What’s the BEST Cat Carrier for Long Distance Car Travel? These 7 Will Help You Decide!

Are you looking for the best cat carrier for long distance car travel this year?

As cat owners, we all know how stubborn cats can be when making them try out new things. 

Unlike dogs, the majority of cats are not enthusiastic about getting a new collar, a toy, or even a carrier.

So, we have to make sure to get them the best of the best.

Today in this guide, I’m going to guide you through the 7 best cat carriers for car travel this vacation season.

These are the top picks of every cat owner. I’m sure your cat’s going to love these!

Best cat carrier for long distance car travel grey cat in purple hard carrier with own in orange jacket

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1. SPORT PET Pop Open Portable Cat Cage Kennel

Why we LOVE it: This cat carrier stretches straight across the back seat of your car, creating a comfy room specifically for your pet – and keeping the hair off your seats! 

SportPet Designs Large Pop Open Kennel, Portable Cat Cage Kennel, Waterproof Pet bed, Carrier Collection
  • Soft-sided kennel makes a cozy cove for your cat (“M” for dog up to 50 lb) at home or on the go.Includes drawstring bag for stowing and carrying in between usesFor Medium Size Dogs
  • Folds down flat for convenient storage
  • Seatbelt straps keep it safely in place within your vehicle when you’re on the go
  • Removable, washable pad is cushiony soft on one side, waterproofed for spill protection on reverse
  • Overall set-up dimensions: 31.8″L x 20″W x 20″H

So perfect for the more tidy person reading this guide.

Mesh side panels allow fresh air to come in for your cat while giving you a good view of whatever your crafty pet is up to. 

You can also secure it to the headrests in your vehicle for a more comfortable ride. Especially for those long road trips. 

Top Features of the SPORT PET Pop Open Cat Carrier for Car Travel

The SPORT PET folds up compactly and secures with a buckle in seconds when you need room in your car for a human-variety of passengers.

Overall, SPORT PET is one of the best cat carriers for car travel; your cat’s home away from home!

Ratings: 4.3 Stars

Get your SPORT PET Pop Open Portable Cat Cage Kennel here on Amazon!

2. Henkelion Cat Carrier for Small to Medium Cats

Why we LOVE it: With its airline-approved design, you can take your pet anywhere. 

You’ll be happy to know that the Henkelion Cat Carrier has two looped handles that are connected and great for using along with a dual seat belt to help keep it secure.

Henkelion Cat, Dog Carrier for Small Medium Cats Puppies up to 15 Lbs, TSA Airline Approved 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.

Hands-free carrying is made possible with the adjustable shoulder strap. Making it one of the safest cat carriers for a car. 

You can also place the Henkelion travel carrier right next to your suitcase, and your pet will be able to travel in lockstep with you. 

Top Features of the Henkelion Cat Carrier for Car Travel

This design can lighten your load and make your journey more enjoyable.

The Henkelion cat carrier is also washable and portable with a padded shoulder strap and handles, making it easy to carry and store. Making it the best cat carrier for long distance car travel.

Ratings: 4.7 Stars

Get your Henkelion Cat Carrier here on Amazon!

3. COVONO Expandable, Portable Cat Carrier Backpack

Why we LOVE it: The COVONO backpack’s interior size can be doubled thanks to the rear extensible design. 

It not only improves air circulation but also makes it more comfortable for your pet to stay in and walk around. So, this will be the best cat carrier for cats who hate carriers.

COVONO Expandable Pet Carrier Backpack for Cats, Dogs and Small Animals, Portable Pet Travel Carrier, Super Ventilated Design, Airline Approved, Ideal for Traveling/Hiking/Camping
  • REAR EXPANDABLE DESIGN: With the rear expandable design, the space inside the backpack can be doubled. It not only increases air circulation, but also allows your pet to stay in it more comfortably and move around more freely
  • BETTER VENTILATION&VISIBILITY: The most important improvement of this backpack is to ensure excellent ventilation and visibility at the same time. 1 large transparent acrylic window, 3 breathable mesh windows and 9 venting holes, provide plenty of air and excellent view for your pet
  • STURDY&SAFE STRUCTURE: Equipped with a firmly reinforced structure, to prevent the backpack from collapsing on your pet while traveling. When you open the top mesh windows to let your pet stick his head out, the safety rope inside can prevent your dog from running away
  • COMFORTABLE TO WEAR: Comes with both waist and chest buckles, to give you extra support and maintain the stability of the backpack, prevents pets from slipping. The shoulder straps are equipped with extra thick padding for more comfort during long trips
  • MEASURE YOUR PET BEFORE PURCHASEING: Its external size is 13.4″L x 10.2″W x 16.5″H while the internal size is 13.0″L x 9.3″W x 14.8″H and can be 13.0″L x 21.5″Wx 14.8″H after fully expanded. Recommended max load is 18 lbs. Do not select the backpack size based on weight only, please reference your pet’s length(front feet to base of tail) and height(floor to top of head) in selecting a backpack size

