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best cat carrier for long distance car travel

Best Cat Carrier for Long Distance Car Travel (2020 Reviews)

Do you need to get the best cat carrier for long-distance car travel? Short answer, Yes.

Bringing your cat along when traveling long distances may not be a smooth ride. You see, most cats hate traveling and loath car rides mainly due to instinctual response to change on their daily routine.

This change and the fear of being in unfamiliar surroundings tends to make them stressed and nervous. So they simply don’t enjoy the experience at all as dogs do.

For this reason, putting them in a carrier is the only way to ensure they remain calm throughout the journey. It may also give you peace of mind since you will not be worried about the nervous cat jumping out of the car.

In this article, we shall review some of the available cat carriers that you can buy for your cat to ease traveling.

First, here are the top 3 recommendations based on customer experiences and reviews

1. Pet Fit For Life Condo

2. AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel

3. PetLuv Happy Cat Premium Cat Carrier


Comparison Table of The Best Cat Carrier for Long Distance Car Travel

Brand ImageFeatures
Pet Fit For Life CondoSpacious, Comfortable, Flexible & Versatile, Bonus Cat Wand and Collapsible Bowl
Two-Door Top-Load Pet KennelEasy to Load your Cat, Double doors, Secure, made form Durable Plastic and Steel Wire
PetLuv Happy Cat CarrierHas Optimum Ventilation, Washable, has Adjustable Safety Belt Loops and Easy too Carry
Petsfit Rolling Pet CarrierEasy to Roll, Light Weight, Has Wheels and is MultiPurpose
Petmate Sky Kennel Pet CarrierHeavy Duty,Portable, can be used by a variety of pets, Secure & Adaptable for travel
Prodigen Pet Carrier - Airline ApprovedEasy Access, Well Ventilated, Strong, Waterproof & Ultra-Safe
PetAmi Premium Pet Travel CarrierDurable, Safe, Airline Approved,comfortable for your pet and you

Top 7 Best Cat Carrier for long-distance car travel

1. Pet Fit For Life Condo

Material: Nylon Fabric Dimensions: Large {32”x 19”x19”}, Medium {24”x16”x15} Collapsible /Portable Cat Cage/Condo Plus Bonus Cat Feather Toy and Collapsible Water/Food Bowl.

This super durable nylon fabric cat carrier is superior to other brands in the market. It is washable and has integrated loops that specific for staking as well as securing during outdoor adventures.

The Pet Fit For Life Condo comes in two sizes, medium and large, which are suitable for your cat’s size as well as weight. The large-sized carrier is ideal for carrying two cats when visiting the vet or on a road trip.

This carrier has a super soft velvet covered floor pad. It is also spacious and comfortable allowing you to add your cat’s bed.

In addition, it is collapsible for covering the screened front door and side windows for privacy as well as additional air circulation. Also, it has a portable litter box that can be used on the road or at home.

Pros

  • This product is easy to assemble
  • It has plenty of room for your feline friend
  • Fully collapsible thus suitable in case of emergencies when you need to keep your cat safely contained
  • It comes with additional portable litter box
  • Comes with collapsible water dish which is ideal for long-distance car travel
  • Has two integrated handles that make it stress-free to transport
  • Zippered front door allowing easy loading of the cat
  • Comes cat wand toy the cat will beg to play with all the time.
  • The size is perfect for two cats
  • Its price is just right for the pocket

Cons

  • May not be suitable for cats that are too heavy
  • It is not suitable for airplane travel.

2. AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel

Material: Plastic  Dimensions: {19”x12.5”x10”}

This carrier is made using heavy-duty plastic with a steel-wire front door.  This offers safety, strength and makes it stand out from the rest of the carriers.

The top door opens both to the left and to the right. Also, it has a single carrying handle on top that is tightly secured with additional screws for reinforcement.

This 19-inch carrier is one of the best cat carriers for long-distance car travel. It is also great for the vet visits due to ease of getting the cat to in through the top door and exiting through the front door once at the vet.

Most importantly, it doesn’t leak in the case of the cat messes due to confinement fright.

When traveling, it is always important to ensure that the top locks are secured and snapped in place so that the lid does on come off when carrying your cat.

Pros

  • Has spring-loading latch that ensures smooth opening to help load the cat calmly
  • It has adequate air circulation on the top, sides as well as the back of the crate.
  • Has a 2-door design allowing easy loading of your furry friend; one at the front and the other on the top.

Cons

  • Top lid if not properly secured can be a slight problem for the user.

3. PetLuv Happy Cat Premium Cat Carrier

Material: It is manufactured using superior robust material Dimensions: {24”x 16”x 16”}

This carrier is amazing for road trips because of its adjustable seat belts loops. The seat belt loops have locking zippers and have fortified seams that ensure the carrier is secure.

In addition, the carrier is spacious and has a flashy design with a variety of colors to choose from.

Also, it is designed to have four access panels so you are spoilt for choice when loading your furry friend depending if she is calm or restless.

