One of the most important decisions to make when getting a cat is selecting the right cat carrier for your new furry friend. Unlike dogs, cats are homebodies and hate to leave the house.
If you select the wrong cat carrier, transporting your cat can be a downright nightmare.
On top of worrying about your budget and personal preferences, you have to worry about whether or not the carrier you are looking at is worth your time in the first place.
It can be difficult to make this decision when looking at products online.
We wanted to make the process of finding the best cat carrier in Canada in 2023 a bit easier.
As a result, we took 29 hours to analyze 32 products and 951 consumer reviews. From this research, we were able to pick out the seven best products on the market.
For a taste of what we will cover in this article, the Petmate Two Door Pet Kennel is our favorite product because it has a 2 door design, more than enough ventilation, and is affordably priced.
Cat Carrier Comparative Table
|Petmate 21231 Two Door Top Load 24-Inch Pet Kennel||
||9.5/10||See price on Amazon|
|ibiyaya Multifunction Pet Carrier||
||9.5/10||See price on Amazon|
|Midwest Homes for Pets Spree Travel Carrier||
||8.8/10||See price on Amazon|
Our Pick for The Best Cat Carrier
The Best Overall
The best overall cat carrier in Canada in 2023 is the Petmate Two Door Pet Kennel. It is reasonably priced, safe, convenient, and easy to carry. The only downside is that its hard shell exterior means it takes up more space for storage.
Petmate 21231 Two Door Top Load 24-Inch Pet Kennel Video Review
What We Think of The Petmate 21231 Two Door Top Load 24-Inch Pet Kennel
In order to find the best cat carrier this year, we wanted the model to be convenient, easy to use, and reasonably priced. Based on these expectations, the Petmate Two Door Pet Kennel remains the top option for cat owners in Canada.
This kennel has a hard shell exterior, which makes the carrier easy to clean and care for. Unlike other hard shell carriers, this model has a door on the front and at the top for a completely convenient loading experience. This top loading addition allows the Petmate Two Door Pet Kennel to stand out from other hard shell cat carriers.
Another major benefit of the Petmate Two Door Pet Kennel is that it is spacious. It is large enough for any pet of up to 15 pounds, which is more than enough for most cats. Cats will be able to stand up and lay down in this carrier.
Pricewise, the Petmate Two Door Pet Kennel is a little bit more expensive than most hard shell carriers, but we consider it reasonably priced given its size, convenience, and ease of use. You will be hard pressed to find another hard shell carrier with these features at a lower price. Plus, the carrier comes with a water cup.
After my old carrier broke with my cat inside it, I needed a carrier I could trust. This carrier is tall, roomy, and even big enough for my 20 pound cat ginger. Both the cats I have loved the space and feel safe inside. I recommend this carrier to everyone. I am a cat rescue volunteer and recommend it to my clients.
The only downside of the Petmate Two Door Pet Kennel is that it takes up a lot of space during storage. This would be a drawback of any hard shell carrier since it does not easily collapse or fold down into a smaller piece.
All around, the Petmate Two Door Pet Kennel is the best cat carrier you can buy. Even though it is a hard shell carrier, you can still load your cat into the carrier with ease. User after user raves about how fantastic this carrier is.
Petmate 21231 Two Door Top Load 24-Inch Pet Kennel Specifications
- Brand: Petmate
- Color: Gray and blue, other color options
- Dimensions: 61.1 x 42.6 x 36.8 cm
- Weight: 2.91 kg
- Maximum Weight: 15 lbs
Petmate 21231 Two Door Top Load 24-Inch Pet Kennel Pros and Cons
- Very spacious
- Two loading options
- Easy to clean
- Reasonably priced given features
- Takes up a lot of space during storage
Our Final Opinion about the Petmate 21231 Two Door Top Load 24-Inch Pet Kennel
Quality 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.9 Effectiveness 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.8 Design 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.7 Price 4.5 out of 5.0 stars
Hands down, the best cat carrier in Canada in 2023 is the Petmate Two Door Pet Kennel. We recommend this to any cat owner because it is reliable, spacious, and easy to use. It might be a little bit more expensive than other hard shell options, but the price is completely reasonable given its reliability and features.
