Best Cheap Cat Carriers - Are you a cat parent on a budget? Do you need a cat carrier that won't break the bank but still provides a safe and comfortable space for your furry friend? Look no further! In this article, we've rounded up the 10 best cheap cat carriers that are both affordable and high-quality. Whether you're traveling to the vet, taking your cat on a road trip, or just need a carrier for everyday use, we've got you covered.
Finding a good quality cat carrier can be a daunting task, especially if you're on a tight budget. But don't worry, we've done the research for you! Our list includes carriers that are not only affordable but also durable, comfortable, and easy to use. So, whether you have a small kitten or a large adult cat, you can find a carrier that fits your needs and your budget. Let's jump in and explore the world of cheap cat carriers!
10 Best Cheap Cat Carriers
1. Petmate Two-Door Cat Kennel
We suggest choosing a pet carriers for cats with a durable construction that offers a well-defined interior space for your feline friend. Among the hard-sided cat carriers we evaluated, our top recommendation is the Petmate Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel. It features a conventional front door and a top-loading door, both equipped with gates that securely close using a dual-spring-loaded latch.
The Petmate Two-Door carrier has a solid structure that can help your cat feel secure and safe, which is super important. Plus, the top door makes it easier to get your cat into the carrier and limits their opportunity to wriggle out before the door is fully shut. Most vets prefer a cat carrier with a top door because it makes their job easier, too.
While the Petmate Two-Door carrier is a bit boxy and cumbersome to carry around like any other hard-sided carrier, it's surprisingly light thanks to its thin plastic and lots of ventilation holes that keep it airy inside. The 24-inch model weighs 6.4 pounds and the 19-inch version weighs 3.8 pounds, without cats inside. Even with an adult cat inside, we found it relatively easy to take in and out of cars or walk short distances.
One thing to keep in mind is that the handle is attached to the top door, which means the weight of the carrier puts pressure on the hinges and steel latch. But we've used it for more than a year without any issues, and the steel wire latch to the top door is easy to align and tell when it's securely closed.
The Petmate Two-Door carrier is made from recycled materials and has surfaces that are easy to wipe clean. The larger option can carry cats up to 20 pounds, making it perfect for most adult cats. Although it's not recommended, we were able to use the carrier safely with two adult cats for a quick trip to the vet. One of our testers even used the Petmate carrier as a temporary den for a foster cat.
Price at time of publish: $40.60
- Useful top-loading door.
- Made with recycled materials.
- Easy to wipe clean.
- Lightweight and airy design.
- Not recommended for pets over 20 pounds.
- Top latch sometimes misaligns.
2. Petseek Extra Large Cat Carrier Soft Sided Folding
For those who own large cats such as Maine Coons or Ragamuffins, or have multiple adult cats, the Petseek Extra Large Cat Carrier is worth considering. It provides ample space for your furry friend to feel comfortable during travel, with an interior that can accommodate up to 55 pounds. Additionally, it's easy to fold up and store away when not in use, making it a convenient option for your next adventure.
This carrier has a rectangular shape like a traditional hard-sided kennel, but what sets it apart is that it can be collapsed and folded almost completely flat. The soft-sided carrier has a steel frame with two cross beams that come apart in the middle for folding. It also comes with a shoulder strap that makes it easy to carry.
What's really cool about this carrier is that it has three doors: one on top, one on the side, and another on the front with a mesh screen that can be rolled up so that the carrier can be used as a little cat house. Plus, there are double zippers at each entrance, accompanied by an additional little clip that lets you lock the zippers together so that they can't be opened. This thoughtful feature helps keep the multiple access points easy to secure. There's also a leash tether inside for further security.
The carrier comes in blue or grey, and can even be used as a car seat for your cat with straps designed to attach to a seatbelt. It also includes a fleece bed that's easy to remove for cleaning. So, if you're looking for a spacious, versatile, and secure carrier for your furry friend, the Petseek Extra Large Cat Carrier might just be the perfect fit!
Price at time of publish: $70
- Suitable for larger cats.
- Foldable for storage.
- Lockable zippers to prevent cat from opening from the inside.
- Top, side, and front door entry.
- Machine washable floor cover.
