Best Cat Carriers For Nervous Cats

What do you do when it’s that time of year again and you have to take your kitty to the vet? You probably put them in a box and pray that they will stay inside, right? Maybe it’s time you upgrade that shabby old box and get your kitty the best cat carrier they deserve!

In a Hurry? Check Out Our Top Cat Carriers for Nervous Cats

The 5 Best Cat Carriers for Nervous Cats

Here are five travel cat carrier reviews that we think will help you choose the perfect kitty carrier for your feline friend.

1. Petyella Expandable Cat Carrier – Best Overall

Pros & Cons

The Petyella Expandable Cat Carrier was designed to meet your cat’s needs for safety but for comfort as well. The carrier features a reinforced steel frame that will prevent the carrier from collapsing in on your kitty. Some notable features:

  • Strong straps and seams, durable zippers, enhanced stability, soft mat and an ultra light weight
  • Expanding sides that zip out to give adult dogs and cats plenty of room
  • Easy to carry by shoulder strap or integrated handles
  • Folds flat for storage under a bed or in a drawer
  • Carries cats up to 11 lbs and measures 11 x 11 x 18 inches and 31 x 11 x 18 inch in expanded mode
  • Durable metal swivel clips prevent twisting of shoulder strap
  • Leash clip prevents your animal from dashing out
  • Free fleece blanket and collapsible bowl
  • Storage pocket on the side of the crate keep accessories at your fingertips
  • 1 Year Money Back Guarantee – 100% refund of your purchase price

The 600D polyester material mesh is going to encourage air circulation so that your feline friend has plenty of fresh air. With that said, this product is capable of folding up nice and compact when you aren’t using it.

This carrier is airline approved, so you can take your pet with you on your flight. There is a fleece bed that your kitty can lay on while flying, but this product also includes a paw print blanket for a little extra comfort. Along with the blanket, there is a collapsible water dish included so you don’t have to worry about your kitty getting dehydrated while traveling.

best cat carriers

Our Thoughts

When looking at what people had to say about the Petyella Expandable Cat Carrier, they had great things to say. Customers appreciated that this deluxe pet carrier included a comfortable fleece bed, a blanket, and a water dish.

They went on to say that they were impressed by how lightweight the carrier was and that the comfortable shoulder strap didn’t dig into their shoulder while carrying it. Several customers commented that the case felt pretty sturdy and they were confident that their cat’s wouldn’t be able to break free.

Though there were many positive reviews, there were some people who were disappointed with their purchase. Of these critical reviews, customers were most disappointed that the zippers on the case were defective.

Some people said the zipper on their case was missing the pull tab, while others said that the zipper on their product would get stuck from time to time in certain areas. Other customers reported that they received the wrong colored case, but also the accessories that were included didn’t match the colors they received.

If you’re looking for a little more luxury? Try the Jet Sitter Luxury Cat Carrier.

2. Bergan Comfort Carrier – Best Soft Sided Cat Carrier

Pros & Cons

The Bergan Cat Carrier is designed to be stylish and functional! This is the most suitable travel carrier for those who have heavier cats and you don’t (or can’t) carry the weight on your shoulder. This is because the bag is outfitted with removable wheels and a pull strap that allows you to pull the bag as if it were a piece of luggage. Notable features of the Bergan Comfort Carrier include:

  • The Bergan Comfort has a practical design, which creates stress free traveling
  • Its generous mesh panels ensure maximum breath-ability
  • Includes a machine washable fleece travel bed and light tan interior for a cushioned and cool ride
  • Multiple mesh panels for maximum ventilation for your ca
  • Internal Dimensions: 18″ L x 11″ H x 9″ W
  • Typically for pets up to 20lbs; however, varies per pet, refer to dimensions
  • We ensure every product comes with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

However, if you have to go up steps or you don’t want to drag your kitten behind you, the pull strap does convert to a padded shoulder strap. The bag is so lightweight, you will just be carrying the weight of your pet and an extra pound or so for the bag.

The bag also features strong mesh on all four sides and on the top. This allows for excellent airflow, allowing your kitty to get plenty fresh air, but also so you can look in and check on them without having to open the case.

Our Thoughts

The bag also features several pockets on the sides so that you can tuck away treats and toys to make the trip a little more pleasant for your feline friend. The case is airline friendly, so you can rest assured that you’ll be able to fly with your cat right at your feet in this deluxe pet carrier.

