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Best Cat Carrier for Long Distance Car Travel

best cat carrier for long distance car travel

The best cat carrier for long distance car travel can ensure peace of mind because you know your pet will be safe and comfortable in it.

As a cat parent, you know just how difficult it can be traveling with your pet.

With these 5 great cat carriers for long distance travel (reviewed below) you can ensure that your cat won’t get anxious or nervous.

These cat carriers have received a lot of praise from cat enthusiasts, so we are sure you will find something for your pet as well.

Just in case you are in a hurry, click on our short summary below to view our Top 5 reviewed products for the best cat carrier for long distance car travel:

  1. Henkelion Soft-Sided Cat Carrier
  2. MidWest Spree Travel Pet Carrier
  3. Morpilot Portable Pet Bag
  4. NECO ICHI Pet Carrier-Cage-Litterpan
  5. AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Mesh Pet Carrier

Best Cat Carrier for Long Distance Car Travel – 2022 Top 5 Picks

best cat carrier for long distance car travel

Henkelion is a collapsible cat carrier that opens from all sides, is airline-travel approved, and comes with ultra-comfortable features for those long journeys.

It is made with breathable materials that are also scratch-resistant. Your pet will also be able to see you while inside.

Loading your pet inside the carrier is also easy as it comes with all-side opening panels.

Dimensions of the carrier are 17 x 11 x 11 inches which is suitable for cats weighing up to 15 lbs.

The Henkelion carrier also comes with adjustable, padded shoulder straps for pet parents to have hands-free and comfortable carrying experience.

The best cat carrier for long distance car travel is equipped with sturdy and durable zips and long-lasting ABS hooks.

 A convenient side-pocket lets you store food/water bowls, or medicines that you might need during the travel.

Being waterproof, you can wash and clean it with ease.

What we like about it

  • Breathable mesh that is scratch-resistant – ideal for long journeys
  • Safe design
  • Comfortable padding to keep your pet snug
  • Internal belt to secure your pet during the journey
  • Airline-approved
  • Washable

What we don’t like

  • Some carriers had a strong chemical smell.
Henkelion Cat Carriers Dog Carrier Pet Carrier for Small Medium Cats Dogs Puppies up to 15 Lbs, TSA Airline Approved Small Dog Carrier Soft Sided, Collapsible Travel Puppy Carrier - Grey
  • AIRLINE APPROVED CARRIER - With airline-approved design, you can take your pet to go to everywhere. This pet carrier provides two connecting loop handles for balanced carrying as a dual seat belt or luggage strap to secure transport
  • SAFETY DESIGN - The adjustable shoulder strap help you hands-free carrying and makes it more safe and convenient pet carrier bag for your travel
  • DURABLE - This cat carrier is made of durable and lightweight polyester fabric. The four-side mesh will not only give a safe and comfortable travel for your pet, but also easy for you to check on your pet
  • PORTABLE & FOLDABLE - This dog carrier is easy to carry and store, which has a padded shoulder strap and handles
  • BOTH SIZES AND WEIGHTS - The mediun cat carrier is designed for small and medium pets within 15" x 9" x 9"(smaller than product) and 15 lbs. Please do not choose your carrier only based on weight. Reference your pets' length and height in selecting a carrier size.
best cat carrier for long distance car travel

Midwest Spree Travel cat carrier measures 17.91 x 11.5 x 12 inches ideal for cats weighing up to 15 lb. (There are two other sizes – 19 and 22” – and several color options in this best cat carrier for long distance car travel for you to choose from).

Many cats get stressed inside collapsible carriers and tend to scratch its walls and sides. You can avoid this with this hard-walled carrier.

Midwest Spree carrier has a large grille at the entrance, several vents on all sides, and holes on the top for allowing proper air circulation and visibility for your pet.

This will keep your pet comfortable throughout the long-distance travel.

A comfortable handle provided on the top eases the carrying experience.

Other features like easy-assembly and cleaning also make it a great choice in the best hard-sided long distance cat carrier.

