13 min. read

The Best Travel Carrier for Small Pets for 2023

With these carriers, you no longer have to feel afraid when taking your cat or small dogs out for a travel escapade!

Travel Carrier for Cats and Small Dogs

Some think that pets should be left at home. However, finding a pet all over the couch, or missing entirely is a concern to many who think that a little training would convince their pets to come along with them on their errands. Although you can manage to drag your dog or cat around on a leash, you still have to make use of a travel carrier for cats and small dogs.

They are used to hold the cats or small dogs when hands get tired during travel, they may be a requirement in some modes of transport, and they can be used to relieve the pets owner of the stress that attacks the pet owner whenever the cat or small dog is out of reach.

Many manufacturers are producing good travel carriers for cats and small dogs but the best brands are hard to find therefore we’ll make the selection of the best ones for your pet.

How We Picked

  • Size and Capacity

    Since a suitable travel carrier for cats and small dogs should be of the right size, we ensured that they offered the capacity enough to fit at least 1.5 times the volume of the target pet for carriers with closed spaces.

  • Material - Comfort and Breathability

    The material that composes the travel carrier for cats and small dogs should be breathable for the pets to stay alive and comfortable for your pets not be anxious.

  • Safety and Ventilation

    Each travel carrier for cats and small dogs was evaluated on how safe the carrier was during the transport of the pets and if their structures offered enough ventilation.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    It feels bad to have a travel carrier for cats and small dogs that costs more but offers less utility, thus we looked at the value for money in each travel carrier.

Our Top Picks

Our Top Pick

Lands’ End Canvas Tote

Lands’ End Canvas Tote

Lands’ End Canvas Tote is suitable for small dogs and cats and even children can carry it with ease!

For those who don’t like to drag things along – even their eleven-inch tall dogs – this carrier is more than a relief. It will transform the travel into a secure mission with a safety hook to attach to the dog’s collar on the inside. The Lands’ End Canvas Tote travel carrier for cats and small dogs is made of durable material to withstand the dog’s or cat’s weight. Therefore, this is an exceptional travel carrier as chosen by customers.

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Resembles a handbag with straps long enough to slip over the traveler’s shoulder.

Our Runner-Up

K9 Sport Sack Trainer Backpack

K9 Sport Sack Trainer Backpack

By reducing the traditional travel carrier for cats and small dogs to a backpack, the K9 Sport Sack Trainer revolutionizes pet care and maintenance.

Although this backpack is marketed for dogs, the ventilation gauge on its side makes it possible for it to work with cats too if the traveler prefers cats to dogs. It comes in a wide range of sizes to suit the pet owner by the size of their pet. The K9 Sport Sack Trainer Backpack would perform well when the traveler doesn’t need to walk long distances. It’s a great option for dogs of smaller breeds.

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For those who don’t mind a pair of jaws behind their neck, this sack is great for their cats and dogs!

Most Cost-Effective

Sherpa Original Deluxe Carrier

Sherpa Original Deluxe Carrier

The Sherpa Original Deluxe Carrier is approved for use on airplanes and would work well in long car journeys.

This travel carrier for cats and small dogs is the cheapest item we featured in our review. This bag is approved for use on airplanes and conforms to normal car sitting arrangements. The bag has zippers that introduce its notion of safety thus keeping the pet in proper condition during travel. This carrier is an exceptionally affordable pet accessory that you must have!

Buy Now for $34.00

Designed to carry a pet in all sorts of places during travel.

Everything We Recommend

Our Top Pick

Lands’ End Canvas Tote

Lands’ End Canvas Tote

Lands’ End Canvas Tote is suitable for small dogs and cats and even children can carry it with ease!

Buy Now

Our Runner-Up

K9 Sport Sack Trainer Backpack

K9 Sport Sack Trainer Backpack

By reducing the traditional travel carrier for cats and small dogs to a backpack, the K9 Sport Sack Trainer revolutionizes pet care and maintenance.

