Best Cat Carriers For Nervous Cats & Long Distance Travel: 2023 Reviews & Guide

Last Updated on June 9, 2023 by Georgie Smith

It is not uncommon for a cat to be nervous and cautious of strange events, people, and noises. However, eventually, they grow accustomed to their surroundings and the new people they are around. One thing about all cats that are nervous, they suffer from anxiety at all times.

Stress on this level can lead to causing physical illness, such as lower urinary tract infections. If you need to travel with your cat or even provide her with a safe place to go when she feels overwhelmed, there is hope. Thanks to a cat carrier for nervous cats, both you and your cat can find peace.

Aiding your cat in overcoming being anxious will help her feel more comfortable and confident that she is safe. With a cat carrier, you can even take her outside for fresh outdoor air and she feel safe and secure.

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You can also help to improve her health by making her feel safe when she is in a strange environment. However, when you have a cat that is nervous, working with her can often be challenging, as most cats use aggression to express anxiety.

What is a Cat Carrier for Nervous Cats?

pet carrier for cats is a small crate, cage, or box that you can use to transport your cat and other small animals. There are two primary types of carriers. One has a front opening that has a metal door, and the other has a top opener. The top opening type is basically a cage with a hinged top.

You will learn about other styles as well in this article. A cat carrier for nervous cats comes in many different shapes and styles. Other than plain metal cages, some types are decorated with comfy covers to make it even more accommodating.

No matter what the style is that you choose, most carriers have a handle on the top. Although, some are small enough to fit under the person’s arm. Whichever style you choose will help keep your cat calm when you want to travel with her.

How to Choose?

While there are many types of carriers – starting with soft styles – to the hard plastic style and, others in between. The most crucial factor is choosing the right one based on your cat. If your cat is a tad bit feisty, for instance, you may need a cat carrier that has multiple ways of entering.

The reason is that it is often easier to place the cat in the carrier through the top and not attempt to coax her in via the standard front door. If you have a cat that loves to scratch, a hard plastic carrier would be more secure and durable.

The reason why is if your scratch-happy kitty is in a fabric carrier, it will be worn down and torn up over time.

Cats can be pretty smart with finding avenues to escape. Do not be surprised if you notice she can squeeze herself out, so be sure to find something sturdy. Keep in mind that the carrier will need cleaning from time to time. That is vital if your kitty is prone to car sickness.

Many fabric cat carriers have hard bases that are removable for cleaning. The remaining fabric carriers are simple to wash in the washing machine. However, you will more than likely need to clean the base by hand. If you settle on a hard-plastic carrier, you can easily clean it by hosing and wiping it dry.

Before we dig more in-depth into the topic of how to choose your cat carrier, let’s take a look at the different options available. That will give you a better understanding of which style offers the most features you need to make your kitty happy.

The following are the Top 5 Best Cat Carriers for Nervous Cats and Long-Distance Travel (Large & Small Sizes):

Picture Product Name Features
PetLuv Travel Cat Crate PetLuv Travel Cat Crate Perfect for Travel, Vet Trips and “Cat-Naps”
Item Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 16 in
Size: Medium – Large
Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel Ideal for small pets
Item Dimensions 24.05 x 16.76 x 14.5 in
Size: 24″
Expandable Pet Carrier by Pet Peppy Expandable Pet Carrier by Pet Peppy For Cats/Dogs/Kittens/Puppies
Item Dimensions: 17.91 x 6 x 2 in
Size: 18x11x11
AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier For safe transport of pets
16.5x10x10 inches (LxWxH)
Luxury Soft-Sided Cat Carrier Luxury Soft-Sided Cat Carrier For most cats, puppies & other small pets
Product dimensions: 18″ x 11″ x 10″
Size: Large

PetLuv Soothing Happy Pet Premium Soft-Sided Cat & Dog Carrier & Travel Crate

Here we have the PetLuv Travel Cat Crate that comes with zippers that lock and a comfortable plush pillow. It also has Four interior windows allowing plenty of fresh air to flow through at all times. The PetLuv travel crate has a sunroof that offers plenty of sunshine to help reduce anxiety.

This product has an ultra-soft overstuffed plush sleep pillow and is fluffy enough to calm even the worst cases of anxiety. The pillow is nice and thick and color-coordinated to match the crate. The crate itself is 24”x16” and 16” deep. Plenty of room to make your little feline relax in style.

The PetLuv Soothing Happy Pet Premium Soft-Sided Cat & Dog Carrier is the perfect answer for when you need to travel, visit the vet, or just for a lazy napping day. It has locking zippers ensuring even the smartest fellows cannot escape. With four times the space as other brands, the PetLuv crate is the perfect fit to make you and your kitty remain calm.

With the PetLuv crate, your cat will be the envy of all the neighborhood cats simply because she will be traveling in style. When you take the panoramic views, add the ventilated mesh doors that lock, what else could any cat dream of having?