What we like about it

  • Hard-walled carrier that is safe for long travel when soft/collapsible carriers stress pets out
  • Easy to assemble and clean

What we don’t like

  • Great for car journeys but not meant for air-travel.
Sale
Pet Carrier: Hard-Sided Dog Carrier, Cat Carrier, Small Animal Carrier in Blue, Inside Dims 17.91 L x 11.5 W x 12 H & Suitable for Tiny Dog Breeds, Perfect Dog Kennel Travel Carrier for Quick Trips
  • Hard Sided Dog Carrier | Spree is suitable as a "Toy" breed dog carrier, cat carrier, small bird carrier & small animal carrier for quick trips to the Veterinarian, pet store, dog park, etc..
  • Dog carrier interior dimensions: 17.91L x 11.5W x 12H inches & doorway measures 7.16W x 7.63H inches, blue. BPA Free
  • Pet carrier is available in 3 fun & fashionable colors & the design provides proper air circulation / visibility for your pet; Spree dog carrier is ideal for short trips
  • Dog carrier made of durable, easy-to-clean plastic & includes built in carrying handle. Spree features a patented, quick & easy 5 step, no tools assembly. Our pet carrier assembles much easier than competitor carriers that use “nut & bolt” assembly
  • Quality pet carrier; each Spree dog carrier includes our MidWest Homes for Pets Quality Guarantee 1-Year Manufacturer's Warranty
best cat carrier for long distance car travel

Morpilot is a best-selling cat carrier measuring 17.3 x 13.4 x 12.2 inches – suitable for cats weighing up to 15 lbs.

It is an airline-approved pet carrier by most airlines, but always check with your particular airline for the exact dimensions of approved pet carriers.

(There is a larger size available in Morpilot carrier which may not be cleared for air travel).

Morpilot cat carrier comes with a removable and washable padded mat that helps keep your pet snug and warm on long journeys – either by car or plane.

It is also comfortable to sleep on for your pet during the travel.

This carrier’s ventilation mesh panel lets your pet breathe easily while also allowing it see outside.

For pet parents, carrying the Morpilot pet travel carrier is easy and comfortable due to an adjustable padded strap that allows hands-free carrying.

Being foldable, the carrier fits easily under the aircraft seats.

Sturdy and reliable zippers prevent your pet from escaping.

You also get an attractive folding bowl with the bag. A convenient storage pocket can hold items you might need for your pet.

What we like about it

  • Comfortable for pets and their parents for long journeys
  • Roomy and spacious for pets weighing up to 15 lb.
  • Sturdy and durable

What we don’t like

  • Some cats found the collapsible walls stressful. Change to a hard-side carrier if that is the case.
Sale
Dog Carrier Morpilot Cat Carrier Pet Travel Carrier Bag Airline Approved Folding Fabric Pet Carrier for Small Dogs Puppies Medium Cats, w/Locking Safety Zippers, Foldable Bowl
  • PRACTICAL AND PORTABLE: The size of this cat carrier is: 17.3*12.2*13.4 inch, Recommend for pets up to 15lbs ( Please measure the size and weight of your pet before purchasing this product). It comes with a folding blue bowl comes in and a soft cushion. With this lightweight dog carrier bag, you can take your pet anywhere, and let your pet and you have a wonderful and happy trip.
  • GREAT DESIGN: This portable dog carrier is made of durable grade polyester. It can be kept in good shape with a support board. Meanwhile, it has a breathable mesh on all three sides to ensure normal circulation of air inside the box. There is a small pocket on the outside of the cat carrier bag to store things.
  • SIMPLE CLEANING: This pet carrier is dark in color, it is not easy to get dirty. You can clean the stains and dirt from the surface with a soft brush. The soft cushion inside the pet carrier bag is removable and can be washed by hand or machine! It allows you to easily solve all stains without worries.
  • WIDE USE: You can use it as a tote bag or shoulder bags with adjustable strap. The carrying handles with a pad can be glued for a comfortable hand feeling. Perfect for transportation by car, train, plane, etc. In addition to serving for pets, you can also use it to load other items such as clothes, shoes, etc. Note: Check with specific airline regulations before boarding
  • BREATHABLE AND SAFE : The breathable and ventilated design allows pets to observe the surrounding environment well, which can effectively reduce pets' anxiety and make them more comfortable during travel. No matter when or where you use it, it gives your pet good protection.
best cat carrier for long distance car travel

The very word ‘NECOICHI’ is Japanese for ‘cats first’, and that is how they have designed this cat carrier – with cats in mind.

We love the fact that the carrier has large mesh panels which allow clear visibility and breathability for your cat.

