Calm a stressed cat with carriers for scared cats

If you have a skittish cat, you know how difficult it can be to travel with an anxious pet. Whether you’re going for a simple car ride, boarding a train or bravely attempting to fly with your kitty, a stressed-out cat can put a damper on your travels. But even more importantly, a scared cat is an unhappy cat, and as a pet owner, you will want to make your feline feel as safe and comfortable as possible. The best way to achieve that is to pick one of the best cat carriers for calming an anxious cat’s worries.

Shop this article: Diggs Passenger Travel CarrierAmazon Basics Two-door Top Load Hard-Sided Dog and Cat Kennel Travel CarrierApollo Walker Pet Carrier Backpack

These cat carriers may reduce transportation stress

One of the best carrier options for cats under travel duress is a hard-sided plastic carrier with openings in both the top and front. These are durable and easiest to get a cat in and out of (even if they resist). Another vital factor to consider is size; a carrier should be 1 ½ times the cat’s size. Other carriers for anxious cats depend on how you’re traveling (by airplane vs. by car or walking around). These cat carriers will keep your pet close to your body and make it easy to clean pet messes on the go.

Best cat carriers for anxious cats

best Richell Space Capsule Pet Carrier and Bed

Richell Space Capsule Pet Carrier and Bed

This cat carrier also moonlights as a bed, which can help your anxious cat create a positive association with it over time. With a capsule shape and clear window/door that lets cats peek out, there is a snug, round cushion inside, making it best for smaller cats and short-term travel.

Sold by Petco and Amazon

best Richell Space Capsule Pet Carrier and Bed

Diggs Passenger Travel Carrier

This travel carrier accommodates cats up to 18 pounds. Designed for easy pet mess cleanup, Diggs Pee Pads attach to the bed and can be removed through the side panel without further disturbance. Measuring 18 inches by 10 inches by 10.75 inches inside, its collar tether clip prevents nervous roaming or squirming.

Sold by Diggs

Best Top Paw Soft-Sided Pet Tote

Top Paw Soft-Sided Pet Tote

This cat carrier is, first and foremost a tote for quick travels within walking distance. It measures 16 inches by 10 inches by 6.5 inches and can hold up to 11 pounds. It features ventilated mesh material, a removable liner and an easy-access zippered top.

Sold by PetSmart

Best Amazon Basics Two-door Top Load Hard-Sided Dog and Cat Kennel Travel Carrier

Amazon Basics Two-door Top Load Hard-Sided Dog and Cat Kennel Travel Carrier

With a 4.6-star rating and over 50,000 reviews, this carrier is hard-sided and made of plastic and steel. It features two doors for easy top- or front-loading access and carries up to 20 pounds. Measuring 22.8 inches by 15 inches by 13 inches, it keeps air flowing through its many ventilation holes, soothing anxious cats.

Sold by Amazon

Best Funny Fuzzy Square Breathable Foldable Portable Pet Carrier Cat Backpack

Funny Fuzzy Square Breathable Foldable Portable Pet Carrier Cat Backpack

This backpack-style cat carrier is lightweight and made from breathable mesh and Oxford fabric, which keep the interior well ventilated, so your cat can breathe calmly. It has a front and side entrance, a soft pad inside and a built-in safety leash that provides enough slack for your cat to move comfortably.

Sold by Funny Fuzzy 

Best Apollo Walker Pet Carrier Backpack

Apollo Walker Pet Carrier Backpack

A ventilated design, reinforced zipper, two-sided pockets and an escape-proof leash make this carrier ideal for quick trips — whether walking to the vet around the corner or gliding through airport security. It also features soft padding, which you rarely see in hard-sided carriers, and is collapsible for convenient storage.

Sold by Amazon 

best Necoichi Portable Stress-Free Cage Carrier and Litter Box

Necoichi Portable Stress-Free Cage Carrier and Litter Box

Collapsible, durable, foldable and portable, this carrier is lightweight and includes a kitty head-shaped design that doubles as a ventilation hole. It folds up, so it can be easily stored under a car seat or in front of you on the airplane. It holds cats up to 7 pounds, and its twin zippers can’t be opened from the inside, so you don’t have to worry about panicked escapes. It also includes a litter pad.

Sold by Amazon and Walmart

Best Petkit Ventilated Cat Backpack Carrier with Inbuilt Fan and Light

Petkit Ventilated Cat Backpack Carrier with Inbuilt Fan and Light

This cat carrier can hold up to 17 pounds, and it features a unique, wide-tinted window that offers UV protection, blocking out bright light that could disrupt your cat. In addition to its multiple air vents, it also has a quiet, built-in fan that runs on both auto and manual settings and an interior light that is activated by double-tapping the controls.

Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

  • The Whisker City Two-door Pet Carrier is hard-sided, measures 19 inches by 12.6 inches by 10 inches and opens from the front and the top for easy loading.
  • If you are looking for a cat carrier that doubles as a car seat, the Pet Gear View 360 Pet Carrier comes with a booster seat frame and belts to the seat.
  • For cat owners who prefer a top-load-only carrier, the Petmate Top Load Cat Kennel opens from the top hatch, which can be completely detached if needed.
  • The Airline Approved Soft-Sided Portable Animal Travel Bag is designed for smaller pets. Still, it comes in small, medium and large sizes, features a compartment for more ventilation and space and is washable.
  • For quick trips, the Cat-in-the-Bag Cozy Comfort Carrier keeps your cat close to you while you’re en route but also holds cats securely while the vet administers medications or cuts their nails, relieving any travel- or vet-induced anxiety.

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Stephanie Osmanski writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2023 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.