Travel Pet Carriers for Cats

Post Published on July 25, 2012 | Last Updated on March 8, 2021 by Jenny

Floppycats’ reader, Erica, emailed me the other day and asked, “I was watching your videos on the sleepy pod air and had some questions (I have been searching searching the internet for an answer but haven’t seemed to have found one).  I’m planning on getting a Ragdoll kitten… I will be a 1st time cat owner and have fallen in love with the Ragdoll personality […]  I travel at least once every year and I want to be able to take my cat in cabin on the flights but I wonder if the male Ragdoll will be too big to fit in cabin.  […] Have you ever traveled or know someone whose traveled in cabin with their heavy male Ragdolls?”

Ragdolls in carriers
Travel Pet Carriers for Cats

Please note that this article may contain affiliate links. That means that if you buy something, I may earn a small commission. You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.

I reached out on Facebook to see what other Floppycats’ readers had to say:

Reader Favorites – Travel Pet Carriers for Cats:

  1. Sturdibag. Cindy recommended, “I really like Sturdibag. It fits nicely under the airlines seat and has springy supports so the top of the bag doesn’t collapse on the animal. It’s very sturdy too!”

SturdiBag Pet Carrier

Purchase your Sturidag on Amazon.

2. Sleepypod. Michelle recommended, “I love my Sleepypod! It’s the only carrier that kept my cat relaxed on his many trips to the Vet.”

 Sleepypod - Strawberry Red

Kim said, “I love my Sleepypod! It’s very comfy for my cat, and fits in my car seat with places for the seat belt to hold it.”

Find your Sleepypod on Amazon.

3. Sherpa on Wheels. Sharon said, “Sherpa gets my vote!! Large for the ragdolls. And on wheels to help my back. One of the few carriers I’ve found that rolls flat and doesn’t tip the cat when you’re rolling it. Handle adjusts to a variety of positions. Soft interior. Sheepskin like. The interior removes for easy cleaning. It’s also guaranteed to be allowed on airlines. (At least it used to be). A bit pricey at $110 or more, but well worth it. You can also get replacement wheels. 99891 is the model # for Sherpa!”

Sherpa Pet Carrier on Wheels Airline Approved

Shirley also said, “I think my very favorite is one I no longer have. It was like a stroller type on wheels. It opened in the front w/a zipper. You could just place the cat in that larger opening. I have a cat now that Hates the regular hard-sided front entrance ones!! I have found now that if I prop it up on end and have it open in my bathroom–I get her in the bathroom w/doors closed and pick her up and drop her in thru the top. Much easier than trying and failing many times to stuff her in when it is laying flat. Good thing I don’t have to take her out a lot : )” We confirmed and she was talking about the Sherpa on wheels.

Purchase your Sherpa on Amazon.

4. Petmate Vari Kennel. Andrea says, “I have had the Vari Kennel for 25 years. I bought it at a local pet store, but Amazon does carry it. We use it for trips to the vet and keep our SureFeeder in it as we have a food bully. It is the perfect size for Ragdolls.”

Petmate Ultra Vari Kennel

You can grab a Vari Kennel on Amazon.

5. Petmate Two Door Top Load. Martha recommended the Petmate Two Door Top Load 24-Inch Kennel, which is constructed of steel and plastic.  It also has a secure carry handle.
Petmate Two Door Top Load 24-Inch Kennel

Michelle also said, “We like the carrier Petmate, it’s durable and when loading things into the car for trips we can actually stack things on top of it. We drive periodically to and from our vacation home, 3 1/2 hour drive, and always take many things with us on our trip. The mesh totes don’t seem as durable.

Buy your Petmate Two Door Top Load 24-Inch Kennel on Amazon.

6. Calm Carrier. Maureen said, “This is what we have for one of our two cats. She loves it, and our vet always comments on how much easier it is for cats to have one like this. It was the first one like it our vet saw, and she’s now recommending it to other cat owners.”

best cat carrier for cats who hate carriers calm carrier magicarrier drawer out

Find your Calm Carrier on their website.

7. Morpilot Dog Backpack Carrier. Eve said, “I can’t find the exact one, I bought it years ago, but this one comes with the same collapsible water bowl. It was also $30-40. Mine looks like a lot heavier construction and my kitty is 15lbs. I love the backpack cuz then your arms are free, and with two cats, one who did not like the mesh backpack, you can carry another pet!”

morpilot Dog Backpack Carrier

Grab the morpilot Dog Backpack Carrier on Amazon.

