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The 16 Best Cat Carriers for Long Car Trips 2020 – Latest List & Buyer’s Guide

You may have decided to travel with your cat because you simply wanted to or because you did not have someone to sit them while you are away.

Regardless, cats are not the easiest to share a ride with and most of them dislike car trips. In that regard, you may want to get your hands on the best cat carrier for long car trips.

This will ensure that your kitty is comfortable and remains secure for the duration of your trip but how do you go about the selection process? We are about to get into that so you may want to keep it here.

Perfect Road Trip Cat Carriers - Comparison Table

If you are unable to go through this entire review, the following comparison table will come in handy. It summarizes our top choices and that should make it easy for you to make a quick and informed choice.

Picture
Petseek Extra Large Cat Carrier Soft Sided Folding...
One for Pets Portable 2-in-1 Double Pet...
Pet Fit For Life Extra Large (32"x19"x19")...
Petego Pet Tube Car Kennel, Large
Petmate Ultra Vari Kennel 28" 25-30LB, Taupe/Black...
5-in-1 Pet Carrier with Backpack, Car Seat, Pet...
Product Name
Petseek Extra Large Cat Carrier Soft Sided Folding...
One for Pets Portable 2-in-1 Double Pet...
Pet Fit For Life Extra Large (32"x19"x19")...
Petego Pet Tube Car Kennel, Large
Petmate Ultra Vari Kennel 28" 25-30LB, Taupe/Black...
5-in-1 Pet Carrier with Backpack, Car Seat, Pet...
Weight
8.4 Pounds
7.55 Pounds
4 Pounds
8 Pounds
25 Pounds
19.4 Pounds
Dimensions
24 x 16.5 x 16 inches
20 x 39 x 20 inches
32 x 19 x 19 inches
47 x 24 x 24 inches
28 x 20.5 x 21.5 inches
33.2 x 14.75 x 9.8 inches
Prime Status
-
-
Picture
Petseek Extra Large Cat Carrier Soft Sided Folding...
Product Name
Petseek Extra Large Cat Carrier Soft Sided Folding...
Weight
8.4 Pounds
Dimensions
24 x 16.5 x 16 inches
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Picture
One for Pets Portable 2-in-1 Double Pet...
Product Name
One for Pets Portable 2-in-1 Double Pet...
Weight
7.55 Pounds
Dimensions
20 x 39 x 20 inches
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
Pet Fit For Life Extra Large (32"x19"x19")...
Product Name
Pet Fit For Life Extra Large (32"x19"x19")...
Weight
4 Pounds
Dimensions
32 x 19 x 19 inches
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Picture
Petego Pet Tube Car Kennel, Large
Product Name
Petego Pet Tube Car Kennel, Large
Weight
8 Pounds
Dimensions
47 x 24 x 24 inches
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
Petmate Ultra Vari Kennel 28" 25-30LB, Taupe/Black...
Product Name
Petmate Ultra Vari Kennel 28" 25-30LB, Taupe/Black...
Weight
25 Pounds
Dimensions
28 x 20.5 x 21.5 inches
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Picture
5-in-1 Pet Carrier with Backpack, Car Seat, Pet...
Product Name
5-in-1 Pet Carrier with Backpack, Car Seat, Pet...
Weight
19.4 Pounds
Dimensions
33.2 x 14.75 x 9.8 inches
Prime Status
Check Latest Price

The Best Cat Carrier for Long Car Trips in Review

1. Petseek Extra Large Cat Carrier

This carrier is the most comfortable choice if you have a medium to a large cat that is up to 55 pounds in weight. It measures about 24x16.5x16 inches which allow your cat to move freely inside the carrier during a trip.

 

Also, the carrier is made of superior quality Oxford fabric that is wear-resistant and can be cleaned easily. More to that, it's fitted with a nylon mesh that is resistant to tearing and properly ventilated.

Therefore, you will be able to use it for a long time since it's highly durable.

More Features and Benefits

Besides, adjustable shoulder straps and hand carry handle ensures you carry safely without risk of dropping the carrier and injuring your cat. What's more, it's foldable and therefore efficient in storage and while carrying.

Furthermore, the carrier has 3 locking zippers to increase safety.

