Best Cat Carrier For Nervous Cats

Traveling with a nervous and challenging cat may call for a hard carrier. Some pet owners may oppose it. But, generally, it depends on what makes the cat difficult.

In reality, there is no problematic or nervous cat when traveling. Cats live by habit. They rarely like it when they leave or when there is a change in the environment. Sometimes, even the difference in the arrangement of furniture stresses them out.

Imagine how scared they must be when you take them away from home for travel.

They are only scared, and it is typical for them as they don’t like leaving their territory. And, with cats, they are undoubtedly not afraid to show their anxiety.

Traveling with Cats

Are you planning on a trip with your cat? Are you moving to a new place? Or are you merely taking them to the vet? Wherever you are planning to take your cat, a cat carrier is essential. Cats are not fond of traveling. They hate it when they have to leave home as it makes them very stressed.

They live by routine, and the safety of your home is part of their regular schedule. So, it should not surprise you how just the sight of the door brings them fear and anxiety.

If you need to take them out for a long ride, a short spin, or a trip to the doctor, secure them in the right cat carrier. Their anxiety will cause them to run, crawl, and escape from your hands. That scene might turn ugly. It may cause you to lose them, or either one of you gets injured.

Best Cat Carrier for Nervous Cats

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Traveling with your cat should not be a stressful experience, not for you and not for your cat. Understand that cats don’t like moving from one place to another, especially if they have been living all their life indoors.

Although there are felines that can manage traveling comfortably, there are those that can’t get away from being nervous. In this situation, you can’t rely on just any carrier. The market may offer so many cat carriers for you to choose from. But, inappropriate carriers may start a commotion and may result in untoward incidences.

The best cat carriers for nervous cats make a big difference in traveling with them. It provides them peace of mind, safety, and security.

If you feel like you have a nervous traveler and you need assistance looking for the best cat carrier, then let’s get started.

1. PetLuv “Happy Cat” Premium Soft-Sided Carrier – Best for Nervous Cats

PetLuv "Happy Cat Premium Cat Carrier Soft Sided Foldable Top & Side Loading Pet Crate & Carrier Locking Zippers Shoulder Straps Seat Belt Lock Plush Pillow Reduces Anxiety

4.7 out of 5 stars

  • Size:
  • Small (20” x 13” x 13”)
  • Large (24” x 16” x 16”)
  • Weight range:
  • Small – up to 15 lbs
  • Large – up to 45 lbs
  • Color:
  • Navy
  • Red
  • Tan
  • Pink
  • Pink laced wheeled
  • Pink laced


PetLuv "Happy Cat Premium Cat Carrier Soft Sided Foldable Top & Side Loading Pet Crate & Carrier Locking Zippers Shoulder Straps Seat Belt Lock Plush Pillow Reduces Anxiety

Happy Cat Premium Cat Carrier takes the title of Best for Nervous Cats simply because the design was based on how the cat’s temperament can be during travels.

It can be closed with mesh covers or with wholly blacked out curtain walls for more comforting environments.

This carrier has incorporated seatbelt loops for added safety and security during car rides. Its four separate panels reduce the stressful process of getting your cat in and out of the carrier.

PetLuv Happy Cat package includes a cat bed that is soft and plush and can be machine-washed for proper sanitation.

Another exciting feature about PetLuv is, Happy Cat is available in 2 sizes and can also be purchased with wheels. Plus, its steel frame is collapsible to make it stored easily. It comes with a soft, durable polyester bag for proper storage.


  • Designed to reduce anxiety
  • Features locking zippers
  • Comes with several doors that make it easy for entry and exit of your pet


  • More extensive than most cat carriers

2. Best for Cat Carrier for Air Travel-Smiling Paws Pets 4-Way Expandable Airline Approved Soft Sided Pet Carrier

4.7 stars out of 5

Size: TSA and IATA approved-17x11x9

Weight range: at least 2 inches smaller on either side for a comfortable travel

  • Internal leash for extra security
  • 4-way expansion to allow for extra room while traveling
  • top-load and side entry
  • safety self-locking zippers
  • storage pocket
  • safety sleeve for luggage handles and car seat-belts
  • soft machine washable bed
  • great air circulation

Traveling with your pet is a big deal! So this carrier is designed to keep both you and your loved one happy and relaxed.

3. Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel – Best Construction

Petmate Two Door Top Load Dog Kennel

4.6 out of 5 stars

  • Size:
  • Size 19 (19.4” x 12.8” x 10”)
  • Size 24 (24.05” x 16.75” x 14.5”)
  • Weight range:
  • Size 19”: up to 10 lbs
  • Size 24”: up to 15 lbs
  • Color:
  • Hot pink / Black
  • Pearl white / Coffee ground
  • Pearl ash blue / Coffee ground
  • Pearl tan / Coffee ground


Petmate Two Door Top Load Dog Kennel

If you are a cat owner who prefers plastic carriers to guarantee a sturdy and durable carrier for your cat, then Petmate 2-Door Top Load Kennel is for you.

