The Best Cat Carrier for Difficult Cats: Top 7 Picks + Buyer’s Guide

by Farmer Jack
Updated on

As a cat parent, there are times you find yourself just wanting to travel with them or doing it simply because you have no one to watch over them when you are away.

You will need a carrier for that. When it comes to difficult cats, we can assure you that a hard carrier will work best.

Of course, difficult could mean that your cat is anxious and this is to be expected seeing as cats have a comfort zone and when they are taken out of it, they tend to act up.

Now, an anxious cat is likely to bite, scratch, or even chew on its carrier and that is why we emphasize getting a hard one. Soft carriers will only apply to cats who do not mind being carried around.

This is not to say that you cannot use a soft carrier to transport your catAll we are saying is that a hard one is better placed to withstand your kitty’s tantrums if they tend to fuss when in transit.

Ultimately, the best cat carrier for difficult cats should be robust enough to withstand abuse and prevent injury.

Comparison Table for Quality Cat Carriers for Stubborn Cats

The following comparison table should help you make a quick and informed choice in case you are unable to read the whole review.

It summarizes our top choices.

RankProduct NameBrandWeight
1Petmate 24” Long Two Door Top LoadPetmate5.8 Pounds
2Amazon Basics 23″ Two-Door Top-Load Hard-Sided Pet Travel CarrierAmazon Basics4.89 Pounds
3FRiEQ Large Hard Cover Pet Carrier, Pet Travel Kennel for Cats, Small Dogs & RabbitsFRiEQ4.4 Pounds
4Sport Pet Foldable Front Door Travel Cat Carrier Plastic Collapsible Carrier CollectionSport Pet4.34 Pounds
5Pet Magasin Military Gray Color Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier for Cats, Small Dogs Puppies & RabbitsPet Magasin2.11 pounds
6Petper Pet Carrier Designed for Cats, Small Dogs, Kittens for Outdoor Travel Walking HikingPetper2.17 Pounds
7Pet Carriers Handbag Cage Portable Foldable Cage for Dog Cat Puppy Travel and Outdoor Activities by HoringHoring1.83 Pounds (Package)

Buying Guide – What to Look for in the Best Cat Carrier for Difficult Cats

Getting the first carrier you come across would not be the wisest thing to do. As you shop for the same, it is important to consider several features that will influence your purchasing decision.

Let us go through some of those features.

Carrier Size

How big is your kitty? You want to take into account how much they weigh and how big they are before getting them a carrier.

To be on the safe side, measure your cat, and use the dimensions to pick a suitable carrier. It would not make sense to get a carrier that is too big or too small.

The ideal carrier should be big enough for your cat to lie down, stand up, and turn around comfortably.

Airline Approved

The main point of getting a cat carrier is to allow for convenient traveling with your pet. As such, you want to ensure that the one you buy is airline approved.

Now, you want to be careful when it comes to this point because even though manufacturers will claim that their carriers are airline approved, not all will be accepted.

In that regard, you may want to check with your airline if the carrier you intend to get is suitable.

Carrier Ventilation

If you travel when it is hot and humid, your cat will likely overheat and you do not want that. To that effect, you want to get a carrier with proper ventilation.

Look out for features such as ventilation slots or mesh sides when shopping.

Carrier Portability

Since you will be carrying your carrier from place to place, it needs to be lightweight. Other than that, you want to look for features like carrying handles and adjustable shoulder straps that make it easier to carry your kitty from place to place.

You may also want a foldable one, as it will be easy to store in case you do not have adequate space for that.

Carrier Durability

We bet you want value for your money with all your purchases and a cat carrier should not be an exception.

Get something that will stand the test of time and any abuse from your kitty. That means that your carrier of choice should be made from durable material that will not fall apart easily.

High-Quality Cat Carriers for Difficult Cats – Detailed Reviews

Picking the right carrier may not be as easy as it sounds but you do not have to worry about that. Below, we have analyzed some top choices that you can pick from.

1. Petmate Top Load Two Door

We begin our list with this small pet kennel with a top door that makes it easier for you to access your pet.

Last update on 2024-05-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It is also airline approved since it meets most airline cargo specifications. You will also appreciate that it comes with an ergonomic and durable handle as well as ventilated sides to allow for breathability.

What We Liked about It

It is important to train your kitty if you want them to be comfortable and safe in their crate. This particular one is perfect for doing that.

Another great thing about this pet carrier is that it comes with several security features to guarantee your cat’s safety while in transit and we love that about it.

What Could Have Been Better

Some users have complained that they found their pets injured after putting them in this unitIt appears that it has sharp air holes and we feel that the manufacturer should have done something about that before releasing the product to the market.


  • Comfortable
  • Airline approved
  • Security features


  • Sharp air holes

2. AmazonBasics Top-Load 2-Door Pet Travel Carrier

This pet carrier features two doors to give you the convenience you need when putting your cat in and taking them out.

Last update on 2024-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The top door opens to the right and left as well so you will never have to worry about accessing your kitty while in there.

What We Liked about It

The manufacturer of this product includes extra screws that you can use to further reinforce the top and bottom of the carrier.

Another thing worthy of note about this product is that it is made with durability in mind and comes with ample ventilation on the sides. We love that about it.

What Could Have Been Better

Unfortunately, this carrier’s top lid is not as secure and easily comes off when lifted as reported by some users. We feel that the manufacturer should have done permanent reinforcement to avoid this.


  • Sturdy
  • Easy to assemble
  • Security features


  • Lid not secure

3. FRiEQ 23-Inch Pet Carrier

If you have a bigger cat, you will love this carrier, as it is spacious. It can accommodate up to 26lbs of weight. Besides, it comes with a soft-grip handle that you will find comfortable to hold.