Our Upgrade Pick for a Cat Carrier
The High Performance Pick
If you want a cat carrier that can do it all, you need the Ibiyaya Multifunction Pet Carrier. Although expensive, this carrier can turn into a backpack, car seat, stroller, and carrier with wheels. Anyone looking for an upgrade pick will be happy with this product.
Ibiyaya Multifunction Pet Carrier Video Review
What We Think of The Ibiyaya Multifunction Pet Carrier
Most cat carriers have a simple design that can only be used as a carrier. With the Ibiyaya Multifunction Pet Carrier, you can take your cat with you anywhere, whether it be across the country or down the road to the park.
What makes this carrier so unique is that it isn’t just a carrier. With just a couple of quick changes, this carrier can turn into a backpack, car seat, stroller, or carrier with wheels. In other words, this is a 5-in-1 that is perfect for just about any purpose.
Because you can use this multifunction device as a backpack, regular carrier, and carrier with wheels, you get the benefit of nearly all types of cat carriers in one device. When taking your cat on the go, these various carrier options will definitely come in handy.
On top of having a multifunction design, the Ibiyaya Multifunction Pet Carrier is reliable and durable. Many users note that it does exactly as it claims and is safe, reliable, and durable enough for their cat.
The appearance of this carrier is nice too. It comes in four colors, including blue, brown, orange, and pink. With four color options, you can get a carrier set that matches both you and your cat’s personality.
Because this is a 5-in-1 unique device, you probably expected it to be expensive. In comparison to all of the other cat carriers on this list, this model is multiple times more expensive. People on a budget will not want this carrier.
This is magical. My 6 year old adopted a kitten and wanted to take it to the park. This is perfect because we can take our cat to the park and use it for other purposes too. It’s easy to navigate and use. It’s easy going to the vet and the kitten loves the carrier. I’m expecting to buy another model for my puppy. I couldn’t be happier with this purchase.
At least this carrier comes with many different features and designs to help make up for the high price. After all, this product is more affordable than getting the five products individually. Needless to say, the Ibiyaya Multifunction Pet Carrier is our favorite upgrade pick.
Ibiyaya Multifunction Pet Carrier Specifications
- Brand: Ibiyaya
- Color: Pink, other color options
- Dimensions: 86.11 x 39.37 x 25.91 cm
- Weight: 4.99 kg
- Maximum Weight: 16 lbs
Ibiyaya Multifunction Pet Carrier Pros and Cons
- 5-in-1 designed
- Great for all travels
- Easy to use
- Highly expensive
Our Final Opinion About the Ibiyaya Multifunction Pet Carrier
Quality 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.7 Effectiveness 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.9 Design 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.8 Price:4.0]
As long as you are willing to spend quite a bit of money on your cat’s carrier, you won’t be disappointed with the Ibiyaya Multifunction Pet Carrier. Because of this multifunction design, you can bring your cat with you anywhere.
Our Budget Pick for a Cat Carrier
The Budget Pick
The Midwest Homes for Pets Spree Travel Carrier is an affordable cat carrier that is reliable, easy to use, and durable, making it a great value pick for cat owners on a budget.
Midwest Homes for Pets Spree Travel Carrier Video Review
What We Think of the Midwest Homes for Pets Spree Travel Carrier
Just because you are on a budget does not mean you should sacrifice on the quality of your cat’s carrier. Because your cat’s safety is on the line when inside one of these carriers, it’s essential to select a cat carrier that is still safe and durable, even if it is affordable.
The Midwest Homes for Pets Spree Travel Carrier proves that you can find a carrier that is both affordable and effective. It has a hard shell plastic design that makes it easy to clean and convenient. The carrying handle is built in and does not include sharp edges, which makes it comfortable to hold.
All the while, the Midwest Homes for Pets Spree Travel Carrier is highly portable and durable. This cat crate should last you a long time because of its durability and ease of cleaning, even though it is affordable. It even comes in three color options for customization.