There is a removable and washable fleece mat that your pet can lay down upon during the travel. (Check out our guide on the Best Fluffy Cat Bed).

You can use this carrier-cum-litter box-cum-cage set for restricting pets when you have guests, for long car journeys, during camping trips, and for emergencies when you have to transport your pet to safety.

The removable litter box (included with the carrier) allows it to function as an extra bathroom for your pet/s.

It is ideal for those potty breaks when you travel with your cat on long car rides.

NECO ICHI cat carrier is roomy and spacious for 2 medium-sized cats weighing up to 15 lb. each or one large cat weighing about 20 lb. Its dimensions are: 20 x 20 x 31 inches.

Its foldable design lets you store this carrier with ease.

The carrier is also equipped with sturdy zips and a claw-proof material that prevent pets from escaping.

It is leak-proof and easy to clean as well.

What we like about it

  • Roomy and spacious, very comfortable for long distance travel
  • Foldable to compact size
  • Leak-proof, waterproof, sturdy, durable, and washable.
  • Versatile and well-designed- comes with litter box as well.

What we don’t like

  • Not for air travel.
Sale
Necoichi Portable Stress Free Cage Carrier and Litter Box, Indoor & Outdoor, Travel (Black, Cage/Kennel+Litter Box)
  • Cage and litter box set that includes a cage, fleece mat and litter box.
  • Ideal to use during travel, when guests are over, while moving or whenever you may need it.
  • Cage features 2 mesh panel sides for breathability and visibility to keep your kitty comfortable.
  • Seamless and durable waterproof liner makes for easy cleaning and prevents leaks.
  • Litter box can be folded down and snapped shut for convenient portability.
best cat carrier for long distance car travel

Safely transport your cat weighing up to 22lb in this great cat carrier from AmazonBasics.

Its mesh walls allow adequate ventilation so your pet can breathe easily and also see you through it.

You can also check on your pet from time to time through the mesh.

Your cat will feel safe, protected, and secure in this comfortable carrier whether you travel by airplane or car.

AmazonBasics have made this carrier airline-friendly.

Its dimensions are 20 x 10.5 x 11 inches which means that you can store it under the airline seat with ease.

This soft-sided mesh cat carrier also features a comfy removable fleece bed that can be washed after each trip.

There is a removable insert (that you can attach with provided Velcro surface) to create a solid surface for your cat to stand upon with ease.

The fleece bed provides an ideal sleeping bed for long distance travel.

Carrying handles and shoulder straps ensure comfort to pet parents in case there arises a need to haul the carrier for a long time.

A leash-clasp can help you secure your pet’s collar to the carrier to prevent escaping.

What we like about it

  • Mesh panels for breathability and viewing comfort.
  • Removable solid insert to stand comfortably
  • Soft fleece bed for long distance sleeping and comfort
  • Airline-approved
  • Rugged and reliable.

What we don’t like

  • The leash clasp provided inside the carrier is too short – it tends to choke pets. In case you don’t use it, it could dangle around inside the carrier and poke your pet.
Amazon Basics Soft-Sided Mesh Pet Travel Carrier, Black
  • Large soft sided carrier for keeping a pet comfortably contained when traveling or heading to the vet
  • Removable, machine washable fleece pad; mesh ventilation panels provide comfortable air flow and visibility
  • Front and top zippered openings for easy loading and access; connecting top handles and adjustable shoulder strap for convenient carrying
  • Removable, machine washable fleece pad; wash separately in cool water with mild detergent and line dry completely before use; reshape if needed
  • Conforms to under-seat dimensions of most airlines

Types of Cat Carriers

A)  Soft sided carriers

best cat carrier for long distance car travel

Soft-sided carriers are airline-approved, lightweight, and ideal for carrying cats in the flight cabin.

On the downside, if anything falls on these carriers, there is absolutely no protection.

If you want to go with this type of carrier, make sure to select one with a firm base and a removable bed for your cat’s comfort. It should also have firm walls that won’t cave in on your cat.

We recommend the Henkelion Cat Carriers with Soft-Sides as it is airline-approved and also checks the above boxes. It is also portable and washable.

