Traveling 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.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023
|Best Overall||Pet Gear Pet Car Seat & Carrier Bag||
|Necoichi Collapsible Cat Carrier Bag||
|Premium Choice||Sherpa Lattice Print Cat Carrier Bag||
|EliteField Airline-Approved Pet Carrier||
|Best for Kittens||Frisco Basic Pet Carrier Bag||
The 8 Best Modern Cat Carriers That Look Great
1. Pet Gear Signature Pet Car Seat & Carrier Bag — Best Overall
|Dimensions||19 x 12.5 x 12 inches|
|Features||Top-loading, collapsible, water-resistant|
The Pet Gear Signature Dog & Cat Car Seat & Carrier Bag doubles as a stylish carrier and a safe and comfortable car seat and is thus our choice for the best overall modern cat carrier. 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.
2. Necoichi Ultra Light Collapsible Cat Carrier Bag — Best Value
|Dimensions||19.7 x 15.7 x 13 inches|
The Necoichi Ultra Light Collapsible Cat Carrier Bag 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. However, we think it’s the best modern cat carrier for the money.
3. Sherpa Deluxe Lattice Cat Carrier Bag — Premium Option
|Dimensions||19 x 11.75 x 11.5 inches|
|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 Lattice Print Cat Carrier Bag 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.
4. EliteField Soft-Sided Airline-Approved Pet Carrier Bag
|Dimensions||19 x 10 x 13 inches|
The EliteField Soft-Sided Airline-Approved Dog & Cat Carrier Bag 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!
5. Frisco Basic Dog & Cat Carrier Bag — Best for Kittens
|Dimensions||19 x 10 x 13 inches|
The Frisco Basic Dog & Cat Carrier Bag 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.
6. Jespet Soft-Sided Dog & Cat Carrier Bag
|Dimensions||17 x 11.5 x 9 inches|
|Features||Adjustable shoulder strap, seat belt loop|
The JespetSoft-Sided Dog & Cat Carrier Bag 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.
7. PETKIT Breezy Cat Carrier
|Dimensions||18.5 x 13.38 x 11.81 inches|
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.
8. SlowTon Hands-Free Padded Sling Dog & Cat Carrier
|Dimensions||9 x 6.3 x 3.5 inches|
If you’re looking for a lightweight, fun, and functional carrier that keeps your feline close to you at all times, the simple SlowTon Hands-Free Padded and Adjustable Sling Dog & Cat 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.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Modern Cat Carrier That Looks Great
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.
Here’s 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:
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.
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.
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 — as 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.
While we think that all of these cat carriers look great, the Pet Gear Signature Carrier is our best overall choice. The carrier has a machine-washable fleece pad cover, front- and top-zippered mesh windows, nifty storage pouches, is top-loading, and is 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