Best Cat Carrier For Car Travel: On the Go Cats

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best cat carrier for car travel

Cats are often anxious traveling in the car, whether they are going on vacation or to the vets. Let’s look at the best cat carrier for car travel. 

The term “scaredy cat” is derived from the common conception that cats tend to scurry when they sense danger or something unknown. While not all cats have this reaction, more often than not, they do. That is why it is vital to have a carrier for your cat when you travel.

When traveling with a cat, securing your pet in a suitable carrier gives both the cat and the owner peace of mind knowing that they are safe and secure throughout the journey. Ensuring the cat carrier is the right size, easy to clean, and easily stored are only some aspects to look for when making a cat carrier purchase.

When traveling by car we recommend using the Aspen Cat Carrier as it’s strong and secure. If you are transporting more than one cat you may like to choose the SP Dog and Cat Car Seat Crate which is spacious. 

Best Cat Carrier For Car Travel

We’ve reviewed four different styles of cat carriers; car seats, pet crates, cat bags, and traditional cat carriers. You should consider how comfortable your pet is traveling in a car before deciding which type to buy. Here are our recommendations for cat carriers available on Chewy.

Car seats

Spacious pet crates and carriers

Cat bags

Traditional cat carrier

Car Seats

If your cat is used to traveling in the car and isn’t likely to freak out, you may be able to use a car seat. Your pet can be attached to the back of the seat with a harness and can lie down in the car seat. Here are two options from Chewy that you may like to consider: 

The HDP Deluxe Booster Seat allows confident cats to ride in the car in style while looking out of the window. This style of booster seat is mainly used for dogs but works well for cats that are used to wearing a harness. Your pet can be attached to the seat using a strap that will keep him secure.

Easy to set up and use

This seat attaches easily to your car’s passenger seat and features adjustable straps so you can customize the height to suit your pet. It also has a durable metal frame and is made from hardwearing polyester, making it ideal for even the most adventurous cats. Plus, the padded seat ensures your pet stays comfortable on long car journeys.

Other features

The HDP Deluxe Lookout Dog, Cat & Small Animal Booster Car Seat is available in four attractive color schemes and is excellent value for money. It’s also suitable for dogs and small pets, making it the perfect choice for animal lovers.


  • Great for cats that are used to car travel and like to look out of the window
  • Very secure; can be attached to the passenger seat
  • Has adjustable straps which you can use to change the height
  • Measures 14.2 inches by 9 inches by 14.2 inches
  • Foldable and very easy to store; folds down 2.5 inches
  • Has a durable metal frame
  • Made from hardwearing polyester
  • Cats harness, or collar can be attached to a safety strap to stop your pet from jumping out
  • Padded for extra comfort
  • Available in four attractive color schemes 
  • Great value for money
  • Also suitable for dogs and small pets


  • Can only be used for confident cats that are used to wearing a harness and traveling in a car.
  • Should only be used for cats or small dogs under 10lbs. There are reports that the sides collapse easily if a larger dog leans on them.
  • Dogs and puppies are likely to chew through the straps

Seat Armour’s Petbed2Go is the perfect way to keep your car seats clean and protected from your furry friend. It can also be used in your home so that your cat doesn’t wreck your best furniture!

Ease of use

The bed easily folds into a bag for easy transport and storage and can be quickly installed in your vehicle. This product has no complicated straps or attachments, so it can be installed in just a few seconds.


The comfortable design ensures your pet will be cozy while riding, and the seat cover protects your upholstery from dirt, hair, and nails. Whether you’re taking your pet on a road trip or just want to keep them comfortable during a long car ride, the Petbed2Go is the perfect solution.


  • Can be used to protect your seating in the car or at home
  • Allows you to securely attach your pet from their harness
  • Designed with your pet’s comfort in mind
  • Easy to store and transport when not in use as it folds into a bag
  • Very simple installation process


  • Should only be used with cats that are used to wearing a harness, have a calm personality, and aren’t scared of being in the car.

Spacious Pet Crates and Carriers

These pet crates and carriers will keep your pet safe and secure. They are best for car and plane travel and for nervous cats.

If you’re looking for a spacious, comfortable, and safe way to transport your cat in the car, then the SP Dog & Cat Car Seat Crate is an ideal option. This crate fits easily onto the back seat or in the trunk of a car and features mesh paneling on the sides so you can check up on your pet while you’re on the road. It’s also foldable for easy storage when not in use.


