10 Best Cat Carriers for Nervous Cats in 2021

This blog post will explore the best cat carriers for nervous cats. It will go through a variety of carriers, looking at the best ones for nervous, scared or anxious cats. These carriers are all commonly used to travel with your cat, allowing you to transport your cuddly friend all over the world. All of our carriers are airline approved with most major airlines, meaning that you can take your pet all over the world.

Most Affordable

Petmate Soft-Sided

  • Quality Material
  • Suitable for airline travel

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Best Overall

The Sherpa Delta

  • Locking zippers
  • Airline approved
  • Top & side entry

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Most Popular

Frisco Premium

  • Durable handles
  • Extendable shoulder strap

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Some cats can be very anxious around other humans, especially in new and strange environments. Being transported somewhere away from home, away from familiar smells and sights, can be a challenge even for the most placid and calm of cats. Using a comfortable, light and easy-to-carry cat carrier can make these transitions infinitely easier.

We will explain the different types of carriers and the unique uses of each one. This will include backpack cat carriers, airline-approved carriers, top load carriers, collapsible carriers and sling carriers.

This text will weigh up the pros and cons of each of the carriers mentioned here. We have picked out the most stylish, the best value, the most popular and the best overall cat carrier for anxious cats. Furthermore, we have outlined several more top-rated carriers, in order to provide you with the best choice possible. Finally, we will answer some questions that we often get when it comes to pet carriers and transporting our small furry friends.

Different types of cat carriers


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  • Airline-approved carriers are made especially for plane travel. These will adhere to specific requirements set out by airlines. If the carrier meets the guidelines of the airline, then your cat can be taken into the cabin with you. This type of carrier is often the best cat carrier for scared cats since they will need to be comforted during the flight.
  • Top-load carriers allow for a much easier process when it comes to putting your cat in one. These carriers open at the top, allowing you to simply pick up and then lower your cat inside. This prevents them from pushing the carrier away from them as you try to usher them inside.
  • Collapsible cat carriers provide the most convenient option in terms of storage and travel. These can be folded up to be easily transported, then unfolded into a sturdy, comfortable carrier when your cat needs to be carried.
  • A sling carrier is another option which is convenient to carry around but is also a great option when it comes to size and weight. It is very easy to carry. Sling carriers are usually a simple design, with a fabric base which your cat lies on and a sling which you rest on your shoulder. This will both reduce any sense of claustrophobia in your cat and allow you to use your arms and interact with strangers. It is also incredibly easy to fold away and carry. This type of carrier is an ideal choice for cats who are comfortable staying in the sling for a long time.
  • Backpack carriers are, like sling carriers, very useful for a more casual approach to a cat carrier. Here, the backpack will often have a small window for your cat to look out of, allowing them to share in your adventures all while being safe and sound inside your backpack. This is a good option for cats who are not quite calm enough to sit in a sling for hours, but who are inquisitive to the extent that they would like to see the outside world. Not to mention, carrying your cat in a backpack allows for freedom in your arms, allowing you to go about your day as normal.

Overall Best Cat Carriers for Nervous Cats

The Sherpa Delta Pet Carrier

Key Features:

  • This is an airline-approved carrier. Specifically designed to meet airline specifications, it is within the specifications for most major airline companies.
  • It features both top and side entries.
  • It is suitable for cats weighing up to 16 pounds.
  • Features a slew of useful features, such as mesh panels and padded straps.
  • Has a strap for a completely hands-free experience.
  • Features locking zippers.

Best Overall – The Sherpa Delta Pet Carrier is an airline-approved carrier. It is a fabric bag, with ample space for a cat of any size. The bag also features a useful strap, which you can sling over your shoulder and use your hands for more important things, such as checking in and handing over your passport.

Its features include mesh panels, for the ultimate comforting experience for your cat. The straps are padded, meaning even the heavier cats won’t pose much of a problem. The bag is designed to be able to hold cats weighing as much as 16 pounds. The locking zippers mean that your cat will be safe and secure.

Pros:

  • Airline approved, suitable for use in most major airlines.
  • Padded strap means a comfortable and pain-free experience for the pet owner.
  • Suitable for cats weighing up to 16 pounds, so that even the heavier cats can be carried on planes.
  • Has both side and top entries for your cat, meaning that getting your cat into the carrier is easy and hassle-free.
  • Locking zippers mean that your cat will be safe inside the carrier, allowing you to worry about other, more pressing matters.

Cons:

  • While most major airlines accept this carrier, when flying with a less well-known airline, you will need to check whether the carrier meets their specifications.
  • The pet will need to be supervised when inside the carrier, to make sure they are not too scared or nervous.

Petmate Soft-Sided Dog & Cat Carrier Bag

Key features:

  • Suitable for airline travel, whether in general seating or in an individual cabin.
  • Features top and side openings, for top and side cat entry.
  • Made of PVC-baked material, for a durable, strong build
  • Quality material used, easing any worries of toxic chemicals or quick wear and tear

Best Value – The Petmate Soft-Sided Dog and Cat Carrier Bag is a great choice, especially when you consider the low price it is offered at. It is designed specifically to be appropriate for both general seating and individual cabins on major airlines. It also features a rear pocket for essential items for your cat, such as medical supplies or harnesses.