Pros

  • Easily washable
  • Durable
  • Sturdy design
  • Safety design

Cons

  • Can't be expanded

2. One for Pets Portable 2-in-1 Double Pet Cat Carrier

If you have two cats, then the One for Pets carrier is very convenient for you since it comes with a double kennel. It is fitted with built-in straps that allow connection to a seat belt to enable you to travel safely with your pets.

Also, this carrier is easy to set up and fold and you will save enough time while you want to use it. More to that, the pad cover is easily removable and washable. This ensures your pet doesn't get predisposed to infections from dirty surfaces.

In addition, it has interior hooks for hanging the hammock for easy storage.

More Features and Benefits

The carrier is light-weight which enables you to carry it for a long distance without getting tired. Besides that, the double kennel can be used in 3 ways by adjusting the zips accordingly to create one or two compartments.

Pros

  • Double compartments
  • Light-weight
  • Easy to set-up
  • Interior hooks

Cons

  • Breaking zippers

3. Pet Fit for Life Large Cat Carrier

Your pet deserves a spacious and comfortable carrier during trips. The Pet Fit cat carrier comes in a 32"x19"x19" size that is big enough to house 2 fully grown cats. The carrier has a wide space that allows your pet to move around.

Also, this high-quality carrier is made of durable nylon fabric with a flexible steel frame that will last for long before replacement. It included a super-soft velvet-covered floor pad that ensures the cat feels at peace and safe.

More to that, the carrier has flexible and versatile features that will enhance your cat's travel experience.

More Features and Benefits

It has two and a zippered front door that provides plenty of ventilation. In addition, the soft velour bed pad is washable ensuring your cat is in a safe clean environment.

Pros

  • Durable
  • High quality
  • Proper ventilation
  • Safe

Cons

  • Too big for small pets

4. Petego Pet Tube Kennel Cat Carrier

Finding a stylish cat carrier that is strong and lightweight can be a daunting task. However, the Petego Pet Tube is made with a durable fabric that makes the kennel good for traveling with your cats safely.

It can be attached securely to the rear seat to minimize the risk of falling during a trip.

Also, the carrier is tube-shaped to give your pet ample room and space to move around. Its size allows for more than one pet. You won't have to worry about carrying since it comes with two handles. More to that, the large tube can be adjusted to a smaller size if need be.

More Benefits and Features

In addition, this carrier is easy to store in the trunk after use since it quickly collapses and the ends zip together automatically. You have an option to purchase comfort pillows for your cat to increase stability when your cat is asleep.

Pros

  • Two sizes
  • Portable
  • Durable
  • Safe and comfortable

Cons

  • Expensive

5. Petmate Ultra Vari Kennel Cat Carrier

When you want a carrier that is allowed for air travel, then this one is approved by several airlines cargo specifications. It's largely made of heavy-duty recycled plastic material for durability.

 

Besides that, the plastic shell, metal screws, and covered door posts increase the lifespan of the carrier to give you more service before wearing out.

Also, it’s fitted with an easy-open front latch to quickly access pets. For your cat's safety needs, it has a raised interior and ties down holes to minimize accidents.

More Benefits and Features

More to that, it has an easy-open latch that provides a secure lock that can easily be opened with one hand. In addition, it has wire ventilation openings that provide ample fresh air and increased visibility to your pets.

You need to know the carrier is safe for all age cats.

Pros

  • Best for air travel
  • Wire vents
  • 360 degrees visibility
  • Durable

Cons

  • Not suitable for heavy pets

6. Ibiyaya 5-in-1 Pet Carrier with Backpack Cat Carrier

A versatile cat carrier allows you to convert it into a shoulder carrier, a pet cat seat, or a dog backpack carrier. The Ibiyaya carrier delivers just that. Your pet will enjoy the flexible ways it can travel with you.

Also, in terms of quality, it has sturdy wheels, a one-fold mechanism that ensures durability. The pet carrier is made of compact high-quality materials to always keep your pet safe.

More to that, it has a large opening for easy getting in and out for your pet. In addition, the carrier has a sturdy mesh window and perforated holes to increase ventilation for your cat.

More Benefits and Features

What's more, it comes with a roll-up flap for privacy. You need to know it's a multi-purpose carrier that's easy to assemble and convertible to any function in a minute.