It’s a good escape-proof cat carrier. The safety rope inside helps keep your cat from running away when you open the top mesh windows to allow him to peek his head out.

Top Features of the COVONO Cat Carrier for Car Travel

Both waist and chest buckles are used to provide extra support and preserve the backpack’s stability, preventing cats from slipping.

The shoulder straps in the COVONO Cat Carrier Backpack include additional thick cushioning for comfort on extended journeys. Making it the best cat carrier for long distance car travel.

Ratings: 4.8 Stars 

Get your COVONO Expandable Portable Cat Carrier Backpack here on Amazon!

4. Necoichi Stress-Free Portable Cat Carrier

Why we LOVE it: For both you and your cat, a pop-open, totally foldable, portable cat cage is easy and pleasant. 

Necoichi Cat Cage (Cage)
  • Pop-open, fully collapsible, portable cat cage is convenient and comfortable for both you and your cat
  • Large enough to easily fit two cats with travel litter box (Portable Cat Litter Box sold separately)
  • Comes with easy-to-clean double sided, removable waterproof fleece mat and storage bag(Big enough to put both portable cage and Necoichi Portable Cat Litter Box sold separately)
  • Roll up-large mesh panels for maximum ventilation and visibility-Zipper locks will prevent cat escaping outside, safe and reliable.
  • Assembled dimensions : 20 x 20 x 31.8 inches -Folded (circle shape): 14 x 14 x 4.5 inches -Entrance: Front 13.7 13.7 inches, Side 24.4 x 11.8 inches

Zipper locks prevent the cat from escaping outside, making it safe, reliable and an escape proof cat carrier.

It’s also large enough for two cats and a travel litter box. Included is a carrying bag.

Top Features of the Necoichi Stress-Free Portable Cat Carrier

Traveling cats have a lot of lifesavers. The portable litter box can be used both at home and on the go.

The waterproof liner in the Necoichi Cat Carrier is seamless and durable, making cleaning simple. It’s one of the simplest, yet effective cat carriers for long trips.

Ratings: 4.5 Stars 

Get your Necoichi Stress-Free Portable Cat Carrier here at Amazon!

5. Prodigen Airline Approved Cat Carrier

Why we LOVE it: The Prodigen is upgraded to reinforced polyester and claw-defense mesh on top and four sides, ensuring your pet has sufficient ventilation. 

Prodigen Pet Carrier Airline Approved Pet Carrier Dog Carriers for Small Dogs, Cat Carriers for Small Cats Medium Cats, Small Pet Carrier Small Dog Carrier Cat Pet Travel Carrier -Black,L
  • NOT AIRLINE APPROVED – The large pet carrier is only suitable for daily travel, car seat journey and pet hospital etc. Do not place it under an airplane seat.
  • ULTRA-SAFE, EXTRA DURABLE- UPGRADED to REINFORCED Polyester & CLAW-DEFENSE MESH on top & 4 sides ensures your pet has ample VENTILATION and AIRFLOW & it WON’T TEAR like flimsy, cheap carriers while MINI ZIPPER BUCKLES ensure your pet stays tucked safely inside.
  • EASY ACCESS & VENTILATED: Mesh windows on top and all 4 sides provide optimal airflow. Some have zippers to quickly reach your pet to comfort, touch, or take in or out.
  • STRONG & WATERPROOF – Weighing in at only 3.26 lbs, Designed with Breathable Mesh on all Sides for Proper Ventilation * Removable Fleece Travel Bed * Padded Shoulder Strap * Storage Compartment for Treats or Meds, Seatbelt Compatible.
  • PLEASE NOTE INTERIOR SIZING & PET MEASURING GUIDELINES BEFORE PURCHASE – Fits Pets up to 17″Lx10″H and up to 25lbs. PLEASE KEEP IN MIND that we show the exterior dimensions as well as approximate interior dimensions to best portray the usable interior spa for your pet. The interior space will be less than exterior due to the fabric thickness and plush faux fleece padding.

