people's choice

The Best Cat Carriers on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

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Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)

While we’ve written about lots of stuff for cats — including cat trees, a litter box, a hair-ball brush, even a pet-deodorizing candle — here we’re looking into the best cat carriers that you can find on Amazon.

Best-rated cat carrier

Particularly helpful for reviewers with cats who really don’t want to be stowed away, this carrier has a top-load option that can be opened to the left or right for easy access. “I have four rescued cats who are all fearful of being confined,” and, as a result, are hard to take to the vet in a carrier, explains one reviewer. They continue, “This is the best carrier I have found for them. It is very sturdy and will not leak a mess onto my car seat. The top door will stay open so that I can pick up a cat, quickly take it to where the carrier has been out of view, and drop it in before it knows what’s going on.” Hundreds of reviewers use the word “sturdy” to describe this hard-sided cat carrier, as well, including one who writes, “I got this to replace an older soft-sided carrier which my cat has just about outgrown. I wanted something sturdier, with more space for her on the inside, especially for the potential of going on longer car trips with her. This carrier is a breeze to assemble and comes with optional nuts and bolts for those who want a more permanent assembly.”

Another adds, “I wasn’t expecting much from this carrier, but I was pleasantly surprised. I got two of them to bring my kittens home in and lined the bottom of each with a soft towel. The top opening is great for placing a cat inside (rather than trying to push or lure them through the front opening), and it feels very sturdy.” The carriers got rave reviews from the felines, as well, that reviewer continues: “The cats love the carriers, and if I leave them out they’ll play or nap in them.”

Best-rated (less expensive) cat carrier

Necoichi Portable Ultra Light Cat Carrier
From $15
From $15

“This is a wonderful and very affordable carrier,” says one reviewer. “My kittens love it and they feel very relaxed because they can see everything through the mesh. I also love that it folds up and can be stored in a drawer. That is brilliant!” The mesh windows on this carrier also make for a more nurturing travel experience for scared cats, as one reviewer explains, her cat “hates to ride in the car and cried all the way but I could see her from all sides and talk to her and lay my hand on her back to sooth her. It is the perfect carrier for her as she is very scared as she is entirely a house cat.”

And despite the fact that dozens of reviews call this bag lightweight, it can still hold some hefty cats. “I am 72 years old and considerably active but putting two good size cats in a hard cat carrier weighing about 10 pounds, plus 24 pounds worth of cat, was killing me,” one reviewer says. “After years of chasing the cats and crawling under the bed and elsewhere whenever they saw the case, changed when I purchased two of the pet carriers. They are sturdier than I thought plus the bonus that they had to stay in it for over seven hours because the groomer was backed up.”

Best lightweight cat carrier

Pet Magasin Luxury Soft-Sided Cat Carrier

Coming in at just over two pounds, this lightweight cat carrier is described by dozens of reviewers as well-made. Many also cite how comforting the space seems to be for traveling felines. “The zipper makes the carrier easy to unzip a little to reach in, and the pocket on the outside is handy for carrying treats and vet certificates that are required when you fly,” one reviewer explains, adding, “My large cat was still able to turn fully around, sit up or lie down, and we included his favorite toy in the carrier with him.” Along with the nice carry-handle and adjustable padded shoulder strap, reviewers rave about how this carrier can improve otherwise harrowing travel for cats. One reviewer took a flight “from the west coast to the east coast with two cats to our new home, with a layover in Atlanta” and gave each cat their own pet carrier. “The trip wasn’t 100 percent smooth,” they admit, “but the pet carriers were the best allowing ‘the girls’ to rock and complain at will! They were lightweight enough to prop on our laps in an effort to calm them.” They add that the carrier has since become a must-have accessory in their house: “One cat liked her carrier so much that she continues to seek it out as her choice for nap location.”

Best cat carrier for two cats

Petmate Two Door Top Load

Nearly 80 percent of reviewers give this hard-side cat carrier five stars, and at 24 inches long, it’s big enough to fit two cats. One reviewer put their one-and-a-half-year-old cat and six-month-old kitten in this carrier, and both of the “fit comfortably in it with plenty of room to move around.” Another says, “This fits one of my eight-pound cats very comfortably and two eight- to ten-pound cats easily.” They add, “The top load isn’t necessary for my cats, but it’s great for them to see out of during travel.” But lots of others do love the top-door, which makes it a little easier to wrangle disgruntled cats. “The two door option allows us two different ways to put the cats in, which we have found using the top door makes life much easier (not as much struggling!),” one reviewer says. And more than 1,000 reviewers also say that assembling this carrier is easy: “Install the front door and the top and bottom pieces and you’re ready to go.”

Best foldable cat carrier

SportPet Designs Foldable Travel Cat Carrier

One reviewer sums up the appeal of this foldable cat carrier: “The build materials are lightweight, so carrying it is easy. It’s compact. It can fold away to fit into small spaces (e.g., under a couch, bed, etc.). It’s stable. The triangular shape of the carrier encourages the cat to remain in the middle of the carrier. It’s affordable and it’s easy to clean.” Sturdiness is an important feature, especially for one reviewer and their heavy cat. “It has held up perfectly carrying her heftiness many times. Sturdy enough and makes my job easier when she needs to travel. If it only could stop her constant meowing while she’s in it,” they write. Another feature that’s mentioned by several reviewers is the easy assembly. A pleased customer says, “I had it upright and put together in a flash — without reading the directions! I am surprised at how roomy it is from front to back. And my cats can easily stand up in it.”

Best top-opening cat carrier

Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier

This top-loading cat carrier is so unique caught the eye of a reviewer who works at a veterinary hospital. They explain, “One of our clients brought her cat in to see us in this pet carrier. I admired it, and she showed me how the top and bottom zip off, you fold the sides down, then zip the hard top to the hard bottom to store it flat.” That design means it’s easy to store, a feature lauded by dozens of reviewers, and lots also like the ability to put their cat in through the top opening. “You just unzip the top zipper about 85% around (don’t go so far that the top detaches), and then be quick once the cat is in to zip it back around. It’s the only way I can get my carrier-phobic cat in,” admits one reviewer, who adds, “Easy to slide in some treats through the side holes once she’s in. Now I just need to figure out how to get her to like being in the car more.”

Best soft-sided cat carrier

From $26

“Well-made” is a phrase that comes up in many reviews of this soft-sided cat carrier. One reviewer, who calls it the “best purchase I’ve made for my cats in quite some time,” used this AmazonBasics carrier to transport “all three of our cats (all ten-plus pounds) to the vet at the same time. These carriers are light and have a significantly reduced bulk from previous carriers we’ve experienced. I feel like my cats felt calmer in these carriers because there was just barely enough room to turn around (if ambitious).” The soft sides, though pliable, don’t collapse, according to lots of reviews, including one that says, “The sides are just rigid enough that it holds its shape. It is soft and comfy inside … I’ve only had it a few months, but it seems reasonably well-made — at least as well-made as the more expensive name-brand carrier I bought.” Another reviewer says their cat liked the carrier so much that it now “uses it as a safe place now after spending 12 hours with me traveling coast to coast…so if she loves it, then so do I.”