Choosing the Right Cat Carrier: From Function to Comfort

There is every different type of cat carrier imaginable available on the market today and it’s difficult to know which one is best for your cat. While we don’t endorse any particular type of carrier or brand, we do have some advice you may find helpful in choosing a carrier.

Soft Carrier

One of the most popular carrier types, soft carriers come in a variety of sizes and styles. These carriers in our experience are best for cats that require sedation to be examined. It allows us the ability to administer injections through the carrier as opposed to pulling them out and upsetting them further. Soft carriers also come in more of an upright format with wheels which can be a great option for some of our larger cat breeds or plus size felines.

When looking for a soft carrier, make sure the removable base is plastic and not cardboard. With plastic you can rinse out the entire carrier and ensure it stays clean after any car ride mishaps. With a cardboard base, one episode of vomit, urine, or even an en-route bowel movement can trash the carrier. While the plastic base ones tend to cost more, it’s well worth the money in not having to replace the carrier after each incident.

Hard Carrier – Top loading

Hard carriers are the other most common type of carrier that we see. They work well with a variety of cats and are very easy to clean. Make sure if you opt for this type of carrier, buy one with a top loading door option. Not only is it easier to get them in the carrier at home, but it’s easier to get them out for their exam in the clinic. Additionally, if they are just coming in for fluids or an injection, frequently we can just open the top door and give it without removing them from the carrier helping to minimize stress.
Always remember to put a pee pad and then a soft layer like a towel or blanket anytime you transport your cat.


A personal favorite of some of our Just Cats staff – Sleepypods look like cat beds with a dome mesh cover on top. They are soft inside with multiple layers of protection in case your cat has an accident and each of the inside layers are machine washable. Because of their shape you can leave them out in your house without the top as cat beds to help your cat become comfortable with the carrier, which hopefully makes for an easier transition when they need to travel.
Additionally sleepy pods have won a variety of safety awards and have been proven safe through crash tests and research.

The Cat Pack

These carriers look more like rocket ships than cat carriers! Built as a sturdy solid base backpack, these carriers provide a port hole allowing your cat to safely view the outside world. From the feedback we’ve heard from our clients that have one, cats either absolutely love it or they hate it so it’s hard to say how your feline will react.
If they like being able to see out, then this may be a great option for them. Just like with the soft carriers, make sure the solid base bottom is plastic and not cardboard to allow for easier clean up.