Top 10 Best cat carrier for long-distance car travel in 2021

(Last Updated On: November 14, 2021)

Travelling is essential and a big part of everyday life. We all love a getaway from the hustle and bustle of this city. Many prefer a long-distance trip to blow off some steam. People with pets face a bit of perplexity in this scenario. 

Having a pet has a lot of responsibilities. It’s hard to leave them behind closed doors and go on a trip. If you have a cat, you know what we are talking about. Your fur baby relies on you every single day and it’s unthinkable to leave them at your home while you are enjoying a long drive.

This is why you need the best cat carrier for long-distance car travel. It helps to carry your purring friend with you no matter what. Such a carrier is ideal for a cat to stay cosy inside and stay right beside you wherever you go. Check out the list of 10 best cat carriers below.

Image Product Details   Price
Henkelion-Cat-Carrier Top Pick

Henkelion Cat Carriers
Brand: Henkelion
Color: Grey
Material: Polyester
Item Weight: 0.65 Pounds
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Sherpa-Original-Deluxe-Airline-Approved-Pet-Carrier Best Value

Sherpa Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier
Brand: Sherpa
Color: Black Lattice
Material: Polyester
Item Dimensions LxWxH: 15 x 10 x 4 inches
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Vceoa-Carriers-Soft-Sided-Pet-Carrier Budget Friendly

Vceoa Carriers Soft-Sided Pet Carrier for Cats
Brand: Vceoa
Color: Grey
Material: Metal, Fleece
Item Dimensions LxWxH: 17.5 x 11 x 11 inches
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Petmate-Sky-Kennel-Pet-Carrier Premium Quality

Petmate Sky Kennel Pet Carrier

Brand: Petmate
Color: Sky Kennel
Material: Blend
Item Dimensions LxWxH: 21 x 16 x 15 inches
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1. HENKELION – Best Cat Carrier For Long Distance Car Travel

HENKELION Best Cat Carrier For Long Distance Car Travel

This HENKELION pet carrier is an excellent item right out of the box. The size and dimension of this item make it unique. The rectangular-shaped bag is sufficiently large for a medium-sized pet around 15 pounds.

We have it on our list because it provides a healthy, spacious, breathable and comfortable atmosphere for your pet. This is a very portable product. Comes with a shoulder strap and handle for your traveling convenience.

Maintaining and cleaning it is also fairly easy. The 3-layer inner cosy flooring mat is removable, it can be machine washed for cleaning. You will be surprised by the built quality. The body is made of high-quality waterproof polyester fabric. So you don’t have to worry about water leaks or splashes anymore. 

The mesh layer on the four sides allows sufficient airflow, thus your pet remains cool and collected and able to breathe in every condition. The good thing about this carrier is that it is designed in a way so that you can put it on top of your suitcase as well. 

Moving with your pet is now safe and easy if you have this product with you. It is airline-approved as well, which allows you to take your cat for a flying trip as well. Not only for cats, but you can also fit in a small puppy if you will. This is one of the snuggest pet carriers you will find on the market.

Pros
  • Portable design
  • Easily washable
  • Airline approved
  • Convenient and safe
  • Cosy and comfortable
  • Comes in different colours
  • Breathable mesh surface
Cons
  • Not for large pets
  • Mesh surface tears off easily

2. SHERPA – Best Cat Carrier For Car Travel

SHERPA - Best Cat Carrier For Car Travel

If your pet is within 8 pounds, measuring up to 9 inches in height and 15 inches in length, then this SHERPA travel carrier could be a good pick. It looks sleek when it comes to the design. Comes in black color, making it more attractive. 

You can simply carry this bag on an airline. The bottom base is very strong and suitable for holding your pets. The body of this item carries a spring wireframe, which can be pushed to shorten the length whenever needed. If you have a cat, simply put it in the bag and take it with you. 

Why leave it behind while you enjoy the scenic views during a drive? Your furry friend deserves to be with you, and there is nothing better than the Sherpa carrier. The inner body of the unit is padded for utmost safety. Your cat won’t be hurt from any unwanted impact. 

To make things easier for you, this unit has all the necessary components. Starting from adjustable straps with a non-slip design, seatbelt strap, external pockets and whatnot. All this comes in handy when you have to carry your pet. Don’t stress yourself by carrying your cat on your hands or the shoulders, better purchase a SHerpa pet carrier.

