Finger pointing to an open map in car

The Best Cat Carrier for Long Car Trips

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Cats aren’t the easiest car share in the world.  

Unlike dogs who are often enthusiastic travelers, a cat can be harder to please. Most of them hate car rides.

The best cat carrier for long car trips, therefore, is the one that will provide a safe, secure and comfortable space for your cat to relax in. It’s also the one that you feel comfortable and confident traveling with — don’t forget it’s going to hold some very precious cargo! We’ve found a selection on Amazon that we think are among the best carriers for long journeys.

One of the great things about Amazon is that you can read reviews of genuine customers often with accompanying photographs to help demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of each carrier.  We’ve only selected cat crates that are highly rated and recommended.

In a previous post, we wrote at length about the differences between hard and soft carriers but it’s worth repeating a few of them here.

Cats that are prone to scratching, biting and clawing when stressed are often better in hard plastic carriers.

If your cat isn’t particularly bothered by car journeys, then they may be more comfortable in a soft carrier.

Pick a carrier that’s about 1.5 times the size of your cat. Don’t go too much bigger as cats prefer smaller spaces to bigger, BUT they should comfortably be able to sit and lie down and turn around.

Depending on how far you’re traveling, you might need to include a litter tray, water and food bowls.

Make sure there’s ample ventilation.

For cats whose fear of a carrier is greater than their fear of the vehicle, a cat car barrier could be worth considering.

Ensure that it can be safely and securely fixed to the car’s seat.

Best Cat Carriers for Long Distance Car Travel


PetLuv Happy Cat Premium Soft Sided Foldable Top & Side Loading Pet Carrier & Travel Crate

PetLuv "Happy Cat Premium Cat Carrier Soft Sided Foldable Top & Side Loading Pet Crate & Carrier Locking Zippers Shoulder Straps Seat Belt Lock Plush Pillow Reduces Anxiety
  • Go-anywhere pet carrier makes transporting your pal easy with roomy design and built-in premium features
  • Optimum ventilation and maximum sightseeing with all-around windows, with tear-resistant heavy duty rubber mesh and closable flaps
  • Great for car rides thanks to the adjustable seatbelt loops, and includes locking zippers and reinforced seams for added safety
  • Easy reach and loading with four access panels and top opening so you can get your pal in and out with less effort. Easy to carry with adjustable shoulder straps, and includes removable, washable plushy bed
  • This Carrier Weighs 8.8 Pounds Empty. The exact dimensions of the carrier are: Length 24", Height 16", Depth 16"

Last update on 2023-02-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The dimensions for the medium carrier are 24”, height 16” and depth 16”

The dimensions for the small are Length 20″, Height 13″, Depth 13″

You can also buy this as a wheeled cat stroller.

The PetLuv Happy Cat Premium Pet Carrier and Travel Crate (try saying that quickly…) has good ventilation on three sides as well as through the top.

Mesh windows give good visibility but also come with hanging flaps that can cover the carrier if you think it would suit your cat better.

Adjustable seat belt loops give a secure fit to the seat of your car and strong zips will keep your cat from making a great escape.

Empty, the medium/large carrier weights 8.8 pounds and has a padded loop handle on top and shoulder straps for easy carriage.  

You can also buy a version of this carrier with wheels for added mobility.

The cat crate folds flat making it easy to store when not in use.  It’s top loading, too, which will give you easy access to putting your cat into or taking it out of the carrier.

It comes with a washable cushion and the inside of the carrier can easily be wiped down.


