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8 Best Modern Cat Carriers That Look Great in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Nicole Cosgrove

Necoichi Ultra Light Collapsible Cat Carrier BagTraveling with cats is typically not an easy endeavor, even at the best of times. Cats are most comfortable in their homes, where they know the places that they can retreat to in order to feel safe and secure. Leaving their homes can cause them stress and anxiety. This is why cat carriers are a must when traveling with your feline, and these carriers need to be as safe and as comfortable as possible.

Of course, you’ll want your cat carrier to not only be comfortable for both you and your cat, but it should also look good! Cat carriers have come a long way from the rectangular, plastic boxes that once dominated the market, and they now come in a variety of materials, styles, and colors to suit you and your cat’s unique personality.

We scoured the internet to find cat carriers that are supremely functional and look great. Here are eight of our favorites, complete with in-depth reviews to help you find the best modern cat carrier to suit your needs!

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Pet Gear Signature Dog & Cat Car Seat & Carrier Bag Pet Gear Signature Dog & Cat Car Seat & Carrier Bag
  • Carrier and car seat functionality
  • Machine-washable
  • Zippered mesh windows
  • Second place
    Necoichi Ultra Light Collapsible Cat Carrier Bag Necoichi Ultra Light Collapsible Cat Carrier Bag
  • Inexpensive
  • Collapsible
  • Unique, eye-catching design
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Sherpa Original Deluxe Lattice Print Cat Carrier Bag Sherpa Original Deluxe Lattice Print Cat Carrier Bag
  • Lightweight
  • Made with tough polyester
  • Top- and side-loading
  • EliteField Soft-Sided Airline-Approved Dog & Cat Carrier Bag EliteField Soft-Sided Airline-Approved Dog & Cat Carrier Bag
  • Comes in six different colors
  • Lightweight
  • Stash pocket
  • Best for Kittens
    Frisco Basic Dog & Cat Carrier Bag Frisco Basic Dog & Cat Carrier Bag
  • Durable and lightweight
  • Rugged mesh panels for airflow
  • Added back pocket
  • 8 Best Modern Cat Carriers That Look Great – Reviews & Top Picks

    1. Pet Gear Signature Dog & Cat Car Seat & Carrier Bag — Best Overall

    Pet Gear Signature Dog & Cat Car Seat & Carrier Bag

    Dimensions 19 x 12.5 x 12 inches
    Weight 13.0 pounds
    Features Top-loading, collapsible, water-resistant

    The Pet Gear Signature doubles as a stylish carrier and a safe and comfortable car seat and is thus our top choice of modern cat carrier overall. It has a machine-washable fleece pad cover, front and top zippered mesh windows that keep the carrier well ventilated and give your cat a view outside, and nifty rear storage pouches for treats and accessories. The carrier is a breeze to attach to your car’s seatbelts with an interior tether. When you’ve reached your destination, you can simply unbuckle and carry it with the comfortable, convenient handles. The carrier is perfect for cats up to 20 pounds, top-loading, and collapsible for easy storage.

    While this is a great carrier, it is not that secure in a car and tends to slide around, even tethered, but this is the only real issue that we found with this carrier.

    Pros
    • Carrier and car seat functionality
    • Machine-washable
    • Zippered mesh windows
    • Rear storage pouches
    • Collapsible for easy storage
    Cons
    • Not that secure as a car seat

    2. Necoichi Ultra Light Collapsible Cat Carrier Bag —Best Value

    Necoichi Ultra Light Collapsible Cat Carrier Bag

    Dimensions 19.7 x 15.7 x 13 inches
    Weight 1.0 pounds
    Features Collapsible, water-resistant

    The Ultra-Light Collapsible cat carrier from Necoichi is the best cat carrier for the money. The bag looks great, with a unique handbag design with plaid pattern and cat-shaped mesh window, and is super lightweight and collapsible for easy movement and storage. The polyester construction is strong and sturdy to keep your cat safe, and the carrying handles are comfortable and tough. We love the simplicity of the fold-away design, and for the price, there is arguably no more stylish cat carrier out there!

    The only issue that we found with this carrier is the size. It’s great for smaller cats, but for cats over around 15 pounds, it is a bit on the small side.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Collapsible
    • Unique, eye-catching design
    • Strong polyester construction
    • Lightweight and easy to store
    Cons
    • A bit too small for some cats

    3. Sherpa Original Deluxe Lattice Print Cat Carrier Bag— Premium Option

    Sherpa Original Deluxe Lattice Print Airline-Approved Dog & Cat Carrier Bag

    Dimensions 19 x 11.75 x 11.5 inches
    Weight 4.9 pounds
    Features Top-loading, collapsible, airline-approved

    If you’re looking for a cat carrier that is stylish, functional, and of premium quality, the Sherpa Original Deluxe cat carrier is a great choice. The carrier is lightweight yet strong and durable, lined with a cozy faux lambskin that is easily removable and machine-washable. Your precious cargo can be loaded from the top or the sides, and the carrier has plenty of ventilation from the mesh windows. It has a spring-wired frame that is easy to collapse and store, making it conform to airline requirements, and it has locking zippers, an adjustable strap, and a security strap to keep your cat safe.