 This product is airline certified, which means you can carry your four-legged companion even on a plane trip. We like the overall functionality of this item. We can assure you it is very easy to use and on the lighter side. 

Pros
  • Crash tested design
  • Safe for pets up to 8 pounds
  • Top tier materials
  • Certified for airlines
  • Comfortable 
  • Lightweight
  • Value for money
Cons
  • The frame rods might poke out at times
  • Thin fur mat

3. VCEOA – Best Cat Carrier For Road Trip

VCEOA - Best Cat Carrier For Road Trip

VCEOA came up with a viable option for pet owners with this particular unit. This is a cat carrier that can hold up a body up to 15 lbs. The dimension of it is 17.5x11x11 inches, large enough for medium-sized pets such as dogs and cats.

By the first look at it, we can say that it is a good looking product. Something you would love to carry along. It has a solid framing that makes sure your pet has enough space to move and yet the carrier will not bend or break. 

There are two entrances, one on the side and one on top. It is easy to use and fast to set up. Simply fold and unfold the body for proper storage. A two-way entrance gives your pet flexibility, the upper can be unzipped for them to poke their head out and enjoy the view. 

The good thing about this carrier is that it can be tightened on luggage. So if you plan to carry luggage, why not carry your beloved cat as well? This unit is certified by airlines, making sure you can have it on airline seats as well. 

We like the bottom fleece mat, it’s super cosy for your pet to rest on. It comes with handle style straps. You will also get a shoulder strap with it, adjust it according to the height you need and carry the bag on your side if you will. 

Pros
  • Good looking design
  • Snug and cosy inside
  • Rigid framing
  • Doesn’t wear due to scratches
  • Two-way doors
  • Mesh layer for breathability
  • Easy to store
  • Can be carried on an aeroplane
  • For medium-sized cats and dogs
Cons
  • Might need a bit of padding on the inside

4. PETMATE Sky Kennel – Best Cat Travel Cage With Litter Box

PETMATE Sky Kennel - Best Cat Travel Cage With Litter Box

Petmate pet carrier is something you simply don’t want to miss out on. Why? Because it is a unit that is made for your pets safe accommodation. You might argue that there are many affordable options, but let us ask you, can those carriers survive on a cargo rack? 

You have guessed it right, this item from Petmate is cargo and airline certified. This allows you to carry your pet no matter where you travel. If you are going on a long-distance car trip, don’t worry. This unit is destined to give your pet the most comfortable experience of their life. 

The built quality of this carrier is what makes it stand out. The body is crafted with a top-notch plastic shell that is extremely hard-wearing. The steel wires and anti-rust wing nuts add to the safety of the overall structure. It has 4 sided interlocking vault doors for extra safety. 

The vents on all sides of the carrier allow sufficient airflow. If you are carrying your pet in a car seat, they will be allowed to look outside and also have a good breathing space. The kind of vents in this carrier is well suited for cargo use, where it is a bit more constricting. 

Therefore we can say that Petmate made sure about the breathability for different circumstances. There are two different handle options for you, making it easy to carry along. For a durable, strong carrier, better get this one right away. 

Pros
  • Hardwearing construction
  • Safe for cargo and plane
  • Sufficient ventilation
  • 4 sided doors for better security
  • Comes with live animal stickers
  • Includes clip-on bowls
  • Snug and comfortable for cats and dogs
Cons
  • Requires softer fittings to make pets comfortable
  • Handles snapped in some cases

5. SIIVTON 4 Sides Expandable – Best Large Cat Carrier For Car

SIIVTON 4 Sides Expandable - Best Large Cat Carrier For Car

Cats are intricate and sensitive animals. They deserve affection and comfort. Show your love by taking them with you on your long drive. Don’t leave them at your home. Get a SIIVTON expandable carrier to make sure the carrying process is right up safe and comfortable for your fur babies.

If you ask for recommendations, we assure you that it is one of the best pet carriers for long-distance car travel. You will find a lot of carriers, but nothing like this one. The four sides of this unit can be expanded, giving your cat or dog enough room to move around. What it does is, make sure your pet doesn’t feel confined or claustrophobic. The 4-way see-through sides ensure proper visibility for your cat.