Henkelion Cat Carriers Dog Carrier Pet Carrier for Small Medium Cats Dogs Puppies up to 15 Lbs, TSA Airline Approved Small Dog Carrier Soft Sided, Collapsible Travel Puppy Carrier - Grey
  • AIRLINE APPROVED CARRIER - With airline-approved design, you can take your pet to go to everywhere. This pet carrier provides two connecting loop handles for balanced carrying as a dual seat belt or luggage strap to secure transport
  • SAFETY DESIGN - The adjustable shoulder strap help you hands-free carrying and makes it more safe and convenient pet carrier bag for your travel
  • DURABLE - This cat carrier is made of durable and lightweight polyester fabric. The four-side mesh will not only give a safe and comfortable travel for your pet, but also easy for you to check on your pet
  • PORTABLE & FOLDABLE - This dog carrier is easy to carry and store, which has a padded shoulder strap and handles
  • BOTH SIZES AND WEIGHTS - The mediun cat carrier is designed for small and medium pets within 15" x 9" x 9"(smaller than product) and 15 lbs. Please do not choose your carrier only based on weight. Reference your pets' length and height in selecting a carrier size.

B) Hard sided carriers

best cat carrier for long distance car travel

Some cats simply cannot adjust to soft-sided carriers. They feel insecure in them and might scratch at its walls.

For such cats, hard-sided carriers with quick-release clips on the sides and back are a better way of traveling. They are particularly useful for trips to the vet or for car rides.

Some airlines do not allow hard-sided carriers due to weight restrictions and storage issues. Check with your airline before travel.

We recommend the Midwest Spree Travel Pet Carrier which will keep your cat safe, comfortable, and well-ventilated.

Sale
Pet Carrier: Hard-Sided Dog Carrier, Cat Carrier, Small Animal Carrier in Blue, Inside Dims 17.91 L x 11.5 W x 12 H & Suitable for Tiny Dog Breeds, Perfect Dog Kennel Travel Carrier for Quick Trips
  • Hard Sided Dog Carrier | Spree is suitable as a "Toy" breed dog carrier, cat carrier, small bird carrier & small animal carrier for quick trips to the Veterinarian, pet store, dog park, etc..
  • Dog carrier interior dimensions: 17.91L x 11.5W x 12H inches & doorway measures 7.16W x 7.63H inches, blue. BPA Free
  • Pet carrier is available in 3 fun & fashionable colors & the design provides proper air circulation / visibility for your pet; Spree dog carrier is ideal for short trips
  • Dog carrier made of durable, easy-to-clean plastic & includes built in carrying handle. Spree features a patented, quick & easy 5 step, no tools assembly. Our pet carrier assembles much easier than competitor carriers that use “nut & bolt” assembly
  • Quality pet carrier; each Spree dog carrier includes our MidWest Homes for Pets Quality Guarantee 1-Year Manufacturer's Warranty

C) Cardboard carriers

best cat carrier for long distance car travel

These are disposable type of carriers and a cost-effective way to transport your cat to and from the vet, the rescue shelter, or for general transport.

They are quick to assemble and a convenient alternative until you can find suitable permanent carriers.

We recommend the Disposable Pet Carrier by Oasis which is easy to setup, well-ventilated, and can easily hold 14 to 15 lb. cats in it with ease.

Cats can also turn inside the box quite easily without issues.

Disposable Cardboard Pet Carrier 12/Case
  • Special 200 lbs test white cardboard
  • Safe-no staples, strong glued joints, extra ventilation
  • Recyclable, approximately 70% post consumer recycled product
  • Printed warning "Do not leave animal(s) unattended in carrier
  • Easy assembly instructions on carriers. 17.5"L X 15"H X 8.5"W 12/Case

D) Cat backpacks

best cat carrier for long distance car travel

Cat backpacks let you carry your pet close to your body.

They have a mesh liner which keeps the backpack well-ventilated and also lets your cat see you.

We recommend the Texsens Pet Backpack Carrier for Small Cats because of its transparent mesh walls for superior ventilation.

It is also equipped with chest buckles to reduce the burden on your shoulders while transporting.

