Best cat carrier for vet visit

A pet carrier is an essential item for any pet parent. This is because travelling with cats is very stressful, especially when taking your cat to the vet. Which is why you need to choose the right cat carrier for vet visits or any other trip.

Having a comfortable and secure cat carrier will reduce stress both on your cat and you.

We have prepared this article to act as a guide to help you find the right cat carrier for your cat.

This article contains affiliate links, we will earn a commission if you purchase through our choosen links at no additional cost to you.

Our top pick

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Why do you need a good cat carrier

Transporting a cat without an appropriate cat carrier is very risky. Additionally, it can be dangerous for both your cat and you. This is because some cats get nervous when being transported. There are a number of things that can potentially happen if you transport a cat without a carrier.

  1. A loose nervous cat can jump and climb anywhere in the car such as under the pedals, on the steering wheel, on the dashboard or even on you which can be very dangerous
  2. If a nervous cat jumps on you, they can scratch or bite you which might interfere with your ability to drive safely
  3. A loose cat that is not secured in a carrier can jump off the car and can get lost or injured in the process

Factors to consider when choosing a cat carrier

  1. Size of the carrier; an ideal cat carrier should be one and a half times the size of your cat. The cat should be able to sit, stand and turn in the carrier.
  2. Material; different cat carriers are made using different materials. It can be a hard carrier or a soft carrier. Whatever type of carrier you choose, it should be made of a material that is safe, secure, scratch resistant and durable.
  3. Number and location of doors and openings; a suitable cat carrier for vet visit needs to have a secure door that allows you to easily access the cat. Most carriers open at the front while others have additional openings either on the side or at the top.

Comparison table of best cat carrier

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*The ratings are based on amazon at the time of publication and are subject to change

Review of best cat carrier for vet visits

Henkelion Cat Carrier Dog Carrier for Medium Small Cats Dogs Puppies 15 Lbs

The Henkelion pet carrier is a versatile pet carrier suitable for all types of travel. We recommend this cat carrier for vet visits for a number of reasons.

First, this cat carrier is made of durable, lightweight and waterproof polyester fabric. Additionally, it includes a mesh material that is strong against scratch mCat bagarks. It is therefore sturdy and the material is safe and secure for your cat.

Secondly, this cat carrier comes with a series of straps. The adjustable shoulder straps allow you to easily hang this cat carrier around your shoulders hands free. The safety leash inside the carrier ensures your cat is secured within the bag.  Additionally, this carrier provides 2 connecting loop handles and ABS hooks. You can strap the carrier to the seat belt or luggage for secure transport.

Thirdly, this cat carrier is easy to carry and store. It comes with a fleece bed that can easily be removed completely and can be machine washed. Additionally, this carrier has a side pocket where you can store treats, food, toys or other accessories for use at the vets.

In addition, it has 3 breathable mesh entrances. At the side, top and front. The entrances have deluxe zippers for safety. It is therefore easy to put your cat in and out of this carrier. Furthermore the mesh design allows for maximum ventilation and visibility. This reduces the stress of confinement for your cat and allows you to check on your cat during travel.

Lastly, this cat carrier is designed for small to medium sized cats or pets. When used on the right size of cat it provides for a spacious room for the cat to move around and stay comfortably during the visit to the vet.

Key features
  • Made of strong durable polyester and mesh fabric
  • Comes with a fleece bed
  • 3 breathable mesh entrances for easy loading and offloading
  • Padded adjustable shoulder straps
  • Comes with 2 connecting loop handles and ABS hooks
  • Safety leash to secure your cat
  • Has a side pocket to store treats, toys, food or other accessories
  • Dimensions; medium – 17″ x 11″ x 11″, large – 20″ x 13″ x 13″
  • Comes in a variety of colors for you to choose from; Black, grey, pink, blue and purple
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Machine washable
  • Easy to store
  • Sturdy hence secure for your cat
  • Allows for maximum ventilation and visibility
  • Versatile for all travels
  • Suitable for vet visit
  • Easy to load and offload your cat in the carrier
  • Airline approved

Check price on Amazon here.

AmazonBasics Two-door Top-load hard sides pet carrier

Best cat carrier for vet visit

This AmazonBasics Two door pet carrier attracted our attention for a number of outstanding features.

This pet carrier is designed to keep your cat safe, secure and comfortable during travel including routine visits to the vet.

It comes in a two door design, one at the top and at the front. You can therefore easily load anoff-load your cat from the carrier. 

Additionally, the top door features a handle and latches to open at your comfort. The top door can be opened either on the right or left at your own convenience. Furthermore the front door is spring loaded from the latches to allow for smooth opening.

In addition, this pet carrier is vented on the sides, top and bottom. There is therefore plenty of ventilation and visibility to keep your cat comfortable and minimize the stress of confinement.

Lastly, this pet carrier has a secure design as the top and bottom snap together with four latches. Furthermore, the additional screws can be attached to the top and bottom to reinforce security.

Key features
  • 2 door design for easy loading
  • Made of durable plastic and a steel wire front door
  • Spring loaded latch for smooth opening
  • Vented on the top, side and back for ventilation and visibility
  • Top and bottom snap together for security
  • Dimensions;19″ x 11.8″ x 9.8″
  • Easy to load and offload your cat from the carrier
  • Allows for maximum ventilation and visibility hence reducing stress of confinement
  • Sturdy hence safe for cats
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Suitable for vet visit
  • Not airline approved
  • Top door not completely secure especially on heavy cats
  • Not suitable for heavy cats

Check price on Amazon here.

Pet Magasin soft sided pet travel carrier

This cat carrier offers comfort for your cat, is safe and the perfect size for a trip to the vet. We recommend this cat carrier as our number 1 choice for vet trips because it has a number of remarkable features.