Last update on 2024-05-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Moving on swiftly, this pet carrier is collapsible and what that means is that you get to save on space when it comes to storing it.

What We Liked about It

Your kitty will enjoy napping or even relaxing in this carrier because it is built to be cozy and comfortable with soft padded cushions. Moreover, it comes with ventilation slots to allow for proper air circulation.

However, what we loved most about this product is that it offers superior quality. By this, we mean that it features a waterproof top and bottom. As for the body, it is made of plastic making the cleanup process extremely easy.

What Could Have Been Better

Some users have complained that their pets easily chewed on this carrier. That means it is not as robust and we feel that the manufacturer should have used material that is more durable in its construction.


  • Portable
  • Easy to assemble
  • Secure


  • Not as robust

4. Sport Pet Travel Cat Carrier

With this unit, you get an original and patented design with a side door that allows your cat to easily walk into and out of the carrier.

Last update on 2024-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You may also want to note that this product comes with a comfortable bed to help your kitty relax whenever you are in transit.

What We Liked about It

Now, this carrier is dryer safe and machine washable making the cleaning process easy. Aside from that, it folds down into a compact shape that you can conveniently store away.

What Could Have Been Better

This product easily caves in which makes it possible for some cats to pull their Harry Houdini moves. We feel that the manufacturer should have put more thought into its durability.


  • Foldable
  • Easy to clean
  • Comes with a pet bed


  • Not as strong

5. Pet Magasin Collapsible Cat Carrier

If you are looking to enjoy the best of both soft and hard carriers, you will love this particular carrier as it comes with features for both.

Last update on 2024-04-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Do not get us started on the hard top and base that offers sturdy protection for your kitty as well as a sturdy surface to sleep or stand on.

What We Liked about It

Perhaps space is an issue for you and if that is the case, you will appreciate that the soft sides of this carrier are foldable so that the carrier turns into a neat compact package.

Besides, the carrier comes with a soft padded floor mat that offers your cat a comfortable place to nap as well as a non-slip surface to stand on.

What we found most appealing however is that this piece comes with a mesh door that allows your cat to see the outside.

What Could Have Been Better

This unit tends to fall apart easily judging from reviews. The manufacturer should have used stronger material in the construction to counter this.


  • Breathable
  • Sturdy
  • Collapsible


  • Cheaply made

6. Petper Pet Carrier

Made of superior quality polyester and synthetic leather, you can rely on the durability of this pet carrier. Nevertheless, that is not the only thing it has to offer as it is breathable and lightweight hence ideal for carrying around.

Last update on 2024-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You also get multiple carrying options with this product as it comes with a carry handle and an adjustable shoulder strap.

What We Liked about It

Traveling with your kitty should not have to be a daunting experience. With this pet carrier, you get mesh openings for ventilation and a cozy fleece pad for comfort.

What we loved most nonetheless about this piece is that it is among the most affordable ones on this list and still offers great service. That means you get value for your money.

What Could Have Been Better

The material used to make this carrier is flimsy and feels more like thin paper. Of course, this makes it easy for your pet to escape. The manufacturer should have used better-quality material to avoid this.


  • Comfortable
  • Value for money
  • Easy to assemble


  • Flimsy material

7. Pet Carriers Handbag Cage

This pet carrier is made of durable yet lightweight material but that is not all. It is soundproof, rust-resistant, and waterproof. This means that you can use the carrier even when it rains.

Last update on 2024-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Another thing worthy of mention is that this unit is foldable. As such, you can transform it into a tiny neat piece that can easily be stored away without taking up much space.

What We Liked about It

Your kitty is going to be as comfortable as can be in this carrier. With multiple ventilation slots, they get to enjoy cool airflow.

On your part as the cat parent, you will love that this unit is easy to assemble so you will not have to spend much time and effort doing that. We love that about it.

What Could Have Been Better

As some users have complained, this carrier’s zipper broke easily. Either it was not properly reinforced, or it was a cheap make. We feel that the manufacturer should have checked on this before launching the product.


  • Easy to assemble
  • Lightweight
  • Foldable


  • Weak zipper

Frequently Asked Questions about Cat Carriers

You probably have a question or two concerning the best carrier for difficult cats. Although we cannot address all of them here, we have answered a few that could be of help.

Why do cats hate their carrier?

Well, you will realize that most people use carriers to take their pets to the vet, something that may be unpleasant for your cat.

Now since you only pull out the carrier during such an occasion, your cat associates it with stress and anxiety and that is why you would say that they hate their carrier.

Which is the best cat carrier?

This depends on what you want. For instance, a hard carrier is easy to clean and more durable while a soft carrier fits easily under airplane seats.

How can I calm my cat down while in a carrier?

You can spray a calming pheromone in the carrier or your car for a few minutes before putting your cat in. It is also important to set your cat to a comfortable temperature before starting your journey.

Our Top Pick

Having reviewed all seven products, our top pick turned out to be the Petmate Top Load Two Door pet carrier. First, you will find it easy to access your cat with this unit as it comes with a top door.

Another great thing about it is that it meets most airline cargo standards and is, therefore, airline approved. Of course, the fact that it has things like ventilated sides and an ergonomic handle played a part in our decision making as well.

The carrier is comfortable as well and comes with security features for your cat’s safety while on the go and we love that.

Final Thoughts

Traveling with a cat is extra work so you can imagine how it will be if your cat is difficult. We could tell you that it is normal for cats to get anxious but that will not make things easier.

Of course, a carrier will come in handy but you will need a durable one if your kitty is fussy. We have taken all the guesswork out of the purchasing process with this review so it should be easy to make a choice.

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About the author

Farmer Jack


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