Texsens Innovative Traveler Bubble Backpack Pet Carriers for Cats and Dogs (Black)
  • ★ Pet Backpack Dimensions:12.6" L x 11.4" W x 16.5" H. Perfect for dogs up to 15-pounds, or cats up to 18-pounds. Easily fits cats, small dogs, and most other small/medium-sized pets! Please make sure your pet sits within 14.5 inches overall height and 12 inches wide.
  • ★ Breathable & Perspective: Three side was made of PVC mesh for the carriers. Well ventilated design for optimal airflow and checking on pet
  • ★Reduce shoulder weight:This cat carrier backpack comes with chest buckles which helps to reduce the burden and keeps the shoulder straps from slipping while pet moving
  • ★ Keep your pet comfortable: Removable cosy mat for easier cleaning and let your pet enjoy it inside.
  • ★ Last Long Using and Easy Storage: Our premium pet carrier is quite scratch-resistant and sturdy for long lasting use. You can also rest assured that it is strong enough to stand up to the scratches or gnawing of your pets.

E) Cat carriers or strollers (with wheels)

best cat carrier for long distance car travel

Cat strollers with mesh-ventilation are airline-approved strollers having zips all throughout to prevent pets from escaping. They are a convenient way to travel with a pet.

They also fold down and can be checked in like baby strollers for extra comfort.

We recommend the Pet Gear Lite Pet Stroller .

It is foldable, airline-approved, and assembles easily. At 9lb. it is very light as well.

Pet Gear Travel Lite Plus Stroller, Compact, Easy Fold, No Assembly Required, Large Wheels for Cats and Dogs up to 15 pounds, 3 Colors
  • Large 6" wheels for easier strolling
  • Lightweight, fully assembled and portable, only 9lbs!
  • Folds into an ultra-compact size in seconds
  • Stroller height to handle, a generous 38"
  • For pets up to 15 pounds ; Mesh ventilation

How to Prepare for Long Distance Travel with your Cat

1)  Invest in a high-quality cat carrier

Whether you are traveling by air or by road, you need a comfortable cat carrier.

This way, you won’t get distracted by your pet while driving and will know that the carrier will keep your pet safe.

In case of air-travel, check with your airline about its carrier-size related restrictions.

2) Make sure your pet has an ID tag

Invest in reliable pet collar bearing your pet’s name, your contact details, vet’s information etc.

This is important in case of untoward occurrence of your pet escaping.

Also Read: Best Escape Proof Cat Harness

3) Get your cat used to the carrier and to the car travel

Traveling with cats in car for long distance takes some preparation.

Before leaving on a long car journey, make sure that your cat likes its carrier and also the car rides.

Try placing your pet in the best cat carrier for long distance car travel and take it around the block or to the vet and back.

Do this several times before the actual departure. This way, your cat will be more comfortable and accustomed to car drives.

4) Use relaxing sprays

Cat pheromone sprays relieve anxiety and aggression in cats.

You can spray them inside your cat’s carrier to ease its stress in the new environment and make the journey more comfortable.

How to Choose Best Cat Carriers for Long Distance Travel

There is a growing range of cat carriers to choose from. Here are some features to look for when selecting one:

A) Quality and comfort

Cats are strong willful creatures with strong teeth and claws.

That is why you must ensure that the carrier is well-made.

Choose one with a strong mesh which your pet cannot claw through. Alternatively, go for hard-sided carriers which are sturdy and claw-resistant.

Make sure that the carrier has reliable zippers and strong seams.

Some carriers come with a snug bed for your cat to rest on.

The chosen product should allow proper air circulation and have enough vents for your pet to see outside.

B) Suitable for your pet’s size and weight

The carrier should be able to withstand your pet’s weight easily.

It should also be roomy and spacious for your pet to move comfortably inside it.

C) Comfortable handles and straps

Look for carriers with comfortable and sturdy carrying handles and straps.

It helps if the straps are adjustable so you can adjust them according to your height.

Padded straps prevent digging into your skin if you have to carry your pet for prolonged period.

Look for long leash clasp-straps that allow you to secure your pet inside the carrier.

D) Easy to clean

Find carriers with removable, machine-washable fleece beds or inserts that you can clean easily in case of accidents.

The cat carriers we have discussed above meet most of these requirements.

Also Read: Best Pet Hair Remover Brush for Clothing or Furniture

Conclusion

The best cat carrier for long distance travel will ensure your pet’s comfort and safety. It should be roomy and spacious for your pet to turn around in, allowing it to breathe easily and sleep comfortably when it needs. The carrier should be easy for you to pick up and carry around with ease.

We recommend the Henkelion soft-sided collapsible cat carrier which has been approved by thousands of cats and cat parents. It checks all of the above requirements.

Alternatively, look for some other product recommendations above.

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