Cats do not like being moved from one location to another, especially when that's being done against their will. They do not like trips to the vet, and the same is true for car rides.
These precious little beings are more than just domesticated animals. They offer companionship, which can prove comforting when dealing with life difficulties.
Unfortunately, though, it's pretty easy for you to end up with scratches when trying to put them in the car for a trip to the vet when they simply don't want for that to happen.
Whether you're traveling, going to the park or the vet, a good carrier will come in vert handy.
In this post, we look at the best soft sided cat carriers and tell you which features to look for when shopping for one. To kick this article off, let's have a look at our 5 favorite soft sided cat carriers of today.
Our List Of The Best Soft Sided Cat Carriers - (Updated List For 2023)
Top Pick: AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier
Pick #2: Necoichi Portable Ultra Light Cat Carrier
Pick #3: PetLuv Soothing "Happy Cat" Premium Soft Sided Cat Carrier
Pick #4: Pet Magasin Luxury Soft-Sided Cat Carrier
Pick #5: A4Pet Soft Sided Pet Carrier
*Note: The links in the table above, as well as several links in the remainder of the article below, will take you to over to Chewy.com or Amazon.com where you can find out more information about the products, such as current prices and customer reviews.
How to Buy a Soft-Sided Cat Carrier
When deciding on the mode of transportation, you usually consider affordability, comfort, and durability. The same principles apply when shopping for the right cat carrier. The right carrier provides an extra level of security and makes travel less stressful.
What makes a good carrier? This is a question many pet owners ask themselves. A good way to get started is to look at things from a cat’s perspective.
Cats like enclosed spaces that are comfortable and cozy. And with so many soft-sided carriers on the market, here are a few factors that will help you narrow down your choices.
Your cat should be able to stand straight without having to crouch. The preferred carrier should also have enough space for your furry friend to turn around.
If you will be traveling further than the vet's office, the ability to accommodate a water and food bowl would be a nice bonus.
Take care not to purchase an extensively large carrier, though, as this ends up defeating the purpose just as well.
Single vs. multiple doors
A single door carrier only allows for one point of entry. Carriers with multiple doors are worth considering if your cat often resists getting into a carrier.
The choice of a single vs. multiple doors comes down to personal preference, what you think is best for your cat and which they respond best to.
These offer a quick and easy way to latch and unlatch the top of the carrier. They make it easy to take the top off of the carrier.
The sound made by side snaps can be a little scary for a cat, though, so it's up to you to test that and see whether your cat is fine with the sound or not.
Best Soft-Sided Cat Carriers Reviews - A Closer Look Into Our Top 5 Options
Suitable For Car, Plane & Ship: If you need something to keep your cat secure, protected and comfortable, the AmazonBasics pet carrier is worth considering. It is a great asset when traveling by car, plane or even on ship.
The AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Pet Carrier functions as a dual luggage strap/seat belt for safe transportation. It sports a steel wire frame that conforms nicely to the under-seat dimensions of many airlines.
Easy Zipper Function: The carrier also comes with top and front openings for easy loading. All of the openings are secured by zippers, with the top opening having dual zipper closures. These ensure that the openings are securely closed while on the move.
Proper Ventilation: Another highlight of this carrier is the mesh ventilation of all of the sides. It does a great job of providing adequate ventilation while allowing your cat to see outside. The mesh also makes it easy to monitor your pet.
Comfortable Surface: AmazonBasics uses a removable base insert to create a solid surface for your pet to stand on. The removable fleece bed provides a comfortable place for your traveling pet to take a nap.
For Dogs & Cats: One of the best things about this carrier is that you can use for a cat or dog. Not many carriers offer this level of versatility.
- Backed by 1-year warranty
- Available in varying sizes
- Works for both cats and dogs
- Adequate ventilation
- Comfortable sleeping area
- Strap is a bit on the short side
Necoichi has been designing cat products for many years. Their products are designed to provide functionality at an affordable cost, and the Portable Ultra Light Carrier is no different.
Sturdy Fabric: It's made with sturdy fabric that is tear-resistant and features foldable mesh panels that allow for airflow.
Adequate Interior Space: The interior of this carrier is quite spacious, and with soft sides, you can rest assured that your furry friend will be extremely comfortable. Its folding design is a welcome feature too, since it makes it easy to carry around.
Meets US Airlines Requirments: The Necoichi Portable Ultra Light carrier is specially designed for traveling and meets all of the minimum requirements of major US airlines. There is a strong and sturdy carry handle for added convenience when moving the carrier from the house to the car. And while the fabric used for construction isn’t a conventional choice for pet carriers, it is easy to clean and durable.
