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10 Best Cat Carriers in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

cat inside Necoichi Ultra Light Collapsible Cat Carrier Bag

Cat carriers are an essential piece of equipment for every cat owner. Whether you go on long road trips and need a comfortable and spacious carrier or something cheap and cheerful for those emergency trips to the vet, there’s something out there to suit every cat and their owner. The trouble is knowing where to start looking.

There are so many different choices that trying to find the right carrier for your cat can feel a little overwhelming. Luckily for you, we’ve done all the hard work! Our reviews of the 10 best cat carriers on the market today include all the information that you need to find the perfect carrier for your furry friend.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Frisco Two Door Top Load Plastic Cat Carrier Frisco Two Door Top Load Plastic Cat Carrier
  • Plenty of ventilation
  • Made using environmentally friendly materials
  • Also available in a small size
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Necoichi Ultra-Light Collapsible Cat Carrier Bag Necoichi Ultra-Light Collapsible Cat Carrier Bag
  • Folds flat for easy storage
  • Plenty of ventilation
  • Lightweight
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Kurgo K9 Cat Carrier Backpack Kurgo K9 Cat Carrier Backpack
  • Waterproof base
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Interior tether point
  • Best for Kittens
    Pet Gear VIEW 360 Cat Carrier Pet Gear VIEW 360 Cat Carrier
  • Choose from three colors
  • Padded handle
  • Removable fleece pad
  • Jespet Cat Carrier Backpack Jespet Cat Carrier Backpack
  • Choose from two colors
  • Plenty of ventilation
  • Top entry for easy access
  • The 10 Best Cat Carriers – Reviews & Top Picks 2021

    1. Frisco Two Door Top Load Plastic Cat Carrier – Best Overall

    Frisco Two Door Top Load Cat Carrier

    Dimensions: 24 x 16.5 x 14.5 inches
    Weight: 6.43 pounds
    Material: Plastic

    We chose the Frisco Two Door Top Load Plastic Cat Carrier as the best overall cat carrier in our line-up. There are multiple reasons that we love this carrier, and just one is that the top-loading door makes it much easier to pop your cat inside. The wire mesh door and ventilated sides allow plenty of fresh air to flow through this carrier for ultimate comfort.

    The secure latches on both doors are easy for you to open but stay securely closed when not in use, so you don’t have to worry about your kitty making an escape attempt. The larger, 24-inch carrier is perfect for adult cats, but you can also choose the smaller 19-inch carrier for small breed cats or kittens.

    Pros
    • Plenty of ventilation
    • Made using environmentally friendly materials
    • Also available in a small size
    • Choose from two colors
    • Easy to clean

    Cons

    • None that we can see


    2. Necoichi Ultra-Light Collapsible Cat Carrier Bag – Best Value

    Necoichi Ultra Light Collapsible Cat Carrier Bag

    Dimensions: 19.7 x 15.7 x 13 inches
    Weight: 1 pound
    Material: Polyester and mesh

    If you’re looking for the best cat carrier for the money, then the Necoichi Ultra-Light Collapsible Cat Carrier Bag is the perfect choice. This collapsible mesh and fabric carrier can be folded flat for easy storage when not in use. If you rarely travel with your cat but want the peace of mind of having a carrier on hand for those emergency trips, then this is just what you need.

    The large mesh windows offer plenty of ventilation, while the wire supporting the sides leaves plenty of headroom for your cat. Some cats may rip the mesh, so this carrier is only recommended for cats that are calm while traveling.

    Pros
    • Great value for money
    • Folds flat for easy storage
    • Plenty of ventilation
    • Lightweight

    Cons

    • Some cats may rip the mesh
    • Too flimsy for large breed cats


    3. Kurgo K9 Cat Carrier Backpack – Premium Choice

    Kurgo K9 Cat Carrier Backpack

    Dimensions: 12.5 x 9 x 18.5 inches
    Weight: 4 pounds
    Material: Polyester

    If you’re looking for a premium cat carrier that you can use to bring your cat along on all your adventures, then the Kurgo K9 Cat Carrier Backpack is the perfect choice. Based on the styling of a commuter backpack, this doesn’t even look like a cat carrier at first glance. Despite this, it’s packed full of features to make it as comfortable as possible for your cat.

    There’s a mesh top that can be covered by the top flap or left open for additional ventilation. The solid base is waterproof and easy to clean, but it also comes with a soft washable pad for ultimate comfort.