Pros

  • Multi-purpose
  • Easy assembly
  • High-quality
  • Roll-up flaps

Cons

  • Small

7. Petisfam Large Cat Carrier

Getting a sensitive cat into a carrier can be frustrating. Petisfam carrier has a cat-friendly design that will help your cat to go in by itself since it's designed like a bed. That’s why we’d comfortably rank it potentially as the best cat carrier for car travel.

It's quite well-made complete with zippers which come complete with anti-escape features.

More to that, the carrier has a sturdy bottom and metal frame which makes the carrier keeps its shape during travel.

In addition, you can strap the carrier in the front cat seat firmly by a safety belt and shoulder strap to keep the pet restrained for safety.

More Benefits and Features

Besides that, this carrier has an adjustable shoulder strap for easy hands-free carrying. Furthermore, it's easy for you to store since it's easy as unzipping it and folding it down into a flat package when not in use.

Pros

  • Well ventilated
  • Escape proof
  • Easy to carry
  • Easily washable

Cons

  • Small for large cats

Read More: Best Clippers for Cats with Mats

8. Siivton Airline Approved Pet Carrier

The cat carrier is made of oxford and high-density EVA board for maximum protection, keep it upright, sturdy, and safe for your pet. It's expandable up to 38" x 30" x 11" when the mesh wires are adjusted keeping your pet comfortable.

Also, the carrier is dynamic storage for your pet since it has a unique 4- way expansion that helps reduce your pet's anxiety of confinement during travel. More to that, the carrier is airline approved with a standard size that can fit under the front cabin seat of most airline carriers.

More Benefits and Features

In addition, the expandable interior space with a comfortable fleece padded bed ensures maximum comfort for your pet. Besides that, the breathable mesh provides additional ventilation.

It's easily stored by folding it flat after use and remains its shape well until the next time to use it.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Expandable interior space
  • Easy to carry

Cons

  • Available in one size

9. Petisfam Soft Pet Carrier for Medium Cats

If you have a pet that weighs 16lbs and below, this carrier should be on top of your choice list. The top-load soft cat carrier measures 17"L X 11"W X 11"H and is escape-proof since all the zippers are anti-escape with a leash hook inside.

You need to know that the carrier is well ventilated for your pet with its 3 sides made of durable nylon mesh to ensure proper aeration. Also, a cat will find it easy to get in and out since it has 1 top opening and 2 side doors.

More Benefits and Features

In addition, it's easier to transport since it has a luggage attachment and a car seat belt straps are included. What's more, the carrier is approved by the majority of the airlines. The carrier is collapsible allowing you to carry and store easily.

Pros

  • Escape proof
  • Airline approved
  • Well ventilated
  • Easy to transport

Cons

  • 16 pounds maximum weight

10. FRiEQ 23-Inch Large Hard Cover Pet Carrier

The carrier is a convenient area with a spacious area measuring 23x16x15'' that is capable of handling a pet weighing up to 26lbs. You will find it easy to hold it since the soft-grip handle gives a lot of comfort.

Also, the carrier has a foldable design that ensures you save storage space in your car. More to that, the carrier has a see-through door that enables your pet to see the outside world and reduce confinement anxiety.

In addition, your pet will experience cozy comfort while you're on a trip that will make them feel safe and protected.

More Benefits and Features

What's more, the carrier has multiple ventilation slots that keep it cool will airflow keeping the cat feeling fresh.

Besides that, the soft padded cushions offer comfort and shock reduction during long trips. This carrier is waterproof on the top and bottom with good material that is easily washable.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Premium quality
  • Multiple ventilation
  • Foldable design

Cons

  • Bulky

11. Petsfit Pet Expandable Carrier

An amazing feature about this carrier is its expandable sides that offer room for your pet to stretch out or sleep during travel. Also, the extensions allow your cat to watch their surrounding since it's made up of mesh.

 

What's more, the top opening is easy to lift in case of a TSA check and its front door allows for easy access for your pet. Another advantage of this carrier is the pockets that you can use to keep treats, leashes, and other equipment that can be important on a trip.

Besides that, it's easy to carry on the shoulder due to its wide straps that are easy and sturdy.

More Benefits and Features

You will experience a long time of service since the carrier is made with durable cloth and thick netting that limits tearing. It also has a soft and flurry removable padded lining inside for a comfortable stay for your cat.