Buy Now

Most Cost-Effective

Sherpa Original Deluxe Carrier

Sherpa Original Deluxe Carrier

The Sherpa Original Deluxe Carrier is approved for use on airplanes and would work well in long car journeys.

$34.00

Buy Now

Who This Is For

This review is for persons that are planning to travel for the first time with their cat or small dog or are simply searching for a replacement travel carrier.

Getting the right size carrier for your pet

Manufacturers of travel carriers tend to state the recommended measurements of the target pets that the travel carrier for cats and small dogs should have. As it’s good for the pet to move around or even change its position, you can add a few inches from your pet’s measurements while getting the right size carrier for your pet.

Different styles of pet travel carriers

The pet travel carriers are in different styles as follows:

  • IATA-compliant pet travel carriers

    These are travel carriers for cats and small dogs that have met all the requirements for safe use on airplanes. Some of them include ventilation and solid hardware.

  • Metal pet travel carriers

    Although heavier than the rest, these travel carriers cannot be chewed or easily broken by large elderly pets that tend to flee from everything.

  • Plastic pet travel carriers

    Plastic pet travel carriers are lighter than metal pet travel carriers due to the material used, which is plastic. They may offer enough ventilation to allow the pets housed inside to breathe well.

  • Soft pet travel carriers

    These pet travel carriers are made of woven mesh fabric which makes them light to carry. Their disadvantage is that large pets can break out of them. All the travel carriers for cats and small dogs featured in our review are soft pet travel carriers.

Why You Should Trust Us

Most pet carriers are expensive and we had to search for affordable travel carriers for cats and small dogs without sacrificing the quality. Thus we ensured that our review produced a list of dependable pet carriers that you could use.

How We Picked

The number of travel carriers for cats and small dogs seemed endless. To tackle this issue, we used customer feedback in determining the best travel carrier for cats and small dogs. The first-hand experiences that we came across included finding the travel carrier great for a stray kitten, familiarizing a kitten with the carrier, and getting surprised that the travel carrier was chosen over other types of carriers by a pet. Due to our research, we believe your trust will grow in directing toward the best travel carrier for cats and small dogs.

We looked at the size, capacity, weight, durability, and thickness of the straps or handles, the material, and the lid, grate, or latch of the travel carrier for cats and small dogs in selecting the best. We also looked at how comfortable, breathable, safe, and the existence of ventilation mechanisms of the travel carriers are so that we could come up with a list of the top carriers. Lastly, the price was a matter of our concern as we wanted to select affordable travel carriers for cats and small dogs.

Size

The size of the travel carriers was looked at while trying to consider if the carriers could accommodate the cats and small dogs. Since size goes hand in hand with capacity, we asked the users which travel carriers for cats and small dogs they liked depending on the size for the perfect pet transportation.

Capacity

The capacity of a travel carrier for cats and small dogs helps in ensuring that the pet not only fits but it can also stretch and comfortably sleep in it. This helped in selecting the best pet.

Weight

How heavy a travel carrier affects how the carrier feels when carrying it during travel. This aspect helped in the evaluation of the best travel carriers for cats and small dogs.

Durable Straps or Handle

Proven by time, the straps and handles of the travel carrier for cats and small dogs should be durable. This attribute proved the reliability of the carriers to hold the pets mid-travel.

Thick Straps or Handle

The thickness of the straps or handles of the travel carrier for cats and small dogs helped reduce the pressure from the weight of the carrier on the traveler. Therefore, thicker straps and handles were favored more than thinner straps or handles.

Material

The breathability of the travel carriers for cats and small dogs is influenced by the material of the travel carriers. This material such as cotton helped to allow the pets to sleep easily in the carriers. Other materials promoted the waterproofness of the travel carriers which is a requirement by IATA for international transportation of pets.

Comfort

The owners of pets who happened to use their travel carriers helped in informing the comfort of the travel carriers. This aspect helped in ensuring the pets were in a good condition that is habitable for them to survive.