This cat carrier is one of the most spacious products we’ve seen. This means your cat will be able to stretch their legs and travel comfortably, making it perfect for longer trips. There’s even enough room to put a travel litter tray or food and water bowls at one end of the crate.


  • Very spacious
  • Fits onto the back seat of a car or in the car’s trunk
  • Very safe and secure
  • Durable, hardwearing product that’s made to last
  • Mesh paneling on the sides
  • Great for cats, small dogs, and other small animals
  • Foldable and easy to store


  • Despite appearances, there is no divider in the middle of the carrier, which some customers have found disappointing.
  • Not spacious enough for more than two cats
  • The carrier doesn’t contain any padding for comfort

As a pet owner, you want the best for your cat, especially when it comes to travel. The EliteField Expandable Soft Airline-Approved Dog & Cat Carrier Bag is perfect for those who want their pet to be comfortable and safe while on long car trips.


Made from polyester, this carrier is lightweight and easy to carry, and it also features waterproofing in case of any accidents or bad weather.

The carrier also has a padded shoulder strap and handle for easy transportation, as well as mesh sides and front for observing your cat and ensuring breathability.


This product is very spacious when expanded. The carrier comes with an insertable board that will remain the same shape and soft, comfortable bedding to ensure your pet has everything they need while on the road.

Whether you’re taking a plane, train, or car trip, the EliteField Expandable Soft Airline-Approved Dog & Cat Carrier Bag is the perfect choice for keeping your pet safe and comfortable.


  • Easy to carry bag, which can be expanded once you’re settled on a plane, train, or in the car. 
  • Manufactured from polyester, which is lightweight and easy to carry
  • Waterproof in case of any accidents
  • It has a padded shoulder strap and handle 
  • It comes with an insertable board and soft, comfortable bedding
  • Mesh sides and front for observation and breathability


  • There is no seatbelt loop, so it can’t be easily secured to a car seat.
  • Wouldn’t work for cargo shipping as it’s a soft carrier
  • There are some reports that the zippers and mesh is of poor quality

Cat Bags

Don’t let the cat out of the bag……. you don’t want your pet to escape while traveling. Here are some easy to carry bags that can be used to transport your cat: 

Looking for a great way to travel with your cat or small dog? The Pet Gear Signature Dog & Cat Car Seat & Carrier Bag is the perfect solution! This two-in-one product can be used as a carry bag and a car seat, allowing you to travel on various methods of transport, including on foot. It can be used to take your cat on vacation or for a trip to the vet.


This fantastic cat bag features mesh windows and ventilation to keep your pet comfortable and allow you to observe your pet while traveling. It also includes storage pockets and fleece bedding to keep your cat cozy and is machine washable for easy care.

Easy to use

The Pet Gear carrier bag is easy to attach to seat belts and includes an interior tether for added safety. It’s durable and has strong handles.


  • Two in one product; can be used as a carry bag and as a car seat
  • Mesh windows and ventilation
  • Storage pockets
  • Great for cats and small dogs
  • Includes fleece bedding to keep your pet comfortable
  •  Machine washable
  • Easy to attach to seat belt
  • Safe and secure; includes an interior tether


  • Not great for carrying larger cats long distances
  • With enough force, a cat may be able to claw through the mesh and escape

The Sherpa Original Carrier Bag is perfect for traveling with your cat. It is airline approved and features a comfortable design that will make your pet feel at home while on the go. Whether you’re taking a quick trip to the vet or going on a long vacation, the Sherpa Original Carrier Bag is the perfect way to travel with your pet.


It features mesh windows for ventilation; a padded shoulder carry strap that is adjustable and non-slip, and easy to clean faux lambskin liner. The carrier also has a seat belt strap to hold it in place in the car, and can be used in most airways.


