What Is The Best Cat Carrier For Difficult Cats?

Getting ready for a road trip is hard enough. While it’s true that most cats hate riding in cars. Some are more difficult than others and can make traveling with your pet a terrible experience. In this article, we’re going to look at the best cat carrier for difficult cats.

What Is The Best Cat Carrier For Difficult Cats?

The answer will vary depending on how your cat behaves in the vehicle. However, a hard carrier will most likely make it much easier when traveling with a difficult cat. We’ve answered some of the most common questions about choosing the best cat carrier.

Of course, your definition of difficult may vary greatly from mine. In this article, we’ll be referring to difficult cats that your cat is prone to anxiety and fear. Don’t forget to check out our cat carrier page to help you get all your questions answered.

*This page contains affiliate links to products I recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.

Top Pick For Difficult Cats

If you’re in a hurry, then check our recommended cat carrier for difficult cats.

Petmate Two-Door Small Dog Kennel & Cat Kennel, Top Loading or Front Loading Pet Carrier, Made with Recycled Materials, 24 inches in Length For Pets up to 15 Pounds, Made in USA
  • MULTIPLE DOORS OFFER EASY ACCESS: Easy load options make it easy and less stressful for travel or house-training. Suitable for small dogs, cats, or small animals up to 15 lbs. Multiple ventilation...
  • AIR TRAVEL APPROVED CARRIER: This small dog crate or cat carrier meets most airline cargo specifications. We provide carriers and travel supplies ranging from a dog carrier to large dog crate, wire...

These cats are more likely to chew, claw, and bite the cat crate. They hate the cat carrier and the minute you pull it out of storage, they run for their life.

No matter what toys, blankets, treats, and etc you put in the carrier with them, they never calm down, no matter how long your car trip is.

Be sure to check out these cat carriers for long road trips. They are designed for comfort and will make a huge difference in your cat’s behavior.

If you have a difficult cat, you should avoid using a soft carrier as your cat will most likely damage it. Soft carriers should only be used for cats that don’t mind traveling.

In this article, we’ll only be looking at the hard carriers as these are the ones we highly recommend using with difficult cats. Once you have the right carrier, you’ll want to know how to put a mean cat in a carrier that actually works.

Read this article to find out how to choose between a hard or soft cat carrier.

What To Look For In A Cat Carrier For Cats Who Hate Carriers

Cat carriers have so many different options, it can make shopping for the right one a nightmare. We’ve list some of the most important features to consider when shopping for your next cat carrier for your difficult cat.


Your cat already hates carriers, avoid getting one that is too small as it can cause your cat to tumble about as you transport it.

A carrier that is too small, uncomfortable but it is also unsafe for your feline friend.

If your cat feels cramped, it will only cause their feelings of anxiety to increase and cause them to hate the carrier even more. I’ve written an article on how to choose the right size carrier for your cat that can help you out.


When buying a plastic carrier make sure that the handle is strong enough to support the weight of your cat. You may also want to opt for hands that have an ergonomic design to make it easier on your wrists.

Top Loading

A top-loading carrier is best for most pet owners with difficult cats. It makes it easier to get your cat in and out of the carrier. For quick trips to the vet, your cat can be treated directly inside the carrier, which can be great for cats that are anxious at the vet’s office. 

Top carriers have a removable top that can be removed to access your cat a lot easier. This will make it a lot easier to get them in and out of the box.

If you’ve ever tried using a front-loading box, you know that it can be difficult to get the cat in and out of the carrier. I’ve seen some people tip the carrier upside down, hoping that the cat will come out of the front-loading carrier.

5 Of The Best Top Loading Cat Carriers For Difficult Cats

#1 Petsmate Top Loading Two Door Pet Carrier

The Petmate Top Loading travel carrier is perfect for cats, kittens, dogs, and puppies. It is perfect for people who travel via vehicles or love to fly. It meets all the airline requirements.

It has two doors (top and front) which gives you better access to your pet. Plus it is designed for strength and safety to keep the top escape artists safely inside.

This carrier can be purchased in several different colors which include; hot pink/black, pearl white/coffee ground, pearl ash blue/coffee ground, pearl tan/coffee ground.


  • Two Doors: Front and Top loading for easy access.
  • Strength: Designed with durable steel wire doors, heavy-duty plastic shell, and a secure wing nut & bolt design.
  • Locking: Doors interlock easily for added security.
  • Airline Approved: Meets all criteria so your pet can fly without any hassles.
  • Assembly: Assembles quickly without any tools required.


  • Designed for smaller pets and measures (21” x 14.5” x 13.5”)
  • It can accommodate pets that range from 5 – 20 pounds.

