for as little as $20 or as much as $3,000 for high-end leather models. Even if you don’t want to spend a lot of money, it’s not ideal to save money by using a poorly-made carrier for your cat. Fortunately, most of the best car carrier products listed in this article are affordable.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cat Carriers
See below some top frequently asked questions and answers on cat carriers for long-distance traveling.
What Do Vets Recommend For Cat Carriers?
A: According to Battersea, the best type of pet carriers are plastic carriers, notably those made with sturdy materials. Compared to metal or cardboard cat carriers, plastic is the safest and most comfortable option for your cat. In addition, they are lightweight, durable, and relatively easy to maintain.
Is A Cat Carrier Necessary?
A: A cat carrier is a must-have for any cat owner. Whether you’re traveling long or short distances, it is a secure way to transport your pets. Furthermore, it’s a tradition in some places to use a cat carrier when taking your pet to a vet clinic.
How Long Should A Cat Be In A Carrier?
A: Some cat owners leave their cats in carriers for up to 10 hours a day if they are out. However, how long you should keep yours depends on your cat. Up to eight hours in a carrier is usually OK with most cats. Others may require a bit more attention, in which case a break every 2-3 hours may be necessary.
Can A Cat Stay In A Carrier Overnight?
A: Cat carriers can be used as substitutes to cat crates and cages. So long as you give your pet enough time out during the daytime, it will be safe to sleep in its carrier overnight. Before you tuck in your kitty for the night, ensure you give them access to the litter box.
All the products discussed here as very good products and any item you choose will work for transporting your pet. However, I recommend the Smiling Paws Pets 4-Way Expandable Airline as the overall best cat carrier for long-distance travel for all normal-sized cats and kittens.
However, if you are traveling by car you may want to consider the SPORT PET Large Pop Open Kennel as it has most of the features of the smiling paws but is designed for car travel only, unlike the smiling paws which can work for both. It is roomier and will allow your pet a much more comfy trip.
If you have two cats and are traveling by car, the PawHut Dual Pet Carrier will allow you to easily transport the two of them very comfortably while keeping them separate. The Pet Fit For Life Large Cat Carrier is also good for car travel and it comes with a separate water-resistant collapsible box that can serve as a litter box.
Are you on a budget? If yes, you can go for the Vceoa Carriers Soft-Sided Pet Carrier for Cats instead, as it is inexpensive and will help you transport your cat.
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