  • Can be used for long-distance travel or just for a trip to the vets.
  • Wire frame can be compressed to fit under the seat of a plane
  • Has mesh windows to provide ventilation
  • Padded shoulder carry strap that’s adjustable and non-slip
  • Easy to clean faux lambskin liner
  • Locking zippers to keep your pet safe and secure
  • Top and side entry
  • Storage pockets
  • Seat belt strap to hold the carrier in place in the car
  • Can be used in most airways
  • Stylish and luxurious product which allows your cat to travel comfortably


  • Ensure you buy the right size for your pet. The smallest size may be too small for a larger cat.
  • Only available in black
  • There are some reports of cats being able to escape from this carrier

Traditional Cat Carriers

Often traditional designs are best. These carriers stand the test of time and are great for taking your cat to the vet or on short car trips:

Aspen Pet is known for its high-quality and durable pet products, and its Traditional Dog & Cat Carrier is no exception. Made from sturdy materials, this carrier features a comfortable design that will make traveling with your pet a breeze.


The spacious interior provides plenty of room for your pet to move around, and the mesh windows allow you to see your pet and provide ventilation.


The carrier is also designed to meet most air travel requirements, making it the perfect choice for taking your pet on a long car trip or a short flight. Various sizes are available to accommodate different pets, and the easy-open latch allows your pet to enter and exit with ease.

Whether you’re taking your pet on a long car trip or a short flight, the Aspen Pet Traditional Dog & Cat Carrier is the perfect way to travel with your furry friend. It’s been manufactured using easy-to-clean materials and is strong and durable.


  • Manufactured using easy-to-clean materials
  • Designed to be durable
  • Manufactured using USA-made plastic and internationally made components
  • Allows pets to travel safely and securely
  • Includes ventilation slots to keep your pet cool and comfortable
  • Suitable for cats and dogs
  • Various sizes available
  • Has a travel handle which makes it easy to carry
  • Easy open latch allows your pet to enter and exit with ease
  • Designed to meet most air travel requirements


  • Wider than a standard cat carrier which means it takes up more space but is good for larger cats.
  • You’ll need to purchase clip-on food and water bowls separately
  • Cumbersome to carry long distances, particularly if your cat keeps moving around

When it comes to finding the perfect carrier for your cat, there are many things to consider. But with the Petmate Vari Dog & Cat Kennel, you can rest assured that your pet will be safe and comfortable while traveling.


This sturdy kennel is made with high-quality materials and features a durable design that will stand up to the rigors of travel. Additionally, the kennel includes a comfortable bedding area for your pet to rest in, as well as plenty of ventilation to keep them cool and comfortable.

Other features

Additionally, the kennel is easy to assemble and disassemble, so you can set it up quickly when you need it and store it away when you don’t.


  •  Can be used for traveling or training a cat or small dog
  • Available in various sizes
  • Features an interior moat to keep pets that have had an accident dry
  • Well ventilated; has vents on the side wall and back of the carrier
  • Easy to assemble; sides lock together securely
  • Meets USDA and IATA legislation for transporting pets
  • Manufactured using durable eco-friendly plastic with wire door


  • Intermediate and large products don’t have a carry handle at the top
  • There are some reports of problems with the door and screw sizes

Best Cat Carrier For Car Travel: Buyers Guide

It is always difficult to leave your cat or dog at home when you travel on vacation or into town to run errands. While most cat owners will confirm that transporting a cat from one location to another is a daunting task and not one they prefer to do often, there are instances where you will need to transport your cat.

If your cats are anything like my cats, they like to talk the entire time they are in the carrier – whether being carried or riding in the car. More often than not, this talkative nature is due to the lack of comfort they feel by being somewhere unfamiliar. One of the best ways to ensure they are happy with their transport is by selecting the perfect cat carrier.

The best cat carrier will be large enough to comfortably hold the cat but not so large that they feel unsafe or like they have nowhere to go and hide. You will also want to ensure the carrier is easy to clean and store; these are vital to its longevity.

The breathability of the carrier will help ensure the cat’s comfort, while a proper weight limit is vital to safe transportation. Lastly, you want to select a carrier with a carry style best suited to your needs. 

Types of Cat Carriers Available

best cat carrier car travel

There are a variety of cat carriers out there to help you transport your furry friend. When selecting the perfect carrier for your cat, consider the size, ease of cleaning, storage, breathability, weight limit, and overall carry style to ensure you get the carrier best suited to your cat’s needs.

There are many types of cat carriers including:

  • Pet crates
  • Cat carriers
  • Cat bags and backpacks
  • Animal booster seats
  • Pet beds and seat covers


Selecting the right size cat carrier is vital to the ease of use and overall satisfaction with your purchase. If you get a carrier that is too big, your cat may not be comfortable as the space is too big to feel safe. It can also be clunky to carry around and store.

