Best Cat Carrier for Long Car Trips: Make Your Cat Comfortable While Traveling

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

best cat carrier for car travel

Cats and car trips don’t always mix well. That’s why choosing the right cat carrier for your pet is important. Let’s look at the best cat carrier for long car trips!

While dogs will gladly hop in the car for a ride, cats seem anxious over even a short drive. Getting the best cat carrier for long car trips is essential. If your cat is scared of going in the car, using a carrier that will keep your cat comfortable is a must.

Get a cat sitter when you take a vacation or trip. If your cat doesn’t like to ride in the car, only take your cat for a ride if you’re going to the vet or on a long necessary car trip. If you’re moving to another city or state, then your cat will need to make the journey with you.

Talk with your veterinarian about ways to help your cat cope with riding in the car. Catnip can help, or your veterinarian may recommend a sedative.

Get a suitable cat carrier that will give your cat enough room to move during an hours-long car trip. You’ll also want to bring along food and water, pee pads, a favorite blanket or towel to pad the inside of the carrier, and bath wipes for any clean-ups needed.

Let’s look at the best cat carrier for long car trips. We’ll also discuss what to consider before making your purchase.

Best Cat Carrier for Long Car Trips: Buyers Guide

When you’re looking for the best cat carrier for long car trips, there are multiple factors to consider. These include the following.


best cat carrier car travel

The safety of your cat is one of the critical considerations for cat carriers. Will the cat carrier fit into the back seat of your car and attach to seat belts or anchor straps? Will the sides of your cat carrier protect your cat in a crash? 


The best cat carrier for long car trips will provide your cat with plenty of ventilation during your journey. This air will help your cat feel at ease and sleep on the way. 


Make sure to get the right size cat carrier for your cat. You want your cat to have enough room to be comfortable. Experts say to get a carrier about one and a half times the size of your pet.  


Think about your cat’s comfort in the cat carrier. A comfortable cat is a happier cat, which is essential for long car trips. Add padding, such as a soft towel inside a cat carrier, for added comfort. Consider comfort as a way to calm your cat’s anxiety as well.


You’ll want to make sure you can wash your cat carrier at the end of the trip. Easy cleaning makes for better travel. Bring paper towels, wipes, and other cleaning supplies in case your cat carrier needs to be cleaned during your trip.


Cat carriers aren’t something you’ll use every day, so collapsible cat carriers that are easy to store are a plus for those with limited storage space.


You’ll need to be able to comfortably carry your cat carrier from your home to the car, so make sure the handles are ones you can use well. Some come with suitcase-like handles on top, and others have cushioned shoulder straps.

Types of Cat Carriers

Cat carriers come in a variety of styles. They have different openings, so find the one that lets you place your cat easily, which can be easier said than done.

  • Traditional cat carriers
  • Bags and backpacks
  • Car seats and booster seats
  • Crates
  • Roller cat carriers


The best cat carriers for long car trips vary in materials. Here are some of the options.


Hard plastic carriers are the most commonly found cat carriers. Their hard shell provides your pet protection on the road. These cat carriers are durable and easy to clean. You can even hose them down outside. The top comes off, but slipping the cat through the door is more manageable.

A positive side of these hard plastic cat carriers is that cats can’t destroy them the way they can fabric and mesh options.

Fabric and Mesh

Soft-sided fabric and mesh cat carriers are a comfortable option for your kitty, and most of them can be machine-washed. Cats have been known to claw and chew holes in these carriers. Some cats have figured out how to work the zippered closing loose, too.

Roller Cat Carriers

These carriers are much like soft-sided cat carriers but have wheels. If the wheels of this type of carrier collapse, you could also use it on a long car trip.

Backpack Cat Carriers

For hikes and walks, backpack cat carriers will let your cat tag along and see the scenery. For a long car trip, this cat carrier would give you the flexibility to carry your cat on your back during a lunch break.

Backpack carriers can get stuffy for your cat, so make sure they have holes for breathing or an area for your cat to hang its head out.

Ease of Use

The best cat carrier for long road trips is the easiest to use. That could be the soft-sided cat carrier, which can be more comfortable for your cat and less intimidating for your cat to enter. Soft-sided cat carriers usually have shoulder straps, which make them easier to carry.

The hard plastic carriers are also easy to use, and their hard sides protect your cat while traveling. Putting your cat inside is easy when you hold the carrier vertically and put your cat inside feet first.


The size of the best cat carrier for long car trips depends on the size of your cat. If you have a tabby kitten, you’ll need a different size cat carrier than if your pet is a Maine Coon.

Get a carrier a little bigger than your cat so your pet has room to stretch and move while traveling but not so much room that they could be injured by hitting the sides of the carrier in an accident. Leaving enough room for comfy padding will help your cat settle in for the long drive.

Best cat carrier for long car trips: FAQs

Here are some commonly asked questions that cat owners have before traveling with their pets:

How can I make my cat comfortable during a long car trip?


You can do a few things to make your cat comfortable during a long car trip. Ensure the carrier is spacious and has plenty of ventilation. Place a soft blanket or towel inside the carrier for your cat to lie on, and bring along some of your cat’s favorite toys to keep them occupied.


What is the best way to transport my cat in the car?


The best way to transport your cat in the car is in a carrier that is secured in the backseat. This will prevent your cat from roaming around the car and getting under your feet while you’re driving.


Is it safe to take my cat on a long car trip?


Yes, taking your cat on a long car trip is safe as long as you take the proper precautions. Ensure the carrier is secure and your cat has plenty of ventilation and room to move around. Give your cat breaks every few hours so they can use the litter box and stretch their legs.


What are some things I should avoid doing when traveling with my cat?


There are a few things you should avoid doing when traveling with your cat. Don’t give them too much food or water before the trip, as this can make them nauseous. Also, don’t let them out of their carrier while the car is moving, as this can be dangerous for both you and your cat.



Keeping your cat calm and comfortable while traveling is essential to reaching your destination drama-free. Choosing the right cat carrier for your pet will keep your cat happy on the road so you can keep your mind on driving.

If you enjoyed this article, share it with your friends!

Recent cat care articles