It is a large carrier, compared to the ones you find on the market. It can hold animals up to 20 lbs with measurements up to 19.5x12x12 inches. This product is airline approved, thus you can carry your cuddly companion anywhere you like no matter the basic transportation. 

The materials used for this carrier are simply top of the line. The construction is of Oxford, polyester and EVA foam. The bottom is a PP mat and has enough cushioning. This is an ideal carrier when it comes to durability, protection and comfort. 

This unit is compatible with cats, pomeranian, corgi, chihuahua, french bulldog and other animals. 

Pros
  • Double-sided inner pad for comfort
  • Sturdy supportive bottom 
  • 4 different carrying mode
  • Comes with straps, clips, hooks, side pockets, etc
  • Meat cloth for proper ventilation
  • Made of top tier materials
  • Can be used anywhere
  • Suitable for different animals
  • Expandable sides
Cons
  • Folded screens restrict space 
  • Soft mesh is easily tearable

6. X Zone – Best Car Safe Cat Carrier

X Zone - Best Car Safe Cat Carrier

With a maximum weight limit of 16 pounds, measuring 17.5x11x11 inches this X ZONE Pet Carrier is a decent product on the market. This carrier allows you to accommodate medium-sized pets. We recommend you check for the height, length and weight of your pet before purchasing it. 

This unit is made of polyester fabric and fitted mesh on the surface. This ensures proper ventilation through and throughout. Your pet will always have sufficient room and breathing space inside this carrier. The anti-scratch components make sure there is no wear or tear even if your cat scratches it. 

The inner layer is made of protective materials. The cosy bedding on the bottom allows your pet to rest comfortably. The overall framing is rigid enough to keep firm on the ground. This unit comes with shoulder straps, hooks for easy attachment and a convenient carrying option. 

Zippers are functional and there is a side pocket for storing small belongings. The mat that we talked about is removable and easy to maintain. The cleaning is fairly easy and it can be put up in no time. A good trait of this product is that it is airline compatible, thus you can now take your precious ones flying with you. 

Pros
  • Easy to carry
  • Simple maintenance and cleaning 
  • Large enough for medium-sized animals
  • Soft cushioned bed for comfort
  • Mesh upper and sides for breathability
  • Safe for pets
  • Durable design
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Does Not fit under the seat
  • Not for big cats

7. ZANE SUN – Best Cat Carrier For Long Car Travel

ZANE SUN - Best Cat Carrier For Long Car Travel

You will get a few different colour options with the Zane Sun cat carrier. It is a well-crafted product from a trustworthy brand. Might not be the most stylish carrier, but it does boast all good features that helped it appear amongst the top products. 

If you need small accommodation for your little furballs, this ZANE SUN carrier is a feasible option. Measuring 15.7×7.9×11.8 inches, it can hold up to 10lbs of weight. If your pet is lightweight and small, you can opt for this affordable carrier. 

It is made with 600D Oxford material for better protection for your pet. The fabric is safe and allows sufficient airflow. Mesh material on top and side gives your pet visibility and lets it breathe freely. The inner bottom mat is completely removable and can be washed easily. The bottom piece is made with cushy components to make your cat feel snug. 

This product is a perfect carrier if you plan to go on a long drive. The smaller size allows you to carry it like a bag. Pets do enjoy this soft, long-lasting carrier. We recommend this if you are on a budget. 

Pros
  • Handheld strap, shoulder strap for convenience
  • Waterproof body
  • High-quality oxford material
  • Scratchproof
  • Good airflow
  • Comfortable flooring and inner cushions
  • Durable zipper
  • Inexpensive
Cons
  • Pets can open the zippers easily
  • Not ideal for dogs

8. PETAMI – Best Small Pet Carrier Car Seat

PETAMI - Best Small Pet Carrier Car Seat

For a commodious travel experience, you must have the PETAMI pet carrier. It is an excellent choice for your pets like cats and dogs. It can be used for long-distance car travel or you can simply carry it like a suitcase. The measurement is large enough to embrace pets up to 18lbs.

The inner bottom pad is Sherpa line bedding that gives total comfort to your pet. If you are on a long-distance driveaway, this soft bottom will keep your pet relaxed and stress-free. The ventilation on this unit is commendable. It allows effective airflow throughout the carrier.