And airflow & won’t tear like flimsy, cheap carriers, while small zipper buckles ensure your pet is safely tucked within.

Mesh windows on the top and all four sides allow for easy access and ventilation. 

Top Features of the Prodigen Cat Carrier for Car Travel

Some feature zippers so you can swiftly comfort, touch, or take in or out your cat.

The carrier is strong and waterproof, weighing only 2.3 pounds and featuring breathable mesh on all sides for appropriate ventilation.

The Prodigen Cat Carrier has a removable fleece travel bed, padded shoulder strap, and storage box for treats or meds, and seatbelt compatibility.

Ratings: 4.7 Stars

Get your Prodigen Airline Approved Cat Carrier here on Amazon!

6. Akinerri Airline Approved Soft Sided Collapsible Cat Carrier

Why we LOVE it: The Akinerri has auto-lock zipper sliders as well as a rope to keep your cats from escaping. 

Cat Carrier – Portable Foldable Dog Pet Carrier, Soft-Sided Pet Bag up to 15 Lbs, Airline Approved Travel Puppy Carrier
  • Dimensions: 17.5″L x 11″W x 11″H, suitable for pet up to 15 lbs.Please do not choose your carrier based on weight–please reference your pet’s length and height in selecting a carrier size
  • Easy to set up and fold down flat for storage. Original metal frame when you carry it within your dog or cats
  • Two entrances, easy to access. Unzip top entrance, pet can poke their head out
  • Travel carrier for medium cats and puppy: AIRLINE APPROVED;can be secured in car seat and fastened on luggage
  • Carrying handles and adjustable shoulder strap, easy for you to carry. It also comes with a cozy fleece pad and mesh windows for ventilation, your pet could breathe fresh air and enjoy the view

It’s composed of tough Oxford Fabric and Mesh that’ll keep claws from tearing it apart. 

The Akinerri also has a belt loop on the side panel that can be used as a dual seatbelt/luggage strap for safe transportation. 

Top Features of the Akinerri Cat Carrier for Car Travel

It has a Removable Fleece Travel Bed composed of soft fleece and durable oxford fabric. There are two easy-to-find entrances. If you unzip the top entrance, your cat will be able to stick its head out.

Akinerri Cat Carrier has carrying handles, and an adjustable shoulder strap makes carrying the bag simple. 

It also has a plush fleece pad and mesh windows for ventilation, so your pet can get some fresh air while taking in the scenery. A way to give you peace of mind.

Ratings: 4.7 Stars

Get your Akinerri Airline Approved Soft-Sided Collapsible Cat Carrier here on Amazon!

7. Vceoa Soft-Sided Pet Carrier for Cats

Why we LOVE it: The Vceoa is composed of durable Oxford Fabric and Mesh to keep claws at bay. 

It includes a rope and auto-lock zipper sliders to keep your cats from escaping. 

Vceoa 17.5x11x11 Inches Cat, Dog Carrier for Pets Up to 16 Lbs, Soft-Sided Cat Bag Animal Carriers Travel Puppy Carry As a Toy of Fabric Pet Home
  • Pet Carrier: 17.5” L x 11” W x 11” H, Recommended max load of 16 lbs cats small dogs. Please do not choose your carrier based on weight–please reference your pet’s length and height in selecting a pet carrier size.
  • Fits for under-seat dimensions of most airlines. Every airline has a specific set of rules and regulations, please contact with airline before flying with your cats small dogs.
  • Mesh windows for ventilation, top and side entry with locking zippers for safety. Carrying handles, adjustable shoulder strap which can also be used as seatbelt, and back strap can fasten the pet carrier to your luggage.
  • Pet carrier comes with a removable base insert, which creates a solid surface for your pet to stand on, along with a removable & hand washable cozy fleece pet bed, which offers a cozy sleeping space for your traveling cats small dogs.
  • “Toys for pets, of textile materials”. Mostly used as a Toy of Fabric Pet Home for pets playing and relaxing.

