Best Cat Carrier for Long Distance Travel Reviews + Buyer’s Guide

Thinking of going with your cat on a long trip? If yes, you might need to invest in the best cat carrier for long distance travel. This is because unlike dogs, most cats hate car rides.

So, the right cat carrier will make your trip a little easier while also ensuring the safety of your pet. But which is the best carrier for your kitty? Well, it should be:

  • Safe and comfortable
  • Durable
  • Of the right size

That said, to help you pick the best cat carrier, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most high-quality products. Check them out.

Top-Rated Long-Distance Cat Carrier – Quick Comparison Table

In a rush? Here is a quick overview of the features of our best cat carrier options in 2020 for long distance travel.

RankProduct NameBrandWeight
1Sherpa Charcoal Color Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet CarrierSherpa4.05 Pounds
2Mr. Peanut’s Airline Approved Soft Sided Pet Carrier, Premium Brand Self Locking ZippersMr. Peanut’s2.69 Pounds
3One for Pets Grey/BrownColor Fabric Portable Pet KennelOne for Pets4.63 Pounds
4Petmate 28 Inch Sky Kennel Pet Carrier.Petmate12.5 Pounds
5petisfam Fantasy Pink Pet Carrier for Medium Cats and Small Dogspetisfam2.3 Pounds
6Disposable Cardboard Pet Carrier Height 15″Oasis13.4 Pounds
7Pet Gear Jet Black View 360 Pet Carrier & Car Seat with Booster Seat Frame for Small Dogs & CatsPet Gear8.5 Pounds
8FRiEQ 23″ Large Hard Cover Pet Travel Carrier, KennelFRiEQ4.4 Pounds
9Amazon Basics Soft-Sided Mesh Large Pet Travel CarrierAmazon Basics2.65 Pounds
10Soft Cat Carrier with Comfortable Soft Fleece Mat for Cats by PetsfitPetsfit2.47 Pounds (Package)
11Premium Airline Approved Expandable Pet Carrier for Cats & DogsPet Peppy6.5 Pounds (Package)
12Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier for Cats, Small Dogs Puppies & RabbitsPet Magasin2.11 pounds
13LEMONDA Portable Pet Travel Carrier for Cat and Small Dog WaterproofLEMONDA2.4 Pounds
14Carrier & Car Seat for Cats and Dogs by Pet GearPet Gear5.5 Pounds
15X-ZONE PET Airline Approved Soft-Sided Medium & Small Cats, Dogs CarrierX-ZONE PET2.4 Pounds

Why Get A Cat Carrier? – Benefits

If you are planning to go on a long-distance trip along with your kitty, you need a reliable cat carrier. It does not matter whether you’re traveling by road or flying.

Just like you, your feline needs to be comfortable throughout the trip. And part of ensuring the comfort of your cat is having the best carrier for long distance travel.

The best cat carrier will also ensure the safety of your pet. You see, when traveling, you can easily fall victim to many potential pitfalls like your cat escaping or getting injured.

What’s more? If traveling by air, you must invest in the right carrier because it’s a requirement by the airlines.

Top 15 Best Cat Carrier Options for Long Distance Travel Reviewed

The best carrier should meet your unique set of needs and those of your feline. So, below is a list of some of the top-rated products, including their features, pros, and cons.

1. Sherpa Travel Deluxe Pet Carrier

To begin with, we have this airline-approved carrier that you will find perfect for traveling in comfort and style by road or air. We can therefore categorize it as one of the best cat carrier for long distance travel.

This pet carrier comes with a flexible wire frame that makes it possible to push the carrier several inches down so that it can fit under your seat while traveling and we loved that about it.

Besides, it features mesh windows for adequate ventilation.

What Could Have Been Better

Some users have reported that this product is made of flimsy material that is likely to fall apart. We feel that the manufacturer should have used better-quality material to avoid the same.

Pros

  • Airline approved
  • Sturdy
  • Spacious

Cons

  • Questionable quality

2. Mr. Peanut’s Soft Sided Pet Carrier

If you are not a fan of cleaning, you will love this piece as it can easily be tossed into the washer for easy cleaning.

Whether your cat is aggressive or not, this carrier can withstand their behavior seeing as it is built with durability in mind.

It is waterproof as well so you can be sure your cat will not get wet while in there. We love that about it.