8. Catit Catit Cabrio Carrier. Michelle said, “I love these, we have 2 of the solid gray ones that can no longer get in that color. I love that the door is solid to where they can’t stick their paw through and is very roomy! Get so many compliments at the vet and anywhere we go.”
Catit Cabrio Carrier – Blue-Gray (2)

Amazon carries the Catit Catit Cabrio Carrier

9. Pet Magasin. Christine said,”Pet Magasin hardcover collapsible pet carrier. I use it mostly for vet trips or when moving. There is a bigger one than the one in the link that my big girl fits in with plenty of room to spare. I love it because it is front or top loading, easy to clean, and folds up completely flat for storing in tight spaces. The top and bottom are hard, the sides are thick neoprene, and the door is mesh.”

Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier

Find the Pet Magasin on Amazon.

10. Lollimeow Pet Carrier Backpack. Eve said, “My sister is a vet tech and someone brought in a kitty in this carrier. I want to get a bubble one like this next for my kittens. Also, I suggest this one as a great one for taking kitties to the vet. If it’s a very nervous kitty or looks very sick and might be a contagious cat disease, a carrier like this allows the kitty to be initially looked at with out having to leave the carrier (if you have a runner/freakout type kitty, this might help the visibility).

Lollimeow Pet Carrier Backpack Bubble Backpack Carrier

Find the Lollimeow Pet Carrier Bubble Backpack Carrier on Amazon.

11. Pet Smart Cart Carriers on Wheels. Sharon Shulby, a Ragdoll breeder wrote:

“I use “Smart Cart Carriers on wheels” for my cats. I get them from Amazon. I have the large size..$65.55…21″ long x 12″ wide and 16″ high…the wheels are on a removable board which, when removed, lowers the height by 2″. It has a telescopic handle to pull the cat and the carrier. 
My husband used to say, “if you can’t carry it or put wheels on it, you can’t bring it into the house.”
My King is 24# and I’m not carrying him on my shoulder. 
It also has a strap to secure it to the seat belt, if you’re in a car. 
They’re available in small and medium size also. 
The Smart Cart folds flat, with large,  velcro straps to secure it. It has a heavy duty fabric handle to hang it on the wall, near the door, making it easy to grab, in case of emergency evacuation
I won’t be without them.”
Smart Cart Carriers on wheels
Find your Smart Cart Carriers on wheels on Amazon.

12. Cayman Pet Carriers. Jill recommended the Marchioro Cayman Pet Carriers.  “I use the Cayman 2 for my big guy, Caymus.  And a slightly smaller version, Cayman 1, for my Murphy.  These are great carriers – very easy to undo at the vet’s office and my vet always tells me how much she likes them.  This is a carrier you can get for your kitten and use it through their adulthood.  In other words, a carrier that will last 20 years and beyond.”

  • Cayman 3 Pet Carrier
    (This is Caymus’ carrier – he’s 17-18 lbs. Carrier measures 25 x 17 x 17 inches ; 3 pounds)
  • Cayman 2 Pet Carrier
    (This is Murphy’s carrier – he’s 11-12 lbs. Carrier measures 22.2 x 14 x 14.2 inches ; 3 pounds )

Purchase your Cayman 3 Pet Carrier or Cayman 2 Pet Carrier on Amazon

13. Sherpa American Kennel Soft Carrier. Claudia recommended, “The Sherpa American Kennel soft carrier. Meant for a small dog but our cats love it. It is attractive but very comfortable with a furry bottom. The top and end zippers make it so easy to move the cats in and out. Also, it is the right size for taking on the airplane if you must travel.”

Sherpa Pet Delta Air Lines Deluxe Pet Carrier

Purchase your Sherpa American Kennel soft carrier on Amazon

14. Cat in the Bag. Barb said, “The one I like best is cat-in-the-bag. It’s not for an airplane, but works great in our car for our trips with Finn, three hours each way. We have tried two other carriers & he cries in them; wants let out. The cat-in-the-bag carrier is wonderful! Lots of room for legs to stretch out, and his head is not enclosed. The vet also loves this carrier as they can just unzip the bottom to give an examination or vaccine. Velcro is used to hold the cat’s head. The strap is great for carrying the cat or strapping him into the car’s seatbelt. I’ve also given a cat a bath in this….so much easier with it! Simple to store this carrier too!”

Cat in the Bag CAT-IN-THE-BAG COZY COMFORT Carrier

Grab a Cat-in-the-Bag Carrier on Amazon.

Do you love your travel pet carrier for your cat? What brand, size, etc. is it? I would love to feature it here! Have you taken your kitty on an airplane with it? Is it an approved airline pet carrier?

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16 thoughts on “Travel Pet Carriers for Cats

  1. http://wendydavenport.blinkweb.com says:

    Many cats prefer horizontal surface to scratch on rather than vertical.
    If he or she doesn’t immediately accept it, don’t be discouraged.
    This is almost feline abuse in the eyes of your precious princess or your precious prince.