There is so much more to this carrier, and you can read the details right here as well as make your purchase from the most trusted, reliable e-commerce in the world, Amazon.

PetLuv Travel Cat Crate

   Buy On Amazon

Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel

Next on the list is the Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel. This carrier offers plenty of room and easy access for your cat. Petmate guarantees your cat, even kittens, will enjoy having plenty of visibility and ventilation.

If you have a pet that you need to house train, this crate from Petmate is the perfect tool to do the trick. It has a front door that is sturdy with a wing-nut-bolt design with a secure latch for double protection of escaping.

This pet kennel also has a top door made of plastic and steel wire to provide combined visibility, safety, and strength. The Petmate Two Door Kennels dimension is 21” x 14.75” x 13.25” making it perfect for small cats that are no more than seven inches tall and fifteen inches long.

To find out about the different color options and to make your purchase, click here:

Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel

   Buy On Amazon

Premium Airline Approved Expandable Pet Carrier by Pet Peppy

Third on the list is the Expandable Pet Carrier by Pet Puppy. The makers at Pet Puppy are proud of their upscale pet carriers. Moreover, if you look at all it has to offer, you will quickly see why. This Pet carrier offers your cat plenty of room. Thanks to its two walls that open and expand out, adding some room for your feline to move around with ease.

Not only will your cat have extra room to move around, but, she can also lay down and stretch out or even invite a friend over to play. In other words, your cat will be the envy of the neighborhood.

The Premium Airline Approved Expandable Pet Carrier by Pet Peppy has a mesh lining to provide her with a way to always see you, keeping her happy and calm. Two doors zip to provide easy access. There is also a continuous flow of fresh air to help ensure plenty of oxygen and the prevention of overheating.

For carrying small items such as treats, there are side pockets. The carrier is airline friendly and has adjustable straps and a handle that you can attach to your luggage for easy mobility to move around. Your cat will have plenty of room to lay down and relax thanks to the expandable space.

This pet carrier is one product that you will want to read the rest of the details as well as order your’s today. You can do both by clicking here:

Expandable Pet Carrier by Pet Peppy

   Buy On Amazon

AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier

This carrier is a leader in many ways. First, all four sides are mesh which allows ample amount of ventilation, providing plenty of fresh air. Also, the mesh makes it simple for your cat always to have a perfect view from any side.

This carrier comes with a fleece bed to keep her comfy and cozy while napping. The bed is simple to remove and is machine-wash safe. This soft-sided pet carrier is always a fantastic choice for anyone who wants nothing less than top-of-the-line for their cat.

Whether you are traveling by car, plane, or merely routine trips to you vet’s office, AmazonBasics is the perfect fit. The all black, sleek, leader of the pack is all you need to make your cat feel safe, sound, and relaxed.

Amazon is the most trust platform to buy anything you need with the best prices and the best guarantee of customer satisfaction. Get your carrier today!

You can read more about the AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier and get your order in right here:

AmazonBasics Soft Sided Pet Travel Carrier

   Buy On Amazon

Luxury Soft-Sided Cat Carrier [Airline TSA Approved]- Pet Travel Portable Kennel

Last on our list is the Pet Travel Portable Kennel by Pet Magasin. Cats and other pets love the padded interior of this soft carrier. Cats appreciate the hard floor of this style because it makes them feel secure and steady on their feet which makes the ride less stressful.

Owners of Cats of all size that dislike their carrier find the Luxury Soft-sided Cat Carrier relaxing. The padded interior is so soft and relaxing enough that many make it their favorite napping spot. The durable and sturdy carrier is not only soft and light weighted, but you can fold it flat for easy storage.

If you are the owner of a dog or a hefty cat, thanks to the firm floor under the padding, your pet will feel stable and secure. The interior material is waterproof which makes it so simple to clean both inside and out.

For those long walks outdoors, you will be thankful for the padded shoulder strap and the suitcase-style carry handle.

If you have a cat that loves to make a run for it the second you open the doors, fear no more. With this carrier from Pet Magasin, you get a short leash that clips right on any collar. With the mesh pouch on the outside of the carrier, you have easy access to a bag of treats, travel necessities, and a leash.

The people of Pet Magasin take pride in their ability to bring quality pet products to pet owners. Feel free to go to this link to read more about this superior product and making your always secure purchase from Amazon.

There you have it, the five leaders in Pet Carriers available on the market. Another tip is that you make your nervous cat’s carrier a fun place to be. One of the most prominent mistakes cat owners do is make the carrier just for trips to the vet.

That is when you will see your cat turn aggressive and attempt to escape. To prevent this, turn your cat’s carrier into a positive association. Put toys, her favorite blanket and treats inside which will lead her to feel safe and calm.

Luxury Soft-Sided Cat Carrier

   Buy On Amazon

How to Get an Aggressive Cat into a Carrier?