It features mesh walls for a comforting and ventilated interior. The addition of a strap and a convenient carrying handle also means that carrying your cat will be easy and comfortable.

Pros:

  • Designed with both general and cabin airline travel in mind.
  • Both side and top openings allow for a convenient and easy way to put your cat inside.
  • Quality material is used, meaning you don’t have to worry about replacing the carrier often. PVC baking makes your carrier even more durable.
  • Strap and carrying handles allow for easy and safe cat travel.
  • Mesh walls allow for good airflow, ensuring your cat is always comfortable inside the carrier

Cons:

  • While this was designed with all major airlines in mind, some smaller airlines may be stricter with their cat carrier specifications, meaning if you are travelling with a less well-known airline, it would be ideal to call ahead and check.
  • This carrier is much better suited to smaller breeds.

Frisco Premium Travel Dog & Cat Carrier Bag, Black

Key Features:

  • Soft sides can be slightly collapsed, allowing for easy transportation of the carrier and adherence to airline specifications.
  • The carrier features Sherpa lining on the floor and mesh walls.
  • Top and side openings allow for multi-directional entryways for your cat
  • This pet carrier has both shoulder and luggage straps
  • This pet carrier features locking zippers, preventing accidental opening of compartments

Most Popular – This Frisco Premium Travel Dog & Cat Carrier Bag, Black is our most popular carrier for a reason. Its soft sides collapse partially, allowing you to store your pet in smaller spaces, all while maintaining a high level of comfort and security for your feline friend. Both the carrying handles (the straps and the luggage handles) are well-made and durable, so there’s no chance of any breakage, or a need to constantly replace the carrier. The locking zippers mean that your cat will always be secure in the bag, allowing you to think about more important things; such as where you’re going with this incredibly stylish carrier.

It also comes in different sizes, meaning that every cat, no matter how big or small, can experience the joys of traveling with their human companion. Sizes are available from 8 pounds to 22 pounds.

Finally, the bag features a lost and found tag, which is a nice extra when you are traveling in very busy areas, such as airports.

Pros:

  • Sherpa lining and durable handles mean that this carrier can easily last a lifetime if taken care of well.
  • Top and side entry points mean that getting your cat into the carrier goes from a difficult task to something simple and easy.
  • Semi-collapsible sides mean that most airlines will have a hard time finding a reason not to allow this carrier. This pet carrier is airline-approved.
  • Lost and found tag is a nice bonus, helping you to reunite with your cat if you misplace the carrier.
  • Mesh panels let your cat see out into the world, as well as making sure their space is well-ventilated.
  • Extendable shoulder strap means maximum comfort when carrying your cat.

Cons:

  • You will still need to check with smaller airlines if they will allow this carrier.
  • Your pet’s weight will need to be measured precisely before you purchase this carrier since they come in different weight-specific models.

Necoichi Ultra Light Collapsible Cat Carrier Bag

Key Features:

  • Features a chic plaid pattern
  • Unique design
  • Sturdy and quality fabric is used
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Large mesh windows on the side, (cat-shaped to add to the style!)
  • This carrier is completely collapsible

Most Stylish – The Necoichi Ultra Light Collapsible Cat Carrier Bag is the ultimate choice for someone who wants to show off their impeccable style, while also keeping their cat safe and happy on the road. This carrier features a unique oval-shaped design, sure to catch the eye of everyone you see on your travels. It folds away easily to allow for simple and effective transportation when your pet is not inside.

The mesh windows allow for good airflow into the carrier, ensuring your cat is always comfortable and not suffering from claustrophobia or anything of the sort. Despite its cool design, no assembly is required at all! The lightweight nature of the carrier also means that carrying it through an airport, or through busy streets will be an absolute breeze.

Pros:

  • Folds away quickly for storage and transportation.
  • Quality fabric and a well-put-together design mean that the carrier is strong and sturdy.
  • Large ventilation windows ensure that your cat will be comfortable no matter where you are travelling to.
  • This carrier was designed with safety, comfort and style in mind. This means that you can show off to everyone around you, while also ensuring your cat is happy in the carrier.
  • Large entryway means your cat will be able to enter easily and safely; no more struggling to get them in!
  • Lightweight design means you won’t struggle when carrying cats of any weight.

Cons:

  • No shoulder strap, so one hand will usually be occupied.
  • Only one door, so no top-loading entry.
  • Will need to be opened in a safe area: as soon as the securing band is removed, the door will pop straight open.

6 More Top Rated Pet Carriers for Anxious Cats

Sherpa Original Deluxe Airline-Approved Dog & Cat Carrier Bag

This cat carrier is an airline approved pet carrier which fulfills all your needs. The walls feature wide, expansive mesh windows, which are perfect for letting your cat see the world beyond the pet carrier. It also provides them with good ventilation. Both of these points combine to prevent any claustrophobia or discomfort in your cat, which may come from being in enclosed spaces.

