A cat car barrier is a pet car barrier: the sort often bought for dogs and fitted inside a vehicle to separate free-roaming pets from the driver and front-seat passenger.
People generally don’t travel in cars with cats as much as they do with dogs, so it’s a shared product: practical for both dogs and cats.
Ordinarily, people transport their cats in either hard or soft carriers and we’d usually recommend choosing a cat carrier for long car trips but a cat car barrier can be a good choice if you believe that the increased space and freedom will make your animal more comfortable.
They don’t like being bundled up and put in a box either. You may have seen your cat panting in the car or acting in a distressed or aggressive manner. Think about the reasons why we take our felines outside their territory and into the strange new world of the automobile: a trip to the veterinarian or to a cattery, bringing them home from a cat’s home or shelter. It’s little wonder they have such poor associations both with carriers and moving vehicles.
The entire trip can be pretty stressful for them: the sounds of the engine and passing traffic, the scenery whipping by the window, the unfamiliar scent of the upholstery.
Giving them some space to roam could be the answer to keeping them calm and relaxed during the journey.
Traveling by car gives you an advantage: you can prepare the trip with your cat’s best interests in mind. You can’t do that if you’re traveling by aeroplane as airlines have strict regulations that have to be adhered to. Your cat certainly wouldn’t be allowed to roam about the cabin or wander inside the hold if you were flying. You’d have to pick out a cat carrier for airline travel — and sometimes neither plastic nor fabric carriers are ideal.
What is a Cat Car Barrier?
A cat car barrier is essentially a mesh or net divider where the driver and passengers are on one side and the animal is on the other.
It usually divides the car in half with a dividing line between the front and rear seats. Your pet is able to walk and move freely without the risk interfering or distracting the driver.
If you think that your cat would find this too distressing, then you might be interested in finding out more about carriers for difficult cats.
Some cats are canny (and clawed) enough to get through netting. Therefore, cat car barriers are best suited for pets that aren’t likely to try chewing or scratching there way out. Or at least not when the vehicle is in motion.
You’ll need to measure your car to be sure that the barrier will fit correctly, and watch out for any gaps or small spaces where they could squeeze through. Never underestimate how clever a cat can be when it thinks it can escape; they’ll be tempted by any gaps or holes in the netting. Always triple-check the barrier is secure before you begin your journey.
Having a cat loose in the car is dangerous.
For the purposes of this post, we’re only recommending barriers where reviewers on Amazon specifically used the product to transport cats. Dogs are a different breed entirely (huh-who know?), and the experience of their owners will be different for those using it for feline companions.
Before making your choice, we’d recommend that you take a look at the reviews, too, to see if someone else’s experience mirrors your upcoming travel needs. It’s always nice to know you’re not to the first to try and corral a cat into a vehicle.
If you like the idea of barrier in the car but you’re concerned about having them unsecured, then you might be interested to find out more about the Petego Pet Tube Kennel — which we’ve included in the list below. It still gives the cat the space to walk around in but in a much smaller and contained area.
This black mesh net comes in two sizes and has adjustable elastic straps which secure at the base of the chairs and the rear handlebars.
There’s an opening that lets you touch your pet whilst keeping them securely in the back and separate from the driver and front passenger.
The mesh netting means your pet is visible at all times.
Here the cat has the opportunity to roam across the rear seat of the car but in an enclosed environment. It looks like it’s half cat carrier and half children’s play tunnel.
The fabric is claw proof and comes in two sizes.
It’s adjustable and suitable for most cars.
Buying a larger size will leave enough space for a disposable litter tray.
The tube is completely ventilated and comes with three straps that help to secure it to the rear seat.
There’s an option to buy cushions for the bottom but many reviewers have suggested that this isn’t necessary if you’d prefer not to. Adding a blanket or comforter to the bottom will suffice for most cats.
This is a wire mesh pet barrier that’s adjustable and will fit most cars, SUVs, vans and hatchbacks.
It’s designed for dogs and so should be strong enough to contain your cat.
There’s good visibility between the mesh, too, meaning you’ll have no problem driving safely and keeping an eye on your pet passenger.
It’s easy to install into the vehicle and there’s a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Reading some of the reviews for people using this for cats, it’s probably worth buying some foam so that you can push this against the ceiling of the car without damage.
If you have a particularly wily cat then it’s worth plugging some of the gaps at the side. Quite a number of people, however, have said that they were able to travel cross-country without much concern.
This deluxe barrier was designed for dogs but has been used by numerous cat owners, too. It’s scratch and tear-resistant and it allows AC/Heater vents to flow through to the back of the car allowing for good ventilation.
The metal tubing material that shapes the barrier should help stop your cat from getting over, under and around the barrier.
There’s a 50 and 56-inch model to choose from depending on the size of your vehicle.
When you’re thinking about traveling with a cat in the car it’s good to know that there are options beyond just soft or hard carriers. You know your cat better than anyone and perhaps letting them wander freely (albeit safely separated from the driver) could be just the thing to reduce anxiety and help keep your cat at ease throughout the journey.