- Includes exterior pocket and seatbelt loop.
- Fabric sides are vulnerable to cat claws.
3. Frisco Two Door Top Load Plastic Cat Kennel
If you're looking for a classic hard-sided cat carrier that won't break the bank, the Frisco Two-Door Top-Load Plastic Pet Kennel is a great option to consider. It's similar to our top pick, the Petmate Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel, but at a more affordable price point.
While it may not be the most comfortable carrier to carry around, it does provide a secure and cozy space for your cat during essential trips, like visits to the vet. Plus, the top door entry is super convenient. We had a 15-pound Maine Coon test out this carrier and they seemed to enjoy it, even taking a few naps inside!
The Frisco carrier comes in two sizes, Extra-Small and Small, and is made with 95% pre-consumer recycled plastic. There are ventilation slits throughout the carrier and you can easily add a blanket to make it even cozier for your furry friend. You can only find this carrier at Chewy, so head on over there to check it out!
Price at time of publish: $38.18
- Two doors (front and top) for easy entry.
- Made with 95% pre-consumer recycled plastic content.
- Lightweight with ventilation throughout.
- The top door does not stay propped open on its own.
4. Halinfer Expandable Space Capsule Cat Backpack
Are you searching for a convenient way to transport your furry companion? The Halinfer Expandable Space Capsule Cat Backpack is an excellent choice! This backpack enables you to carry your cat comfortably on your back while keeping your hands free.
The backpack is designed to provide enough room for most adult cats to sit upright, and with the expansion open, your full-grown cat will have plenty of space to spread out. The front viewing window is made of clear plastic and has air holes to allow your cat to see and smell the environment around them. It's like a little bubble for your furry friend!
There are additional air holes along the perimeter, and the backpack also has a mesh pocket for storage on one side and a zippered door on the other. While most cats have no issue entering through the side door, some may need a little coaxing. If that's the case, you can unzip the front clear bubble portion of the carrier to give you more space to calmly get your cat inside.
Once you arrive at your destination, you can unzip the mesh expansion to give your cat more space to move around while still keeping them safely contained. The backpack also has a built-in tether to attach to your cat's collar or harness, ensuring they stay securely inside.
Keep in mind that some cats are escape artists, so it's always better to be cautious. With the Halinfer Expandable Space Capsule Cat Backpack, you can transport your furry friend with ease and peace of mind.
Price at time of publish: $35.99
- Easy to carry as a backpack with mesh pocket on the side for storage of small items.
- Bubble viewing window on the front with expandable mesh encasement on the back.
- Leash tether inside to keep cat securely contained.
- Air holes throughout for air circulation.
- Difficult to get adult cats to use the small side door.
5. SportPet Designs Foldable Travel Cat Carrier
If you're looking for a reliable cat carrier that won't occupy too much storage space, then you should consider the SportPet Designs Foldable Travel Cat Carrier! This hard-sided carrier has a distinct triangular shape that provides a durable and comfortable space for your feline companion, unlike traditional rectangular kennels. Additionally, it's incredibly simple to fold and collapse when not in use, making it effortless to store.
Safety is a top priority with this carrier, which is why it locks in place with two latches and two red-colored clips. Made out of durable steel and plastic, it comes in two sizes - extra large and large. The biggest version can even support more than one cat with a maximum weight of 40 pounds! So if you're looking for a reliable and space-saving cat carrier, the SportPet Designs Foldable Travel Cat Carrier is definitely worth considering.
Price at time of publish: $43.00
- Folds and unfolds easily for travel and storage.
- Extra large sized carrier can accommodate more than one cat, up to 40 pounds.
- Easy to wipe clean.
- No zippers.
- Extra large carrier sold out at time of publish.
6. Henkelion Cat Backpack Carrier Bubble
The Henkenlion Cat Backpack Carrier Bubble Bag is a great option for those seeking an affordable and comfortable carrier for their feline friend. However, it's important to note that if your cat is on the larger side (weighing ten pounds or more), this carrier may not provide enough room. We tested it out with a nine-pound cat and they appeared to be comfortable, but we wouldn't suggest using it for extended travel with a larger cat.
