Cat carriers are a crucial piece of equipment for all cat owners. They come in handy if you need to transport your cat somewhere — the last thing that you want is your cat wreaking havoc in your car! Also, sometimes, we need to travel great distances that absolutely require a carrier.
But there are a ton of carriers available that come in all kinds of different shapes, colours, and materials. With so many to choose from, where do you even begin looking? We looked through the cat carriers available to Canadians and developed reviews of the best ones! Hopefully, you’ll find the perfect carrier to keep your cat safe during your next trip.
A Glance at Our Winners in 2023
|Best Overall||AmazonBasics Large Mesh Pet Carrier||
|Best Value||rabbitgoo Cat Carrier||
|Premium Choice||One for Pets Deluxe Cat Carrier||
|X-Zone Pet Carrier||
|Van Ness Pet Calm Carrier Max with EZ Load Slide Out Draw||
The 10 Best Cat Carriers in Canada
1. AmazonBasics Large Mesh Pet Carrier — Best Overall
|Sizes:||Small, medium, and large (19.7 x 10.2 x 11.2 inches)|
|Airline Approved:||Most airlines|
The best overall cat carrier available to Canadians is the AmazonBasics Large Mesh Pet Transport Carrier Bag. It’s moderately priced and one of the best airline-approved cat carriers out there. This means the carrier can fit under the seats of most airlines and can support up to 22 pounds. It has zippered doors on the front and the top, which makes for an easier time getting your cat in and out (depending on the cat, of course!). It has a machine-washable fleece pad and is covered in mesh for breathability and a great view.
The issues with this carrier are that it is probably too small for large cats, particularly lengthwise, and there aren’t any pockets or extra storage on the bag itself.
2. Rabbitgoo Cat Carrier — Best Value
|Sizes:||16.5 x 10.6 x 10.6 inches|
|Colour:||Black, blue, grey, or pink|
|Airline Approved:||Most airlines|
The best cat carrier in Canada for the money is the rabbitgoo Cat Carrier. It’s priced well, though this depends on which colour you get. The black and grey colours are the least expensive, while the blue and pink are a fair bit pricier. This carrier holds up to 15 pounds and is airline approved for under the seats for most airlines. You can fold it for storage to save on space, and it has four zippered doors that are also covered in scratch proof mesh. All of this is supported by a metal frame and covered in a microfibre material.
The problem with this carrier is that while the company states that it can fit cats up to 15 pounds, the truth is that only small or medium-sized cats will probably fit.
3. One for Pets Deluxe Cat Carrier — Premium Choice
|Sizes:||Small or large (18.5 x 14 x 9.8 inches)|
|Colour:||Red or brown|
The One for Pets Deluxe Cat Carrier is our pick for premium choice because it has a unique shape that proves to be roomier than most other carriers. The entire top of this carrier can be removed, and the interior is covered in soft plush, so it can also double as a cat bed. It includes a washable and reversible pad and has a nicely padded handle and shoulder strap.
One of the obvious problems with this carrier is that it’s quite expensive. Also, the shape isn’t the usual rectangle but is square, which can be more awkward to carry.
4. X-Zone Pet Carrier
|Sizes:||Medium or large (19.5 x 12 x 12 inches)|
|Colour:||Black, grey, blue, or purple|
|Airline Approved:||Most airlines|
The X-Zone Pet Carrier comes in medium and large and in either black, grey, purple, or denim blue. It has excellent ventilation, with mesh windows on all sides, and has a top and front entry. The large can hold up to 20 pounds and should be able to fit under most airline seats, and there’s also an insert at the base for added stability. The zippers on the doors can be locked for additional safety, and the shoulder strap can be used as a seatbelt.
The disadvantages here are that the large might be a tight squeeze under some airline seats, and it isn’t leak-proof if your cat has an accident.
5. Van Ness Pet Calm Carrier Max with EZ Load Slide Out
|Sizes:||24 x 17 x 15 inches|
|Style:||Hard sided with draw|
|Airline Approved:||Check with the airlines|
The Van Ness pets calm carrier max with slide out draw is a good option for cats that need regular trips to the veterinary clinic or groomer. It has a patented sliding draw system to reduce loading and unloading stress. It’s available in two tone grey, and can fit cats up to 35 pounds. You will need to check with your airline if it is acceptable. It has a heavy gauge wire door for security and the draw can be operated single handedly. Your cat should stay cool with the flow through ventilation on all 4 sides. The cons of this carrier include that it’s quite pricey and there may be some quality control issues such as missing hardware.
6. SportPet Designs X-Large Foldable Travel Carrier
|Sizes:||XL (23.12 x 18.75 x 17.25 inches)|
The SportPet Designs X-Large Foldable Travel Carrier is a large and roomy carrier that has a removable side door, which gives your cat the freedom to walk in and out. It can be folded flat when not in use and is constructed with durable plastic that is easy to clean. It’s large enough for most cats and can hold up to 35 pounds.
However, it is relatively pricey, and you can’t use it for air travel. While it has a sturdy handle for carrying, it is quite heavy once your cat is inside.