    This carrier is great for small cats, but even the large-sized option is not quite big enough for large cat breeds.

    Pros
    • Lightweight
    • Made with tough polyester
    • Cozy, machine-washable faux lambskin liner
    • Top- and side-loading
    • Airline-approved
    • Locking zippers
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Too small for large cat breeds

    4. EliteField Soft-Sided Airline-Approved Dog & Cat Carrier Bag

    EliteField Soft-Sided Airline-Approved Dog & Cat Carrier

    Dimensions 19 x 10 x 13 inches
    Weight 2.2 pounds
    Features Airline-approved, machine-washable

    This soft-sided cat carrier bag from EliteField comes in six different color options and is a functional yet great-looking cat carrier. It is made from durable, lightweight polyester with a removable plush bed and a side pocket to stash treats and accessories. The carrier has mesh netting on the front and sides for letting in light and ventilation and comes equipped with carrying handles and a comfortable, adjustable shoulder strap. Lastly, the carrier includes a convenient seat belt loop for car trips and is waterproof and thus, a breeze to clean.

    Several customers report that this carrier is easy for cats to escape from, both from the mesh windows that are easy to tear, and the zippers, which can be opened from the inside, so it is not ideal for escape-artist felines!

    Pros
    • Comes in six different colors
    • Lightweight
    • Stash pocket
    • Equipped with carrying handles and a shoulder strap
    • Included seat belt loop
    • Waterproof
    Cons
    • Mesh windows tear easily
    • Easy-to-open zippers

    5. Frisco Basic Dog & Cat Carrier Bag — Best for Kittens

    Frisco Basic Dog & Cat Carrier Bag

    Dimensions 19 x 10 x 13 inches
    Weight 2.2 pounds
    Features Collapsible, water-resistant

    The Basic Cat Carrier from Frisco is designed for everyday use and travel and is a durable yet lightweight option for your cat. The roomy interior is lined with a soft, machine-washable Sherpa fleece lining and is designed to comply with the under-seat requirements for most commercial airlines, as the sides can easily collapse. There are mesh panels for light and airflow, a side entry and exit, and an added back pocket for accessories. We love the addition of the nifty “petting window” for cats that are easily stressed and the fact that this carrier can fold flat for quick and easy storage.

    Unfortunately, this carrier is suited for small cats only and is not big enough for large breeds.

    Pros
    • Durable and lightweight
    • Lined with removable, machine-washable Sherpa fleece
    • Rugged mesh panels for airflow
    • Added back pocket
    • Nifty petting window
    • Folds flat for easy storage
    Cons
    • Not big enough for large breed cats

    6. Jespet Soft-Sided Dog & Cat Carrier Bag

    Jespet Soft-Sided Dog & Cat Carrier Bag

    Dimensions 17 x 11.5 x 9 inches
    Weight 1.0 pounds
    Features Adjustable shoulder strap, seat belt loop

    This soft-sided carrier from Jespet is made from durable polyester, with breathable mesh windows to allow for airflow and light. It has a side entrance with a removable fleece pad that is machine washable and a safety loop that enables it to be held firm during car trips. The carrier comes in five unique colorways to suit your (and your cat’s!) unique style, with several pockets to store treats, collars, poop bags, and any other travel accessories. It can hold up to 15 pounds of weight and comes with an adjustable, padded shoulder strap for extra comfort.

    Several customers reported that this carrier is made with poor quality materials: Some said that the shoulder strap broke easily, while others said that their cats quickly ripped through the mesh windows.

    Pros
    • Made from lightweight, durable polyester
    • Machine-washable, removable fleece pad
    • Five unique colorways
    • Padded shoulder strap
    • Storage pockets
    Cons
    • Fairly poor-quality construction

    7. PETKIT Breezy Cat Carrier

    PETKIT Pet Backpack Carrier for Cats

    Dimensions 18.5 x 13.38 x 11.81 inches
    Weight 4.8 pounds
    Features Built-in fan

    If you’re looking for a truly modern, unique, and great-looking cat carrier, the space-age PETKIT Breezy cat carrier ticks all the boxes. The plastic carrier has a built-in fan for airflow, bypassing the often-escaped-from mesh windows of traditional carriers. The fan has easily adjustable settings, depending on your needs, and an internal light to easily check in on your pet. The large viewing window gives your pet a good view of their surroundings, and it is tinted for protection against the sun. Lastly, the carrier has a smart shock absorption system for added safety.

    While this carrier is undoubtedly unique, it is not to everyone’s taste. The carrier needs a power bank — which is not included — to run the fan, and our main concern is the battery running dead, leaving your cat without adequate airflow.

