Traveling with Your Cat: Reader Cat Carrier Recommendations

Last Updated on July 8, 2021 by Jenny

Petmate Two Door Top Load 24-Inch KennelFloppycats’ reader, Martha, recently responded to a newsletter inquiry in which readers were asked what their favorite pet carrier was.

Hi Jenny,

I can highly recommend a pet carrier I purchased from Amazon on Feb. 10, 2013 ($40.27).  It is known as Petmate Two Door Top Load 24-Inch Kennel, which is constructed of steel and plastic.  It also has a secure carry handle.  I had to put the carrier together myself (and was quite angry about that when I received it) but it was actually very easy.  For me to say that it was easy is significant because hate having my time constrained by having to assemble anything. The reason I can recommend this carrier for a large cat is because I used it again on January 11, 2014 to take my male cat to the vet (he weighed in that day at 17.55 pounds) and there was still plenty of room in the carrier for him.  I have a small car, a Honda coupe, and the carrier fits nicely in my car in one of the two rear seats. The other reason I like this carrier is because it can easily be washed out if a cat has an accident.  I am also short (5’2″, somewhat handicapped with advanced osteoarthritis and generally use a cane).  However, I do have strong arms (like to lift weights).  I can park in the handicap area of a PetSmart store and manage to carry Whitie to the Banfield Hospital at the rear of the store without any assistance from anyone. LOL.  Attached is a picture of the carrier.

My cat, “Whitie,” seems to feel very comfortable in the carrier because he likes to get into the carrier while it is sitting out in the living room.

Nylabone Cozytime Pet Home and CarrierThe other carrier I like for a large cat is the Nylabone Cozytime Pet Home & Carrier.  It can actually hold a small dog up to 20 pounds.  The carrier is collapsible and there is nothing to assemble.  The front door is removable.  The carrier also has a clear sky dome top which provides plenty of natural light and can be opened.  This carrier folds flat for storage and also has a secure grip handle on top.  It is great for someone with a larger vehicle than my coupe.  I have two of these carriers and use them as loungers for my two Ragdolls.  I have placed the two carriers on a large table directly in front of a south facing patio door.  Both cats go into these during the day and sleep.  I removed the front doors — no tools are necessary — and keep the doors put away in a closet.  The cats can enter and leave these carriers as they wish.  They are actually beautifully carriers.  However, I was unable to secure them to the smallish bucket seats at the rear of my car.  If one has a high profile vehicle, SUV or other, these carriers would be fine for transport.  They are not, however, approved for air travel.  Attached is a photo.  You can purchase these from ($53.15).

You can probably get a better look by going directly to to view.  I don’t think the attached photo is very helpful.


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20 thoughts on “Traveling with Your Cat: Reader Cat Carrier Recommendations

  1. Denise L. Grande says:

    I currently use a huge petmate hard sided carrier with a memory form pad. For now, our 2 ragdoll kittens fit in it with plenty of room. I am looking for either a stroller or a carrier/stroller that will accomodate 2 ragdolls (40 – 50lbs total). I was looking at the PetZip Happy Trailer and houndabout II. Does anyone have any experience with either or something comparable that you are willing to share??? Thanks in advance for your help!!!! 🙂

  2. Dementia Boy says:

    This is embarrassing. I don’t think I’ve bought a cat carrier in over a decade, probably closer to two decades. They’re all hard plastic, varying sizes, with front entry.

    I have bought an enclosed stroller, though, large enough to accommodate a golden retriever, for emergency evacuations.

  3. Teresa says:

    We have about 6 carriers and tried to look some of them up but most of them are too old and have probably been discontinued. One looks similar to this one they sell at Target that has wheels and a telescoping handle that makes it easy to fasten in the seat with the seatbelt for added security:|pdp|14330802|ClickCP|item_page.vertical_1&lnk=Rec|pdp|ClickCP|item_page.vertical_1

    That is my favorite since I can’t lift a carrier with a cat in it and need the rolling kind. I also put a harness and leash on them, so when we are at the vet, I take them out and hold them so they won’t be frightened and it really helps. That said, we go to an all cat vet, so there are no scary or big dogs that could possibly be harmful. Seems to make them more at ease than being cooped up in the carrier.

    Has anyone ever had this experience: When the vet visit is over and you have them back in the carrier to go home – they just seem to know they are homeward bound and are 99% more relaxed than when you left the house. No singing, crying or begging to get out, just resting comfortably and quietly, mostly sleeping all the way home.

    • Dementia Boy says:

      “Has anyone ever had this experience: When the vet visit is over and you have them back in the carrier to go home – they just seem to know they are homeward bound and are 99% more relaxed than when you left the house. No singing, crying or begging to get out, just resting comfortably and quietly, mostly sleeping all the way home.”

      YES!!! With every single cat I’ve ever had!! They know. Izzy makes a beeline under the bed as soon as we get home; Jolie always looks for someone to beat up; Zen demanded food and apologies; Puck jumped on my shoulders and wouldn’t leave; Fast Oeddie turned somersaults. Trying to remember the others’ post-vet behavior. Funny kittehs.

  4. Jess says:

    I’m not sure if floppycats did a review on this (may already have…), but I currently use the XL sturdibag carrier.
    It’s huge yet light, easy to assemble, and it has straps on the side of the carrier that can be used to secure the seatbelt. The XL actually fits 2 ragdolls (~12 lbs each), so if you don’t really need a huge carrier, I’d go with a Large (still roomy) or a Medium (snug, fits under airplane seats).

    I actually wanted a sleepypod air carrier, but that one’s a bit too small for my taste. However, many might say that it’s the perfect size. If the size works for you, I think sleepypod air is also worth considering.


    • Jenny says:

      I have not done a review on it – although I have requested Sturdi products to review – they have not obliged =).

      I think the Sleepypod Air is really for Airplanes – as it is cramped for a car trip, but you can only have so much room on an airplane.

  5. Susan Marie says:

    I have a Nylabone collapsible dog carrier with removable door. I can put my two Ragdolls in it when I relocate three times a year for work. It is probably better for a large car or SUV.

    • Jenny says:

      when you take them to the vet, you take them on a harness and leash? my vet would not be pleased with me if i did that.

      • Ragdoll Mommy says:

        Oh yeah, their vet doesn’t mind at all, and people really love them! (Aw. Hi kitties. Look at those beauties!, etc).


        • Teresa says:

          Same thing with mine! They love it when people come over and pet them and having them on the leash gives them the freedom to feel at ease and not trapped in the carrier.

          • Dementia Boy says:

            Izzy is hard-core feral, terrified of most people, and I cover her carrier when she goes to the vet. Even then, I have to insist that people leave her alone.

            Jolie is an immunological wreck. I don’t know what’s on the floor, people’s hands; I don’t know what their cats may be incubating. I know that Jolie would not survive an episode of virulent calici, which lives on fomite surfaces.

            Going without a carrier is simply not an option for my rocket cats.

          • Ragdoll Mommy says:

            @ Dementia Boy,

            Sorry Izzy gets scared:-(

            My cats never had a problem in the car; except Star who vomits in the car.

  6. Barbee says:

    I needed a new carrier for my ‘kitten’ who is now over 12 pounds. Ordered one from Amazon. Thanks for the recommendations!

  7. Patti Johnson says:

    Great post, Jenny!

    Thank you for sharing this awesome information, Martha!

    Even though our Pink Sugar girls hates her cat carrier maybe one of these models you recommend would suit her better. I really like that Nylabone Carrier and how you use it on a daily basis for your kitties to hang out in and nap. Very cool.

    Big hugs!

    Patti & Pink Sugar 🙂

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