Breathability

For cats and small dogs, how the travel carrier is breathable helps to keep the pets alive through travel and prevents unprecedented deaths.

Price vs Quality

Since consumers are required to pay for their products and services, the quality-price ratio was used to gauge how valuable the travel carriers for cats and small dogs were per unit price.

Style/Design

As the market bears several styles of pet carriers and designs to match the market trends, we used the customer feedback on their first-hand experiences with the product in choosing the appropriate travel carrier for cats and small dogs.

Ventilation

The travel carriers were evaluated for their efficiency in allowing airflow into and out of the travel carriers for cats and small dogs. The manner of ventilation was scrutinized by experienced customers who helped to pick out the best-performing models.

Safety

The existence of locking zippers, straps, and internal hooks was ascertained for the travel carrier for cats and small dogs under review.

Lid/Grate/Latch

This factor was evaluated and helped to record the presence of either a lid, grate, or latch in travel carriers for cats and small dogs. Their existence helped to ensure that the carriers were safe and sound for the transportation of pets.

Our Picks For You

Our Top Pick - Lands’ End Canvas Tote

Our Top Pick

Lands’ End Canvas Tote

Lands’ End Canvas Tote

Lands’ End Canvas Tote is suitable for small dogs and cats and even children can carry it with ease!

For those who don’t like to drag things along – even their eleven-inch tall dogs – this carrier is more than a relief. It will transform the travel into a secure mission with a safety hook to attach to the dog’s collar on the inside. The Lands’ End Canvas Tote travel carrier for cats and small dogs is made of durable material to withstand the dog’s or cat’s weight. Therefore, this is an exceptional travel carrier as chosen by customers.

Buy Now

Who It's For

This travel carrier bag for cats and small dogs online is for people who don’t need to deal with lids and would like their bag to look like something from the twenty-first century.

Why It's Great

This bag is made of 100% cotton material, which is supplemented by the 100% polyester fleece pad and is breathable and durable. The thick and fourteen-inch long straps serve as the reliable handling mechanism of the carrier which assists in securing the carried cat and small dog coupled with the available hook.

Potential Flaws

These bags being based on all-natural cotton need a thorough cleaning due to the dirt it tends to accumulate over time. The users of this carrier bag were more than pleased to use the bag despite the dirt it encountered.

Other Features

This bag is spacious for small dogs to ensure that the dog is in the best mood possible.

Our Runner-Up - K9 Sport Sack Trainer Backpack

Our Runner-Up

K9 Sport Sack Trainer Backpack

K9 Sport Sack Trainer Backpack

By reducing the traditional travel carrier for cats and small dogs to a backpack, the K9 Sport Sack Trainer revolutionizes pet care and maintenance.

Although this backpack is marketed for dogs, the ventilation gauge on its side makes it possible for it to work with cats too if the traveler prefers cats to dogs. It comes in a wide range of sizes to suit the pet owner by the size of their pet. The K9 Sport Sack Trainer Backpack would perform well when the traveler doesn’t need to walk long distances. It’s a great option for dogs of smaller breeds.

Buy Now

Who It's For

The K9 Sport Sack Trainer Backpack is for people who love their pets so much that they would like to feel their presence throughout their travel.

Why It's Great

This travel carrier for cats and small dogs comes in sizes XS, S, M, and L thus it can accommodate small dogs that are growing. For safety, it offers lumbar support straps, padded shoulder straps, and side cinch straps thus allowing your dog to be securely carried on your back. As it is a backpack, you can enjoy the typical features such as the side water bottle pocket which may keep you and your dog alert as you travel. The sides have ventilation mesh to keep the pet feeling free.

Potential Flaws

Long use of this bag triggers exhaustion to both the traveler and the pet as a customer reported that the customer’s senior dog had grown stiff hind legs after about 40 minutes on the back of the traveler. This confirms the information provided on the manufacturer’s website that this bag should be used for short and non-strenuous activities.