    Pros
    • Waterproof base
    • Excellent ventilation
    • Interior tether point
    • Features additional storage

    Cons

    • A little small for large breed cats
    • Expensive


    4. Pet Gear VIEW 360 Cat Carrier – Best for Kittens

    Pet Gear VIEW 360 Cat Carrier Bag

    Dimensions: 20 x 12 x 18.5 inches
    Weight: 5.5 pounds
    Material: Steel, polyester, and mesh

    Kittens are often curious and love to see what’s going on in the world around them, so the Pet Gear VIEW 360 Cat Carrier is a great option. This lightweight carrier offers plenty of ventilation and a 360-degree field of view so your kitten can always see out. It can also be converted into a car seat, making it perfect for long road trips.

    If you’re worried about your kitten trying to escape when you open the door of their carrier, this features an interior tether so you can attach their leash. It also has a soft and comfortable fleece pad that can be removed and washed in case of any accidents.

    Pros
    • Choose from three colors
    • Padded handle
    • Removable fleece pad
    • Includes interior tether

    Cons

    • Expensive
    • Mesh may get ripped


    5. Jespet Cat Carrier Backpack

    Jespet Cat Carrier Backpack

    Dimensions: 17 x 13 x 12 inches
    Weight: 2.4 pounds
    Material: Polyester

    If you’re planning an airplane trip with your cat, then choosing an airline-approved carrier is essential. The Jespet Car Carrier Backpack will tick all your boxes. This sturdy backpack has plenty of great features to keep your cat safe and comfortable on your trip. This includes an interior leash tether, a soft fleece blanket base, and pockets to store your cat’s treats.

    This is also comfortable for you to carry, thanks to the padded shoulder straps and additional hip belt to help with weight distribution. We also like that it has a top access door and a side access door, making it easier for you to get your cat in and out.

    Pros
    • Choose from two colors
    • Plenty of ventilation
    • Top entry for easy access

    Cons

    • May be too small for large breed cats
    • Zippers are a little sticky


    6. Cat-in-the-bag E-Z-Zip Cat Carrier Bag

    Cat-in-the-bag E-Z-Zip Cat Carrier Bag

    Dimensions: 27 x 19 x 0.4 inches
    Weight: 1 pound
    Material: Cotton

    Some cats hate hard-sided carriers and manage to shred mesh carriers to bits, so it can be a struggle to find a carrier to suit them. The innovative design of the Cat-in-the-bag E-Z-Zip Cat Carrier Bag suits these cats and allows you to transport them safely and easily. The bag is large enough that your cat can move around inside, but the opening around their neck fastens securely to keep your cat safe and reduce any fear of being confined.

    It’s easy to get your cat into this carrier because there’s a long zipper that you can do up only once the collar section is fastened around their neck. The zipper also means your groomer or vet can gain easy access for treatments.

    Pros
    • Great choice for cats who hate carriers
    • Made with soft and comfortable cotton
    • Innovative design

    Cons

    • Expensive
    • Some cats may not like it


    7. Frisco Plastic Cat Carrier

    Frisco Plastic Cat Carrier

    Dimensions: 27.25 x 20 x 21.25 inches
    Weight: 10 pounds
    Material: Plastic and stainless steel

    Sometimes, a strong and durable cat carrier is the best option for your cat, and the Frisco Plastic Cat Carrier won’t disappoint. Made from high-quality and durable plastic with plenty of ventilation, this carrier also has a wire mesh door with a secure closing mechanism.

    The hard plastic is easy to clean, and you can separate the top and bottom halves, making it easier to clean into all the corners. This carrier is approved for airline travel, but it’s always best to check the dimensions accepted by your airline before you set off!

    Pros
    • High quality
    • Choose from six sizes
    • Sturdy design

    Cons

    • Expensive
    • No top door


    8. Petmate Vari Cat Carrier

    Petmate Vari Cat Carrier

    Dimensions: 24.1 x 16.7 x 14.5 inches
    Weight: 5 pounds
    Material: Plastic and steel

    The Petmate Vari Cat Carrier is a solid plastic carrier, which is great for both short vet trips and longer journeys. Plastic carriers offer plenty of ventilation and enable your cat to find the most comfortable positions because they can move around freely. The secure steel door has a squeeze latch, which is easy for you to operate but impossible for your cat to open!