You will also love how the carrier is stress-free when carrying your cat. It has adjustable straps as well as a detachable and washable posh bed that dry without any problem.

The air circulation is flawless and the visibility is picture-perfect for sightseeing with tear-resistant sturdy rubber mesh collapsible blinders.

Pros

  • Has a convenient and adjustable carry strap with padded handle
  • It has locking zippers as well as fortified seams that prevent the cat from fleeing.
  • The carrier has a premium soft and comfy rest pillow which excellent for sound sleep.
  • This carrier has seat belt loops enabling you to secure the crate at the back of your vehicle.
  • It is 4 times the size of a normal carrier.
  • The bottom does not sag and folds easily for storage.

Cons

  • None so far

4. Petsfit Rolling Pet Carrier

Material: Durable materials Dimensions: {26”x 14”x 14”}

This carrier is great for users who prefer to drag the carrier. This could be due to medical reasons or if one is elderly, or has a pet that is heavy for the regular carriers.

The carrier has weight capacity is 29 lbs. Thus, before buying, check the dimensions above to ensure that the carrier is perfect for your cat. It can perfectly fit most cats and some dogs such as corgi, French bulldog, Boston terrier and pug

It has two zippered openings one at the front and the other at the top that allows maximum ventilation. Most importantly, it is made with a material that can withstand the occasional cat claw scratches.

Pros

  • Easy to pack and store
  • Stable and does not tilt or tip over when carrying a heavy cat
  • It amazingly can carry 2 cats comfortably and with easy to drag than carrying them individually
  • High-quality product that is life-changing.
  • Offers value for money

Cons

  • It is not easy to roll on some carpets.
  • Not easy to disassemble and place under the seat

5. Petmate Sky Kennel Pet Carrier

Material: Plastic I Dimensions: {28”x 20.5”x 21.5”}

This kennel is manufactured using a tough plastic shell. It has non-corroding wing-nuts and extra strong steel wire and an interlocking door that offers safety for the pet.

It has sufficient ventilation and visibility thus offering coziness for the pet.

In addition, it has a 4-way vault door with additional safety during cross country trips or vet visits.

The carrier also comes with some key accessories which include clip-on bowls, ID stickers, and 2 “Live Animal” stickers.

Moreover, it comes in a variety of sizes from 21” to 48”.The smaller sizes have a carrying handle for stress-free traveling.

Most importantly, this cat carrier is approved by most airlines but one needs due diligence of checking with their respectable airlines for guidelines on cargo specifications so as to avoid last-minute disappointments.

Pros

  • Made from durable quality materials
  • This product comes in different sizes that fit for your pet measurements; thus, offering comfort and relaxation.
  • It has sufficient ventilation and visibility
  • Secure and comfortable for long-distance travel experiences.
  • 4-way vault door that offers additional security keeping the door secured.

Cons

  • None so far

6. Prodigen Pet Carrier – Airline Approved

Material: Strengthened Polyester and Claw-Defense Mesh I Dimensions: {18”x 10.4”x 11”}

It is important to note that this product has a variety of sizes that you can choose based on the size of your pet. It also comes in different colors to suit your taste.

In addition, it is Airline approved since it meets the regulations and specifications of under the forward seat.

This carrier is made from sturdy material that is waterproof and allows proper ventilation. It weighs a mere 2.3 lbs; hence, it is very convenient to bring along on a journey.

Moreover, it has a removable fleece travel bed so it is ideal for long-distance travel by car or plane.

The interior dimensions are less than the outer space because of the thickness and plush faux fleece padding. So make sure you measure your cat to get the right carrier.

It has a seat belt that is compatible to ensure the safety of your pet while on cross country travels and vet visits.

This carrier is best suited for your small and medium cats as well as small dogs.

Pros

  • It has an open ventilation design on the sides as well as the top
  • Safety seat belt add-on for securing the carrier while you are driving.
  • Padded shoulder strap for comfort and hand carry handle for alternation.
  • Washable nylon soft-sided pet carrier
  • It has a zippered pocket for packing treats or other necessities.
  • The price is right and it is airline approved for small dogs and cats

Cons

  • None

7. PetAmi Premium Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier-Airline Approved

Material: Plastic I Dimensions: {19.5”x 10.2”x 12”} Inches

This product is made from long-lasting material. It is intended is for small or medium-sized cats and dogs or any other pet in your care.

It advisable though to measure your pet’s length (from neck to base of the tail) and height (from the floor to top of shoulder) prior to purchasing a PetAmi carrier of your choice.

This carrier is easy to carry and gives easy access to your cat when putting her to get in or removing her from the carrier.

It is exactly as it has been described here about its nice features, you will never get a raw deal with the PetAmi Premium Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier.

Another great thing about this product is that it is Airline approved so you can enjoy a vacation out of town or even the country together with your cat.

Moreover, it has the finest air circulation and visibility is great for the pet when sightseeing. From time to time you can check on the pet as you go on with the journey.