A carrier made of plastic and steel, it is efficient and very ideal to avoid issues during travel.

The looks may not be as fashionable as other pet carriers in the market, but it is an excellent option that is convenient and easy to use.

It is secured, sturdy, and is easy to clean in case of spills and mess. Unlike most carriers, it features a door atop the carrier that allows you to lower your cat inside if they are hesitant to come in through the front door.


  • Strong and durable
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to carry


  • Some airlines prohibit the use of plastic carrier

4. Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carrier – Best Budget Friendly

Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier, Plum, Large (Frustration Free Packaging)

4.6 out of 5 stars

  • Size:
  • Small (15” x 10” x 8.5”)
  • Medium (17” x 11” x 10.5”)
  • Large (19” x 11.75” x 11.5”)
  • Weight range:
  • Small – up to 8 lbs
  • Medium – up to 16 lbs
  • Large – up to 22 lbs
  • Color:
  • Black Lattice
  • Charcoal
  • Original Black
  • Original Brown
  • Original Plum
  • Delta Black
  • White


Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier, Plum, Large (Frustration Free Packaging)

One of the best in the market that comes with an affordable price tag, Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carrier offers comfort that your cats will need when outside your home.

This spacious and comfortable carrier is highly recommended as it can carry cats weighing up to 22 lbs.

With Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carrier, your cat will travel with comfort and style no matter which mode of transportation you are taking.

It is perfect for traveling via plane since it is approved for use on the majority of airlines.


  • Built with a fluffy and comfortable mat that holds up against spills and messes
  • Can be opened from the top for easy entry of cats
  • Spacious


  • May require locks for the zippers

5. SportPet Designs Foldable Travel Cat Carrier – Best Designed Cat Carrier

SportPet Designs Foldable Travel Cat Carrier with A Bed - Front Door Plastic Collapsible Carrier

4.6 out of 5 stars

  • Size:
  • Normal Carrier (18.5″ x 15.3″ x 14.3″)
  • XL Carrier (23.1″ x 18.9″ x 17.3″)
  • Weight range:
  • Normal Carrier – up to 25 lbs
  • XL Carrier – up to 35 lbs
  • Color:
  • Grey/Cream
  • Grey/Green


SportPet Designs Foldable Travel Cat Carrier with A Bed - Front Door Plastic Collapsible Carrier

The foldable cat carrier from SportPet Designs is perhaps one of the most cleverly designed in the market. It has an ingenious workaround that plays on cat psychology with its wide-set door that opens from the side instead of top or front.

This genius idea makes any cat more likely to be willing to walk in without hesitation, even without telling him to do so. Unlike other cat carriers, SportPet Designs Foldable Travel Cat Carrier is made of hard plastic material – a design out of necessity.

The bed is made ultra-comfortable with synthetic fur and fluffy poly fiber to keep your feline relaxed even while on a potentially stressful journey. This carrier is also nothing like most plastic carriers we featured since it can fold for secure storage.


  • Collapsible, easy to store
  • Wide side doors
  • The shape makes no chances for the carrier to flip or fall


  • Plastic may crack or get damaged over time

6. Sleepypod Mobile Pet Carrier – Best for Small Breeds

Sleepypod Medium Mobile Pet Bed, Strawberry Red

4.2 out of 5 stars

  • Size:
  • Mini (diameter: 13” height: 5”)
  • Sleepypod (diameter: 17” height: 6.5”)
  • Weight range:
  • Mini – up to 7 lbs
  • XL Carrier – up to 15 lbs
  • Color:
  • Sky blue
  • Robin egg blue
  • Blossom pink
  • Strawberry red
  • Dark chocolate
  • Jet black
  • True Violet
  • Blush
  • Olive
  • Charcoal


Sleepypod Medium Mobile Pet Bed, Strawberry Red

A carrier that can easily convert as a bed, Sleepypod Mobile Pet Carrier is spacious and very comfortable. You can be sure your cat is safe within it with its durable construction and water repellent materials.

This carrier has well-padded interiors for proper relaxation during your trip. As comfortable as it may sound to be, you should not take it as something flimsy. Sleepypod has been crash-tested, and it passed and met car safety standards.

Sleepypod Mobile Pet Carrier is very stylish. It comes with a removable and adjustable shoulder strap for easy carrying. Now, that is comfortable for both the cat owner carrying and the cat transported.


  • Made with water repellent material
  • Sturdy and can withstand clawing by your pet
  • Works as a permanent bed for cats


  • Not suitable for large cats

7. Gen7Pets Roller Carrier – Best Carrier for Traveling via Air

Gen7Pets Convertible Roller Pet Backpack Carrier for Dogs and Cats, Black Geometric, Medium

4.2 out of 5 stars

  • Size:
  • Medium (10.5” x 16.5” x 19”)
  • Large (11.5” x 18.5” x 19”)
  • Weight range:
  • Medium – up to 20 lbs
  • Large – up to 30 lbs
  • Color:
  • Black geometric
  • Red geometric


Gen7Pets Convertible Roller Pet Backpack Carrier for Dogs and Cats, Black Geometric, Medium

Gen7Pets had the best idea of traveling with cats easily and conveniently. With access from top and front, rollers to easily move around, and easy transformation from being a roller to backpack, it is ideal for when you have to travel by air.