#2 AmazonBasics Plastic Two-Door Top Loading Kennel

The AmazonBasics Two-Door Pet carrier is the perfect carrier for your pet. It is easy to assemble and comes with a top-loading door that opens for either side.

The release tabs make it easy to open so you can load your cat in and out safely.


  • Release Tabs: Make it a cinch to open and close the top door to load your cat safely. Tabs lock back into place to safely secure your cat inside.
  • Front Door: Easily attaches with pegs that secure tightly in the carrier. Lock in place with the locking mechanism.
  • Longevity: Designed with a durable hard shell plastic frame and a steel wire door.
  • Ventilation: Can be found on the top, sides, and back to keep your feline friend comfortable.
  • Top Handle: Makes it easy to tote your friend around while traveling with one hand.
  • Added Screws: Makes it easy to add more reinforcement to the top or bottom of the kennel.


Carrier can be bulky and difficult to carry if you’re carrying it long distances.

#3 Favorite Two Door Top Loading Pet Carrier For Dogs and cats

The Favorite Two-Door, Top-Loading pet carrier is designed for cats, dogs, and rabbits. It has plenty of ventilation on the back, sides, and front of the box.

It can be purchased in red or black and is perfect for indoor or outdoor use.

The crate works great for long trips, a quick trip to the vet or just enjoying a day outdoors hiking.


  • Assembly: No tools required.
  • Handle: Top handle makes it easy to carry and can be combined with a shoulder belt for easier transport.
  • Durability: Designed with a durable steel front door, and a hard plastic shell.
  • Cleaning: Easy to clean as the front door can be removed for easy access.


It doesn’t work well for large or overweight cats.

#4 Frieq 23-Inch Pet Carrier For Cats and Dogs

The Frieq 2 Two-Door Design makes it easier to get your furry friend in and out of the carrier.

It measures 23 x 16 x 15,” giving your pet plenty of room. The exterior side pocket can be used for treats and toys.

Perfect for animals that weigh 26 pounds or less.


  • Handle: The soft-grip handle makes it easy to tote your pet around while traveling.
  • Ventilation: Has multiple ventilation holes to keep to provide more than enough airflow to your feline friend. 
  • Waterproof: Consists of a waterproof bottom and top to keep your cat dry.
  • Cushioning: Padded with a soft cushion to keep your cat comfortable and reduce the shock from movement while traveling.
  • Space Saving: Foldable to store easily when not using.
  • Cleaning: The waterproof design makes it easy to clean up accidents.
  • Mesh Front: Allows your cat to see easily what’s going on around them.


The only complaint was that people wish it had wheels for easier transport.

#5 Iris Pet Travel Carrier Top-Loading Pet Carrier

The Iris Pet Travel Carrier is a medium-sized carrier that can comfortably carry up to 25-pound pets. This carrier comes in three different size options; 19-inch or 23-inch.

You can now transport your furbaby easily and comfortably.

It can be used to transport your injured cat to the vet, regular vet visits, road trips, or just those long Sunday drives.


  • Handle: Easy to grip so you can carry your kitty around town.
  • Front Door: You have the option to install it to open from either the left or right side, depending on your needs. It allows for easy access to your pet from the front.
  • Top Loading: Open and close the top loading door with pinch to lock latches that just require two fingers.
  • Durability: The carrier stays in place with durable buckles. Unlock the buckles and fold the carrier down put in storage when not being used.
  • Budget-Friendly: You get a lot of features for a price that won’t break your wallet.


Some people have complained about the door popping open if it has too much weight. Make sure you adhere to the weight restrictions!

Tips For Calming Nervous Cats

First and foremost, give your cat plenty of time to get acclimated to its carrier. You can do this by leaving the carrier out in your home so they can sniff around it and explore.

You can even put their blanket or some of their favorite toys inside. When they smell their scent in the carrier, they will be more likely to get inside and explore.

On Your Trip

Your cat is going to be extremely nervous during the trip, so make sure you give them plenty of attention.

Talk to them and pet them through the openings of the carrier. Try giving them as much attention as possible.

No matter how much they cry, do not open the carrier and let them out. I know it’s hard to hear your furbaby crying and wanting out, but don’t do it!

If your cat is still anxious or scared after you’ve given them treats, attention, and talked to them.

Then it’s time to try covering the box with a blanket. Covering the cat carrier with a blanket or towel can help make them feel safer.

Final Take Away

Investing in the right carrier can make the difference between a good vacation or a nightmare. It’s NEVER easy traveling with a difficult cat.

Hopefully, these tips and carriers will help make your next trip with your feline friend a blast!