Like with the other hard shell carriers, the biggest drawback of the Midwest Homes for Pets Spree Travel Carrier is that it takes up a lot of space and isn’t easy to store. Know you will need quite a bit of storage space when not using this carrier.
I used this to get my kitten shipped from Alberta to Ontario. My breeder put it together on the same day as shipping and my kitten arrived safe and sound. The front metal gate is tough to unhook and rehook, but my kitten is safe and the container is airline approved.
Another drawback of this model is that it might be a bit difficult to get your cat into. Because it does not have a top loading design, your cat will have to go through the front door, which may be difficult for some cats that don’t like transportation.
Because of its price and durability, the Midwest Homes for Pets Spree Travel Carrier is the best cat carrier for the money. If you are on a budget, you should not hesitate to spend your money on this product since it is affordable and durable.
Midwest Homes for Pets Spree Travel Carrier Specifications
- Brand: Midwest
- Color: Green, other color options
- Dimensions: 45.49 x 29.21 x 30.48 cm
- Weight: 970.69 g
- Maximum Weight: Not listed
Midwest Homes for Pets Spree Travel Carrier Pros and Cons
- Highly affordable
- Easy to clean
- Easy to hold
- Takes up a lot of space during storage
- May be difficult to load some cats
Our Final Opinion About the Midwest Homes for Pets Spree Travel Carrier
Quality 4.5 out of 5.0 stars Effectiveness 4.5 out of 5.0 stars Design 4.5 out of 5.0 stars Price 5.0 out of 5.0 stars
We recommend the Midwest Homes for Pets Spree Travel Carrier to cat parents on a budget. Although this crate has a simple design and may be difficult to get your cat into, it is the best in terms of price and quality.
Alternative Products to Consider
Henkelion Cat Carrier Review
The Soft Shell Pick
The Henkelion Cat Carrier is our soft shell pick because it is durable, portable, and highly affordable. The only drawback is that it isn’t as durable as hard shell carriers, which is a drawback of all soft shell models.
What We Think of the Henkelion Cat Carrier
As you will learn in the buying guide below, there are three main types of cat carrier designs, one of which being soft shell. Our favorite soft shell cat carrier is the Henkelion Cat Carrier. Like other soft shell carriers, this model is made from polyester and mesh to provide comfort and proper ventilation for your cat.
You might specifically want a soft shell carrier because of how convenient it is for storage. Because of its soft shell design, this model takes up less space during storage than any of the above mentioned options. If you don’t have a lot of storage space, this is a great pick for you.
We recommend this soft shell carrier over other soft shells because of its waterproof and durable design. Even though it is made from fabric, the fabric is waterproof and durable enough to stand up to your cat. The model is even washable so that you can easily clean the carrier after taking your cat on the go.
Surprisingly, the Henkelion Cat Carrier is even more affordable than our budget pick. Because of how cheap this model is, you might be confused as to why it is not our budget pick.
I’m happy with this purchase. Everything is good quality. The cardboard piece inside the sheep covering is sturdy, but I put a plastic bag around it so it wouldn’t absorb pee. I would buy this product again.
The reason why we recommend the Midwest carrier over this one for those on a budget is because all soft shell carriers are not as durable as hard shell ones. We recommend hard shell carriers to those on a budget. Even though this model is durable in comparison to other soft shells, it simply does not stand up against hard shells.
Because this model is durable and machine washable, it is superior in comparison to other soft shell carriers. Those who want to save some space during storage should opt for this model as a result.
Henkelion Cat Carrier Specifications
- Brand: Henkelion
- Color: Gray, other color options
- Dimensions: 43.18 x 27.94 x 27.94 cm, other size options
- Weight: 294.84 g
- Maximum Weight: 15 lbs
Henkelion Cat Carrier Pros and Cons
- Easy to store
- Waterproof and durable
- Machine washable
- Not as long lasting as a hard shell model
Our Final Opinion About the Henkelion Cat Carrier
Quality 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.4 Effectiveness 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.6 Design 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.6 Price:5.0]
We recommend the Henkelion Cat Carrier to cat owners who want a soft shell bag specifically because it is durable, waterproof, and machine washable, which are benefits you won’t get from all soft shell carriers.