Petsfit Expandable Travel Dog Carrier with Fleece Mat

Petsfit Expandable Cat Carrier Dog Carriers,Airline Approved Soft-Sided Portable Pet Travel Washable Carrier for Kittens,Puppies,Removable Soft Plush mat and Pockets,Locking Safety Zippers
  • 【EXPANDABLE SOFT-SIDE CARRIER】The M size of carries is 17"Lx 11"Wx 11"H and expandable size is 20"Lx17"Wx11"H by expanding the 1 mesh windows. This carrier is with light weight of around 2.5lbs and fits pet up to 13lbs.Please verify measurements prior to booking.
  • 【COMFORTABLE SPACE】Extra extended space enable pets sprawl out, lay, see all around and relax when you have a flight trip, also works great in the car, roomy and they lay in it like a bed. Carrier can be folded totally flat when not in use.
  • 【DURABLE MATERIAL】Solid wire structure keeps it from collapsing, flexible enough to compress to fit under an airplane seat. Top & 2-sided windows that are made of anti-scratch ventilated mesh. Actual PP board base helps to hold all pets steady, with thick comfy washable & removable plush pad as base cover. Well stitched oxford cloth material ensures long-term use.
  • 【MULTIPLE WAYS TO CARRY 】Self-lock zipper to prevent your pets from escaping. A strap on one side can be slid around the extendable handle of rolling luggage. Two flexible handles to hold with your hands. Additionally, it provides a longer, detachable strap to hang on the shoulders and has a side pocket for storage.
  • 【AIRLINE APPROVED CARRIER 】This carrier of S & M size is airlines approved, in compliance with most airline standard size rules. Easily to get this under the airplane seat when travel. As for the size of L, it is best to check the size standard of the corresponding airline(PS:There are two detachable fiber rods on both sides of the top of the carrier. When the large carrier is too high to fit under the seat, you can remove the two fiber optic rods and put them in easily)

Last update on 2023-02-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The dimensions of the medium carrier are 18″x11″x11″

This carrier is suitable for cats weighing up to 6.8kg

The beauty of this carrier is that it looks like a holdall and is both easy to carry to and secure inside the car. It also has an additional ‘patio’ area that unfolds to give more space making it ideal for long car journeys.

There’s plenty of ventilation.

Self-locking zippers offer a superb and secure fit.

There’s a big pocket to put snacks or paperwork inside.

It comes with a comfortable washable mat.

The expandable area allows the cat to move more freely and it allows more air inside.

The hard-wearing but padded shoulder strap allows for comfortable transit and there is a hand strap, too.

The sturdy internal frame will keep the shape of the carrier but it folds down easily.


The Pet Mate Sky Kennel

Petmate Ruffmaxx Camouflage Dog Kennel Pet Carrier & Crate 36" (50-70 Lb), Outdoor And Indoor For Large, Medium, And Small Dogs - Made From Durable Recycled Material W/ 360-Degree Ventilation
  • STRONG & DEPENDABLE TRAVEL KENNEL: This airline-adaptable pet kennel is built with heavy-duty plastic for strength & security. Perfect for dogs & pets 50-70 lbs. Measures: 36"
  • AIR TRAVEL KENNEL: The pet kennel includes nuts & bolts for quick setup. A carrying handle & easy-open front latch and ventilated openings on the sides provide added convenience for travel
  • KENNELS & HOUSES: Crate & kennel training is vital for dog safety & comfort. We provide traditional travel carriers, wire training & exercise kennels, play pens, barn-style dog houses & more
  • Petmate: For over 50 years, we at Petmate are passionate about our dogs, cats & furry friends in general. Starting with the very first dog kennel, we've produced plenty of eco-friendly products that pets will love
  • JUST FOR PETS: Petmate makes a variety of pet products for dogs, cats, chickens & other small furry friends! Check out our brands such as Aspen Pet, Arm & Hammer, Booda, Chuckit!, Jackson Galaxy & more!

Last update on 2023-02-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Pet Mate Sky Kennel is a hard cat carrier and comes in a range of sizes.

This strong, robust hard carrier is designed to carry pets in the hold of an aircraft.  It’s a good option, therefore, if you’re concerned about your cat clawing or biting through fabric.

There’s good ventilation through the wire vents and door.

There’s less visibility with this carrier making it a good choice for cats likely to be distressed by passing scenery.

Its 4-way vault door provides additional security. Useful if you’re worried that your cat might be planning a jailbreak.

Clip on bowls are included.

