5 Cat Carriers that Made It to the TCS Members’ Hall of Fame!

We are happy to bring you a list of the cat carriers loved most by our TCS members. As a cat parent, you understand the unpredictable nature of life. Think about the unplanned trips to the vet or those emergency situations you never saw coming.

And let's not forget the rare times when curiosity does more than just 'kill the cat' - it takes them on unexpected adventures. That's where trusty cat carriers come in.

While taking your fur-baby for a stroll in a harness and leash might be fun, it's not always practical or safe.

The cat carrier, hence, becomes a must-have item in your kitty-care toolkit.

Think of it as your cat's mobile safety zone. A refuge where they can feel secure when venturing outside their comfort zone. And remember, just like you'd want a seat for everyone in your car, each feline family member should have their own cat carrier. Safety, after all, never takes a day off!

Image of a cat in a soft sided cat carrier.

Unraveling the Anatomy of Ideal Cat Carriers

Imagine this. You're a cat, and your human is taking you on a journey outside your comfy home. You'd want your temporary abode to be a certain way, wouldn't you?

  1. Roomy with a View: Your cat carrier should be like a cozy studio apartment - big enough for your fur-baby to stretch out comfortably while offering a great view of the world outside.
  2. Built to Last: Like the sturdy castle walls that withstand battles, your carrier should be robust and strong, assuring your cat is safe during their grand adventure.
  3. Entry & Exit Made Easy: Easy access is key. Perfect cat carriers allow for quick opening and shutting. This way, your cat can check in and out with minimum fuss.
  4. Cleanliness is Next to Catliness: Let's face it when nature calls, it doesn't knock. Your cat carrier must be easy to clean, ensuring your kitty is always traveling in first class.
  5. Carry-Comfort: For you, the human, the carrier should come with comfortable handles. After all, your kitty deserves a smooth ride.
  6. Flawlessly Perfect: Check for cracks or dents. These sneaky flaws could weaken your carrier, turning your kitty's safe space into a potential risk.
  7. Color Me Happy: Now, about the color - your feline companion might be utterly indifferent. But hey, who says you can't travel in style? Go on, pick your favorite shade, as long as the other essentials are checked off the list!

Remember, when it comes to cat carriers, it's not just about functionality. It's about creating a mobile home-away-from-home that meets the needs of your feline friend and yours too. So, why not make it an extension of your personal style?

Top Cat Carriers Recommended by Our Furry Community

1. The Reliable: 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. 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 Carrier On Amazon.

2. The Innovator: 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.


3. The Traveler: Sherpa Original Deluxe Pet Carrier

The mesh panels give it an airy look, but these cat carriers are 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.

4. The Minimalist: 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 effective, 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.

See The Compass Pet Carrier On Amazon.

5. The Versatile: 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 Cat Carrier On Amazon.


1. Q: How can I make my cat comfortable in their new carrier? A: Make the carrier a positive place for your cat. Leave it out and open in your home, place treats, toys, and blankets inside, and allow your cat to explore it at their own pace.

Related read:  This Simple Method Will Cure Your Cat’s Carrier Fear

2. Q: Should I get a hard-sided or soft-sided carrier? A: It depends on your cat and your specific needs. Hard-sided carriers are generally more durable and easy to clean, while soft-sided carriers can be more comfortable and convenient for transportation.

3. Q: Can I use a dog carrier for my cat? A: While technically you can, cat carriers are usually designed with the specific needs of cats in mind. Cats generally prefer smaller, cozier spaces, so a cat-specific carrier might be more comfortable for them.

4. Q: How often should I replace my cat's carrier? A: There's no hard and fast rule, but it's a good idea to replace the carrier if it's damaged, if it's difficult to clean, or if your cat seems uncomfortable in it.

5. Q: Is it okay to put two cats in one carrier? A: It's usually best to have one carrier per cat. This reduces stress and prevents potential fights or injuries during transportation.

Selecting the Perfect Cat Carrier: A Guide to Comfort, Safety, and Travel Ease

Choosing the right cat carrier is key to ensuring your cat's safety, comfort, and happiness during travels. With the variety of options available, it's crucial to consider your cat's size, temperament, and your own lifestyle needs.

We hope this guide has helped simplify your search for the perfect cat carrier. Remember, every cat is unique, so what works for one might not work for another. Trust your instincts, you know your feline friend best!

With the right cat carrier, you're all set for countless adventures and vet visits, with your cat comfortably and safely by your side. 🐱💼✨

You might also like: Is Your Cat Carrier the Right Size? Tips for a Purr-fect Fit


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10 comments on “5 Cat Carriers that Made It to the TCS Members’ Hall of Fame!

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) http://www.petsmart.ca/cat/supplies-and-training/crates-gates-and-containment/petmate-compass-fashion-pet-carrier-18351.html?cgid=200012#
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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