Pros

  • Made from reinforced material and has a sturdy base that doesn’t bend when weight is applied inside.
  • Contains Sherpa lined bed which makes your pet will enjoy her naps on
  • For extra security, this carrier has a safety buckle as well as a leash for preventing the cat from fleeing.
  • It is easy to handle while you let your cat or dog stroll beside you
  • For comfort on the part of the cat owner, this carrier is padded at the handles and has adjustable shoulder straps. This allows you to carry your pet without stress or any back pains.
  • It comes with a name tag identity and a bowl that is collapsible both food and water.
  • The price is within your means and it comes in various sizes.

Cons

  • It has no frame; hence, it may cave in on your pet if it is not properly stored

Types of Cat Carriers 

These are the common types of Cat carriers

  1. Cardboard carrier

This type of carrier is made out of cardboard boxes. However, it is not cut out for long term use since it cannot withstand liquids since they soften and spoil the cardboard.

This means that it is likely to spoil in case cat urine, juices, water, and other beverages spill on it.

Moreover, it is not strong enough to resist the claws and scratches so the cat may escape easily.

  1. Homemade carrier

This carrier design can be made from bags, laundry basket, clothes, pillows or basically items in your possession in the house.

It has been argued that these carriers are not safe since they lack proper ventilation. Also, they may be poorly designed increasing the chances of causing an accident.

  1. Hard-sided carrier

This carrier is designed using dense material such as plastic which is tough and long-lasting.

They usually have a steel meshed door which is much tougher than the plastic mesh. Thus, you chose the right fit for your cat to ensure she can comfortably move around.

They are the easiest when it comes to keeping them clean.

  1. Soft-sided carrier

These carriers are ordinarily made from nylon as well as the ballistic nylon and are lighter than the hard-sided carriers; thus, they are the most common.

Ideally, they are popularly used by cat owners whose cats are very gentle since an agitated cat can throw a jab through the zipper and cause damage.

Just like the hard-sided carrier, the soft-sided carrier is easy to clean. The buyer just needs to make sure that they chose one that allows the cat the freedom of movement, feeding (avoid liquids as they may spill due to car movement) and laying down.

What to keep in mind when choosing the best carrier for long-distance travel

  • Ventilation

First of all, before purchasing a carrier, you need to ensure the carrier has adequate ventilation for cat otherwise you may risk suffocating her or the cat will experience discomfort. Normally one should choose a carrier which is one and a half times bigger than the cat.

  • The behavior of your cat

It is important to note the characteristics of your cat, if she is a calm type then a soft-sided or a nylon carrier because the material of the carrier will be key but if it is a restless cat then you need to choose the durable plastic carrier.

As we are aware that cats generally hate carriers so if it doesn’t like to be caged you may need to get a carrier that has got a detachable top half

  • Number of cats

It is recommended that you should have one carrier for a single cat and if you own more than a single cat then you may need to buy more than one carrier. When you have two well-mannered cats that do not fight each other, one might opt for a single large carrier.

FAQ About the Best Cat Carrier for Long Distance Car Travel 

Q1. Do cats prefer soft or hard carriers?

The hard carriers appeal to most pet owners because of its fortified nature and the safety they provide when traveling. It is important to note that a cat’s behavior will determine the kind of carrier hence for a calm cat, the soft-sided carrier is ideal.

Q2. Big or small carrier, which is best?

This largely depends on your cat’s behavior but in general cats feel cozy and safe in small carriers. Try to buy a carrier that is neither too big nor too small because it might make the feline passenger feel uncomfortable.

Q3. How do you travel long distances with a cat?

It is important to visit your vet before going on a long-distance journey with your cat.

Do research about the hotels on the route that are pet-friendly so that you can make an early booking.  Be sure to feed your cat about three hours to departing time to avoid motion sickness and do not forget to carry lots of water. Avoid allowing the cat roaming around the vehicle when you are driving, this is for your own as well as the cat’s safety.

It is known that cats get motion sick when on a road trip hence you need to offer your cat meals 45 minutes to an hour and a half before departure to reduce the chance of her falling motion sick. The carrier is normally secured at the back seat of your vehicle, this is done to ensure the safety of the vehicle.

Carrier sharing is ok if it is a short outing. Place the carrier in a place where it is open to allow the cat to enter freely.

Finally make the cat calm and secure by lacing his favorite blanket in the carrier, to smell familiar surroundings.


See also: Is it bad to keep a cat in a cage


Conclusion

When choosing a carrier, it is essential to choose the best cat carrier for long-distance car travel or short distance travel suited for your feline pet. Make sure the pet carrier has adequate ventilation for cat otherwise you may risk suffocating her or the cat will experience discomfort. It is important to measure your pet before purchasing the carrier to avoid returning the product as this may inconvenient your plans. Make sure you wash your new carrier since some of them may come with a certain odor from the factory, alternatively you may need to air it before you use it.

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