Cat Carriers Recommended By TCS Members

If you have a cat, a cat carrier is one item you absolutely must-have. With the exception of walking a trained cat with a harness and leash, you should never take your cat outside unless she's secured inside a cat carrier. Emergencies, medical or otherwise, are always a possibility, so you should have enough carriers for all of your cats.

Carriers come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. The cat carrier should be -

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  • Large enough to comfortably accommodate your cat.
  • Sturdy and strong.
  • Easy to open and shut.
  • Easy to clean (accidents can and will happen!)
  • Easy to carry, with comfortable handles.
  • With no cracks or dents. These can weaken the carrier and make it unsafe for your cat.
  • Pink.

Ok, just kidding about pink. It can be any color you'd like it to be. Your cat couldn't care less about the color of the carrier, so please make sure the other parameters are met, and only then choose the color.

Keeping in mind these considerations, here are five cat carriers that our members like and recommend:

Petmate Pet Taxi Fashion Kennel

This popular model is sturdy and durable, easy to take apart and clean, and offers a convenient solution for transporting your cat. Available in three sizes, small, medium, and large, it has everything you need in a cat carrier and comes with a reasonable price tag.

We have two of these carriers and they've stood up amazingly well to years of use and abuse. If I remember correctly, they cost about $15 in our local store and are well worth it. They're solid, but easy to take apart if you have a cat who doesn't [like] to come out. They're also very easy to wash if anyone has an accident. - Ms. Freya

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

Petmate Two Door Top Load Pet Kennel

So, you managed to get your cat inside the carrier and got her safely into the vet's clinic. Getting her out can be a challenge in its own right! Many cats prefer to stay within the safety of the carrier and reaching in through the carrier's front opening isn't always easy. That's why many owners like this model by Petmate, with its convenient top opening.

I find this carrier to be an excellent value. I did not find it that expensive compared to others I have looked at and the top-loading capability makes it so much easier to get my cats into. The cat seemed less stressed than in the other crates I use. I think it may be due to the open feel of the crate. A great buy. - Just Mike

Click here to see this carrier on Amazon.

Sherpa Original Deluxe Pet Carrier

The mesh panels give it an airy look, but this carrier is strong enough to be airline-approved. The smaller versions also meet the "Guaranteed on Board" standard, as they fit under the passenger's seat.

You don't have to fly, though. This is a great carrier for car travel, with its seatbelt/luggage strap. Equipped with both top and side entries, it's a practical solution for vet visits, and if you have paperwork to carry with you, it also has a convenient back pocket.

This carrier is by far the best carrier I've ever had. It's meant for planes, but I use it for vet visits. The bottom is fuzzy and soft, which keeps my 18 lb cat comfortable. And it's removable and machine washable! - molldee

Click here to see this cat carrier on Amazon.

Compass Pet Carrier by Petmate

This carrier may be pink (there are other colors too), but it offers a no-frills way to get your cat around. It is simple, yet effectively, designed with a single front opening, sturdy plastic latches, ventilation holes on every side, and an ergonomic handle. The carrier's door opens to one side only, but you can easily take the carrier apart at the vet's office, removing the top to get Kitty out.

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

Marchioro Clipper Aran 2 Pet Carrier

This high-quality carrier offers a way to safely transport your cat with ease, especially if you use the optional wheels or shoulder strap. It's roomy, robust, and built to last, offering both front and top loading options. The spring-latch door offers extra security but it's also easy to handle and open when necessary.

Being able to put a cat in it from either the top or front is what makes this carrier so convenient. Putting cats in the carrier from the top is much easier than having to stand a carrier on end to "deposit" them through the front opening. Top access was vital for Jamie's frequent vet visits, as he was almost impossible to get out of the carrier from the front at the vets' office. Front access means that the carrier can double as a familiar bed, something Mogli appreciates when he's boarded. - jcat

Click here to see this pet carrier on Amazon.

How about you? Have you tried any of these cat carriers? Let us know which carrier you're using and why. Please leave a comment below.

9 comments on “Cat Carriers Recommended By TCS Members

tarasgirl06 June 2, 2017
The PETMATE 2 Door Deluxe is our tried and true, airline-approved, reliable and sturdy carrier. We have various sizes, because over the years, our furmily has included little kittens all the way up to 22-pound behemoths. It's great to have top-loading capability and also side-loading, for pouring cats into and out of the carrier. The top load has worked wonderfully for when I gave my beloved Moti sub-Q Ringers solution for 7 months when she was diagnosed with CRF. And these carriers are airline approved, which was just what we needed to airlift 12 cats internationally. They all arrived safe and sound.
sidneykitty March 26, 2017
As someone who works at a vet, these are all really great options especially for when your cat does not want to come out of the carrier, we really love having the top-loading or easily removable top so we don't have to pull your cat out. Not fun for us or your cat! Personally my favorites are the first 2! If you're looking at a soft carrier, keep your cat's personality in mind - my cat shreds the netting on these ones apart trying to escape!
SeventhHeaven March 24, 2017
My fave Petmate crate but not listed: double locks so door opens either way (for cats/dogs)
therese March 24, 2017
Go to Amazon Petote Rio bag on wheels....its the best, telescoping handles and on rollers.
JMJimmy March 24, 2017
Yeah there are 3 sizes of the Sherpa the small is too small for most cats, the medium is perfect, the large is better for dogs.
tarasgirl06 March 24, 2017
We've always relied on the PetMate carriers because of their durability and top-and-side loading.  They're airline approved, and that was something necessary for our airlift (long story).  I won one soft-sided Sherpa-type carrier by Ruff & Ready Pets, which is also top-and-side loading, but definitely not airline approved, and quite small.  The hard-sided carriers are always my choice.
lavishsqualor March 23, 2017
I love my Sherpa too!  I have the really big one so I can put both Atticus and Thirteen in there together, whcih is really nice when we fly.
JMJimmy March 22, 2017
There is no question the Sherpa Original Deluxe Pet Carrier is the best.  We have the Petmate Two Door Top Load Pet Kennel and the Kennel Cab Pet Carrier by Petmate - the cats hate them and it's a struggle to get them inside every time.  The Sherpa we left it out with the top open by accident - 3 of 5 cats use it as a place to sleep the day away.  We use the Sherpa for our most difficult to crate cat - it's larger opening allows us to scoop him up, put him head first into the carrier without anything for him to brace himself against.  The only thing that could make it better is if the front opening had a temporary magnetic closing which would hold the door in place while you zip it up.  No cat has made it out while we're zipping it up, however, I do see the potential for that happening if you're not quick.
ashade1 March 22, 2017
Being a small rescue, we have a TON of carriers! My favorite is definitely my Petmate Two Door Top Load Pet Kennel. It is a nice size if you have bigger cats or are hauling a couple of kittens (I used it once for a mom and 8 4 day old kittens) and I love that you can open the top to load/unload shy strays!

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