BEIKOTT Cat Backpack Review
The Backpack Pick
If you are looking for a carrier backpack specifically, check out the BEIKOTT Cat Backpack. Because of its clear bubble design, your cat can see everything that’s going on, but there are serious quality control issues.
BEIKOTT Cat Backpack Video Review
What We Think of The BEIKOTT Cat Backpack
Cat backpacks are all the rage because they allow your cat to experience the great outdoors without being at risk of escaping or getting lost. Many cat backpack fans like the BEIKOTT Cat Backpack specifically.
This cat backpack isn’t just a regular backpack. Instead, it has a completely clear back so that your cat has full visibility at all times. Of course, the backpack also includes ventilation and a security leash to ensure your cat is safe during the experience.
The price of this backpack is pretty nice too. It is a little bit cheaper than our best overall pick, making it an affordable product. Even individuals on a budget may be able to afford this product.
We are sad to report that there are serious quality control issues about this product. Many people report that the backpack is simply too small for many full grown cats. More so, there are complaints about a weird chemical smell and the zipper breaking quickly. Although the backpack is not expensive, we still wish there were fewer quality control issues.
My cat looks so cute in the pink bag. I like this bag and it is affordable.
Another issue of this backpack is that most cats do not like being inside it. Because cats tend to freak out during transportation, the clear design often makes matters worse. Although some cats may like it, most do not.
Still, you might want the BEIKOTT Cat Backpack because of its space capsule design. We recommend considering the dimensions carefully and measuring your cat thoroughly to ensure that the backpack is not too small for your cat.
BEIKOTT Cat Backpack Specifications
- Brand: Beikott
- Color: Black, other color options
- Dimensions: 35.3 x 24.9 x 41.9 cm
- Weight: 1.06 kg
- Maximum Weight: Not listed
BEIKOTT Cat Backpack Pros and Cons
- Looks cute
- Comes with safety features
- Reasonably priced
- Quality control issues
- Most cats don’t like it
Our Final Opinion About the BEIKOTT Cat Backpack
Quality 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.0 Effectiveness 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.3 Design 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.7 Price:4.4]
If you are determined to get a cat backpack, you can check out the BEIKOTT Cat Backpack, but make sure that it is the right size for your cat before purchasing it. Once purchased, be gentle with the zipper and other features.
Catit Catit 2.0 Cabrio Carrier Review
The Big Cat Pick
The Catit Catit 2.0 Cabrio Carrier is our big cat pick because it has a maximum weight recommendation of 25 pounds, but there are a lot of safety concerns about this product to be aware of before purchase.
What We Think of the Catit Catit 2.0 Cabrio Carrier
Most of the cat carriers on this list have a maximum weight capacity of 15 pounds. If you have a larger cat, we recommend going with the Catit Catit 2.0 Cabrio Carrier instead because it has a max weight of 25 pounds, making it much sturdier than the other products.
The carrier is equipped with some additional features as well. For example, it has a single hand locking mechanism, textured floor to prevent sliding, and handle that prevents motion sickness. These features help to make the carrier a bit more convenient for all cats and owners.
All cat owners should be aware of the safety concerns about this carrier, though. The external removable dinner flap creates a safety hazard to curious cats that stick their head through the flap. Multiple users had this same issue.
A bit expensive for a plastic cage that looks cheap, but it gets the job done.
The material isn’t durable either. Most users note that even though it looks substantial in the picture, the front material is flimsy plastic that can break easily. On top of the flimsy material, the carrier is expensive for a hard shell model.
Because of how many drawbacks there are about this carrier, some of which being serious, the Catit Catit 2.0 Cabrio Carrier is not our first choice for a cat carrier.