Pros

  • Expandable sides
  • Easy access
  • Sturdy
  • Wide straps

Cons

  • Prone to tear

12. Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier

This cat carrier for car is ideal even for air travel. Its main feature is the patented spring wire frame that allows the rear end of the carrier to be pushed down several inches to conform to under-seat requirements.


What's more, the carrier has a mesh panel that increases ventilation for the pet's comfortable breathing. It's fitted with roll-down flaps to ensure you and your cat enjoy privacy while in public.

In addition, the top and side entry has strong locking zippers for improved safety measures. Besides that, it has non-slip handles that enhance grip to avoid dropping your pet.

More Benefits and Features

More to that, the carrier has a machine-washable faux lambskin liner that's easy to clean and dry. You can fold it flat to ensure easy storage when not in use. It has a Delta-luggage tag making it easy to travel with Delta airlines seamlessly.

Pros

  • Luggage straps
  • Proper ventilation
  • Machine washable
  • Easy storage

Cons

  • Zipper malfunctions

13. Mr. Peanut's Airline Approved Soft Sided Pet Carrier

This carrier is designed to carry your cat lying down especially during flights since it's the typical position during flight. It has been designed to comply with major airline configurations.

In addition, the carrier has a name tag holder which allows you to find it easily if lost. It has zippered mesh pockets for storing your pet's treats, medication, and papers.

What's more, the padded shoulder strap with thick metal connectors increases the safety of your cat. It can be folded to 3 times its normal size for easy storage. Besides that, the carrier comes with a safety belt attachment that ensures less movement during travel.

More Benefits and Features

For durability, it has a wipe down 600D nylon fabric with PVC coating to increase its strength and endurance in all-weather types.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Air travel approved
  • Proper ventilation
  • Name tag holder

Cons

  • Brittle

14. Prodigen Pet Carrier Airline Approved Pet Carrier

A Prodigen Carrier measures 17.2"L x 10"W x 11"H and it's approved by the majority of the airlines. It has a ventilated top that ensures your cat gets fresh air every time during a trip.

Also, it has been designed with an ultra-safe, extra durable polyester to last you a long time hence saving you money for early replacement. More to that, the carrier has mini zipper buckles that ensure your pet stays tucked safely inside.

In addition, the mesh windows on all sides ensure easy access to your pet. Besides that, it has a strong compartment where you can keep your pet's treats and medicine. It's also seatbelt compatible so you can travel with your pet beside you.

More Benefits and Features

You need to know that its 3-layer fabric material makes it strong and sturdier. Moreover, its padded shoulder strap makes it easy for you to carry.

Pros

  • Anti-scratch mesh
  • Easy to carry
  • Good Visibility
  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Can't fit large cats

15. Petmate Two Door Top Load Cat Carrier

This pet crate is ideal for small cats that weigh between 10-20lbs. It has a top entry door for the easiest access to your cat. Also, this carrier meets most of the airline requirements and hence good for both air and car travel.

In addition, it has an ergonomic handle that increases the grip for safety during carrying. The sides have been properly ventilated for comfortable transport. More to that, the top and bottom have been fastened securely with wingnut and bolt design.

Besides that, for easy opening, its latch can be squeezed to open the door more conveniently.

More Features and Benefits

What you should know about this carrier is the unique top-loading door that ensures easy placement and removal of your pet from the carrier. Furthermore, its grated steel doors and side vents increase your cat's visibility to the outside.

Pros

  • Grated steel doors
  • Ergonomic design
  • Good ventilation
  • Easy to carry

Cons

  • Carries one pet

16. Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier

If you're planning to travel in comfort and style, the Sherpa Original deluxe carrier is all you need. The carrier is airline-approved with a lot of ventilation features to keep your cat comfortable.

 

Also, it comes with top and side entry with locking zippers that increase safety during a trip. More to that, the seatbelt security strap doubles as a luggage strap giving you more value for your money.

In addition, the no-slip shoulder strap is adjustable with padded support to help you carry the cat around easily. Its material is a machine-washable faux lambskin liner that allows for easy cleaning.

More Features and Benefits

Besides that, the large side zippered pockets hold your important pet travel needs. The company provides for a money-back guarantee in case a client is dissatisfied with the product.

