If you’re like most of us, traveling with your cat in tow is probably a slightly stressful experience.
Whether you’re traveling in the US or overseas, you can easily fall victim to many potential pitfalls, including your feline escaping or becoming injured, not having access to mandatory health certificates, or your pet carrier failing to meet the proper requirements for airline or car travel.
To help make your next trip a little easier, we have examined five high-quality products in our quest to determine the best cat carrier for long-distance travel.
Petluv "Happy Cat" Premium Pet Carrier
We love that this carrier has 4-times the
space in a traditional cat carrier, offers
panoramic views, provides your cat with
excellent airflow, and comes with a
fantastically comfortable pillow.
You should be looking for the product that best meets your unique set of conditions.
All five pet carriers evaluated here have earned extremely high rankings from users across the country, but the right one for you might not be the best choice for your next-door neighbor or best friend.
Take the time to do a little research now, and both you and your pet will enjoy a safe and hassle-free travel experience.
Things to Consider
Choosing the best cat carrier for long-distance travel is not an easy decision, but you should always consider the following factors before choosing a product:
- the size of your cat and whether you will be taking one or more
- the amount of ventilation and viewing area
- the size and comfort of the bedding
- the size of the carrier
- the feel and overall comfort of the carrier when you’re holding it
- the carrier’s compliance to airline requirements
- the number of panels and their accessibility.
Choosing the correct product to meet your requirements will go a long way in making your travels enjoyable for both you and your feline friend.
Before you leave on your trip, consult a veterinarian to ask about required vaccinations (especially if you’re traveling abroad). Make sure you have the appropriate health certificates for both air flight and car flight.
READ ALSO: Best Cat Trees for Multiple Cats
Finally, you should expose your cat to the carrier itself several weeks before your trip. Place her inside the unit and take her on short mini-trips. Leave the carrier around the house for her to inspect and maybe even crawl inside for a nap.
And once your trip has commenced, try to avoid the temptation to let your cat out of the carrier before the trip is complete.
Below are the best cat carriers for long-distance travel. Keep reading for all the details.
Petluv “Happy Cat” Premium Pet Carrier
With up to four times the internal space of most traditional cat carriers, this product exceeds expectations when it comes to quality and comfort.
Cats love the “Fluffy-Fluff” sleep pillow, with a faux-lambskin liner, which encourages a purrrfect night sleep and many additional catnaps during the day. The bedding and padding are composed of high-quality materials, making for a wonderfully comfortable experience for your pet. Who knows, you may want to sneak in there for a snooze as well!
The ventilated, locking mesh doors are coated in hypoallergenic PVC and provide great air flow for the passenger.
The unit is ideal for medium to large cats and can accommodate two or three felines weighing up to 45 pounds.
Your cat will enjoy a great panoramic view from all four sides and the unit is fully collapsible, folding all the way down to the floor.
On top of that, you cat can even enjoy the view with his “sun roof,” making his trek even more stress-free.
You’ll also love the padded shoulder straps and the seat belt restraints for maximum safety.
The carrier is soft-sided with locking zippers and reinforced seams so that you can feel confident that your pet is safe and secure. Seat-belt looks make it extremely easy to secure the crate in your car. It measures 22” L X 15”H X 15”D.
Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carriers
Available in small (15” L X 10” W X 8.5” H), medium (17”L X 11”W X 10.5”H), and large (19”L X 11.75”W X 11.5”H), you’ll easily find the right unit for your cat’s requirements. The maximum weight for the large unit is 22 pounds, while the maximum weight for the small and medium units are 8 and 16 pounds, respectively. (Hint: When sizing, choose the unit size based on your cat’s measurement first, and then don't exceed the weight limits.)
To meet under-seat requirements of most airlines, the spring wire frame allows for the rear-end of the carrier to be pushed down several inches.
The soft bedding liner is make up of a faux-lambskin liner which is machine-washable.
Three of the four sides are mesh-ventilated, with the fourth side serving as a rear pocket for convenient storage of leashes, treats, etc.
A top-loading compartment is also provided for easy access, and the overall construction is extremely durable.
The product also comes equipped with a seat-belt security strap which doubles as a luggage strap.
Hard Cover Pet Carrier
Made with premium materials, YKK zippers, and panels made of tough, breathable mesh, your pet will enjoy maximum safety as well as a great view of the outside world. The unit also unzips from the top, an advantage both you and your veterinarian will love.
We love the carrier’s hard top and base, which can provide extra protection to your pet during turbulent travel times.
The non-slip mat is soft and fluffy, ensuring that your pet will be comfortable when reclining or standing. Storage space is never a problem with this product, because the top and bottom can be zipped together with the soft sides folding down.
While this product may not be the most durable one of the bunch, it receives super high marks by being an attractive, lightweight and super-portable unit.
A great value for the budget-conscious, this unit is reliable and dependable but lacks the outstanding mesh visibility of some of the other products. Its measurements are 17”L X 13” H X 14”W.
Soft-Sided Pet Carrier by Mr. Peanut’s
Designed for animals up to 14 pounds, this soft-sided carrier meets the major airline requirements for under-forward-seat compatibility.
We love the combination of high quality, handsome looks, and a reasonable price!
The side flaps fold in when the zipper is released, allowing you to safely stack the carrier when it’s not in use. The manufacturer has improved its design of its premium zippers and metal locking clasps, providing for ease-of-use at the exact time that you need it most.
Like its predecessor, this unit also unzips from the top for easy access to your cat. All sides of this unit are made up of breathable mesh for proper ventilation.
The fleece bed is removable, and the product also comes with a padded shoulder strap and storage compartments. The product is also compatible with seat-belt restraints.
If you are not totally satisfied, you can return the unit for a full, 100% guarantee – no questions asked.
You can also feel good in knowing that a percentage of the gross profits from your purchase is donated to animal welfare organizations, pet shelters, and rescues throughout the country. The measurements are 18” L X 10.5”W X 11”H.
Pets GO2 Pet Carrier for Dogs & Cats
Designed as an airline carry-on, this unit is made up of breathable, strong mesh construction for excellent ventilation and visibility. The pad in the main compartment provides your kitty with maximum comfort and it’s also removable and washable for easy cleaning.
This product safely transports pets up to 20 pounds and is designed to fit under the seat on most airlines.
We feel this product is unique because of its ability to fold and expand to provide the perfect fit for animals of many different sizes. You won’t need several carriers to accommodate your cat – just this one size will do.
The bag is extremely lightweight, and the padded shoulder strap makes for easy travel.
The solid outer construction allows for increased protection. Also included are fully expandable side compartments for more room inside or cars and airports, as well as a top panel for easy loading.
If you don’t absolutely love this product for any reason, you can receive a full, 100% refund from the manufacturer for up to one year of purchase.
Having a better idea of the cat carriers available to you will reduce stress that inevitably comes with travel.
Rest assured that your kitty will be sitting pretty in any of the carriers we highlighted here, making travel just a little bit easier.
Happy and safe travels!
Image credit: David Martyn Hunt