When looking at what people had to say about the Bergan Comfort Carrier, they had great things to say. Customers liked that the case was large enough for two cats (one person said she had two 8-pound cats in the carrier) and they had plenty of room to get up and move around.

Other customers reported that they appreciated that this product gave you the option to carry it on your shoulder, or pull behind you. Other people said they liked that this case was airline compatible and they can take their feline friend with them on road trips instead of trying to find care arrangements.

There were some people who left critical reviews of the carrier and the most common complaint people had was that the carrying case wasn’t as large as they had anticipated. Some people reported that their kitty didn’t have very much room to move or lounge.

Other customers reported that the mesh isn’t indestructible and their cats put a hole in the mesh. A few people also mentioned that the zippers on their bag needed repairing only after a few uses.

3. Airline Approved OxGord Cat Carrier

Pros & Cons

The OxGord Cat Carrier is one of the most respected name in the pet supply and accessory industry. Their airline approved, premium soft sided carrying case features a Sherpa bed inside, which is going to make your kitty comfortable while traveling. Notable features of the Airline Approved OxGord include:

  • 19″x10″x13″ inches – Can hold up to 15 pounds
  • Compliant with most airlines (please check with your airline before flying)
  • The unwind and bind feature allow owners access to their pets without the risk of escape
  • Money Back Guarantee

This premium soft sided pet carrier is quite sturdy, even though there are numerous mesh panels to promote air circulation and breathability. When you’re traveling in the car with this bag, there are safety belt straps that allows you to buckle the carrier securely to the seat for extra car safety.

This cat carrier is FAA Airline Approved, which means that you can fly with your cat without any hassle. If you do have a kitty who gets anxious while flying, the unwind and bind feature is designed to keep your kitty calm in-flight. If there is a favorite treat or toy your cat likes, you can tuck it away in the storage compartments that are designed in the bag.

Our Thoughts

When looking at what people had to say about the Airline Approved OxGord Pet Carrier, they had great things to say. Many customers commented that the design of this carrying case is well thought out and they like that the case is easy to use.

People also appreciated that the bed can be removed to be washed and the water-resistant underside will protect the rest of the travel bag from getting damaged if the cat has an accident. Customers also liked that there is a zipper that makes it easy for you to check on your feline friend without worrying about the cat escaping.

Some people were not as impressed with this case and left critical reviews. Of these critical reviews, the most common problem people had was that the seam on their bag popped.

They went on to say their kitten wasn’t doing anything vicious to the bag – they just leaned on it. Some people said the zippers were difficult to use with one hand without it getting stuck. A few other people commented that the bag was too small and their cats would not fit into it.

4. Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel – Best Hard Sided Cat Carrier

Pros & Cons

Unlike other pet carriers you may come across, the Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel features a door on top of the travel crate that enables you to lower your kitty inside if they are hesitant to going in through the front door. Notable design and safety features of the Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel include:

  • Steel and plastic construction for enhanced strength, safety and visibility
  • 2-door crate design allows for easy access to pets
  • Durable ergonomic carry handle for safer pet transport
  • Water cup NOT included. Inner Dimensions: 21″ x 14.75″ x 13.25″
  • Ideal for small pets no more than 7 inches tall and 15 inches in length
  • Product Dimensions : 24.05″ X 16.75″ X 14.5″

Not only will the top loading door make it easier to put your cat inside, but you can check in on your friend without having to jostle the crate to peer in through the side. The handle on the crate is designed to be ergonomic and it’ll fit comfortably in the hand.

This crate doesn’t rely on a latch system to hold the components together, instead it requires hardware that is going to be far better at holding everything together. When it is all assembled, you’ll be able to take this kitty crate on an airplane, as it meets all airline travel requirements.

Our Thoughts

You’ll want to put a small pet bed or a comfortable blanket inside so that your cat is nice and comfortable for the journey.

When looking at what people had to say about the Petmate Two Door Top Load Pet Kennel, they had great things to say. Many customers reported that the crate was easy to assemble and they appreciated that the necessary hardware was included with the crate.

People also appreciated that the crate was large enough to accommodate small dogs, large cats (of course) and other pets like rabbits and guinea pigs. When it comes to loading their pets inside the crate, many customers appreciated the option to put them in through the front, but also using the top door.

On the other hand, not everyone was satisfied with their purchase and they left some critical comments about the product. The most common complaint people had was that the crate wasn’t as large as they had hoped. People commented that their pet barely had any room to move around.

