Cats each have their own unique personalities and their personal likes and dislikes. For some cats, baths represent the bane of their existence, and others hate strangers on the couch. One of the most common situations that drive cats crazy is traveling in a carrier. As soon as a cat sees a carrier, they’re liable to disappear completely—hiding out until it disappears (they hope).
All of these issues become worse if your cat has a nervous or anxious disposition. One of my cats is like this, and I could see that it’s not just that he’s angry, but genuinely fearful and anxious when traveling was necessary. That changed when I upgraded my carrier and made a few routine adjustments that you can all try at home.
In this review for the best carrier for nervous cats, we’ll take a look at some contenders for the best cat carrier for cats who hate carriers.
Below, we will review four of my top choices for best cat carriers for nervous cats.
True to its name, the Cat-In-The-Bag carrier doesn’t look like a carrier. Instead, the E-Z-Zip system is a large bag with a small hole, out of which sticks your cat’s head. The Cat-In-The-Bag carrier comes in three sizes, which is excellent for ensuring that your cat is comfortable while safely and securely in the bag.
It also comes in several quite fashionable colors—as you would hope for what I could describe as a cat purse. You can choose between pink, lavender, light blue, cobalt blue, charcoal, caramel, red and green.
This construction carries a few benefits. First of all, your cat can see and respond to everything that’s going on around it, which might help make them less anxious. Secondly, you’re able to keep an eye on him or her and comfort them if necessary.
- The cat can see what’s going on.
- Able to secure it in a car using a standard seat-belt
- They look quite cool
- It can be annoying if your cat is likely to squirm and kick a lot
- It’s challenging to get on a cat.
Another entry to the unconventional best cat carrier for nervous cats contest, the Lollimeow Pet Carrier Backpack, is great for those who want to take their cats out on adventures with them. People might want to watch you walk by because the back of it has a clear window for your cat to look out of.
The Lollimeow backpack only fits small or medium-sized cats, up to 13 pounds. Your pet enters when you unzip the transparent back of the backpack. Some models also expand when you unzip an extra mesh pocket, giving them more room when in the car or the vet’s office.
The window once again gives your cat a way of seeing what’s up. Many cats are nervous when traveling because they can’t see around them. The fact that there’s also a small opening for you to pet him or her, though, makes this the best cat carrier for scared cats.
- Easy to carry while out and on the go
- It can expand to give your cat more room
- Some nervous cats won’t like the motion of being on your back while you’re walking.
The Two-Door cat carrier from Amazon Basics is a great option for nervous cats because of the ease of getting them into a carrier. A traditional cat carrier only has one door: the one at the front. This means you have to try to force your cat through the small opening, which is one of the hardest parts of traveling with many cats.
This Amazon Basics product solves the problem by adding a second door at the top of the carrier. When you open the roof to the carrier, there’s much more space for you to lower the cat into. For this reason, this Two-Door option is the best cat carrier for difficult cats.
The other thing I have to tell you about is the solid construction. There’s no way that a cat could damage the carrier in the way they could to the cloth and mesh-based carriers discussed above.
- Solid construction that your cat won’t break, rip, or escape from.
- Convenient door for loading your cat through the roof
- Some cats might feel claustrophobic
The Pet Magasin Cat Carrier is an entirely soft-sided carrier that keeps traditional carriers’ shape but eliminates the hard plastic. With a zip-up front entry, this product is large enough for just about any cat.
Most of the side is a large, mesh window, which gives cats the view that they need to feel comfortable. The combination of space and softness ensures that your cat will be comfortable, one of the best steps to making sure they aren’t nervous.
The Pet Magasin is also incredibly light, and you can carry it on a shoulder, which makes it easy to take on the go. Since major airlines have approved this carrier for onboard travel, the places you can go include those you have to get on a plane to reach.
- Comfortable and soft construction
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- It doesn’t have a rigid base
When you’re thinking about buying a cat carrier, there are many choices you have to make based on your cat. The behaviors your cat presents while traveling, its size and strength, and the difficulty of getting it into a conventional carrier are all important factors to consider.
That said, I’d break down your most important options as follows:
- Hard vs. Soft Carrier: If your cat tends to try to escape by clawing, biting, and kicking the carrier, it might be a good idea to get a hard carrier to ensure your cat can’t damage it.
- Top-Entry vs. Side-Entry: If your cat isn’t unwilling to get into its current carrier, you might not need to get one with a top-entry, but this is a good idea if you have problems with this now.
- Airline approved: This isn’t necessary if you aren’t planning to travel with your cat, but airline companies can be sticklers about this, so get one if you plan to take a plane. (See our reviews for best airline approved carriers here.)
The final thing to think about is how your lifestyle interacts with your cat’s. Are you outdoorsy and want to share the fun with your cat? Then it’s a good idea to get a backpack carrier or bag. If you’re only really going to take your cat to the vet, a more basic carrier will suffice.
Frequently Asked Questions
These are the two most frequently asked questions when it comes to scared cats who hate carriers.
Can I Train My Cat to Be Better with Carriers?
At a certain point, the feelings and associations your cat has towards their carrier are more important than the carrier you choose. Instead of asking about the best cat carrier for vet visits, it might be better to think about how to train your cat to be more comfortable with their carrier.
One easy and simple tactic is leaving the carrier around even when you’re not going out. You can see some other tips here.
What Should I Put in the Carrier to Make My Cat More Comfortable?
There’s nothing wrong with putting a blanket or other soft material into a carrier with your cat. If you have a hard plastic carrier, it can help them feel more comfortable. The same goes for their favorite toy.
If you have trouble getting your difficults cat into a carrier, don’t worry. There are methods to use and types of carriers that may make transport easier for both you and your furry friend.
Try any of the above carriers for your nervous cat.