One of the coolest features of this carrier is the clear, round plastic front that allows your cat to see the world around them. There are also air ventilation holes on the front and sides, along with a handy mesh pocket. Inside, you'll find a removable pad and a leash tether to keep your cat safe and secure. And don't worry about comfort - the shoulder straps are padded and adjustable, and there's even a chest strap for extra support and weight distribution.
Overall, the Henkenlion Cat Backpack Carrier Bubble Bag is a great option for those on a budget who want to take their feline friend on an adventure. Just make sure to consider your cat's size and needs before making a purchase!
Price at time of publish: $39.99
- Available in seven colors.
- Padded shoulder straps and chest strap for weight distribution of carrier.
- Zippered entry through side mesh door or front bubble.
- Leash tether and removal pad inside.
- Too small for larger cats (maximum weight of 10 pounds).
7. Sturdi Products Bag Pet Carrier
The Sturdi Products Bag Carrier is a great option for those seeking a way to keep their cat calm during travel. It's designed with a breathable exterior that's mostly opaque, which is perfect for keeping your furry friend incognito. Additionally, the top and side mesh panels come with optional privacy panels, providing your cat with a sense of safety and security.
The bag is designed to be loosely structured, so it can easily fit under most commercial flights' seats. However, it's always a good idea to double-check with your flight provider to make sure. You'll love that it comes in a variety of colors to choose from, and it even has a removable fleece pad that's held in place with a hook and loop strap.
One of the best things about this carrier is how lightweight it is, weighing in at only two and a half pounds. And don't worry about your cat figuring out how to escape - the bag has lockable zippers to keep them safely inside. So, if you want to keep your cat comfy and secure during travel, the Sturdi Products Bag Carrier is definitely worth considering.
Price at time of publish: $80.99
- Very lightweight, a little over two pounds without a cat inside.
- Available in a variety of colors.
- Keeps pet hidden and limits exposure to potential triggers.
- Lockable zippers.
- The flexible structure might make it challenging to get some cats inside the bag.
8. EliteField Soft Sided Pet Carrier
We highly recommend the EliteField Soft-Sided Airline-Approved Cat Carrier Bag as a great option for those looking for an airline-approved carrier for their cat. This carrier is constructed from lightweight, yet sturdy material making it easy to carry while also ensuring the safety of your furry friend. Additionally, it features mesh netting on the front and sides that allows for proper ventilation and light.
One of our favorite features of this carrier is the seat belt loop and luggage strap, which make it easy to secure during travel. And, it comes with a removable plush mat to keep your cat cozy and comfortable. The carrying handles and padded shoulder strap also ensure that you'll be comfortable during your pet travel.
Another great feature is the extra accessory pocket, which is perfect for keeping any valuables close by. Plus, it comes in six different colors and is machine washable for easy cleaning.
The only downside we found with this carrier is that it might be a bit too small for larger breeds of cats, so keep that in mind when making your decision. Overall, we think the EliteField Soft-Sided Airline-Approved Cat Carrier Bag is a fantastic choice for any cat owner on the go.
Price at time of publish: $32.99
- Durable mesh windows.
- Removable plush mat.
- Extra accessory pocket.
- Machine washable.
- Too small for some cats.
9. Petmate Single Door Collapsible Soft-Sided Cat Crate
The Petmate Single Door Collapsible Soft-Sided Dog/Cat Crate is a functional and affordable carrier that could be an excellent option for your cat. It's ideal for vet appointments and road trips, and its collapsible design allows for easy set up in just a few seconds.
This carrier is made with heavy-duty, water-resistant nylon fabric and includes two mesh windows for ventilation. If your kitty needs a bit more privacy, the windows also come with covers. Plus, there are storage pockets for treats and a foam pad to keep your cat cozy and comfortable.
However, it's important to note that this carrier may not be the best option for airline travel since it's fairly flimsy and a determined cat could potentially rip the door open. Also, keep in mind that even the largest size is only suitable for small cats.
Price at time of publish: $40.98
- Water-resistant nylon construction.
- Mesh windows with covers.
- Extra storage pocket.
- Foam pad liner.
- Flimsy construction.