What Could Have Been Better

Although the product description states that this product is durable, some users have complained that it broke on first use.

The manufacturer should have made it with longevity in mind.

Pros

  • Thick
  • Sturdy
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Not as durable

3. One for Pets Portable Pet Kennel

Your pet can get to enjoy both outdoor and indoor time with this carrier as it is designed for the same. It is lightweight and foldable hence portable and easy to store.

Looking at this carrier it features zippered doors in the front and at both ends. This makes it easy for your cat to walk in and out as well as for you to access them.

However, what we loved most about this unit is that it is extremely easy to put together so you will not have to spend much time and effort doing that.

What Could Have Been Better

Unfortunately, this carrier does not come with a seat belt strap attachment, which compromises your cat’s safety while in transit.

The manufacturer should simply have included the attachment.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Sturdy
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Poorly designed

4. Petmate Sky Kennel Pet Carrier

Anything can happen while in transit to compromise your pet’s safety and that is why this pet carrier comes with a vault door to provide additional security to prevent shifting and sliding.

You never have to worry about replacing this carrier as it is built using durable plastic, non-corrosive nuts, a robust steel wire, and an interlocking door for superior protection.

Other than that, it comes with several openings to guarantee that there is enough ventilation in the carrier and that your pet gets to see what is happening outside. We love that.

What Could Have Been Better

According to some users, this carrier is much smaller than advertised. We feel that the manufacturer should have given clear dimensions to avoid misunderstandings.

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Security features
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • Misleading product description

5. Petisfam Soft Pet Carrier

The manufacturer of this product understands that as a cat parent, you always want to keep your pet safe. In that regard, they included several safety features such as anti-escape zippers and a leash to guarantee the same.

There is no doubt that your kitty will be comfortable in this carrier. Not only does it come with enough room for lying, but it also comes with a padded soft base.

Nevertheless, what we loved most about this piece is that it comes with mesh sides to allow for proper airflow.

What Could Have Been Better

As reported by some users, their pets broke out of this carrier meaning that it is not as strong. The manufacturer should have used material that is more durable in the construction to counter the same.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Collapsible
  • Adequate ventilation

Cons

  • Not escape-proof

6. Disposable Cardboard 12/Case Pet Carrier

If you need a disposable carrier for transporting your cat to and from a shelter or the vet, you should consider this particular one as it is specifically designed for that.

Assembling this unit is extremely easy because it is a one-piece assembly so you can tick that off your list. It also comes with plenty of ventilation and safety features.

However, what we found most appealing is that this carrier is among the most affordable on this list while offering all the aforementioned features. That is value for money right there.

What Could Have Been Better

This carrier is only suitable for smaller cats and will fall apart when heavier cats are placed inside. We feel that the manufacturer should have included bigger sizes to cater to bigger cats.

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Thick
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Not for large cats

7. Pet Gear View Pet Carrier & Car Seat

You will appreciate that this carrier doubles up as a car seat as well hence increased safety. That is not all though as it comes with a 360-degree view to ensure that your pet is not bored while in there.

The installation process is easy as well since no tools are required.

Most cat owners will tell you that a carrier that facilitates easy access to your pet is invaluable and that is what this one offers since it features a dual push-button for that.

We love that it comes with an interior tether as well that you can be attached to your pet’s harness for additional security.

What Could Have Been Better

Some users have complained that this unit will not close fully on one side. The manufacturer should have checked on this before releasing the product to the market.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Sturdy
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Defective

8. FRiEQ 23-Inch Hard Cover Pet Carrier

Perhaps you own a larger cat, or yours simply likes to have space to stretch. Well, this carrier is so spacious and can accommodate up to 26lbs of weight.

Besides, it comes with a soft-grip handle that you find easy to hold.

Owing to its flexible midsection, this carrier is foldable. This makes it easier to save on space and store it away.

We also love that it features multiple ventilation slots to keep your kitty cool while in transit. You may also want to note that the manufacturer provides soft padded cushions along with the carrier to provide shock reduction and comfort for your cat.

What Could Have Been Better

Regrettably, some pets have been able to chew their way out of this carrier according to some users. We feel that the manufacturer could have done a better job as far as the durability of this unit.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Security features
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not as durable

9. AmazonBasics Mesh Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier

Moving with your cat has never been easier as with this carrier. How so? It comes with an adjustable shoulder trap as well as carrying handles to make carrying easier.

