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7 BEST Airline Approved CABIN-Friendly Cat Carriers [2019]

Nowadays, many airlines allow cats to travel in the cabin with their owners.

If you want to fly with your cat in the cabin of the plane, you will have to ensure that you have an appropriate carrier.

Not only do airlines have very specific requirements when it comes to cat carriers, you want to ensure that the journey is comfortable for your feline friend.

There is an abundance of cat carriers to choose from, so we’ve put together a list of the top 7 on the market.

For information on the airline requirements, scroll down past the carriers.




7 Best Cat Carriers for In-Cabin Travel

DadyPet Pet Carrier

This soft-sided carrier is our top choice for anyone who wants only the best for their little VIP (very important pet)! The DADYPET cat carrier is great quality and has lots of helpful features, listed below. With expandable sides and a cosy removable bed, your cat will feel safe and secure in his/her new travel home.

This cat carrier is versatile too, including two connecting loop handles for balanced carrying and for functioning as a dual seatbelt/luggage strap for secure transport. There is also an adjustable shoulder strap for hands-free carrying.

SIZE: 45 x 33 x 28 cm
WEIGHT: 1.72 kg

Key Features

  • Expandable – 65% expandable! Unzip one side of the carrier to allow your kitty nearly double the space. 
  • Multiple doors – a rooftop door as well as a front door. 
  • Breathable material – both doors are made from a breathable mesh.
  • Flatpack – flat folds to store under your bed, wardrobe, or your suitcase when you’re not using it.
  • Comfortable floorboard – padded fleece rug with rigid board is comfortable to support your kitty.
  • 2 storage pockets – large mesh pocket to store treats, bowls, toys, boxes, disposable canine waste garbage bags.

Jet Setter V4 Pet Carrier

The Jet Setter V4 is also a great choice! This cat carrier has been made with your kitty in mind, with a comfortable cosy floor which which extends to the expandable areas on both sides.

Furthermore, it has a lot of helpful features to make your life easier. With a long strap as well as two short straps, you can carry it handsfree if you wish. Additionally, there are storage pockets on the side to keep treats, food and bowls, among other things. It’s also lightweight, durable, and folds flat so you can hide it away when not in use.

SIZE: 46cm x 30.5cm x 28cm
WEIGHT: 1.77kg

Key Features

  • Expandable – expandable on both sides of carrier to give your kitty lots of extra room.
  • Multiple doors – rooftop door, as well as a side door so you can easily access your kitty.
  • Breathable material – both the rooftop and front doors are made from breathable material.
  • Self Lock zippers – self locking zippers that are ultra high quality and will not fray or rip.
  • Flatpack – folds flat so you can store it away at home or at the hotel.
  • Storage – mesh pockets on the side to store treats, food, containers, toys etc.
  • Scratch-proof – no need to worry about your cat carrier getting damaged.

Siivton Pet Carrier

This SIIVTON cat carrier is softlight weighted, and can be folded flat for storage. All 4 sides are expandable to give your kitty extra room for comfort. It has been designed with high quality durable materials and features a comfortable fleece padded bed.

You can wear the pet carrier on your arm, over the shoulder or placed atop your luggage or carry it with the top handle.

SIZE: 45 x 26.5 x 13 cm
WEIGHT: 1.54 kg

Key Features

  • Expandable – easy to unzip four sides to create extra room in the cat carrier. Allows your cat to move around more comfortably and reduces the anxiety of confinement.
  • Multiple doors – with zippers on both top and side, your feline friend can be put in and out of the carrier easily.
  • Breathable materialthe mesh windows allow plenty of ventilation.
  • Rigid floorboardmake cats feel steady if the carrier is jostled about.
  • Removable pet bed – the cozy fleece pet bed can be completely removed and machine-washed.
  • Waterproof exterior – made from a nylon waterproof material to protect your cat in all weather conditions.

Mr. Peanut’s Double Expandable Airline Approved Soft Sided Pet Carrier

 Mr Peanut Pet carrier has received fantastic reviews, and for good reason. It is a popular choice among cat owners, and cats, made with the owners and cats in mind. The removable soft fleece base and breathable mesh windows makes cats feel secure and comfortable on their journeys. Additionally, the expandable sides give cats extra room to stretch out while they rest.

It’s also lightweight for you, made from a durable material, and it’s flatpack! Furthermore, it also features a long shoulder strap if you need to go handsfree.

SIZE: 39.9 x 23.6 x 21.6 cm
WEIGHT: 1.2kg

Key Features

  • Expandable – easy to unzip four sides to create extra room in the cat carrier. Allows your cat to move around more comfortably and reduces the anxiety of confinement.
  • Multiple doors – with zippers on both top and side, your feline friend can be put in and out of the carrier easily.
  • Breathable materialplenty of  mesh windows to allow lots of ventilation.
  • Rigid floorboardmake cats feel steady if the carrier is jostled about.
  • Removable pet bed – the cozy fleece pet bed can be completely removed and machine-washed.
  • Waterproof exterior – made from a nylon waterproof material to protect your cat in all weather conditions.
  • Flatpack – folds down completely flat so it is easy so store when not in use.
  • Lockable zipper – no need to worry about your kitty escaping this carrier.