Catit Catit 2.0 Cabrio Carrier Specifications
- Brand: Catit Catit
- Color: Blue-gray, other color options
- Dimensions: 51 x 33 x 35 cm
- Weight: 3.04 kg
- Maximum Weight: 25 lbs
Catit Catit 2.0 Cabrio Carrier Pros and Cons
- Suitable for cats up to 25 lbs
- Some additional features
- Helps to prevent motion sickness
- Safety hazards
- Cheap feeling
Our Final Opinion About the Catit Catit 2.0 Cabrio Carrier
Quality 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.1 Effectiveness 4.5 out of 5.0 stars Design 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.0 Price:4.2]
If you have an extra-large cat that doesn’t fit into most carriers, the Catit Catit 2.0 Cabrio Carrier may be an option for you. We recommend being highly cautious when using this device because of its safety concerns, though.
Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier Review
The Collapsible Hard Shell Pick
The Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier has both the benefits of a soft shell and a hard shell cat carrier, making it a smart design, but it is not durable.
Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier Video Review
What We Think of The Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier
If you can’t decide between a hard shell or soft shell carrier, we recommend the Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier. This cat carrier offers the best of both worlds in one convenient design.
The Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier comes with a hard base and hard top for the same protection as a hard shell carrier. At the same time, the sides are made from a fabric material that can easily collapse down.
So, this carrier is sturdy, but it is easy to store and lightweight too. Needless to say, this is a great option if you simply can’t choose between a hard shell or soft shell cat carrier.
Although the design of the Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier is unique, there are serious drawbacks. Most importantly, this model simply is not durable. If your cat has claws and like scratching, this carrier won’t last more than one trip.
This is a great cat carrier. My cat is 11 pounds and fits nicely. She’s not crazy about it, but she seems to like it more than our last fabric one.
To make this drawback even more serious, the model is highly expensive. In fact, it is more expensive than nearly all soft shell and hard shell carriers alike, making it the second most expensive product on this list. For its price, it should be able to withstand more than one trip.
Because of how easy it is to tear up, we don’t recommend the Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier to cats with claws, but it might be a good choice for declawed cats or well behaved cats because of its unique design.
Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier Specifications
- Brand: Pet Magasin
- Color: Military gray
- Dimensions: 44.5 x 35.1 x 33 cm
- Weight: 997.9 g
- Maximum Weight: 18 lbs
Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier Pros and Cons
- Supportive like a hard shell carrier
- Lightweight and easy to store like a soft shell carrier
- A lot of ventilation
- Not durable
Our Final Opinion About the Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier
Quality 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.2 Effectiveness 4.5 out of 5.0 stars Design 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.9 Price:4.1]
As long as your cat isn’t prone to taking its claws out to destroy fabrics and other items, you will likely love the Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier. If you don’t know how your cat will react, we don’t recommend getting this product since it might get destroyed after one use.
Why Should You Trust Us?
All the recommendations we make on The Good Choice are the result of many hours of research, comparisons, analysis of consumer reviews and, if necessary, expert feedbacks. The products we recommend here are the ones that will best perform their daily tasks, passing all security, reliability and efficiency tests while having an appealing price-quality ratio for everyone.
What are our criteria for judging the products reviewed and selected by The Good Choice?
- Quality: Does the product have a solid construction? Will it be reliable over time? Does it have a good warranty?
- Efficiency: Is the product efficient in its task or do you need to give it some help? Is it for example powerful, fast, quiet?
- Usability: Is the product easy to handle, easy to use and maintain?
- Price: Is the price of the product and/or accessories and/or spare parts reasonable compared to the rest of the market?
In addition to these main criteria, we then establish a list of specific criteria for each product category, detailed a little further down in this article.
In the end, the products we recommend are the ones we would want to buy, and the ones we would also choose for our friends and family.
Things to Know Before Buying a Cat Carrier
Why does my cat need a cat carrier?
Your cat needs a carrier to be safely and comfortably transported from one location to the next. Because most cats get stressed out when in a vehicle, the cat carrier provides a more calming, safe, and convenient transportation option for both you and your feline.
When should I use a cat carrier?
You should use a cat carrier any time you’re transporting your cat inside your vehicle, plane, etc. For example, you should use it when driving to the vet and when moving across country. You should put your cat inside the carrier before you exit the home so that the cat does not have a chance to escape.
How long will it take to put my cat inside a cat carrier?