The faux lambskin inner layer further adds to this comfort. This layer is also removable and machine-washable, which means it can be regularly cleaned, meaning your cat will always be feeling and smelling great. The spring-wire frame allows the pet carrier to be compressed, making it easy to transport. Furthermore, the security strap and locking zippers ensure your cat is safe inside, leaving your mind free to think about other things.

EliteField Soft-Sided Airline-Approved Dog and Cat Carrier Bag

This pet carrier comes in a variety of colors, allowing you to show off your personality, or even tailoring your carrier to your cat’s unique characteristics. The mesh panelling on the front and sides allows for effective ventilation of the space where your cat will be. Additionally, the well-made, quality material used ensures that your cat is comfortable and safe. It also means that you won’t have to replace your pet carrier regularly.

This pet carrier contains a removable plush bed, which is perfect for providing support to your furry friend, further ensuring their comfort in your carrier. Finally, this model also includes a seat belt loop and a strap, which you can use to attach to either the inside of a car or to your luggage. This ensures that you won’t lose your cat and that they will remain calm, always being able to tell that you are near them.

JESPET Soft-Sided Sport Dog & Cat Carrier Bag, 16-in

This sport carrier bag is a great choice for someone who is looking for reliability in their pet carrier. It is specifically designed to hold its shape without collapsing. It is also made with nylon; a material that is known to be sturdy, waterproof and very simple to clean. Furthermore, the mesh openings provide the ventilation and light that you would want your pet to experience while traveling, making sure they stay comfortable and calm during your journey. The mesh also allows them to see the outside world, which is always nice as it allows them to share your journey experience!

The fleece mat on the inside makes your cat even comfier, providing them with an almost perfect traveling experience. Finally, this carrier includes three big pockets to treat essentials, such as treats, medication and other travel accessories.

Mr Peanut’s Gold Series Airline-Approved Dog and Cat Carrier Bag

A plywood base and fleece bedding ensure that if you buy this carrier for your cat, they won’t feel uncomfortable. The locking zippers then make sure that while they are having a great time relaxing in their carrier, they are safe and won’t decide to jump out at a bad time. The mesh windows allow your cat to experience a well ventilated and light journey, while the roll-down cover makes sure that if they get overwhelmed by the outside world, they can be shut off from it. This means your cats comfort is guaranteed no matter what, whether they enjoy seeing the world outside or whether they prefer to relax by themselves in the comfort of the carrier. The included name tag holder and leash tether is a great addition, as is the luggage strap and the padded shoulder strap.

Pet Magasin Collapsible Dog & Cat Carrier Bag, Small

This pet carrier features a hard top and sides, providing a sturdy and supportive base for your furry friend. This will protect them from rain, or even from turbulence; depending on where your journey takes you! This pet carrier also features plenty of ventilation holes and a super-soft padded mat, further ensuring that your cat enjoys their travels. The door is see-through, meaning they can look around and enjoy the scenery too!

It also easily folds down into an easy-to-carry small package, which can be taken place to place when your cat is not using it.

Frisco Basic Dog & Cat Carrier Bag, Black

This is a stylish, well-made and colorful bag that is sure to increase your presence at any location you visit. Despite this, the Sherpa-lined floor, roomy interior and easy side entry point mean that this pet carrier does not sacrifice any of the comforts you would want for your cat. There is even a petting window, for quick and easy access to your cat if they begin to feel nervous or anxious. It also has shoulder straps for easy carrying, creating a fully hands-free experience of carrying your cat with you on your travels. The sides are also soft, which means that they can be partially collapsed, to ensure that you comply with the airline restrictions at your specific airline. The lost and found tag is a nice addition that makes sure your feline friend doesn’t get lost in the large crowds that are commonly seen in airports.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do your pet carriers comply with the common pet carrier specifications of most major airlines? Yes! The vast majority of our pet carriers are fully equipped and specialised to be used when boarding the planes of most major airlines. However, if you are taking a flight with a much less well-known airline, it is crucial that you make sure that our pet carriers are suitable for their flights.
  2. My cat is easily scared and nervous. Will using a pet carrier be unsuitable for her? This depends! Our carriers are designed with the comfort of your cat in mind, meaning that we have engineered them to be as comfortable and calming as possible. However, each cat is different. This means that you will have to think carefully about whether you want to take them with you on your travels. Nevertheless, if you do, then you can’t go wrong with picking one of our pet carriers! Looking through our list of pet carriers, you will be sure to find the best cat carrier for anxious cats that suits your needs.
  3. Is it best to let my cat see the outside the carrier, or choose a carrier with no windows? Generally, we would say that it is best to choose a carrier which is well-ventilated, light and provides you with a good view of your furry friend. However, as mentioned before, each cat is different. You will need to have a think about what is best for your cat before you embark on any long journeys.

Conclusion

To conclude, picking a pet carrier for your cat is a choice that depends entirely on your cat. Their personality, weight, level of anxiety and many other factors will dictate which pet carrier is best for them. However, once you’ve decided, you can have a look at the pet carriers listed here and make a choice for yourself. Each carrier is a great choice, with most being comfortable and ventilated. Furthermore, most are entirely airline approved, meaning that if you want to take a well-deserved holiday to a sunny foreign country, your cat can come with you!

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