Another thing we noticed is that this unit easily conforms to fit under most airline seats and we believe you will love that.

This carrier comes with a fleece pad to ensure that your cat is comfortable the entire time they are in there.

Moving on swiftly, you will find this carrier particularly easy to clean seeing, as its detachable fleece pad can be machine-washed. We love that about it.

What Could Have Been Better

The sizing of this product appears to be off because most users have complained that a medium is too small for an average-sized cat.

The manufacturer should have paid more attention to this.

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Comfortable
  • Durable

Cons

  • Poor sizing

10. Petsfit Soft Cat Carrier

If your cat is 13 pounds or less, they will fit comfortably in this carrier as it comes with a sturdy body and solid bottom to accommodate that kind of weight.

It also comes with a removable fleece mat to guarantee your pet’s comfort.

Your hands or shoulders do not have to suffer while carrying this unit as it features a padded strap. Moreover, the unit is collapsible making it easy to store away.

What we loved most nevertheless is that this carrier comes with two doors for easy access and side holes to guarantee proper ventilation.

What Could Have Been Better

Judging from reviews, this product is not ideal for large cats and falls apart when larger cats are placed inside.

The manufacturer should have made it expandable and stronger to accommodate bigger pets.

Pros

  • Spacious
  • Sturdy
  • Portable

Cons

  • Only for small cats

11. Premium Airline Approved Pet Carrier

It is only fair that your kitty gets the same care and love they get at home while traveling. With this pet carrier, that is exactly what they get as it I built with safety and comfort in mind.

This pet carrier tote is not only durable; it is also made from eco-friendly materials hence safe for the environment.

We love that it is quite lightweight as well making it easy to carry it from place to place. Another notable thing about it is that it is airline approved so no hassle when it comes to flying with your pet.

What Could Have Been Better

This unit tends to rip apart easily as reported by several users. The manufacturer should have put more thought into its durability during construction.

Pros

  • Expandable
  • Airline approved
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not as durable

12. Pet Magasin Collapsible Cat Carrier

With a hardtop and solid base, your cat gets to enjoy a sturdy surface to stand on as well as protection from outside elements with this carrier.

This unit can be folded into a neat compact package that you will find easy and convenient to store. We love that it features breathable mesh as well to allow for proper airflow within.

What Could Have Been Better

The zippers used in this carrier often separate making it a safety hazard and allowing pets to escape. We feel that the manufacturer should have reinforced the zippers better or used better-quality ones.

Pros

  • Collapsible
  • Sturdy
  • Security features

Cons

  • Cheaply made

13. LEMONDA Pet Travel Carrier

The design of this carrier makes it stylish but that is not the only thing it has to offer. It also features a lightweight design making it easy to transport from place to place.

Made from unique canvas and acrylic material as well as a breathable and transparent cover, this carrier is perfect for helping your cat’s anxiety while in transit.

Nevertheless, what we loved most is that this unit is designed to offer comfort and sturdiness.

What Could Have Been Better

Pets tend to overheat while in this carrier. We feel that the manufacturer should have included more ventilation slots to avoid this.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Inadequate ventilation

14. Pet Gear for Cats and Dogs Carrier & Car Seat

Yet another pet carrier that acts as a car seat as well. It also comes with a 360-degree view for your pet to reduce the monotony of staying in the carrier for a long time.

You will also appreciate that the installation of this unit does not require any tools.

Moving away from that, this unit features a dual push entry that makes it possible to access your kitty easily.

We love that this unit is designed to offer comfort for your cat as well as this reduces their anxiety while in transit.

What Could Have Been Better

This unit appears not to be as secure as some users have complained that their pets escaped. The manufacturer should have included many security features.

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to assemble
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Not as secure

15. X-ZONE PET Travel Carrier

If you frequently travel using planes, you will love that this unit fits most airline under-seat dimensions.

It comes with mesh windows and this a great thing as it allows for ventilation. Other than that, it comes with side entry zippers to allow for easy access to your cat.

What we loved most about this unit is that it comes with a solid base for your kitty to stand on particularly while in transit.

