Inside of an Argos cat carrier

What’s the Best Cat Carrier for Scared Cats?

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In a hurry? We think the best cat carrier for scared cats is the Petisfam Top Load Carrier.  Or keep reading for our other recommendations. 

Cats don’t always like their carriers. 

One minute they have the run of their home or neighbourhood and the next they’re stuck in kitty jail and going for a long car ride or taking a trip to the veterinarian’s office.

It’s hard enough when a cat just doesn’t like getting into a carrier but what if your pet is terrified? What’s the best cat carrier for scared cats? 

And what can we do as owners to help our pets feel safer when we need to take them outside the house?

Which cat carrier should you buy if you have a scared cat?

Petisfam Top Load Cat Carrier for Medium Cats

  • It’s a top loading carrier for easy access
  • It also has 2-side doors, too
  • It’s escape proof with zippers that are anti-escape and have a hook to secure a leash to
  • Seat belt straps
  • Approved for a number of airlines including Jet Blue, United, and Virgin but always double-check if you’re planning on flying.
  • Easy to store
  • Easy to carry with an adjustable shoulder strap
  • It’s well ventilated

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Amazon Basics Two-Door Top-Load Hard-Sided Pet Travel Carrier

  • It’s a hard carrier made of durable plastic so it’s better for scared cats who lash out with claws or teeth.
  • It’s two-door and is top-loading allowing easy access
  • There are screws which you can then use to secure the top and the bottom of the carrier for added security.
  • It comes in two sizes
  • Spring-loaded latch on the grill door

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SturdiBag Large Flexible Height Pet Carrier

  • Smaller space which may help a scared cat feel more secure


  • Compact and lightweight


  • Ideal for traveling with a cat


  • Padded shoulder strap


  • Mesh windows


  • Privacy flaps


  • Secure zippers


  • Tether to attach to a leash
  • Multiple color choices

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Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe

  • Mesh windows for good ventilation
  • Top and side-entry
  • Locking zippers for safety
  • It has padded and adjustable carry straps
  • There’s a seat belt and luggage strap
  • It has a machine-washable faux-lambskin liner

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What should I look for before buying a carrier?

Regardless of whether you buy a hard or soft carrier, you want something that’s durable and robust. 

You don’t want to worry about your cat escaping during transit.

  • Top loading carriers make it easier to put cats inside. You just drop them in through the top and quickly secure the clips.  It can be easier than trying to push them through the main door.
  • If you don’t need the top-loading for entry, it’s still useful for additional security.  We found screwing the top and bottom together (rather than just clipping them) made us feel better about carrying our cat around.
  • Make sure you buy a carrier that suits the size of your cat.  Tempting as it is to buy a bigger carrier, cats often prefer smaller spaces.  Measure them from nose to tail and ensure that they can stand up, lie down and turn inside.
  • We’d always recommend reading the reviews on Amazon carefully.  There’s a great deal of honesty (if you know how to read between the lines), and you may find a more suitable product to the ones we list here.


How do I keep my scared cat calm in the carrier?


  • Put familiar items in with them: anything that smells familiar to them such as blankets or toys.
  • You can spray pheromone sprays inside. Feliway and Comfort Zone can help reduce feelings of fear.
  • Experiment with covering the carrier over with a blanket or towel. Some cats prefer not to look around and others don’t.
  • Keep the carrier off the ground if you’re in the vet’s office as the cat will be able to smell other cats and dogs.
  • Try to keep the carrier steady. Use a towel in the bottom to stop them sliding around.

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