No matter how sweet your cat is, when she is desperate, she can be independent, elusive, and crafty. However, that is why we love them. Its those personality traits can cause issues when it comes to keeping their health in top shape.

More and more chronic medical issues are popping up, and cats, in particular, are the leaders in hiding illness. What that means is cat owners may not see physical signs of there being something wrong. Keeping vet appointments to do regular comprehensive exams and preventive care is vital. That will be your best strategy to detect diseases and start treatment.

However, as a cat owner myself, we all know the struggle of getting our cats in a carrier and to the vet. Let’s take a look at the following guideline that will help you with a better experience for both you and your cat.

Choose Wisely When Shopping for a Carrier

When you begin shopping for a carrier, be sure to buy one that is specifically for pet transportation. If you use a makeshift carrier such as a pillowcase (yes, it happens), or a laundry basket, neither is nowhere close to being safe. What you may do is traumatize her even more which sets off anxiety.

Carriers that are acceptable are the ones that come in soft-sides or hard plastic. You can go one step further and buy one such the ones mentioned that help keep anxiety at bay.

The following are considerations to consider when choosing a carrier for your cat: 

  • When you are just starting out, hard-sided carriers are the best to buy. Also, buy one like the ones mentioned above that open from the front and the top.
  • Look for a soft-sided carrier that is easy to handle, smaller and is light-weight. These type open from the side and the top.
  • Whichever one you choose, ensure it comes apart easily. The purpose is for those cats that will not come out of the carrier on their own or for sick and in pain kitties.

Introduce Your Cat to the Carrier

Cats are not really big on exposure to new or uncomfortable environments. Come to think of it, can we really blame them? First, introduce the cat long before you need to use it for her transportation. Make sure the place you introduce the two is secure, familiar, and pleasant. That will help her feel safe and comfortable around and in the pet carrier.

Follow These Tips to familiarize Your Cat to the Carrier:

  • Place the carrier in a desirable place for the cat such as a couch or in the sunlight
  • Put a soft towel (absorbent) in the bottom or a soft blanket
  • Place some of you cats favorite food or treats in the carrier
  • Use a pheromone wipe or spray (such as Feliway) to aid with calming your cat
  • Leave the carrier open to let the cat get comfortable going inside and out
  • Once your cat chooses the carrier intentionally as a hiding place, close the door for limited periods of time starting for a few seconds
  • Make the carrier comfortable for feeding, play location, and Keep the cat transport carrier out where she has access in the home, not only when you need to take your cat somewhere.

Start Off Slow and Easy

If your cat has not had any time to be acquainted to the carrier and you are struggling with getting her to go inside, these following steps will help. The procedure below with help you safely put her in her cat carrier carefully.

Place the crate on its end where the open door is facing the ceiling. Next, place a towel in the bottom so that it will soak up the urine if she urinates. You want to keep your cat as dry as possible.

Pick her up under her front legs and use your other hand to support her bottom. Lower her rear-end in first, so she will not feel as though you are forcing her into somewhere that she has no way out. That is when anxiety kicks in the most.

Next, close the door and be sure the latch is secure, then set the carrier in the correct position. Cover the carrier with a light blanket or towel.

How to Help Your Nervous Cat

Helping your nervous cat gain her confidence takes much persistence and patience on the owner’s part. While it may be tempting to try to reassure her when she is overstimulated, that only increases her timid behavior.

What you can do is offer her rewards for calming her behavior instead. You need to stay calm and do not make her the center of the household. Cats are quite sensitive to the energy and activity in the home. When more tension releases in the air, they know when something is going on.

In other words, there should not be tip-toeing or speaking in hushed voices. You may do this thinking you are not scaring your cat, but, what you are actually doing is increasing her anxiety level. Also, when you try pulling her from her favorite hiding place, you are really stirring her anxiety.

Instead, try using interactive play to get her to come out of her shell. Make the play-time 10-15 minutes, two times each day. You can use light up lasers or toys such as fishing pole toys. Both are excellent for getting your cat to interact and build her confidence. When that happens, she will want to bond with her humans.


Q: Why does my cat lick me all the time? Is she sick?

A: No-when your cat likes you she is telling you that she likes you – very much.

Q: Why do Cats knead?

A: Cats knead because it feels good on their claws and it comforts them at the same time.

Q: Why does my cat bite when I rub her?

A: When cats are babies we gladly let them baby bite our hands. The problem is, once we start, it’s our fault that they continue biting when they are adults.


Having a cat that has anxiety issues is hard on both the cat and its owner. Any parent of a family pet wants to offer everything possible to help their pet get through a panic attack. That is even if it means putting it in a crate to provide her with a safe environment to calm her.

Cat carriers for nervous cats is an excellent idea even for cats that simply like to go places. My aim with this article is to help you decide which type is perfect for both you and your cat. Be sure to read more about each product by clicking the link I have provided.  Buy one today to get the ball rolling on helping your nervous cat live a calmer life.

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