The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Cat Carrier or Dog Carrier

Selecting the right pet carrier for your beloved cat or dog can often be a daunting task. With an array of choices available in the market, you might find yourself overwhelmed. But worry not, as this comprehensive guide is here to help you make the right decision.

Understanding the Importance of a Cat Carrier or Dog Carrier

A pet carrier is more than just a transport box for your pet. It’s a safe haven for your furry friend during travel, ensuring their comfort and security. Whether you’re taking your pet to the vet, going on a vacation, or moving house, a suitable pet carrier is an essential tool that can make the journey less stressful for both you and your pet.

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Cat Carrier or Dog Carrier

When choosing the perfect pet carrier, you should consider several factors to ensure the comfort and safety of your pet.

1. Size of the Carrier
The right size carrier is crucial. It should be spacious enough for your pet to move around but not too large that it takes up excessive space or makes your pet feel insecure. Your pet should be able to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably in the carrier.

2. Weight of the PetThe weight of your pet is another important factor to consider. A carrier designed to hold a small pet might not be sturdy enough to hold a larger pet. Similarly, a carrier designed for a larger pet might be too cumbersome for a smaller pet. Always check the weight restrictions on the carrier before making a purchase.

3. Material of the Carrier
The material of the carrier can significantly impact the comfort and safety of your pet. You should look for a carrier made from durable, lightweight materials that are easy to clean and maintain. Materials such as canvas, nylon, and polyester are all excellent choices.

4. Safety Features
Safety is paramount when it comes to choosing a pet carrier. The carrier should have a secure locking system, well-padded straps, and handles. If you are travelling by car, you might want to consider carriers that are crash-tested for added protection.

5. Ventilation
Adequate ventilation is essential for your pet’s comfort and well-being. Look for carriers with mesh sides or windows to ensure maximum airflow.

Types of Cat Carrier or Dog Carrier

Pet carriers come in various types, each with its own set of benefits.

Hard-Sided Cat Carrier or Dog Carriers

Hard-sided carriers are typically made from plastic or metal. They are sturdy, durable, and offer excellent protection for your pet. These carriers are ideal for larger pets or for pets that like to chew or scratch. They are also a good choice for air travel as they can withstand rough handling. Check with your airlines guidance on pet carriers before purchasing.

Soft-Sided Cat Carrier or Dog Carriers

Soft-sided carriers are lightweight and portable. They are usually made from fabrics like nylon or canvas, making them comfortable for your pet. These carriers are perfect for small to medium-sized pets.

Rolling Carriers Cat Carrier or Dog Carriers

Rolling carriers come with wheels, making them easy to manoeuvre. These carriers are ideal for long journeys or for pets that are too heavy to carry for extended periods.

Wearable Carriers

Wearable carriers allow you to carry your pet close to your body. These carriers are perfect for small pets and for situations where you need to keep your hands free.

Choosing an Airline-Approved Pet Carrier

If you’re planning to travel by air with your pet, you’ll need to choose an airline-approved pet carrier. Different airlines have different regulations regarding pet carriers, so it’s crucial to check with your airline before purchasing a carrier. Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:

1.The carrier may need to fit under the seat in front of you.

2. Your pet should be able to stand, turn around, and lie down in the carrier.

3. The carrier should have secure locking with pins.

4. The carrier should be well-ventilated on all sides.

5. The carrier should have your pet’s name and your contact information.

6. Water and food bowls need to be attached to the door and accessible from outside the carrier.

Top Cat Carrier or Dog Carrier

Now that you’re familiar with the factors to consider while buying a pet carrier let’s look at some top carriers for cats and dogs.

1. Cat Carrier for Traveling:

This carrier is easily stored and folded, perfect for keeping in a small place. It includes a litter box and water/food bowl, making it ideal for travel.

Dogit Dog Carrier Voyageur

The Dogit Voyageur Extra-Large Dog Carrier in grey is the epitome of a suitable solution for all your pet transportation needs. This long-lasting, robust, and secure pet carrier is perfect for all kinds of travel, whether by car, bus, train, or even aeroplane.

Key Features:

-Optimal airflow and ventilation

-Easy petting door on top

-Spring locking system on top for access

-Easy-to-assemble side latch system

-Built-in waste collection gutter

-Compartment for treats and a food/water bowl

-Meets airline standards (if used with permanent screws/tie wraps)

-Also suitable for cats

-Extra large dimensions: L68.4 cm x W47.6 cm x H43.8 cm (26.9in x 18.7in x 17in). *Other sizes available.

Dogit Dog Carrier Voyageur Grey Extra-Large

2. Airline-Approved Travel Crate for Cats:

This sturdy and durable crate provides excellent ventilation on all sides, ensuring the safety of your cat during travel. It’s also foldable, making it easy to store.

Catit Cabrio Carrier Cherry Red

The Catit Design Cabrio Carrier in Cherry Red is a top-tier, multifunctional carrier system designed for cats and small dogs. Incorporating exceptional safety features and usability, it offers premium, five-star travel accommodations for your pet. This carrier meets most airline standards, making it an excellent choice for air travel with your furry friend.