It makes good financial sense, too, if you think you may be traveling with your cat in an aeroplane in the future.

There’s no additional padding so you’d need to buy a cushion or pad the bottom out with a blanket or fleece.

As this is a hard crate it will be heavier than soft carriers even when empty.

Petego Pet Tube Kennel

Sale
Pet Travel Tube Car Crate Kennel, Pet Containment Barrier Mesh Tube, Soft Pet Cage, One Large Size Fits All
  • First class travel accessory for all pets - Spacious - Comfortable - Safe - Easy to install and store - Folds flat
  • Storage carrying case included for convenient storage and transportation
  • Multipurpose - Car Use - Garage Crate - Indoor kennel - Dog House Cage
  • No more dog hair in the car - Water resistant material for easy clean up and washing process - No distractions while driving
  • Free returns money back satisfaction guaranteed

Last update on 2023-02-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Available in two sizes, this carrier gives the cat an ability to roam across the back seat of the car safely.  It’s particularly suited to cats more terrified of their regular carrier than going on a car ride.

It’s essentially a tube that lies across the back seat.

The fabric is claw proof and on the larger size there’s room for a litter tray, too.

If you buy the larger size, then there’s space for a disposable litter tray, too.

The tube is completely ventilated and comes with three straps that help to secure it to the backseat.

At first glance, our concern was what could happen in the event of an accident as it doesn’t seem as secure as a traditional carrier. We weren’t the only ones to think that and reviewers on Amazon have said that the tube is secure and if fitted correctly won’t move around.  In the unfortunate event of sudden breaking or an impact then the cat will be thrown against the soft netting which could actually be preferable than the hard plastic of other carriers.

There’s the option to buy cushions for the bottom but many reviewers suggest that it’s not necessary if you’d prefer not to.  Adding a comforter or blanket to the bottom will suffice for most cats.

The tube itself isn’t machine washable but can be easily spot-cleaned. There’s recommendations from reviewers, too, that you can hose it down and then let it air dry.


One for Pets Portable Pet Kennel

Sale
One for Pets Portable 2-in-1 Double Pet Kennel/Shelter, Fabric, Black/Royal Blue 20"x20"x39" - Car Seat-Belt Fixture Included (Black)
  • Travel Carrier: Built-in straps that allow safe connection to a seatbelt; Easy to set up and fold flat in seconds; Pad cover is removable and washable
  • Cat Travel Carrier: Pet carrier/dog carrier with multiple entrances; Interior hooks for hanging the hammock (Hammock is optional); Comes with an individual carry case for easy storage
  • Three ways to use the Double Kennel: 1) Use as two connected but divided compartments; 2) Use as one big space by unzipping the center zipper which divides the walls; 3) Detach the Double Kennel into two Single Kennels
  • Lightweight Travel Carrier: Lightweight and zippered mesh door in the front and at one or both ends. Size: Double: 20" x 20" x 39"
  • Dual Compartment Pet Kennel: Can be used as a pet kennel or pet cage indoors or outdoors

Last update on 2023-02-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API



The size is 195 x 20 x 20 Inch

These are great because they’re more than just a cat carrier. You can use them as a folding kennel both inside and outside the house.  They’re useful, too, if you show cats at competitions and events, too.

The built-in straps connect the carrier to the seatbelts.

It’s easy to set up and it folds down flat for easy storage. It comes with a carry-case, too.

It’s a calmer environment for a cat to be in rather than an enclosed hard carrier.

The roll up front and side doors keep the carrier well ventilated and with good access.

It comes with a washable cushion pad and a hammack.  Cats LOVE hammocks

If you have two cats, you can buy a double set that zips together.

There’s a water bottle holder.

There’s a zippered mesh door in the front and at one both ends. There’s a mesh window with roll-up shade, too.

It comes in some lovely subtle colours: cream/brown and grey/brown.

Reading the reviews, many customers have used this on long-distance car journeys of 10 hours or more.  This seems particularly useful if you are using the double kennel as two cats can be near to each other for comfort.  Buy the double kennel if you have a larger cat or if you’d like to include a litter tray and any bowls.