Pros

  • Good ventilation
  • Large side zipper pockets
  • Easily washable
  • Easy to carry
  • Money-back guarantee

Cons

  • It's fragile

Buying Guide – How to Choose the Top Cat Carrier for Long Car Trips

As you search for the perfect cat carrier, you want to consider some crucial factors such as:

Carrier Size

A good carrier should be able to accommodate your cat comfortably. Whether your kitty is smaller or larger, there is a carrier for them.

If the carrier is too big, your cat can easily slide around it and if it is too small your kitty is likely to feel confined and stressed.

Ensure that the carrier you pick is large enough for your cat to lie down and turn around and still snug enough to give them a sense of security.

Type of Closure

Cat carriers come with different closures. The easiest to use come with two openings. Others have one in the middle and these are great because you never have to force your cat out of their carrier.

Avoid any carrier with a Velcro closure or zipper because, with adequate motivation, your cat can break such open.

A carrier with a front gate should work perfectly because even with their utmost effort, your kitty will not be able to open it.

Carrier Comfort

Your cat probably hates car rides because their carrier is uncomfortable. Of course, this may then lead them to act up while traveling.

To that effect, you want to go for a carrier that will offer great comfort. We would advise you to go for a soft-sided carrier, as it will conform to your cat's body when they lie down instead of hurting them.

How to Calm Down a Cat in a Car

If your cat acts up each time you are traveling, you will be pleased to learn that there are some things you can do to calm them down such as:

  • Train your kitty to like the carrier. After picking the right one and ensuring that it is the right size for your cat, you want to get them accustomed to it.
  • Place the carrier in an area where your kitty spends most of its time. By doing this, you make the carrier more of a resting place rather than an unpleasant traveling cage. 
  • Place treats in the carrier frequently to encourage your pet to get in. This allows your kitty to associate the carrier with good things.
  • Ensure that the carrier is properly secured while traveling. You probably put the carrier in the passenger seat and secure it with a seatbelt but that is not the right way to do it.

Instead, you want to place the carrier on the floor because that is where there is the least probability of your cat feeling the motion as you drive.

Tips for Travelling Long Distance with Multiple Cats

Now, you are probably wondering, what if I have several cats? Well, we also have some useful tips for traveling with multiple cats. Here are some.

Have a Litter Box in Place

Just like you, cats may feel the need to relieve themselves in the middle of your journey. Of course, you do not want to keep going with the messiness and unpleasant smell.

As such, you may want to have puppy pads or some sort of litter at the bottom of your cat's carrier to make things easier.

Use a Carrier

You probably think that it is better to let your kitty stretch or wander freely while in the car but as you will realize, it is wise to keep them properly secured in a carrier.

This way, you reduce the chances of your cat being injured in case of an accident or escaping. While in a carrier, your kitty is likely to simply shut down and relax or sleep most of the journey.

A carrier also makes your cat feel more secure. Just ensure that it is the right size.

See a Vet before Traveling

You want to visit a vet before heading off to your destination. This is because your vet may have some useful tips for long-distance traveling with your cats.

They are also better placed to prescribe sedatives if they feel your cats need some. Other than that, they can advise whether it is a good time to travel with your cats based on their health condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

We believe you have several questions when it comes to the best carrier for car travel with cat and we have tackled several below.

This should give you a clearer insight into the same.

How do I calm my kitty down in a carrier?

Remove the carrier's door, place a towel inside, and put treats or food on top of it. This will attract your cat to the carrier.

This is known as counterconditioning, which is essentially pairing something unpleasant with something pleasing.

Do cats prefer soft or hard carriers?

We would say that cats feel more comfortable in soft carriers because it will be easier for them to lie down and sit.

Such carriers are also lighter and usually come with shoulder straps that make them easy to carry.

Best Pick Overall

In our view, the leading cat carrier is the Petseek Extra Large Cat Carrier. We like it because it has the ability to handle the heaviest pet compared to the rest of the carriers. Also, it’s made of superior quality material Oxford fabric that is wear-resistant hence durable for long.

Final Thoughts

Clearly, a cat carrier is a crucial tool when it comes to traveling with your kitty. We know it may be a bit challenging to pick the right one and that is why we put this guide together.

With all the information that you now have, it should be easier to make an informed choice.

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