10. Maskeyon Airline Approved Pet Carrier
If you're considering traveling with your beloved pet, the Maskeyon Airline Approved Carrier could be an ideal option for you! This carrier is specifically designed to ensure your cat's comfort and safety during most commercial flights (but do remember to confirm with your airline provider beforehand).
One of the coolest features of this carrier is its expandable mesh panels on two sides. These panels can be unzipped to give your cat more space to stretch and move around while you wait to board. And the best part? These built-in sections will nearly double the amount of space your cat has without adding any bulk or weight.
We've personally tried and tested this carrier and found it to be super easy to carry with the padded shoulder strap, and the removable padded mat inside kept our cat comfortable throughout the journey. The carrier's interior and exterior are also very breathable and easy to wipe clean, making it perfect for long travels. Plus, it offers entry through a zippered top panel and side panel, making it easier to get your cat in and out.
Overall, we highly recommend the Maskeyon Airline Approved Carrier for pet owners who want to keep their cats safe and comfy while traveling.
Price at time of publish: $59.99
- Top and side entry through zippered panels.
- Expandable mesh covered sides.
- Padded shoulder strap and padded mat included.
- We found the carrier difficult to move with the extensions open and a cat inside.
Tips for Choosing the Right Cat Carrier
As a cat lover, you know that your furry friend deserves the best. And when it comes to traveling with your cat, choosing the right carrier is crucial. But with so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to decide which one to choose, especially if you're on a budget. In this article, we'll discuss what to look for in a cheap cat carrier, so you can find one that is both affordable and comfortable for your feline companion.
1. Size and Weight
The first thing to consider when looking for a cat carrier is the size and weight. You want to make sure that the carrier is big enough for your cat to move around comfortably, but not so big that it's difficult to carry. The carrier should also be lightweight enough to make it easy to transport, especially if you're traveling by plane or public transportation.
2. Material and Durability
The material and durability of the carrier are also important factors to consider. A good cat carrier should be made of sturdy materials that can withstand wear and tear. Look for carriers made of durable plastic, nylon, or canvas. These materials are lightweight, easy to clean, and can withstand scratches and bites from your cat.
Proper ventilation is crucial for your cat's comfort and safety during travel. Look for carriers that have plenty of ventilation holes or mesh windows to allow for proper airflow. This will prevent your cat from getting overheated or feeling claustrophobic during travel.
4. Security Features
Another important factor to consider when choosing a cat carrier is the security features. You want to make sure that your cat is safe and secure during travel, so look for carriers that have secure latches or locks. Some carriers also have additional safety features, such as seatbelt straps or tether clips, which can provide added security during car rides.
5. Ease of Cleaning
Let's face it, cats can be messy creatures. That's why it's important to choose a carrier that is easy to clean. Look for carriers that have removable and washable liners or pads. This will make it easy to clean up any accidents or spills that may occur during travel.
6. Comfort Features
Finally, you want to make sure that your cat is comfortable during travel. Look for carriers that have padded bottoms or removable cushions to provide extra comfort. Some carriers also have additional features, such as pockets or toys, to keep your cat entertained during travel.
Choosing the right cat carrier is essential for a safe and comfortable travel experience for both you and your furry friend. When looking for a cheap cat carrier, consider the size and weight, material and durability, ventilation, security features, ease of cleaning, and comfort features. With these factors in mind, you can find a carrier that is both affordable and comfortable for your cat. Remember, your cat's safety and comfort should always come first, so don't skimp on quality when it comes to choosing a carrier.
What can I use instead of a cat carrier?
There are several alternatives to a cat carrier that you can use to transport your cat, but it's important to keep in mind that a cat carrier is the safest and most comfortable way to transport your cat. Here are some alternatives you can consider:
- Cardboard box: You can use a sturdy cardboard box with air holes as a temporary carrier for your cat.
- Laundry basket: A laundry basket with a secure lid can be used to transport your cat.
- Backpack or tote bag: You can use a backpack or tote bag that is designed for carrying pets.
- Harness and leash: You can train your cat to wear a harness and leash and use it to transport your cat.
It's important to remember that these alternatives may not be as safe or comfortable for your cat as a carrier, so it's best to use them only when necessary and for short periods of time. Additionally, be sure to secure your cat in the alternative carrier to prevent escape or injury.