There is a collapsible water bowl inside as well, you can now keep your pet hydrated at all times. There are adequate strapping that lets you hook this carrier to your luggage when you travel. Handle straps, buckles and shoulder straps are there to make your task easier. 

The zippers are easy to open and very functional. The inner bed is replaceable and washable, making it an easy to maintain carrier. There is a name tag, for easy identification of your loving pet. 

It comes in different colors and you get to select from two different sizes. It is a must-have item if you plan to travel with your cat or dog. 

Pros
  • High-quality construction
  • Comes in two different sizes
  • Quality bucks, zippers for better safety
  • Good enough ventilation
  • Side zipper for easy reach
  • Name tag for identification
  • Affordable price
Cons
  • No structural frame
  • Tad bit smaller than what’s advertised  

9. PRODIGEN – Best Cat Travel Carrier

PRODIGEN - Best Cat Travel Carrier

This model from PRODIGEN is a good buy for people, who want a secure carry bag to accommodate pets. This unit is airline certified, which means you will be able to travel with most airline companies worldwide. 

The size and dimension are spacious for a mid-sized pet. Even with an animal inside the carrier, it will still have lots of room for moving purposes. Its construction makes it worthy enough to be on top of the list of best pet carriers. High-quality and heavy-duty polyester materials are used to craft this carrier. Complementing it is the mesh fabric that also adds to the breathability feature of this product.

It is a hard-wearing product, thus it won’t deteriorate that easily. If your pet tries to bite or scratch the surface, the materials are sturdy enough to withstand any impairment. This item comes with seatbelt straps, compatible with most seats, it can be buckled on top of luggage as well. There is a side compartment that allows you to store treats, toys for your beloved cat. 

Remove the fleet bed if it gets dirty, wash it and put it back to make it functional again. The good thing about the carrier is that it is mildly waterproof. You will find different color variations of this model.

Pros
  • Cosy fleet bet that is machine washable
  • High-quality fabric
  • Breathable mesh surface
  • Anti-scratch components
  • Waterproof
  • Suitable for travelling purposes
  • Color variation
  • Durable and safe
Cons
  • Doesn’t hold shape well
  • Chemical smell 

10. PECUTE – Best Extra Large Cat Carrier For Car

PECUTE - Best Extra Large Cat Carrier For Car

One of the most stylish pet carriers on the market, the PECUTE carrier is simply eye-catching. NOt only that, it comes with all the positive features. We will be highlighting why this is one of the best carriers for long-distance car travel. 

It can be used in two ways. Either expand the body and place it on a flat surface for more space or you can simply carry it as a backpack. You are right, it is the shape of a backpack. Haven’t you seen people carrying their cats on their backs? Now it’s your turn to do it. With the PECUTE carrier, your pet will be safe no matter where you go.

It has a four-way mesh window to ensure proper ventilation. This allows your pet to have a clear view of the scenery rather than being confined. You can reach your pet with the two-way door. The top and side entrance allows you to put your pet in the carrier easily. 

don’t worry about impacts, this unit is crafted with shock absorption foam and cushioning for the best possible protection. It will absorb all the shocks and keep your pet safe. The anti-scratch oxford fabric stands out in terms of material quality. 

You are provided with lock zippers, hooks for better safety. The bottom layer is hard and gives it the strength to carry a heavyweight. It is also made with soft comfy layers on top to ensure your pet stays snug no matter what. 

Pros
  • Expandable, two-way use
  • Maximum air circulation
  • Multiple entrances
  • Extra storage for toys and treats
  • Absorbs shocks and vibrations
  • Ease of use
  • Eye-catching design
  • Provides a comfortable ride
  • Locked zipper and safety rope for protection
  • Four season use
  • Sturdy and spacious
Cons
  • Zippers are cheap

Buying guide

Buying a carrier for your pet is not an easy task. Many things need to be looked after. If you plan to go on a drive, you should get the best car carrier for long-distance car travel. But before you purchase one, there are some factors you need to take into consideration.