    The ventilated sides and back offer plenty of airflow, while the top can easily be clipped off when you need to clean this out after travel. This carrier also has a seatbelt loop notch that you can use to secure it while traveling.

    Pros
    • Strong construction
    • Choose from four sizes
    • Includes seatbelt loop notch

    Cons

    • Expensive
    • No top door


    9. Van Ness Calm Carrier E-Z Load

    Van Ness Calm Carrier E-Z Load Sliding Drawer Cat Kennel

    Dimensions: 20 x 14 x 13 inches
    Weight: 4.5 pounds
    Material: Polypropylene and steel

    Some cats absolutely hate being placed into the carrier, and it can suddenly seem like they’ve developed superpowers to resist your attempts. The Van Ness Calm Carrier E-Z Load has an innovative design with a sliding drawer. Rather than battling with small doors, simply place your cat in the drawer section, distract them with a treat, and slide the drawer closed.

    Made from a high-quality plastic with a durable steel door, this carrier is a great choice for cats that otherwise shred mesh carriers. The large size makes it a good choice for heavier cats that need a little more space to move around in comfort.

    Pros
    • Ventilation on all sides
    • Made from durable, high-impact plastic
    • Easy to clean

    Cons

    • Expensive
    • Takes up a large amount of space to store


    10. Frisco Top Loading Cat Carrier

    Frisco Top Loading Cat Kennel

    Dimensions: 18.9 x 14.2 x 12.6 inches
    Weight: 1 pound
    Material: Plastic

    The Frisco Top Lading Cat Carrier is a great choice if you’re looking for a lightweight solid cat carrier that’s also great value for money. The top-loading design makes it much easier to get your cat into the carrier, although it’s worth noting that this opening is quite small, so this carrier doesn’t suit larger breed cats.

    The clear top allows your cat to see what’s going on, while the ventilated base offers plenty of airflow for comfort. This carrier is super easy to clean: Simply unlatch both sections and rinse them out with hot soapy water.

    Pros
    • Lightweight
    • Good value for money
    • Easy to clean

    Cons

    • Too small for larger cats
    • Plastic latch may break


    Buyer’s Guide

    These days, cat carriers are available in so many different sizes, designs, and styles that you may not be sure which type is going to suit you and your cat best. Before you make your decision, check out these important features.

    Size

    It’s important to make sure your cat is going to be comfortable in their carrier, so choosing one that’s the right size for them will definitely help. You want your cat to be able to stand up fully and turn around without feeling restricted. Check the carrier’s dimensions, and compare them to the length and height of your cat. Some larger breed cats will need a bigger carrier than average, so bear that in mind too.

    Material

    Cat carriers come in two main types: hard and soft. Hard carriers are made from plastic and are durable. They often only come with one side door, so it can sometimes be difficult to get your cat into the carrier. Make sure to choose one with a top door if you know your cat can be tricky. Hard carriers are easy to clean but are expensive and take up a great deal of space when you’re not using them.

    Soft carriers are usually made with a combination of fabric and mesh. They often have a reinforced base and can look like a sports bag or backpack. They offer good visibility and airflow, but some cats can rip the mesh sides. The zippers can also sometimes be undone by a determined feline. They don’t take up much space and are easy to clean, but they aren’t as durable as hard carriers.

    Number and location of doors

    Top-loading cat carriers are much easier to get your cat into and out of, and this feature can be found on both hard and soft carriers. Check the security of the openings if you know that your cat likes to paw at their carrier, then choose a carrier that they can’t rip.

    Comfort

    Making sure the carrier is going to be as comfortable as possible for your cat will make any trips easier for both of you. Hard carriers don’t usually come with a bed, but you can add a fleece blanket or cat bed to give your cat something comfortable to lie on. Soft carriers often include a washable fleece bed.

    hepper cat paw divider

    Conclusion

    After checking out the most popular cat carriers available on the market today, we selected the Frisco Two Door Top Load Plastic Cat Carrier as the best overall choice. This hard carrier comes with a top and side door for easy access. The durable design means this carrier will last you for years.

    In terms of best value, we love the Necoichi Ultra-Light Collapsible Cat Carrier Bag. This is perfect for the occasional vet trip, and when not in use, it folds completely flat for easy storage. Hopefully, our reviews have helped you choose the best carrier for your cat, and we hope that you both have many awesome adventures together!

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