Do cats prefer hard or soft carriers?
Cats may have different preferences when it comes to carriers, but in general, most cats prefer soft carriers over hard carriers. Soft carriers tend to be more comfortable and cozy for cats, and they can also be easier to carry and transport. However, some cats may feel more secure in hard carriers, especially if they are used to them or if they have a tendency to scratch or chew on soft materials. Ultimately, the best carrier for your cat will depend on their individual preferences and needs. It's a good idea to introduce your cat to a carrier early on and gradually acclimate them to it, regardless of whether it's a hard or soft carrier.
How do I transport my cat to the vet without a carrier?
It is not recommended to transport your cat to the vet without a carrier, as it can be dangerous for both you and your cat. Cats can become scared or agitated in unfamiliar environments, and they may try to run away or hide. Without a carrier, your cat may be at risk of escaping or getting injured during transport.
If you do not have a carrier, you can try using a sturdy cardboard box or a laundry basket lined with a soft blanket or towel. However, keep in mind that these alternatives may not be as secure or comfortable for your cat as a proper carrier. It's important to make sure that the box or basket is large enough for your cat to move around in, but not so large that they can escape or get injured.
It's also a good idea to acclimate your cat to the carrier before transport by leaving it out in a familiar area and encouraging your cat to explore it and use it as a comfortable space. This can help reduce stress and anxiety during transport.
Should you put a towel over cat carrier?
Yes, putting a towel over a cat carrier can help to make your cat feel more comfortable and secure during travel. The towel can provide a sense of privacy for your cat and can also help to block out any bright lights or distractions that might be stressful for your pet. Additionally, the towel can help to absorb any accidents or spills that might occur during travel, making the carrier easier to clean and maintain. However, make sure that the towel is not too thick or heavy, as this can restrict airflow and make it difficult for your cat to breathe.
Can you put a cat in a pillowcase?
No, it is not recommended to put a cat in a pillowcase. It can be dangerous for the cat as it can cause them to become trapped or tangled, leading to injury or suffocation. Additionally, it can be very stressful for the cat, as they may feel trapped and unable to move or escape. If you need to transport your cat, it is best to use a proper cat carrier or other safe and secure method of transportation. This will help to ensure that your cat stays safe and comfortable during travel.
Can I use a backpack as a cat carrier?
Yes, a backpack can be used as a cat carrier as long as it has proper ventilation, enough space for your cat to move around comfortably, and is secure enough to prevent your cat from escaping. However, it is important to note that not all backpacks are suitable for carrying cats, and it is recommended to use a backpack that is specifically designed for pets or has been tested to be safe for pet transport. Additionally, it is important to make sure that your cat is comfortable and safe in the backpack carrier, and to introduce them to the carrier gradually to help them feel more comfortable.
Can I make a cat carrier?
Yes, you can make a cat carrier at home using materials such as cardboard, fabric, or plastic containers. However, it is important to ensure that the carrier is safe and secure for your cat and that it provides adequate ventilation and space for your cat to move around comfortably. Additionally, it is recommended to use materials that are non-toxic and easy to clean. You can find many DIY cat carrier tutorials online that provide step-by-step instructions for making a carrier at home. However, keep in mind that a professionally designed cat carrier is typically the safest and most comfortable option for your cat, especially for long journeys.
Can you carry a cat in a tote bag?
Yes, you can carry a cat in a tote bag as one of the alternative options for transporting your cat. However, it's important to make sure that the tote bag is made of sturdy material and has enough ventilation to ensure the safety and comfort of your cat during transport. It's also important to make sure that the tote bag is properly secured and that your cat cannot escape or jump out of it. Additionally, it's recommended to only use a tote bag for short trips and to never leave your cat unattended while in the bag.
Do cats like going on walks in backpacks?
Some cats may enjoy going on walks in backpacks, while others may not. It really depends on the individual cat's personality and preferences. Some cats may feel more comfortable and secure in a backpack, while others may feel anxious or stressed. It's important to introduce your cat to the backpack gradually and make sure that they are comfortable with it before taking them on a walk. You can start by letting your cat explore the backpack while it's stationary, and then gradually progress to taking short walks around the house or yard. It's important to monitor your cat's behavior and body language during the walks and to stop if they show signs of distress or discomfort. Additionally, it's recommended to use a harness and leash in addition to the backpack to ensure the safety and security of your cat.