The Vceoa travel carrier also has a side panel with a belt hook that may be used as a dual seatbelt/luggage strap for safe transportation. 

The mesh ventilation on the sides and top also allows for enough airflow and viewing like some of the other cat carriers mentioned above—ideal for your pet to look out and for you to keep an eye on them. 

Top Features of the Vceoa Cat Carrier for Car Travel

There’s also two openings on top of the carrier with easy-to-use zippers that make it simple for you to use.

You will also find adjustable straps that help both your cat and the carrier stay securely in place.

Ratings: 4.8 Stars

Get your Vceoa Soft-Sided Pet Carrier for Cats here on Amazon!

What to Know Before You Purchase Your Travel Cat Carrier

Now let’s go through a few things you should know and some of the most commonly asked questions about finding the best cat carrier for long distance car travel.

Best cat carrier for long distance car travel lady pet owner holding brown cat

Do cats prefer hard or soft carriers?

When deciding between a hard and soft cat carrier, it all depends on your cat’s nature, your needs as an owner, and the purpose of the carrier.

Hat Cat Carriers vs Soft Cat Carriers

Hard cat carriers are frequently made of plastic and have a front grill made of plastic or metal. 

Best cat carrier for long distance car travel in purple hard carrier

Cats can bite or claw through mesh and fabric, but escaping a well-built hard container is more difficult. 

Best cat carrier for long distance car travel grey cat in hard carrier

Also, cleaning is simpler with hard carriers. However, hard carriers can be heavy even without a cat inside, and they aren’t always as comfy for cats as soft carriers are.

A soft carrier should make a cat feel more at ease. It will also be simpler for them to sit or lie down. 

Best cat carrier for long distance car travel black cat in blue bag

In addition, they are easier to transport and are easier to store, and are suitable for houses with limited space. 

However, claws and teeth may tear a soft carrier apart, so they’re truly just for calm cats, and they’re also more difficult to clean. 

Is it best to cover a cat carrier for car travel?

It is best to keep a blanket in the car as a backup. When cats are anxious about something, they like to hide, and a blanket placed over the carrier’s top makes them feel more hidden. 

Best cat carrier for long distance car travel brown cat in purple bag next to yellow suitcase

Also, in a carrier, your pet has nowhere to escape and hide, which might be stressful for them.

How do you transport a cat long distances in a car?

These are the best ways to transport your cat for a long drive:

  • Feed your cat three to four hours before you go
  • Surround your cat with a blanket that smells like home: a fragrance provides comfort that your animal recognizes
  • Don’t allow the cat to walk throughout the vehicle, especially when you’re driving
  • Place the carrier in a position in the car where it will not push forward or fall if the car comes to a quick stop
  • Give the cat food and water throughout the journey
  • Put the cat carrier in a spot that you can see your cat and your cat can see you

How do I choose the best cat carrier for car travel?

You choose the best cat crate for long distance travel by making sure it’s simple to use, easy to clean, suitable for visits to the veterinarian, has a bedding area that prevents the cat from moving too much, and is well ventilated.

My Final Thoughts on the Best Cat Carrier for Travel

Finding the best carriers for our cat friends is essential for their happiness, comfort, and enjoyment.

When transporting your cat by car, the most important consideration is usually comfort.

Best cat carrier for long distance car travel brown cat in purple bag

Also, knowing the personality traits of your feline companion should also help you decide which travel carrier is best for you!

With a suitable carrier, traveling by car with your cat doesn’t have to be a headache! 

7 best cat carriers for car travel
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I hope this list of the best cat carriers for your Florida travels has assisted you in finding the finest cat carrier that suits your needs.

Until next time, Happy Florida Travels!

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About the Author

Stephanie Writer

Steph is a UK-based freelance travel writer and theme park enthusiast. She currently lives in England with her partner and son but is passionate about exploring the world.

Some Photos Courtesy of Canva.com

(Original Article Date: April 25, 2022/Updated by Editor on April 2, 2024)

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