The Catit Cabrio Carrier is perfect for stress-inducing vet visits, offering innovative solutions like a top hatch that opens for easy pet placement and removal. Plus, you can securely fasten the carrier in your car using a standard seatbelt, ensuring your pet’s safety during your journey.

Key Features:

-Access to a removable diner from the outside minimises escape risk

-Base contains a collection gutter for food, water, or urine spills

-Single-hand lock mechanism

-Anti-skid textured floor to prevent pets from sliding during transportation

-Incorporates a moulded handle for reduced pet motion sickness when carried by hand; -includes a shoulder strap

-Can be transformed into a cat bed or home

-Fully ventilated

-Dimensions: L51cm x W33cm x H35cm

-Suitable for pets weighing up to 11.3 kg

-Colour: Cherry Red.

Catit Cabrio Carrier Cherry Red

3. The Soft-Sided Dog Carrier:

This carrier offers a balance of comfort and convenience. It’s lightweight, portable, and comes with a shoulder strap for easy transportation.

Ferplast Cat & Dog Arca Soft Carrier

The Arca Soft Pet Carrier from Ferplast is a durable nylon pet bag ideal for carrying both dogs and cats. This blue carrier, highlighted with black detailing, is uniquely designed with ventilation holes for optimal airflow. The quick-open zippers on the carrier make it simple to secure your pet.

Additionally, it’s perfect for use on car journeys due to the built-in seat belts. Whether bringing your pet for a check-up at the vet or a leisurely day in the outdoors, this carrier ensures safety and comfort.

The carrier is adequately spacious for small dogs or cats, featuring a top cover that can be closed to provide a peaceful environment for your pet, particularly during short trips where they might need to rest. The Arca carrier also comes with a detachable adjustable shoulder strap for convenience.

Key Features:

-Blue-coloured carrier for small dogs and cats

-Constructed from solid nylon

-Pet safety lead and cushion are provided

-Sturdy and modifiable shoulder strap

-Top designed with a nylon net for sufficient ventilation

-Decorative round holes on the side

-Can hold up to 8kg weight

-Dimensions: H29 x L38 x W38 cm.

Ferplast Cat & Dog Arca Soft Carrier

4. The Hard-Sided Cat Carrier:

This durable and sturdy carrier offers maximum protection for your dog. It’s particularly suitable for large dogs or those that like to chew or scratch.

Ferplast Jet Carrier 10

The Jet Carrier 10 from Ferplast is specially crafted for cats, making it seamless for you to take your feline companion wherever you go. With its convenient fixed handle, it’s ideal for use on most standard forms of transportation.

This carrier is exceptionally durable due to its side hook snapping system. Additionally, it features side grids for exceptional ventilation. The grips and clips are available in three distinct colours: yellow, orange, and pink.

Key Features:

-Dimensions Approximately: H28.5 x L34 x W30cm

-Grips and clips are available in three colour options.

Remember, the perfect pet carrier for your cat or dog is one that ensures their comfort and safety. Take the time to consider your pet’s needs, and choose a carrier that best suits them. With the right carrier, you can make every journey a pleasant experience for your furry friend.

Ferplast Jet Carrier 10


Why use a pet carrier?

Using a pet carrier offers multiple benefits, especially for travel and transportation purposes.

Safety: A pet carrier ensures the safety of your pet during travel. Whether you’re travelling by car, bus, or aeroplane, it reduces the chances of injury by keeping your pet secure and confined.

Comfort: Pet carriers can offer a comfortable space for your pet, especially on long journeys. Most are well-ventilated and soft-sided carriers can provide a cozy environment.

Control: Pet carriers keep your pet from running off in crowded or unfamiliar places, ensuring they are controlled and safe.

Convenience: Pet carriers make it easier for you to carry your pet, especially small animals, while also storing other pet essentials.

Health: Some animals can get easily stressed or anxious in new environments. Pet carriers can provide a familiar and secure space, reducing potential stress or anxiety.

Regulations: Many public transport systems and airlines require pets to be in carriers for safety and to prevent disruptions.

Hygiene: Carriers make it simple to manage pet waste during travel with built-in, easy-to-clean compartments in some models.

By using a pet carrier, you can ensure the overall well-being and safety of your pet during travel.

What is an approved pet carrier?

An approved pet carrier is a carrier that meets certain specifications and guidelines set by specific organizations or entities such as airlines or public transportation services.

For airlines, an “approved” pet carrier usually means it meets the regulations of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Some of these regulations include having a secure door lock mechanism, ventilation on all sides, and leak-proof bottoms. The carrier must also be bite-proof and large enough for the animal to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

In addition, many airlines have specific size restrictions for both in-cabin and cargo pet carriers, depending on the size and type of the aircraft.

Public transportation services, hotels, or other entities may have their own sets of rules for what constitutes an approved pet carrier. It’s always important to check with the specific company or organization to understand their pet carrier guidelines.

