Some cats hate car rides, and it’s no secret that many don’t like traditional carriers, either.
Pets can’t understand that the plastic box we put them inside is there to keep them safe and secure during travel.
If you’re planning on buying a cat car barrier, then it’s probably because your pet isn’t getting on very well with a regular carrier. It’s actually fairly common. Cats are hugely territorial and they don’t like swapping out the familiar for the unfamiliar, and you can’t get much more unfamiliar than a carrier that only appears infrequently. It’s no wonder they get nervous.
You may also have witnessed your cat panting in the car because it’s distressed.
Most owners transport their cats in either a hard or a soft carrier but you can also buy a cat car barrier to keep both the cat and the car’s occupants safe throughout the journey. Many owners believe that the increased space and freedom to roam makes the animal more comfortable and at-ease.
We’d recommend persevering with a traditional carrier if you can. There are things you can to help relieve your cats anxiety.
What is a Cat Carrier Barrier?
A cat car barrier is a mesh divider that stretches across a car’s interior separating the driver and front seat passenger from a cat in the back. Owners use it to allow their pets to wander freely without being secured inside a more traditional carrier.
Things to Consider When Buying a Car Pet Barrier
- They may not be suitable for all cats. If your cat is prone to clawing or chewing when anxious (or when curious), then there’s the chance it could tear through the netting.
- You’ll need to measure the inside of your car to make sure the netting fits correctly. Car pet barriers are sold in different sizes to accommodate different vehicles so always double check. The best pet barrier for an SUV will obviously be different to one designed for a Prius.
- When fitting you should also look out for any gaps where a cat could slip through.
- Always double-check before starting your journey.
- Having a loose cat in the car without a barrier is dangerous and in some states illegal. Cats have been known to get under pedals and distract drivers causing accidents and fatalities.
- You may want to lock your rear doors so that the cat can’t escape if someone opens one.
For the purpose of this post, we’re only recommending car pet barriers that have been used for traveling with cats. There is a considerable crossover with the dog market but not all dog-designed barriers are also suitable for cats.
As always, we recommend reading Amazon’s reviews before purchasing an item. It’s always good to read some of the buyer’s comments on the product.
We updated this post in June 2020 and unfortunately, many of the products we previously listed have sold out and that doesn’t leave a whole lot of suitable mesh car barriers for cats 🙁
Luckily, there are still a few products that we think sit in the middle ground between traditional carriers and car barriers. We hope you’re able to find something useful.
Some of the dog barriers could be suitable for cats if you were able to shore up the gaps at the top with something. Several reviews on Amazon have done that.
Cat Car Barriers to Buy
One for Pets Portable 2-in-1 Double Pet Kennel/Shelter
This is one of our favorite carriers.
We’re listing it here because it’s a double kennel so your pet will have more room to move but is also safely contained. Its built-in straps means its easily attached to the seat via the belt.
It has real versatility and is ideal for use in the home as much as in the car and on the road.
- You can use this carrier in three ways:
connect each kennel but keep them divided via the central zip, completely separate each kennel by detaching one from the other or unzip the middle and use it as one large carrier.
- Folds flat in seconds
- Easy to store
- You can buy an optional hammock
- Unzips at the ends and at the front for easy access
- Has an individual carry case
- Pad cover can be washed and easily removed
- Hooks to attach to the seat belt
- Can be secured to the ground with pegs
- Includes a water bottle holder
Bushwhacker – 50″ Wide – Best Pet Barrier for SUV
This is a typical example of a car pet barrier; it’s been designed for dogs but some of the reviewers have used it for cats.
If you do buy it, you may have to make some adjustments to any gaps along the sides. It might be a good option for cats that are used to traveling in vehicles and can be trusted to sit quietly in the back.
- Scratch and tear resistant
- Mesh design allows for good ventilation
- 50 inches wide
- Suitable for small SUVs. If you need something bigger, they have a larger size you can buy on Amazon by clicking here.
Pet Travel Tube Car Crate Kennel
This is a halfway house between a mesh cat barrier and a carrier. The cat has room to stand up and walk but is secure inside the netting.
- Easy to install
- Folds flat
- Carry case included
- Straps to attach to the seat belt
- One reviewer used it to transport her cats and said there were no rips on the mesh.
- Can be velcroed down so it will only take up part of the backseat if you don’t want it full size.
We hope you’ve managed to find something useful on this page. We’re going to keep checking for new products and will update this page in due course.
If you’re worried about how your cat will travel in the car without a mesh barrier, here are some additional resources that you may find useful.