  2. Nicky says:

    I’m getting my first Ragdoll kitten (male) in 8 weeks. Can’t wait. I’ve been looking at all the carriers online and am thoroughly confused – so many to choose from. Hard vs soft carriers? Top loaders vs front loaders? Which carrier would be comfortable for an adult male? I would like the carrier to last from kitten to adult stage. Any suggestions?

    • Jenny says:

      Nicky, if you want one carrier to last the length of your kitty’s life and it doesn’t have to be an airline approved carrier, then I would recommend the Marchioro Cayman Pet Carriers. My mom has one of each for her Ragdolls. They are now 8 years old and these have been great carriers for her. Of course, you still need a cozy blanket to put inside.

      Her cats, Caymus and Murphy, are different sizes – so she has a bigger one for Caymus and a smaller one for Murphy. Caymus is 17 lbs and Murphy is about 12 lbs. She has the 25″ one for Caymus and the 22″ one for Murphy. I have listed them below.

      CAYMAN 3 25X17X17 BGE/GRN

      Cayman 2 Pet Carrier – 22.2 x 14 x 14.2 inches

      My vet, an all cat vet, DOES NOT like top loaders. I like hard carriers for a number of reasons – one is that I just think they are safer if there was to be an impact of any sort.

      • Nicky says:

        Great advice thank you – will look at the suggested carriers. Downloaded your ebook today, thank you muchly for all the great advice, ideas and insight – so excited to become a first time rag mom.

        • Jenny says:

          Good deal – I think my mom actually has Cayman 1 and 2, not 2 and 3 – getting my dad to measure them to make sure.

          Please let me know what you think of the book – I need to add these carriers to the book!

          I’m excited for you too – hope you’ll share your precious angel with us!

        • Jenny says:

          Hi Nicky, my dad measured them for me and turns out that my mom has the Marchioro Cayman Pet Carriers 1 & 2. Not 2 & 3.

        • Jenny says:

          Oh my goodness! It is 2 & 3 that she has – thanks for asking – it inspired me to do a review! So I went over today to do the video and saw on the bottom that it is 2 & 3!! So here are the right ones, finally!

          • Cayman 3 Pet Carrier
            (This is Caymus’ carrier – he’s 17-18 lbs. Carrier measures 25 x 17 x 17 inches ; 3 pounds)
          • Cayman 2 Pet Carrier
            (This is Murphy’s carrier – he’s 11-12 lbs. Carrier measures 22.2 x 14 x 14.2 inches ; 3 pounds )
          • Nicky says:

            Great, thanks for the confirmation – I was going to go for the #2, but may change to the #3. Caymus seems a good average size for a male.

            (on a side note – I’m a newbie to this site – have you done any reviews or had reader feedback on litter pans for large cats?)

  3. Fai says:

    I agree with Sharon – I just got a Sherpa Ultimate on wheels (the one shown near the end there) and it’s magnificent. Very well-made, and they carry replacement parts for just about anything that could wear out on the bag – replacement wheels, structural elements, fleece liners, everything! It’s also very stable to roll around, and collapsible for storage. One end features double zippers – open one for collapsibility, or the other to keep the structural frame in place so the carrier can be used as a regular cozy bed for your kitty. All sides have roll-down privacy shades except the front, which has a net pocket (which you could put something in to hide that side too if you didn’t want anyone to be be bothered that about you carrying a pet with you, like on the bus or in public buildings). I spent a long time looking for just the right carrier, and when mine arrived it was even better than expected.

  4. Margot C says:

    Forgot to mention, the Sleepypod is ‘top loading’, I don’t know about your experience but trying to put Leonardo in a ‘front loading’ carrier is not easy or fun. He also sleeps in the bottom half of the sleepy pod some of the time (it’s just one of the spots in the house that he likes and it’s left out for him) so his scent is all over it so he feels much more secure.

  5. Erica J says:

    Thank you Jenny for posting this… it’s a big help. 🙂 And thank you so much for posting all these great carriers. Gives me a better “Ragdoll” point of view. 🙂

  6. Sharon says:

    I wasn’t aware that the new owner was getting a male RD! If that’s the case, and they want to travel, the only carrier to get is the Sherpa. It’s way too difficult to schlep a 20# cat through the airport. Sherpa is on wheels and doesn’t tilt the cat like others I’ve used. (And donated.) My males can turn around in it and stand up in it. The only way to go! This is my 10th carrier!! And last!! It’s just too bad there’s no place where we can ‘try out’ or rent the carriers before we spend lots of $ on them. Sigh

  7. Margot C says:

    Leonardo has a Sleepypod, it’s the best thing ever and you can secure it very well with the seatbelt in the car too.

  8. Julie says:

    WOW! For some reason the link just takes me back here to your blog but with a blank page!! But it IS the CORRECT link! SORRY!

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