Other Features

It’s a fun item to have for a pet owner as it has some holes for a dog to poke out its front paws which is a fancy thing to have for a pet.

Most Cost-Effective - Sherpa Original Deluxe Carrier

Most Cost-Effective

Sherpa Original Deluxe Carrier

Sherpa Original Deluxe Carrier

The Sherpa Original Deluxe Carrier is approved for use on airplanes and would work well in long car journeys.

This travel carrier for cats and small dogs is the cheapest item we featured in our review. This bag is approved for use on airplanes and conforms to normal car sitting arrangements. The bag has zippers that introduce its notion of safety thus keeping the pet in proper condition during travel. This carrier is an exceptionally affordable pet accessory that you must have!

Buy Now for $34.00

Who It's For

The Sherpa Original Deluxe Carrier is a good choice for people willing to save some money but also targeting to fly their pets.

Why It's Great

The carrier from Sherpa is approved for use on most major US airlines and the small and medium sizes, through Guaranteed on Board®, it assures the carrier that they would get a refund if they’re disallowed to board because of their pet. To prevent the carried dog or cat from escaping it has a locking zipper thus assuring the pets carried are safe and sound.

Potential Flaws

Manufacturers of this travel carrier don't support the replacement or repair of the carrier bag after one year of use thus rendering it an item designated for disposal after such a period. With the fright of losing pets felt by travelers, the interlocking zip or any other part of the bag if it disintegrates or fails should be taken care of which is not the case with this travel carrier for cats and small dogs.

Other Features

The design seems to be great coupled with the high quality it makes the Sherpa Original Deluxe Carrier a bag to choose from!

Almost Made The Cut - Petsfit Expandable Carrier

Almost Made The Cut

Petsfit Expandable Carrier

Petsfit Expandable Carrier

The expandable wire frame of the Petsfit Expandable Carrier together with the strong base helps to carry the pet during travel in an effective manner!

The Petsfit Expandable Carrier is designed to have a dog and cat experience an expanded space. Its frame is made of wire which makes it durable. The base is composed of a board and the plush base cover helps to keep the pet carried comfortably. This carrier is a favorable option for pet owners.

Buy Now for $52.99

Who It's For

This tool will work well with people who can’t imagine a pet crashing down in an enclosed space. Those who think out of the box will find it a worthy piece!

Why It's Great

The Petsfit Expandable Carrier can carry a cat or a dog comfortably and it can be expanded by unzipping its side or entirely collapsed flat if not in use. Its interior is waterproof and has a base cover with two sides suitable for winter and summer.

Potential Flaws

A cat, as reported by a customer, managed to escape from this travel carrier due to its relatively inferior quality of the zipper when compared to the rest of the bag. This flaw was too significant for this travel carrier to land on the list of our top three travel careers thus we had to list the Petsfit Expandable Carrier as the fourth top travel carrier.

Other Features

As the sides can be folded down, dogs especially those that are small have amazing room to move around while peering outside which seals this carrier as a top travel carrier for cats and small dogs.

Care and Maintenance

Before purchasing a travel carrier for cats and small dogs, you can always select a model that is a few inches longer and taller than your pet, preferably 1.5 inches larger. This helps to allow the pet to freely move around, which can be verified physically after purchase. If the pet can’t do anything such as a single turn you may exchange the product for one with a suitable size. To ensure that the travel carrier is comfy for your pet you can use the provided liner, and use your blankets. Treats may help to train the pets that the travel carrier is a good place to stay while traveling. Before moving the travel carrier or even carrying it along as you travel, always ensure that the zippers are well closed and the lid, latch, and cover available are closed securely to prevent escape. Since the pet may escape if the travel carrier is damaged or broken, please avoid using it in such conditions and instead, try to repair or purchase a new travel carrier. Lastly, a pet shouldn’t be left alone in a carrier as it’s an animal that is capable of doing all sorts of unimaginable things.