On the other hand, selecting a carrier that is too small will result in an uncomfortable situation for the cat, and they will be sure to let you know about it. A carrier that is too small may also pose difficulty when it comes time to get the cat in the carrier.

You may also consider selecting a multi-cat carrier if you have more than one cat. These carriers come in a variety of styles, but the most common are two separate levels where both cats can be transported at the same time but in different chambers.

Ease of Cleaning

It’s no secret that an accident will happen in your cat carrier. Whether it’s a pet that doesn’t quite make it to the litter box or a sensitive stomach that is easily prone to motion sickness, pets have accidents. Selecting a cat carrier that is easy to clean will help ensure satisfaction and make your life a whole lot easier. 


Storing a cat carrier can become difficult if you have limited storage space. Find a carrier that will fit well in the space you have available to ensure its longevity. If you get a hard-shelled carrier but don’t have a spot to store it, the next best option may be to set it out on the deck. This exposes it to harsh elements and may cause damage.

If space is limited, consider purchasing a soft-shelled, foldable cat carrier. These carriers are easily stored by folding them up and fitting them into small spaces.


Nobody likes sitting in a stuffy room. Similarly, your cat doesn’t enjoy sitting in a stuffy carrier while being transported from one place to another. Consider the breathability of the material used to make the carrier and the overall design. Are there plenty of breathing holes throughout the carrier? Does air flow freely, or will it not reach the cat?

As a pet owner, you want to ensure your cat remains comfortable when transporting them in a cat carrier. Therefore, it is vital to ensure they get the air they need in their carrier.

Weight Limit

Whether your cat’s breed is heavier or the cat likes to frequent the food bowl, ensuring the weight of your cat doesn’t succeed within the weight limit of the carrier is vital. It is easier to get away with an oversized cat in a hard-shell carrier as the plastic is more durable than cloth stitching. However, if it exceeds the weight limit, it risks breaking, resulting in a loose cat.

When choosing what cat carrier best fits your needs, consider if you will be using it for multiple pets. If so, select one that will support the weight of the heavier pet. Also, keep in mind that you will need an even higher weight limit if you plan on carrying two pets at once in the same carrier.

Carry Style

Most cat carriers have a design for easy carrying for a short distance. These carriers are mostly duffle bag-style with a top handle. Some even have a strap that goes over your opposite shoulder.

This type of carrier is perfect for when you have to take your cat to the vet or the vehicle for transport. However, they can become difficult to carry if transporting your pet any further than a quick walk to the car. Backpack-style cat carriers are the preferred carry style if you plan on transporting your cat for a longer distance.

Traveling With a Cat FAQ

Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions people have about traveling with a cat:

How do I look after my cat while traveling in the car?

There are a few things you can do to care for your pet while traveling in the car:

  •  Bring along a favorite toy
  • Stop frequently so your pet can explore and use the litter box.
  • Make sure your cat has plenty of food and water.

What are other types of products available for traveling with a cat?

In addition to food, water, and toys, there are several other products available to make traveling with your cat more comfortable:

  • A cat harness can be used to keep your pet safe and secure while you’re driving
  • Travel litter boxes are available for toilet breaks
  • A pet seat cover will protect your car’s upholstery from scratches and fur

What are some tips for traveling with a cat?

Here are a few tips to make traveling with your cat easier: 

  • Make sure your cat is microchipped and has a collar with ID tags in case he escapes
  • Get your cat used to the car by taking him on short trips around the block before traveling further from home
  • When packing for the trip, ensure you’ve included your cat’s food, water, litter box, toys, and bedding.
  • Never leave your cat alone in the car as animals can overheat quickly
  • If you’re staying in a hotel, call ahead to see if they allow pets.

 Related Article: Can You Take a Cat Camping

Best Cat Carrier For Car Travel: Conclusion

As pet owners, we want to ensure our cats are cared for in the best possible manner. Selecting a cat carrier suited to your furry friend will go a long way in ensuring their safety and comfort. When traveling by car we recommend using the Aspen Cat Carrier as it’s strong and secure. If you are transporting more than one cat you may like to choose the SP Dog and Cat Car Seat Crate which is spacious. 

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