AmazonBasics Black Soft-Sided Pet Carrier

Help your pet arrive safely and in style with this AmazonBasics soft-sided pet carrier. Designed to keep your pet protected, secure, and comfortable, the sleek, all-black pet carrier works well when travelling by plane or car or for routine trips to the vet.

Don’t be fooled by the price, although it is cheap it doesn’t lack quality and durability! The carrier provides two connecting loop handles for balanced carrying and for functioning as a dual seatbelt/luggage strap. An adjustable shoulder strap comes included for hands-free carrying.

SIZE: 43 x 24 x 25 cm
WEIGHT: 1.07 kg

Key Features

  • Breathable material all around – mesh ventilation on all four sides not only provides adequate airflow, but also easy viewing.
  • Rigid floorboard – removable base insert, which creates a solid surface for your pet to stand on.
  • Removable, machine-washable base – the fleece bed offers a cosy sleeping space for your travelling cat.
  • Lightweight – weighing only 1kg it’s easy to carry.

Petsfit Fabric Foldable Backpack

This is a top choice for those who prefer to have their hands-free. This foldable backpack is made with padded, adjustable straps, as well as a chest strap, for extra comfort. It’s sturdy and durable so you cat can feel secure and comfortable in his/her carrier.

Each side features a window made from breathable mesh material, so your cat won’t feel claustrophobic.

SIZE: 43 x 32 x 29 cm
WEIGHT: 1.6 kg

Key Features

  • Handsfree – go handsfree and carry your kitty on your back with padded adjustable shoulder straps and a chest strap to help secure the backpack.
  • Multiple doors – rooftop door, as well as a front door so you can easily access your kitty.
  • Breathable material – all doors are made from a breathable mesh material, and each side of the carrier features a mesh window.
  • Flatpack – folds flat so you can store it away at home or at the hotel.
  • Scratch-proof – no need to worry about your cat carrier getting damaged.
  • Tether – no need to worry about your cat escaping, as there is a tether inside the carrier.

Pro.Tec 2 in 1 Trolley AND Backpack Carrier

If versatility is what you are after, this may be the carrier for you! Not only can you carry this cat carrier on your back as a backpack, it also features 4 scrollers so you can wheel it along as well.

The Pro.Tec 2 in 1 is made from a sturdy, breathable material so your cat can feel secure and comfortable. Furthermore, it features 2 side pockets to store everything you need for your journey.

SIZE: 46 x 39 x 30 cm
WEIGHT: 3 kg

Key Features

  • Handsfree – go handsfree and carry your kitty on your back with padded adjustable shoulder straps and a chest strap to help secure the backpack.
  • 4 wheels – no need to worry about carrying the weight of the cat and the carrier, wheel them along instead!
  • Breathable materialthe mesh windows and door allow plenty of ventilation.
  • Lockable zipper – no need to worry about your furry friend escaping and causing havoc on the plane.\
  • 2 storage pockets – plenty of storage space for cat food, treats, toys, anything you need for your travels.




Guide to Choosing The Best Cabin Approved Cat Carriers

As mentioned earlier, airlines have specific requirements when it comes to the cat carriers they allow on their planes.

In addition, you want to ensure that your flight is as stress-free and comfortable for your cat.

Here’s some information on how to select the best cat carriers.

What features MUST cat carriers have?

#1 Adequate Size.

Your cat’s carrier must be big enough so that he/she has enough space to stand up, sit down, lie down and turn around, without struggle.

However, airlines have specific restrictions when it comes to the size of cat carriers.

These specific dimensions differ between airlines, but the general rule is that the carrier must fit under the seat in front of you.

Therefore, your cat’s carrier can’t be too big.

You can check the specific requirements of some major airlines below.

#2 Leak-Proof.

Airlines require that cat carriers are leak-proof.

If your cat has any accidents, then it must not leak through the bottom of the carrier.

#3 Bite-proof.

For the obvious reason – you don’t want your cat causing any trouble.

Even if your cat is normally an angel, some cats may get stressed on a flight.

This is very important for cabin travel.

#4 Breathable.

Again, for the obvious reason – your cat needs to breathe.

Your cat carrier will need to be placed under the seat in front of you. Therefore, the walls and doors must be made from a material that will allow your cat enough air.

Many airlines require that your cat’s carrier has at least 2 well-ventilated sides.




What features are RECOMMENDED for cat carriers?

#1 Expandable.

Let’s be honest, being cooped up in a carrier isn’t an ideal situation for most cats.

Some cat carriers on the market have expandable sides and tops, to allow for extra space. This will make your cat’s journey far more comfortable.