Gen7Pets Roller Carrier, aside from the integrated wheels, is also ready built with a pop-out handle, dragging it across the airport like any other suitcase. You can move this multifunctional carrier effortlessly from the car to the plane to the sidewalk.

Its inner safety ties attach to your cat’s harness to keep them locked and secure during transport.

By the time you are ready to explore, it won’t be hard to take your cat out of the carrier through the top and side openings.


  • Smart-level platform to avoid tipping over
  • Side storage pockets for carrying your cat’s essentials
  • Top and front doors for easy access


  • Requires manual cleaning

Our Top Pick

Traveling with your cat can be challenging both for you and your cat, especially for those doing it for the first time.

Reduce stress by getting the best cat carrier. One that is not just sturdy and durable but has stellar design and versatility in spades, too.

The PetLuv “Happy Cat” Premium Soft-Sided Carrier is easy and straightforward to use. Its soft, roomy, and safe insides give the cats relaxation during long-distance travels. Its ability to adjust the enclosure is also a significant plus as it provides cat the sense of privacy during trips.

For nervous cats without air travel: PetLuv “Happy Cat” Premium Soft-Sided Carrier

For air travel or long trips: Smiling Paws Pets 4-Way Expandable Airline Approved Soft Sided Pet Carrier

Buying Guide: What To Consider in Getting a Cat Carrier

The market is saturated with so many cat carriers for you to choose from. But, knowing what you need precisely and understanding what you have to consider will make picking the best cat carrier for the nervous cat easy.

Access Points

Nervous cats can be quick and fast. Therefore you need a cat carrier which access points are easy to get into. You should not have a hard time getting your cat in and out of the carrier, no matter how fussy they get during the process. A carrier that offers multiple access points is ideal since you will have different options for access points.

Airline Approval

If you are a jet setter and you need to have your cat travel with you, consider reading about the specific regulations of airlines for carrier approval. Each airline comes with different rules and regulations. Be sure to review these guidelines so you won’t be inconvenienced once you’re at the airport.

Cleaning Process

Cats are known as groomers. They are neat freaks. So, it is understandable how they will want to hate going inside the carrier if it is smelly or dirty. Consider a cat carrier that is easy to clean. Those with plastic sides are the easiest, while the soft carriers may have to be sent to dry cleaners since you can’t toss them into the washer.


Carefully pick a cat carrier that has the best construction. Nervous cats can be destructive, and they may tend to lash out. Look for carriers that have double stitching, reinforced corners, thicker mesh material, locking zippers, and sturdy materials such as plastic or nylon.


Your carrier should be large enough for your cat. Remember, the general rule for sizing of your cat carrier is your cat’s dimension x 1.5. The best-sized carrier is that where they can stand up and turn around without a problem. Be sure to consider the space for food and water dishes.


Anyone nervous breathes heavily. The same is true with cats. So, make sure that the cat carrier has more than enough ventilation to give them the impression that they are not stuck. The best ones are those with mesh covers since it provides them substantial breathable windows.

Waterproof Bottoms

Trains, buses, and airlines require that your cat carrier comes with waterproof bottom to prevent their floorings from getting the spill and mess the cat does within the carrier. If the carrier you are eyeing on is not hard plastic, be sure that there is at least a waterproof lining at the bottom.

Final Words

There is no easy way to pacify a nervous cat, but a well-designed cat carrier can undoubtedly ease fear and anxiety. Simply remember the factors to consider in getting the best cat carrier, and you will find the right one for you and your cat.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Do cats prefer hard or soft carriers?

Both are great, but that depends on what you intend to use it for. Hard carriers are best if you:

  • Have room for storage
  • Concerned with safety and security
  • Nervous cat
  • Destructive cat
  • Escape con cat

Soft carriers are ideal if:

  • You are worried about the storage place
  • You need one that conforms with airline guidelines
  • Your cat needs comfort
  • Your cat is well-behaved

How do I keep my cat calm in a cat carrier?

Cats should be encouraged to get into the carrier with positive reinforcements. They may be hesitant about the carrier at first, but it is best to give it time. A slow approach works a lot of times.

You may want to place the carrier in the same room at your house where they usually stay so they can get familiar with it. Once they get the feel of the carrier, it won’t be too hard for them to get in.

Is it OK to put two cats in one carrier?

In most cases, it is best to have separate carriers for two cats. Cramming them together in one carrier can be difficult, uncomfortable, and very stressful. But, if your carrier is big enough for both, then it can work, too.