Why do cats like carrier bags?
Cats may be attracted to carrier bags for a few reasons. Firstly, the crinkly sound of the bag may pique their curiosity and make them want to investigate. Secondly, the bag may have the scent of something interesting or familiar to the cat, such as food or their owner's scent. Additionally, the enclosed space of the bag may make the cat feel safe and secure, as it provides a cozy and confined space for them to curl up in. However, it's important to note that carrier bags are not safe for cats to play with or be left unsupervised with, as they can pose a choking hazard or lead to accidental suffocation. It's always best to provide your cat with safe and appropriate toys and play areas.
How do you bring a cat in a bag?
It's not recommended to bring a cat in a regular bag, as it can be unsafe and uncomfortable for the cat. Instead, you should use a carrier specifically designed for cats. Here are the steps to bring a cat in a carrier:
- Choose a carrier that is the appropriate size for your cat and is comfortable and secure. Make sure it has good ventilation and is made of sturdy materials.
- Place a soft blanket or towel inside the carrier to make it more comfortable for your cat.
- If your cat is not used to being in a carrier, try to get them comfortable with it by leaving it open in a familiar area for a few days before you need to use it.
- When it's time to put your cat in the carrier, gently coax them inside using treats or toys. You can also try placing them in the carrier back-end first.
- Once your cat is inside the carrier, secure the door and make sure it's latched properly.
- If you're traveling by car, make sure the carrier is secured with a seatbelt or other restraint to prevent it from moving around.
Remember to always prioritize your cat's safety and comfort when transporting them.
Should I let my cat play with a plastic bag?
No, it is not safe to let your cat play with a plastic bag. Plastic bags can be a suffocation hazard for cats, as they can become entangled in the bag and unable to breathe. Additionally, cats may ingest small pieces of plastic from the bag, which can cause digestive issues or even blockages. It is best to keep plastic bags out of your cat's reach and provide them with safe and appropriate toys to play with.
Do cats like being in a carrier?
Cats have different personalities and preferences, so it's difficult to generalize whether all cats like being in a carrier. However, many cats may initially feel uncomfortable or anxious when placed in a carrier, especially if they are not used to it. This is because carriers are often associated with trips to the vet or other stressful situations.
That being said, with proper training and positive reinforcement, many cats can become comfortable and even enjoy being in a carrier. It's important to choose a carrier that is the right size for your cat, and to make it a comfortable and familiar space by adding soft bedding and toys. You can also try placing treats or food inside the carrier to encourage your cat to go in voluntarily. Gradually increasing the amount of time your cat spends in the carrier and taking short trips around the house can also help them to become more comfortable with it.
Why are cats scared of cat carriers?
Cats can be scared of cat carriers for a variety of reasons. One reason is that the carrier may be associated with negative experiences, such as trips to the vet or being left alone for long periods of time. Additionally, cats may feel trapped or confined in the carrier, which can be stressful for them. Some cats may also be afraid of the unfamiliar smells or sounds associated with the carrier. It's important for cat owners to take steps to help their cats feel more comfortable with carriers, such as gradually introducing them to the carrier in a positive way and providing a comfortable and familiar space inside the carrier.cat
After some extensive research and testing, we've discovered the best cheap cat carriers that won't break the bank. If you're looking for a carrier that will make your furry friend feel comfortable and secure while traveling, then the Petmate Two-Door Cat Kennel is the one for you! This carrier is not only well-made and sturdy, but it's also super affordable. We've named it the best overall product because it's designed to meet all your cat's needs.
But wait, there's more! If you're on a tight budget but still want a high-quality carrier, then we recommend the EliteField Soft Sided Pet Carrier. This carrier is versatile, functional, and offers great value for money. Whether you're planning a road trip or just taking your cat to the vet, this carrier is an excellent choice. So, what are you waiting for? Get your paws on one of these carriers and take your cat on its next adventure!