7. Pecute Pet Carrier Backpack
|Sizes:||13.3 x 10.6 x 17.3 inches|
|Colour:||Black, grey, light khaki, or blue|
Pecute’s Pet Carrier Backpack has a few different options, which affect the price. This backpack-style cat carrier is available in black, blue, grey, or light khaki, which all come in mesh or acrylic. The acrylic also has mesh for windows but clear plastic to allow in more light and a better view. It has an expandable back, which will give your cat more room, and the mesh covers all four sides of the backpack for ventilation. It has padded and adjustable shoulder straps and two retractable buckles for security and added support.
The problems here are that along the bottom of the backpack, there’s a support wire that hasn’t been padded, and it might dig into the lower backs of some cat owners. Plus, if your cat is particularly feisty, the mesh windows might not withstand teeth and claws.
8. AmazonBasics Two-Door Travel Carrier
|Sizes:||19, 23, 36, or 40 inches|
|Colour:||Grey/Blue or beige|
|Airline Approved:||In cargo, depending on airline|
The AmazonBasics Two-Door Travel Carrier is a hard-sided kennel style available in four different sizes. However, the larger sizes are more suitable for bigger cats. The smaller carriers (19 or 23 inches) have a front and top entry, and the top door can be opened from either side for your convenience. The sturdy plastic is also waterproof, easy to clean, and roomy for cats.
The issues are that the heavier the cat, the more strain is put on the latches that hold everything together. This could potentially lead to the carrier falling apart while in transit. Also, the handle has been known to sometimes break.
9. Petmate Two Door Pet Kennel
|Sizes:||24 or 19 inches|
|Colour:||Blue, coffee, pink, red, or white|
Petmate’s Two Door Pet Kennel comes in five colours and two sizes. It has front and top entries, and the larger carrier can hold up to 15 pounds. The front door is made of steel, which is easy to open with the secure squeeze latches. The handle is ergonomic, making it easy to grip, and it’s held together with multiple bolts and wingnuts. This makes for an overall secure carrier.
However, quality control is sometimes an issue, as some carriers are known to be shipped without a handle. You can reach out to the company, however, and it should send a replacement. Additionally, assembly might be a bit tricky because sometimes the holes aren’t bored all the way through for the bolts and wingnuts.
10. Midwest Homes for Pets Spree Travel Carrier
|Sizes:||19 or 22 inches|
|Colour:||Green, red, or blue|
The Midwest Homes for Pets Spree Travel Carrier gives you a choice between three colours and two different sizes, but the price depends on the colour that you pick. It’s quite easy to assemble and is constructed in plastic, so it’s easy to clean. The handle is built into the top of the carrier so it can hold the weight of your cat, and the entire carrier has plenty of ventilation.
However, the plastic for this carrier is a bit flimsy, and some models have been known to crack. Additionally, the metal door isn’t always secured, so the door might fall off when you open it. This carrier might be better used for short and safe trips.
Buyer’s Guide: Buying the Best Cat Carrier in Canada
In this buyer’s guide, we cover a few extra tips that could give you additional insight into finding the best one for you and your cat.
Measure Your Cat
Before purchasing a carrier, you need to ensure that it’s the right size for your cat. Carriers that are too large will cause your cat to slide around, and ones that are too small will be uncomfortable. As a rule, your cat should be able to lie down, stand, and turn around comfortably while inside the carrier.
Start by measuring your cat while they are standing: Measure from the ears down to the paws and then from the nose to the tail. You need to ensure that the carrier is 1 ½ times larger than your cat. So, multiply the length and width measurements by 1.5. This final number should give you a better idea of what size of a carrier you should be purchasing,
Remember that when you’re looking at the carriers’ dimensions online, the numbers reflect the size of the carrier on the outside. These numbers are important when you take your cat on a plane trip because you must ensure that the carrier will fit under the seat. But for the right size of a carrier for your cat, shave a few inches off those dimensions to get an understanding of the interior size.
When you’re looking at a carrier that you’re interested in, double-check the different varieties first. Added features and even the colour can impact the carrier’s price. If you’re shopping online, check the prices at different times, as they tend to change. So, if there’s a carrier that you really want but it’s out of your price range, just check in on it from time to time, and you might luck out with a price drop.
Check the Airline
If you plan to bring your cat on an airplane with you, always contact the airline before you get a new carrier. Some carriers will state that they are airline approved, but not every airline will necessarily agree.
Soft-sided carriers need to have the right measurements so they can fit under the seat, but since they are soft, they can also be pushed down a little. Hard-sided kennels can only be used in cargo, and they can’t have a top-loading door.
The AmazonBasics Large Mesh Pet Transport Carrier Bag is our favourite carrier overall because it is a great option for air travel. The rabbitgoo Cat Carrier is also airline approved, and you can fold it for storage to save on space, and it won’t break the bank. Finally, our premium choice is One for Pets Deluxe Cat Carrier, which is super roomy and lined in soft plush to keep your cat super comfy.
Hopefully, these reviews have helped you pinpoint the perfect cat carrier that will make your short or long travels easier.
See Also: 10 Best Cat Beds In Canada
Featured Image Credit: Svetlana Rey, Shutterstock