Do dogs need a pet carrier?

Whether a dog needs a pet carrier depends on the specific circumstances and lifestyle of the pet and its owners. Here are a few instances where a pet carrier may be necessary or beneficial for dogs:

Travel: If you frequently travel with your dog, especially by plane, a pet carrier is usually necessary. Most airlines require dogs to be in an airline-approved carrier.

Safety: For car travel, a secured pet carrier can keep a dog safe, preventing it from moving around the vehicle and causing distractions.

Vet Visits: A carrier can make trips to the vet easier, especially if your dog is small or anxious.

Training and Housebreaking: For puppies, a pet carrier can be useful for crate training and aiding in housebreaking.

Security: Some dogs feel more secure in a confined space, especially in new or stressful situations.

However, not all dogs require a carrier. Larger dogs may be better suited to a travel harness in the car. The decision to use a carrier should be based on the dog’s size, behaviour, comfort, and specific needs, as well as the requirements of any travel companies involved.

Do I need a pet carrier for my cat?

Yes, having a pet carrier for your cat is crucial for various reasons:

Travel: Whether you are going on a quick trip to the vet or on a lengthy vacation, cats need a pet carrier for safe transport.

Emergency Situations: In an emergency, having a pet carrier ready allows you to move your cat quickly and safely.

Health & Safety: Pet carriers can provide a safe and secure space for your cat in new environments, reducing potential stress and anxiety. They also help ensure that your cat doesn’t escape when on the move.

Vet Visits: Carriers are invaluable tools for safely transporting your cat to and from the vet’s office.

Confinement During Recovery: If your cat is recuperating from surgery or illness, a carrier may be used to confine your cat to protect it from injury.

Remember, though, that the carrier must be the right size for your cat. They should be able to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably inside it. Also, do get your cat accustomed to the carrier by leaving it out and open at home, perhaps with a blanket or toys inside, so that they can explore it on their terms.

Are pet carriers safe for dogs and cats?

Yes, pet carriers are generally safe for both dogs and cats, as they are specifically designed to transport pets safely. They provide a secure, contained environment for pets, which can help reduce stress and anxiety during travel. Here are a few reasons why pet carriers are safe:

Structure: Most pet carriers are built sturdy with a hard casing or durable fabric that protects pets from external impacts and sudden movements.

Ventilation: Pet carriers come with proper ventilation which ensures a good supply of fresh air and prevents overheating.

Safe Travel: During travel, especially via car or aeroplane, a pet carrier prevents pets from roaming freely and potentially causing distracting situations. This helps ensure both the pet’s and owner’s safety.

Stress Reduction: A carrier can provide a sense of security to pets, reducing their stress during travel or in unfamiliar environments.

However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that not all pet carriers are created equal. It’s essential to choose a carrier that’s the appropriate size for your pet – they should be able to stand, sit, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

How long can a dog or cat be in a pet carrier?

The length of time a dog or cat can stay in a pet carrier can greatly vary depending on the situation and the individual pet’s comfort levels, but generally, it should not be for an extended period of time.

For short trips like vet visits or runs to the pet store, the time spent in the carrier isn’t usually a concern.

For longer trips, such as air travel, it can be a bit more complex. While it’s possible for pets to stay in their carriers for the duration of a flight (potentially 5-6 hours), it’s not ideal. Some airlines may allow your pet to come out of the carrier during the flight if they are small enough to be held on your lap, but this depends on the airline’s policy.

It’s important to ensure the carrier is comfortable and large enough for your pet to stand, sit, turn around, and lie down in, and that water is accessible for them.

However, whether you’re travelling or not, a pet carrier should never be used as a form of long-term confinement. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and negative behaviours in pets. Always ensure that your pet is given frequent breaks during travel for food, water, and exercise. Veterinary professionals can offer more specific advice tailored to individual pets.

Where is the safest place to put a pet carrier?

The safest location for a pet carrier varies depending on the situation:

In a Vehicle: The safest place for a pet carrier in a car is typically in the backseat. It is recommend to secure the carrier with a seatbelt for added safety.

In the Home: At home, place the carrier in a quiet, low-traffic area where the pet can rest without interruption. But make sure it’s not completely isolated; pets should still be able to see and interact with family members.

On a Plane: If your pet is allowed in the cabin, the carrier will typically need to fit under the seat in front of you. Each airline has its own specific regulations, so it’s important to check those.

On Public Transit: On buses, trains or ferries, follow the specific rules of the transportation authority. Many require pets to stay within their carriers and be placed on the owner’s lap or under their seat.

At the Vet: In a vet’s office, it’s usually best to keep the carrier off the floor where other animals can’t bother your pet. Some vet offices have shelves or specific areas for the carriers.

Just make sure the carrier is not placed in direct sunlight or in extreme cold for a long period and that it’s level and stable at all times. Wherever the carrier is placed, ensure there is ample ventilation.