Size

Not all pet carriers are the same size. The sizing varies depending on the manufacturer. You will wind small carriers, medium carriers to large carriers for your pet. For example, HENKELION on the list above is a medium-sized unit that is spacious enough to accommodate a pet within 15x9x9 inches dimension. There are bigger items as well. Go for the one that fits your car and make sure it accommodates your pet in a comfortable fit. It should not constrict your meowing buddy.

Compatibility

Pet carriers are of different sizes and shapes. Some are built for just carrying on shoulders or by sides, nothing more than that. If you plan to go on a drive, such items are of no help. Some are made to fit on luggage for convenient travel. Talking about car rides, you will need something compatible with car seats, just like the VCEOA cat carrier. This item is suitable for putting inside cars. You must purchase a carrier that is airplane-approved as well. You never know when or how you might travel, so get something compatible for cars, planes and cargo as well. 

Materials

Materials are one of the most important criteria of a pet carrier. Without hard-wearing materials, your carrier will lose its shape and will wear and tear sooner than you can imagine. Units with sturdy steel framing are preferred for stable and solid grounding. Check out the likes of SHERPA carriers. It is made of a rigid frame that can also be compressed for easy storage. The body has to be made of top-notch materials like Oxford polyester, EVA foams, Durable mesh and such. You can find all of this in the SIIVTON pet carrier.   

Ventilation

A pet carrier must have adequate ventilation. If there is a lack of vents, your pet might feel out of breath and can have complications. As you are keeping a pet inside a carrier, you must ensure the bag has enough ventilation for your fur baby. They are allowed to breathe freely, therefore a carrier must have a mesh surface that allows airflow inside and out. Check out the Henkelion carrier and you will get an idea of what proper ventilation means.  

Safety

It is recommended that you look after the safety features while buying a pet carrier. IS it cushioned enough to protect your pet from impacts? You gotta make sure there is enough padding and soft foam for your cat to rest easily and comfortably. In case of bumps and road vibrations, they must be in a safe position away from all kinds of impacts. Having a well-structured carrier with proper shielded inner layers is preferred. The SIIVTON carrier is an example of a safe pet carrier. Check out the other items we mentioned, all of them are safe for pets. 

Ease of use

You must always have a pet carrier that is lightweight in general. Something that is easily washable and easy to maintain. A unit that can be folded-unfolded to store easily. Most importantly a pet carrier should be such that it can be accommodated on a car seat or simply an item that can be carried around by hand or on shoulders. VCEOA carrier is one of our favorites when it comes to usability. 

FAQ

How do I choose a cat carrier?

Look out for the materials used for construction, it has to be durable and long-lasting for pets. There must be proper ventilation in a carrier to ensure sufficient airflow. The size of the unit must be big enough to accommodate your pet’s body. Make sure where you are going to use it, if you plan for a drive, go for a carrier suitable for car rides just like the SIIVTON product.

Which carrier is best for my cat?

There are many good options to buy. We recommend you take a look at the HENKELION unit. It has all excellent features to snugly accommodate your cat. Don’t forget to check out the 10 products we mentioned on the list above.

Do cats prefer hard or soft carriers?

Cats can be unpredictable, they can start to be aggressive in no time, so it’s better to have a hard carrier with soft cushions and pillows to make them comfortable. Hard carriers won’t wear or tear from scratches like the PETMATE item. On the other hand, cats who are mostly calm might prefer cushy carriers.

How do I make my cat comfortable in a carrier?

The best way to do it is by providing comfortable soft beddings inside the carrier. You should give your furry friend some treats to elevate the mood. Provide them with toys if they are into them. Be playful, make them feel at home. This is how you can make your cat relax in a carrier.

How long can a cat travel in a carrier?

For up to 8 hours, a can endure staying inside a carrier. Exceeding the time can cause stress and panic to set in. It’s advised that you take your cat out in intervals to make them feel relaxed and not confined. 

Final verdict

We have seen people asking for a solution about taking their cat along on a long drive. Having a pet while driving for long hours can be complicating and traumatic for both of you. A pet has to be kept in a cosy environment, so what better than having the best cat carrier for long-distance car travel? There is no alternative to high-quality carriers like we mentioned in the review section. These units offer a snug fit and protective shielding for your cat. Check out the items such as Henkelion, VCEOA and others to give your cat the best ride of their life. Carry your precious little pet with you wherever you travel. Don’t do a bunk on them.

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