A cat carrier may not need to be particularly roomy for quick trips to the vet but, for extended periods of travel, your cat will appreciate having a little extra space. Finding a carrier big enough for large cats but compact enough to fit under a plane seat can be particularly challenging.
Our experts have spent hours researching the cat carrier market, reading customer reviews, and testing over a dozen different models. Using a combination of expert input and personal experience, we’ve assembled a list of five travel-friendly carriers appropriate for large cats.
At a Glance: Our Top Picks for the Best Large Cat Carriers for Travel
We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
- Economically priced under $50
- Mesh panels all the way around for ventilation
- Locking zippers and seatbelt strap for safety
- Versatile design as a roller bag and backpack
- Can be secured with seatbelts for car travel
- Interior padding is removable for cleaning
- Expandable mesh compartment for added space
- Solid wire frame and solid base for stability
- Self-locking zippers ensure safety during travel
How Did We Choose Our Top Picks?
If you haven’t already reviewed our list of the best cat carriers, I recommend reading it first.
In this article, our Head of Content, Mallory, reviews the results of the Center for Pet Safety’s 2015 Carrier Study and summarizes the three most popular types of cat carriers. You’ll also find an in-depth analysis of the qualities you should look for in a cat carrier.
Read It Here: The Best Cat Carriers of 2023
Using a combination of personal experience, input from Cats.com experts, and information from the study mentioned above, I chose five cat carriers that are appropriate for travel with large cats.
First and foremost, I selected soft-sided carriers because they are safer for long trips and more suitable for air travel. I prioritized carriers that are durably constructed to support at least 18 pounds of weight and have wheels or reinforced shoulder or backpack straps for convenient and comfortable transport.
All of the carriers on this list are marketed as “airline approved” but it’s still important to check the specific airline’s regulations for in-cabin pet carriers. The average under-seat dimensions for US-based airlines are 17” x 11” x 9”.
The Best Large Cat Carriers for Travel Reviewed
When it comes to choosing a travel carrier for large cats, size isn’t the only factor to consider. The dimensions of under-seat space on a plane limit the size of your carrier anyway, so it’s more important to choose a carrier that can accommodate your cat’s weight.
Look for a carrier made from heavyweight materials with reinforced seams. A solid base is essential for support and make sure any handles and carrying straps are adjustable and padded to keep you comfortable as you carry your cat around.