    Pros
    • Unique, modern design
    • Built-in fan and light
    • Large tinted viewing window
    • Adjustable fan settings
    • Smart shock absorption system
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Power bank not included
    • Risky if the battery goes flat

    8. SlowTon Hands-Free Padded and Adjustable Sling Dog & Cat Carrier

    SlowTon Hands-Free Padded and Adjustable Sling Dog & Cat Carrier

    Dimensions 9 x 6.3 x 3.5 inches
    Weight 12.8-ounces
    Features Shoulder strap

    If you’re looking for a lightweight, fun, and functional carrier that keeps your feline close to you at all times, this simple hands-free shoulder sling carrier is great. The carrier looks great and gives you hands-free movement while traveling with your cat. The shoulder strap is padded and adjustable for comfort, is made from soft, breathable cotton, and has an adjustable safety link that attaches easily to your cat’s collar to prevent escape. Lastly, it has a nifty front pocket to stash any personal items or treats, and it can carry cats up to 13 pounds.

    Unfortunately, this carrier has no rigid structure to it, which will be uncomfortable for some cats. Also, this carrier is not ideal for wriggly cats, and it will result in tired shoulders if you have a large cat.

    Pros
    • Hands-free design
    • Padded, adjustable shoulder strap
    • Made from soft, breathable cotton
    • Adjustable safety link
    • Front stash pocket
    Cons
    • Can be uncomfortable for some cats
    • Not for energetic felines

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    Buyer’s Guide

    Cat carriers are not a new invention, and versions have been on the market for decades. Of course, some are better than others, and some have specific uses, while others are more suited to general use. Not all these carriers look good, though, and many are not what one would call “modern” looking. Thankfully, the days of large, bulky, and stiff cat carriers are behind us, and manufacturers are now making carriers that are as safe and functional as their predecessors but have a unique, modern aesthetic.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, though, and what makes one cat carrier beautiful for some people may not be true for others. With this in mind, if you find a cat carrier that ticks all the boxes in terms of appearance and aesthetics, you need to make sure it has all the additional features that you want from a standard cat carrier too.

    What to look for in a cat carrier

    Cat Carrier Type

    The type of carrier that you choose will naturally depend on your unique needs. When it comes to cat carriers, there are three main types:

    • Hard plastic carriers. Hard carriers are ideal for owners with escape-artist cats, as these are almost impossible to break out of. They are easy to clean and convenient, but they are also bulky and difficult to fit under seats because they don’t compress, so they are not ideal for airline travel. Also, they don’t look as great as the other two options.
    • Soft carriers. Soft carriers are great for general use and ideal if your cat travels fairly frequently. These carriers are lightweight and fold easily for storage, and they can slide under most airline seats. While these carriers look good, they are not as easy to clean nor as escape-proof as hard carriers because cats can claw their way through the zippers or mesh windows.
    • Backpacks and rollers. Roller carriers are great because they can easily be pulled behind you on wheels, and backpacks provide you with a great hands-free option. These carriers also usually have plenty of pouches to store extra gear, treats, and accessories. Of course, they are not as safe as the other two options and are not ideal for large felines.
    cat inside plastic carrier
    Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

    Size

    Besides the type of carrier, size is arguably the most important factor to consider. It needs to be small and lightweight enough that you can comfortably carry it but large and spacious enough to give your cat plenty of room. In general, your cat should be able to stand up straight and lie down fully stretched; any smaller than this will cause them stress and discomfort.

    Materials

    Hard carriers are usually made from hard plastic, which makes them rugged and durable but more awkward to carry and not great-looking. Soft-sided and roller carriers are usually made from polyester with mesh windows, zippers, and top or side openings. The mesh windows allow adequate ventilation and light to come in, and they give your cat a good view of the world around them and prevent too much stress. While most of these carriers are tough, a determined cat can find their way out, so you’ll want to make sure the carrier is made from quality materials, especially if your cat does not enjoy traveling.

    Features

    There are certain features on some cat carriers that will make your travels easier. The most important of these are the openings. Top-loading carriers are the easiest and most functional, as side-loaders can be tricky with stubborn cats. Some carriers have both, which is great. Padded handles and shoulder slings are essential, since they can help reduce fatigue on your arms, as is adequate padding on the floor of the carrier for the comfort of your kitty. Machine-washable pads are also great or even better, a machine-washable carrier — accidents frequently happen during travels!

    As any cat owner knows, travel does not simply involve transporting your cat alone! Toys, treats, poo bags, and other accessories are needed too, so any extra storage pockets on the carrier are always welcome.

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    Conclusion

    While we think that all of these cat carriers look great, the Pet Gear Signature carrier is our top choice overall. The carrier has a machine-washable fleece pad cover, front- and top-zippered mesh windows, and nifty storage pouches and is top-loading and collapsible for easy storage.

    The Ultra-Light Collapsible cat carrier from Necoichi is the best cat carrier for the money. The carrier has a unique plaid pattern and cat-shaped mesh window, is lightweight and collapsible, and has comfortable carrying handles. If you’re looking for a premium quality cat carrier, though, the Sherpa Original Deluxe cat carrier is a great choice. The carrier is lightweight yet strong and durable, is lined with faux lambskin fleece, has top- and side-loading capability, and has a spring-wired frame and adjustable strap.

    Cat carriers need to be safe, durable, and comfortable, and it’s a bonus if they can tick all these boxes while looking great too! Hopefully, our in-depth reviews have helped you find a functional and modern carrier for your precious feline!


    Featured Image Credit: Necoichi, Chewy

    Nicole Cosgrove

    Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.