How long it takes to put your cat inside a carrier depends on your cat and the carrier in question. Cats that are comfortable with carriers will take less time than cats who are first being introduced.
Is it ethical to carry cats inside a carrier?
Whether or not it is ethical to carry cats inside a carrier depends on the situation.
If you select a good carrier with proper ventilation and only put your cat inside the carrier when it’s absolutely necessary, then it is ethical. In fact, it is more ethical to transport your cat with the carrier than not because the cat will be more stressed and likely to escape without a carrier.
In contrast, carrying cats inside a carrier is not ethical if you select a carrier with poor ventilation and other safety concerns. Likewise, it’s unethical to force your cat inside a carrier for no point or for your own entertainment.
Is there a difference between dog and cat carriers?
There is normally little difference between dog and cat carriers since they serve the same function. In fact, most pet carriers are designed to be used with both small dogs and cats. For this reason, it is completely normal if your cat carrier uses pictures of dogs in their marketing promotions.
How to Properly Choose Your Cat Carrier
Because your cat’s comfortability and safety are at stake when it comes to a carrier, you should take the time to choose the best cat carrier for both you and your cat. Just because one cat carrier is good for one cat owner does not mean it will be right for you and your furry friend.
To make sure that you are choosing the right cat carrier for your feline friend, we recommend considering the following factors before making your final decision:
The absolute first factor you need to consider when buying a cat carrier is the ventilation options. If you put your cat inside a carrier with poor ventilation, your cat can easily die from suffocation. Obviously, putting your cat in this sort of environment is downright wrong.
Cat carriers with good ventilation should have quite a few breathing holes. For example, fabric carriers often use mesh to keep the cat inside the carrier while still offering adequate ventilation. Likewise, hard shelled carriers should have holes and wired doors for proper breathing.
Once you confirm that all of the options you are looking at provide good ventilation for your cat, you can focus on the design of the carrier. Although all cat carriers serve the same function, they don’t have the same design. Most cat carriers are one of three designs: soft shell, hard shell, and backpack.
If your cat has never used a carrier before, it’s best to start with a soft shell option. It’s often easier to get your cat inside these carriers, and the mesh design makes nervous cats feel more hidden.
In contrast, hard shell carriers are ideal if you have to travel long distances and your cat is relatively easy to load into the carrier. Because hard shell carriers are often larger than soft shell models, cats will have more room to stretch out and relax on the trip in the hard shell options.
Backpack carriers allow you to wear your cat on your back, which makes toting the cat much easier. As long as the backpack has proper ventilation, you don’t have to worry about any ethical issues.
There are some other designs you might want to consider, such as a cat stroller. This isn’t exactly a cat carrier, but a cat stroller may be great for an adventurous kitty.
Cat carriers allow you to load your cat into the container either through the top of the container or the front. It’s important to pay attention to loading location because certain locations are notably easier to use than others.
More specifically, cat carriers that have a top loading option will be easiest to use. If this is your first time using a cat carrier, we recommend top loading designs. Front loading designs will be a bit more difficult to use, but certain cats made already be adjusted to the carrier.
Make sure that the cat carrier you select is large enough for your cat. If you have a standard sized cat, nearly all cat carriers will be large enough. Larger cats may need to be considered more carefully to ensure that they aren’t squished inside the carrier.
Ease of Carrying
Carrying a cat inside a carrier can be difficult. Not only will the cat be moving around, but you will have to maneuver the cat in and out of tight spaces. It’s important to select a carrier that you know you can carry with ease.
Of the different carrier designs, most people agree that the backpack carrier is the easiest to transport simply because you are using your back to carry the cat instead of your arm.
Ease of Cleaning
Always make sure that you can easily clean up your cat carrier after you have gotten to your final destination. Hard shell carriers are the easiest to clean since you can wipe them down.
Soft shell and back carriers are more difficult to clean because the fabric gets soiled with bodily fluids. If you want a fabric carrier, double check to see how the manufacturer recommends washing it.
We do our best to provide you with a comparative guide of cat carriers allowing you to choose the best product possible. If we are missing information or new models, do not hesitate to leave a comment below or to send us a message.