How to Choose a Cat Carrier Title

Manna is ready to go! She’s hanging out comfortably in her carrier in our van.

This post is sponsored by PetSmart®, and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Containment Products and Education for your pet, but Playful Kitty only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. PetSmart is not responsible for the content of the article. 

Whether you are a first time cat owner or just ready for something new, choosing a cat carrier is an important decision. The carrier you choose will contain some very precious cargo! There are tons of impressive products being added to this category all the time to give you more choices and better options. You can definitely find the right cat carrier to fit your cat, your lifestyle, and your budget.

Why do you need a cat carrier?

Even if you do not plan to take your cat on vacations with you, a cat will still need to travel to and from the veterinarian’s office, to the groomer if necessary, and may need to be transported if there is an emergency at your home. Lately, more and more people are choosing to travel with their cats as well.

In the car, a cat carrier is the feline equivalent of a baby seat. You would never place a human child in your car unprotected and you shouldn’t do that to your feline child either. A cat carrier provides a level of protection to your cat while traveling as well as to you. If a cat is loose in your car, they may try to wander under the driver’s feet or interrupt the driver’s ability to concentrate on the road. Cats don’t realize that the driver has a very important responsibility! Another danger is the potential that the cat may eat unsuitable things that they find on the floor boards of the car.

A Few Good Rules of Thumb

My Cat Carrier 3 views

This is the cat carrier that Manna is being transported in above. It is hard sided, comes with travel dishes, and comes apart for very easy cleaning. I have been very happy with it.

A large number of options exist when choosing a cat carrier. There are hard plastic cat carriers, soft sided cat carriers, front opening, top opening, and a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes. Here are 5 important things to keep in mind when choosing the purrrfect cat carrier for your cat:

  1. Your cat’s comfort.
    The cat carrier needs to be large enough for your cat to stand up, turn around, and lay down comfortably. A general rule of thumb is that the cat carrier should be 1.5 times the size of your cat. You don’t want a lot of extra room either – too much room can mean that the cat will slide around during carrying or travel.  Use soft blankets (that smell like you and your home) on the bottom of the cat carrier to make a comfortable bed for your kitty. Don’t try to carry more than one cat in each carrier. Stress levels may be high while traveling and cause cats to be unfriendly to one another.
  2. Your ability to carry the cat carrier.
    Check the weight of your cat carrier and the ways it allows you to carry it. Cat carriers come with different types of carrying handles: standard 1-hand-grip handles, shoulder straps, pull out handles (for pulling a wheeled carrier), etc. Make sure that you are able to carry or pull the cat carrier easily. You don’t want to drop your kitty!
  3. Hard Carriers at PetSmart

    A selection of the hard-sided carriers at my local PetSmart.

    Ease of cleaning.
    Kitties can make a mess inside of their cat carrier. Occasionally, you may find urine, feces, vomit, hairballs, etc in there. Choose a cat carrier that won’t be too difficult for you to clean. Hard carriers usually come apart and can be easily washed with a hose or in a bath tub. Soft-sided carriers may come apart for easy cleaning or they may be more difficult to clean. Check the tags on the carriers for cleaning instructions.

  4. Your travel plans.
    Do you plan to travel with your cat? By car? By airplane? If you do plan to travel with your cat, you will want to make sure you have room in the carrier for travel food and water dishes. If you plan to travel by airplane, you will need to make sure that the cat carrier meets the requirements of your particular airline and flight (size, shape, weight, etc).
  5. How it will fit in your vehicle. 
    Where will you be able to place this cat carrier in your vehicle? It is best not to place a cat carrier in the front seat or near an active airbag. You don’t want the cat carrier sliding around in your vehicle either. Does the carrier have the ability to be strapped in with a seat belt? Imagine what will happen to the carrier if you have to slam on the breaks for any reason.

Finding the Purrrfect Cat Carrier

Soft Carriers at PetSmart

Prefer soft-sided carriers? They have those at PetSmart too!

With 340 items available online in their “Crates, Gates and Containment” category, PetSmart® makes it easy to find that purrrfect cat carrier. Many cat carriers are also available in store where you can see and touch them before you purchase.  PetSmart has all of the top brands: Petmate®, Martha Stewart Pets®, Top Paw®, Kong®, Great Choice®, and more! They carry all of the accessories necessary to make the carrier comfortable for you and your cat cat too. Take your time, do your research, and don’t forget to check out PetSmart’s sales!

Choosing a cat carrier - PetSmart_Logo_CMYK

Great variety of cat carriers at great prices.

How does your cat feel about his/her carrier?