Others commented that the crate didn’t feel very sturdy, even though it was made from a thick plastic. Some went on to say that the top door needs to be held open, which is impossible if you’re struggling to get your cat in the crate to begin with.

5. AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Cat Kennel

Pros & Cons

The AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Cat Kennel is an affordable two door cat carrier that allows you to safely carry your cat from one place to another. Notable features of the AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Kennel include:

  • Two-door, top-load model allows for easy loading of your cat or dog
  • Measures 23x15x13 inches (LxWxH)
  • Top door can open to the left or right for easy access and convenience
  • Included screws can be used to further secure the top and bottom of kennel for reinforcement
  • Made of durable plastic with a steel-wire front door

This unit has a steel wire front door, but it also has a door on the top where you can lower your kitty down into the crate if they are reluctant to go in by themselves. The top door can be opened either on the right or the left. This convenience lends itself to being a functional carrier for right handed pet owners and left handed pet owners alike.

This kitty crate is made from a heavy duty plastic material that will your cat contained, regardless of how much they may struggle. There is plenty of ventilation in this carrying case so that your cat has access to fresh air, but so that you can look in a check on your kitty, but also for your cat to look out and be aware of their surroundings.

Our Thoughts

When looking at what people had to say about the AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Cat Kennel, they had great things to say. Customers who left positive reviews of these ​products commented on how nicely the carrier was constructed.

People felt that the plastic was sturdy and they could rely on the steel wire door to stay latched. Customers appreciated that there was a door on top of the carrier because their cats were apprehensive about going into the crate on their own.

There were some people who were less impressed with their purchase and they had some concerns about the quality. The most concerning complaint was that the top door was not very sturdy and when you used the handle to carry the case, the top door would open.

Many were upset that this is quite dangerous, as their cats could have ran away and gotten hurt when the door opened and the case fell in a busy parking lot. Others were upset that the holes for the screws didn’t line up properly, making it very difficult (or impossible) to get all the screws in.

What to Look for When Choosing a High-Quality Cat Carrier?

Choosing a cat carrier for your pet is incredibly important because you want to make sure they are safe, secure, and comfortable. If you travel a lot and you want to bring your cat, instead of finding a house sitter or lodging solution, you may want to consider finding a suitable cat carrier for air travel, as these are going to be airline approved. A carrier suitable for car travel is also desirable as they often come with seatbelt functionality.

Here are the main factors you will want to take into consideration when looking for your new cat carrier:

Types of Cat Carriers

There are several different types of carriers that you can choose from which are suitable for pets travel:

Cardboard Carriers

A cardboard carrier is usually given to new cat-parents who are bringing home a newly adopted cat or kitten from a shelter. These carriers are not suited for long term or air travel.

Soft Carriers

A soft sided carrier is generally made from a soft nylon material and will have a sturdy, removable bottom. They often look like a large gym bag with mesh windows so your kitty can get plenty of fresh air. They will have zipper openings on the side of the bag and on the top. In addition, soft carriers also come in the form of several cat backpacks.

Hard Carriers

These carriers are often made from hard plastic or polypropylene and they are going to have ventilation on each side of the crate. These crates will have one or two doors (one on the side and one on the top) and they are going to be the easiest to clean.

Cat Carrier Size

The size of your carrier should be large enough so that your kitty has enough room to stand, stretch, and turn around. Size is especially important if you are going on longer trips because you want to make sure there is enough room in the carrier for cat food and water dishes. To figure out the size, you will want to know the size and weight of your cat and choose a carrier that way.


It’s important that the kitty carrier you opt for has plenty of ventilation while you are travelling with your cat. Not only is it important for your cat to have fresh air, but the best cat carrier for nervous cats will have ways for you to look in, and them to look out, also.

Easiness To Clean

Cleaning your cat carrier is going to be par for the course while traveling, so you’re going to want a case that is easy to clean. There are some soft cases that have removable bottoms, but if you just want something super simple, a hard carrier is the way to go.

Airline Approved

Traveling with your pets can be tricky, especially if you are flying. However, look for an airline approved cat carrier to make sure your pet is going to be safe. Each airline has their own regulations, although most of the best cat carriers for airplane travel will be safe to use on all airlines. To be safe, you should always check with your preferred airline for these regulations.


There are many pet travel carriers on the market and choosing the best ​one for your furry friend doesn’t have to be a hassle. Of the ones we’ve discussed in these buying guide, the Petyella Expandable Cat Carrier is by far our top choice.

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