- Lightweight and durable
- Accommodates up to 18 pounds
- Folds down for easy storage
- Strong and sturdy carry handle for easy transportation
- Smaller than most carriers on this list
When it comes to pet care, PetLuve sure knows how to impress. Their Soothing “Happy Cat” Premium Soft Sided Cat Carrier boasts top notch features and is designed to offer optimum comfort.
Good For Anxious Cats: This is a roomy crate that seeks to eliminate travel anxiety by creating an airy and comfortable environment for your pet.
If you are on the market for a super soft and comfortable carrier for transporting your cat, the PetLuv Soothing “Happy Cat” Premium is worth considering.
Durable: It features a sturdy steel frame for added durability. The canvas is also made from 100% nylon and like the provided ultra deluxe sleep pillow, it is moisture resistant and entirely machine washable. The premium quality cloth features double stitching and reinforced corners. You can rest assured that this carrier will serve your needs for a long time to come.
Easy To Store And Carry Around: One of the first things you will discover about this carrier is that it is fully collapsible, thus allowing for easy storage. The carry straps and padded handle grip are a nice addition as well
Proper Ventilation: This cat carrier also has four mesh windows that provide adequate ventilation. The windows are retractable with zipper closures. An opening at the top allows for easy loading and has zipper closures that keep your pet secure on the plane.
- Ultra soft, plush pillow for comfortable naps
- Breezy airflow and panoramic views with air mesh windows
- Sturdy steel frame is fully collapsible
- Convenient carry strap and padded handle
- Not the best for larger cats
All in all, the PetLuv Soothing “Happy Cat” Premium is an ultra light cat carrier designed to offer simple and reliable feline transportation. It is quite useful for vet visits and car travel comfort. This carrier is a game changer when it comes to cat mobility.
Suitable For & Comfortable During Flights: The Pet Magasin Luxury Soft-Sided Cat Carrier is accepted by all major airlines in the United States and is unlike other feline carriers on the market. It sports super padding on the walls and floor to give your cat maximum comfort during flights. The construction of this carrier is such that it eliminates the risk of sliding or bumping around inside. This helps reduce the anxiety associated with traveling.
Safety Features: The simple and fashionable design includes a zip closure that keeps your pet secure and safe during car rides. All you have to do is zip up to put the pet carrier together and zip down to restore the carrier to a folded down mode.
Lightweight: Carrying around the Pet Magasin Luxury Cat Carrier is quite easy. At only 2 pounds, this carrier is incredibly lightweight. Its suitcase style along with padded handle straps makes it super easy to carry around whether you sling it over the shoulders or simply hold it.
- Durable construction
- Holds its panels when zipped up and folds down for easy storage
- Made from waterproof material that is easy to clean
- A little too small for larger cats or dogs
A4Pet has been manufacturing top notch pet products for more than 15 years.
Suitable For Large Cats: This soft sided carrier for cats and dogs is designed to hold pets weighing up to 18 pounds.
Easy Entry: This airline approved pet carrier can easily be fastened on luggage or secured in the car. It features two openings, one of the top and another side, for easy entry.
Withstands Scratching: One thing that makes the A4Pet a worthy purchase is the fact that it is made from durable Oxford fabric and mesh. It is quite strong and you don’t have to worry about your pet’s claws leaving nasty tears.
Anti Escape & Security Features: You will certainly appreciate the inclusion of auto-lock zippers and tether as they prevent your cat from escaping. This carrier is also provided with a belt loop on the side panel, allowing it to function as a dual luggage strap/seatbelt for secure transportation.
Comfortable: The A4Pet carrier ticks all the boxes when it comes to providing maximum comfort. It has a multifunctional cushion made from cozy fleece and two sides made from Oxford fabric. There are mesh panels on three sides that provide adequate airflow as well as easy viewing.
- Auto lock zippers and tether prevent your cat from escaping
- Durable mesh panels for ventilation
- Washable cozy fleece pet pad
- Two entrances for easy access
- Larger and more powerful cats can deal it a significant amount of damage after a couple of months, which requires a replacement
Choosing the right carrier for your cat isn’t hard if you know which features to look for.
This is why we put this guide together, to let you in on some of the most important criteria you have to consider when buying a product in this category.
Now, it's over to you - if you already have a cat carrier or have had any previous experience with one beforehand, we would love to hear about your say in the comment section.