This Pet Magasin cat carrier has a strong rigid floor under the soft padding. It is therefore sturdy and gives your cat a firm base to stand on while offering protection to your cat. Additionally, it comes with a padded mat on the floor to give your cat a comfortable non slip place to stand or lie on.

Secondly, this cat carrier holds its shape when in use. You can easily unzip the bag to fold flat for storage. It therefore takes little storage space when not in use.

Additionally, the sides are vented. This allows for ventilation and visibility. As such, the design reduces the stress of confinement as your cat will be able to see their surroundings. This product also has a see through mesh door through which your cat can explore his/her surroundings.

Lastly, this cat carrier is made from premium materials. The material is durable which ensures that your cat is secured once in the cat carrier. All the materials are rugged, waterproof and washable.

Key features
  • Made from premium materials.
  • Strong rigid floor to provide a firm base to stand on
  • Comes with a padded mat for a comfortable place to stand and lie on
  • Collapsible for easy storage
  • Vented on the sides
  • Wide range of colors to chose from
  • Dimensions:18″ x 11″ x 10″
  • Easy to assemble and use
  • Collapsible hence occupies less storage space
  • Allows for maximum visibility and ventilation
  • Suitable for vet visits
  • Sturdy and firm hence secure for your cat
  • Airline approved
  • Not suitable for heavy cats

Check price on Amazon here.

Petmate Two door top load

Sturdy cat carrier

Petmate is a brand that has been making quality pet products for over 50 years. If you are looking for a quality plastic pet carrier then this is the product for you. We recommend this pet carrier due to a number of reasons.

This pet carrier has a unique top loading door. As such, you can easily place and remove your cat from the carrier. The front door on the other hand has an easy squeeze latch and an ergonomic handle. It is therefore easy to open the front door at your comfort.

Additionally, this pet carrier has grated steel doors. In addition, the sides are vented. This provide for ventilation and to increase visibility. As such, this reduced the stress of confinement for your cat.

Lastly, this pet carrier is sturdy ensuring your cats safety. It is spacious therefore your cat will sleep in the carrier comfortably on the way to the vet.

Key features
  • Constructed of sturdy heavy duty plastic
  • Durable steel doors hence safe and secure for travelling
  • Easy to squeeze latch to open the door
  • The door comes with a wing nut and bolt design
  • Vents on the side for visibility and ventilation
  • Comfort carry handle
  • Dimensions; exterior – 24″ x 12.8″ x 10″ interior -16.75″ x 11″ x 9.25″
  • It is easy to access the cat both from front and top door
  • Provides for maximum ventilation and visibility
  • The carrier is sturdy hence safe for travel
  • Easy to use and clean
  • The doors are secure and easy to open
  • Suitable for vet visit
  • Too heavy
  • Does not meet all the airline specifications for travel, confirm with your airline provider first
  • Not suitable for large cats over 20lbs

Check Price on Amazon here.

Siivton Airline Approved Pet Carrier

Expandable carrierThe Siivton Pet Carrier is a soft lightweight versatile pet carrier that is perfect for transporting your cat. This product stands out for many reasons.

The Siivton Pet Carrier can be carried in 4 ways. You can wear this cat carrier over the shoulders, secure it in the car with the seat belt, place it on top of your other luggage or carry it with the top handle. It is therefore versatile for all types of travel.

Secondly, this pet carrier has a unique 4 ways expansion. You can easily fold it down and unzip the four sides to create extra room for your cat to stay comfortable. This carrier therefore allows your cat to move around more comfortably thus reducing the anxiety of confinement.

Thirdly, the Siivton Pet Carrier comes equipped with Oxford high density EVA board for protection. It is therefore sturdy and safe for your cat. Additionally, this pet carrier comes with a cozy fleece bed. The bed can easily be removed completely and can be machine washed.

Lastly, this travel pet carrier comes with breathable mesh windows. These give plenty of openings and air for your cat. Additionally, there are zippers on the top and side windows which form avenues through which your cat can be put in and out of the pet carrier.

Key features
  • Oxford high density EVA board to keep the carrier upright and sturdy
  • Size; 18″ x 11″ x 11″ and 38″ x 30″ x 11″ after expansion
  • Expandable; Unique 4 way expansion
  • Comes with a cozy fleece bed
  • Has mesh windows for maximum air
  • Comes with zippers on the top and side windows
  • Versatile for all types of travel
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Soft and lightweight
  • Can be folded flat for easy storage
  • Expandable; allows cat to move around the carrier
  • Sturdy hence safe for cats
  • Suitable for vet visit
  • Not suitable for large cats, measure your cat before purchasing

Check price on Amazon here.


I am a pet mum of 3 cats. 1 of them is a senior cat who I rescued from a dumpsite. He has always had respiratory problems which meant frequent vet visits. He hated cat carriers and would hide his head under his belly at the furthest corner during the trip. This was heartbreaking until I discovered I was using the wrong type of cat carrier.

My advice would be for any cat parent to invest in a cat carrier long before they need it. Borrowing will not always be an option. There may be an emergency where borrowing may not be possible.

There are several cat carriers available in the market either online or on your local pet store. I have purchased a number of good pet carriers in my local pet store and some online to suit my needs over the past 15 years that I have been a pet mum.

The Henkelion cat carrier is one of my favorite cat carriers for vet visit as it is lightweight and comfortable. It has 3 doors through which you can easily access your cat as some tend to hide when at the vets. The Amazon Basics cat carrier on the other hand, is a high quality plastic cat carrier with a top door that makes the vet visit less stressful for your cat.

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