Petmate Two Door Top Load Dog Kennel – Assorted Colors

Petmate Fashion Vari Kennel, 24", for Dogs 10-20 Lbs.
  • TRAVEL CARRIER: This portable kennel is great for training & traveling, with tough durable construction, an easy-open squeeze latch & vents on side walls. It's 24" long & ideal for pets 10-20 lbs.
  • SECURE & STRESS FREE: This easy-to-assemble carrier features tie-down strap holes for zip-tie installation & extra security during air travel, plus a seatbelt notch & a special compartment for treats.
  • KENNELS & HOUSES: Crate & kennel training is vital for dog safety & comfort. We provide traditional travel carriers, wire training & exercise kennels, play pens, barn-style dog houses & more.
  • PETMATE: For over 50 years, we at Petmate are passionate about our dogs, cats & furry friends in general. Starting with the very first dog kennel, we've produced plenty of eco-friendly products that pets will love.
  • JUST FOR PETS: Petmate makes a variety of pet products for dogs, cats, chickens & other small furry friends! Check out our brands such as Aspen Pet, Arm & Hammer, Booda, Chuckit!, Jackson Galaxy & more!

Last update on 2023-02-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is a more traditional hard carrier.   It’s a good bet if you want one that you can continue to use once you’ve reached your destination.

Ventilation is good, with openings on each side.
It has a top-loading door, so it’s really easy to get a cat in and out.  The door is reinforced, too. There’s also a front-loading door giving you the choice of which to use.

There’s a comfortable handle that’s securely fastened to the carrier itself.

There’s an easy-open latch (easy for you not easy for the cat) enabling you to open the carrier one-handed.

This conforms to most airline requirements for cabin-carriage. Therefore, it’s a good investment if you think you’ll be making plane trips in the future.

When assembling the carrier, a few reviewers felt it was important to point out that the door goes into the groove rather than in pre-drilled holes. Although, overall, reviews are that the carrier is easy to assemble.

Some people prefer hard carriers during car travel, believing that their animals are better protected in the event of an accident.


Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier

Sherpa® Original Deluxe™ Airline Approved Pet Carrier, Medium, Black
  • Perfect for traveling in style and comfort by plane or car, for an adventure or just a trip to the vet
  • Patented spring wire frame allows the rear end of the carrier to be pushed down several inches to conform to under-seat requirements
  • Locking zippers for safety and mesh windows for ventilation
  • Padded adjustable, no-slip carrying strap, seat belt/luggage strap, machine-washable faux lambskin liner, and rear pocket for convenient storage of treats, leash, or bags
  • Approved for use on most airlines and included in Sherpa’s Guaranteed on Board programSize medium is for pets up to 16" L x 10" H and up to 16 lbs Medium carrier measures 17” L x 11” W x 10.5” H Do NOT select the carrier size based on weight only. Choose the carrier size based on your pet’s measurements first, then make sure not to exceed the maximum weight limit..Carrier is intended for safe and comfortable travel; the pet will not have excess room to move around

Last update on 2023-02-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Medium carrier measures 17” L x 11” W x 10.5” H

This has a spring wire frame allowing it to be pushed down under seats.  If you have a particularly nervous cat, then this could be useful on long car journeys to keep the cat from seeing outside.

Many Amazon customers have felt comfortable enough using this in the cabin of a plane so, again, it’s a good investment if you’re planning to travel by air in the future.

There’s plenty of ventilation on the top and side entry.  And it enables the pet to be able to look out and around

The zippers lock.

Top and side entries make for easy access.

There’s a no-slip carrying shoulder strap.

The rear pocket allows for convenient storage of documentation or treats.

There’s a faux-lamb wool liner included, and it’s machine washable and helpful for added comfort.

There’s a strap to attach to the seat belt that allows for a secure fit.


You might also like to check out our post on the best cat car seat to buy for those long car journeys.

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