Not only can you give your space extra room whilst waiting in the airport, or in transit, you could even expand the carrier during the flight. This is as long as you have enough room under the seat on the plane.

#2 A hard base / floorboard.

By this, we mean a base that is solid and won’t turn into a hammock when picked up.

Not only will a hard base will be far more comfortable for your cat, it’s also more convenient for you too.

It makes the cat carrier easier to clean, as you can just remove the base and wash that separately.

#3 Durable.

Cats that are stressed, or out of their comfort zone are more prone to scratching and biting.

Therefore, you will want a carrier that is going to withstand the wear and tear of travelling.

Although you might have to spend some extra money initially, it would be worth it in the long run.

#4 Lockable Zippers.

You don’t want your cat to on the loose at the airport or on the airplane.

Some cats are masters of escape, so lockable zippers will prevent any airplane dramas.

#5 Multiple Doors.

Many cat carriers on the market have multiple doors, usually on the front and on the rooftop.

This is far more convenient for you as you can open the carrier easier, no matter where you are.

For example – if your carrier has a rooftop door and a side door, you could access your cat through the roof whilst in the airport, and through the side door when the carrier is under the seat in front of you on the airplane. 




Airline’s Carrier Requirements For Cabin Travel

Here are the cat carrier requirements for the most popular, pet-friendly airlines that allow cats in their cabins.

Most airlines have different requirements for soft crates and hard crates.

Additionally, it’s important to note that some airlines have different requirements for specific flight paths or aircrafts.

Therefore, it’s always best to double check the requirements for your specific flight.

Click the airline’s to be directed to their pet policy websites.

Soft Crates (L x H x W) Hard Crates (L x H x W) Weight Restriction
United Airlines 46x28x28 cm 44x30x19 cm N/A
American Airlines Depends on flight Depends on flight <9kg (cat + carrier)
Alaskan Airlines 43x28x24 cm 43x28x19 cm N/A
Jet Blue 43x31x21 cm 43x31x21 cm <9kg (cat + carrier)
Southwest Airlines 43x34x21 cm 43x34x21 cm N/A
Delta Airlines Depends on flight Depends on flight N/A
Vueling 45x39x21 cm Not permitted <8kg (cat + carrier)
Europa 55x35x25 cm 55x35x25 cm <8kg (cat + carrier)
Aeroflot sum of all dimensions <126cm 44х30х26 cm <8kg (cat + carrier)
Aegean Airlines 55x40x23 cm 55x40x23 cm <8kg (cat + carrier)
TUI 55x40x20 cm Not permitted <6kg (cat only)
Lufthansa 55x40x23 cm 55x40x23 cm <8kg (cat + carrier)




Travel Tips & Preparing Cat Carriers

#1 Familiarise your cat with his/her carrier.

You want the flight to be as stress-free as possible for your cat.

If your cat feels at home in his/her travel carrier, then the journey will be far more comfortable.

Try to purchase your carrier weeks before your flight, and encourage your cat to spend as much time in there as possible.

Lure him/her into the carrier with plenty of treats, and fill it with their favourite toys and blankets.

Additionally, you could even do some practise runs. Take your cat out for a drive in your car, or a walk to your local cafe or coffee shop.

#2 Pack your cat’s favourite blanket and a toy.

For the same reason as #1, you want your cat to feel as at home in his/her carrier as possible.

#3 Line the bottom with an absorbant material.

Many airlines require that your cat’s carrier is leak-proof and lined with an absorbant material.

Puppy training pads are ideal as they are highly efficient and thin.

#4 Label your cat’s carrier.

Attach a label with your cat’s photo, name, your name and your address.

Therefore, if your kitty was to be misplaced, they can find their way back to you.

#5 Try to exhaust your cat the day before travel.

A sleepy cat will be less prone to getting stressed out.

Difficult, I know, as cats often just do whatever they want. However, you could try to have some extra play sessions. Most cats I know cannot resist a laser beam!

#6 Check the weather.

If you are travelling during hot weather, take an ice pack or frozen water bottles with you.

On the other hand, if you’re flying during cold weather, pack a couple extra blankets to ensure you kitty doesn’t get cold.

#7 Pack extra food and water.

Pack some extra food and water, just in case there are delays. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Most of the best cat carriers will have storage pockets, so you can pop them in there.




Conclusion

If you are planning on bringing your cat on a flight, you want to ensure that the flight is as stress-free as possible for you both.

Having the right cat carrier is a major part of making sure your cat is comfortable and secure.

There are plenty of cat carriers on the market, so be sure to evaluate the size, weight capacity, comfort, ease of use, strength, durability and security.

Furthermore, it’s important that your cat feels safe and at home in his/her carrier. Follow my tips for travel to guarantee your cat is as happy as possible on your flight.

Hope you have found this helpful and have found the PURRFECT carrier for your cat.

Happy travels! 🙂

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