What Could Have Been Better

This unit is designed only for smaller cats and will not fit larger cats. The manufacturer should simply have made it expandable to accommodate larger cats.

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Adequate ventilation
  • Lightweight
  • Airline approved

Cons

  • Too small

Buying Guide – What Factors to Consider?

The right cat carrier for long car trips offers a secure, safe, and comfortable space for your feline to relax in.

However, choosing the best product can be hard if you don’t know what features to look out for. So, here is a list of the important factors to consider before making your purchase.

Size

The first thing to consider is the size of your cat and the carrier. Generally, it should not be too big or too small.

A small carrier may leave your feline feeling confined. This may make her feel too stressed out and uncomfortable. On the other hand, a product that is too big may cause a lot of discomforts.

So, the right carrier should be at least 1.5 times larger than your kitty. It should also be large enough for your pet to stand and turn around while inside. More so, it needs to fit a litter box.

Quality of Materials

Different cat carriers for long distance travel are made from different materials. However, some materials are more durable than others.

Therefore, you must choose a carrier that is made from only quality and durable materials. After all, you don’t want to buy a product that will fall apart after a short time of use.

Safety

The best carrier should provide your feline with optimal safety in all situations when traveling. So, it is advisable to invest in a unit that offers some of the best safety features.

Besides, a bumpy road can really endanger your lovely cat’s life.

And the more and better the safety features a carrier has, the better the choice it will be for your pet. For instance, you might want to consider a product with seat belt loops to ensure the carrier stays secure in place.

Comfort

Another important factor to consider is how comfortable the carrier is. So, you should be keen to look out for comfort features.

For example, some products have cushioned flooring. Additionally, you should choose a unit with more ventilation features and a viewing area for added comfort.

Hard or Soft Carries?

Also, worth considering is whether to get a hard or soft cat carrier.

Generally, if you got an aggressive cat, a hard-sided unit would be the best as your feline can’t easily break out.

However, if looking for a lightweight product that is easy to carry, you should consider soft-sided carries. But only use this type of carrier if your feline is less mischievous and cannot tear out the panel.

Tips to Keep in Mind When Using A Cat Carrier & Traveling for Long Trips

Below are some of the tips to keep in mind every time you’re traveling with your feline, especially for long distances.

Get a harness – this will help your kitty stretch out when outside the carrier while keeping her close to you.

Use a calming spray or a sedative – cats really get anxious on car trips. So, a sedative or a calming spray will help calm your feline down while on the plane or road.

Carry a portable litter box – it’s advisable to carry a little box that can be washed, reused, and folded since you’ll be on the road for a while.

Ensure the ride is smooth – if traveling by car, avoid driving fast, hitting the breaks hard, or making abrupt turns. Doing so can make your feline anxious and scared.

Make your kitty get used to the carrier – before embarking on a long-distance trip, you can take your kitty on several short trips. This will help her get used to being inside the carrier.

Your feline can get motion sickness – your cat could get car sick, so you might want to carry medication for this problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we take a look at some of the frequently asked questions about the right long-distance travel cat carriers.

Q: What is the best and safest way to transport a cat long distance?

A: A well-built carrier can help your feline relax while also keeping her safe and comfortable throughout the trip.

Other than having a good carrier, keeping the car quiet and adequately cooled/warmed can help make the entire trip pleasurable for cats.

Q: Is it advisable to cover my pet’s carrier when traveling?

A: Yes, to make your cat feel safe. You can cover the carrier with a towel, blanket, or the like. You can do it on a trial-and-error basis while observing how your pet responds.

Q: How long should cats stay in the carrier?

A: It depends on your kitty. However, most felines will comfortably stay in the carrier for up to 8 hours. Others might need a break every 2-3 hours.

Q: How do I prevent my cat from getting carsick?

A: It is always recommended to talk to a vet if you have any health concerns about your feline friend. That said, there are a few things you can do to ensure your pet remains healthy and safe during travel.

These include withholding food 10 to 12 hours before travel. Also, keeping the car cool and quiet can help. If you think the problem is due to anxiety or nausea, certain meds might help (talk to a vet about this).

Final Words

Now that you know what the best cat carrier for long distance travel is, we hope you find one that meets your needs. However, make sure to take your time to weigh the different products before settling on a specific model.

After all, every carrier in this article has its fair share of both strengths and downsides.

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