10 Best Hard-Sided Cat Carriers in 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks

Hard-Sided Cat Carriers

Last Updated on September 15, 2023 by Fumipets

10 Best Hard-Sided Cat Carriers in 2023


An article on “Best Hard-Sided Cat Carriers” typically provides information and recommendations on top-rated cat carriers that have a sturdy, solid structure. These carriers are favored for various reasons, including their durability, safety features, and ease of cleaning.

The article may discuss key factors to consider when choosing a hard-sided carrier, such as size, ventilation, security, and comfort. It may also highlight specific brands and models that excel in these areas and provide guidance on purchasing the right carrier for your cat’s needs.

When traveling with a feisty cat, having a durable cat carrier may make the experience less unpleasant. We take our cats with us everywhere—to the doctor, the airport, and on vacation—and you want to be able to use a carrier that is both easy for you and accommodating to your cat.

Realistically, selecting the correct carrier is all about providing your cat with protection that won’t disintegrate.

To assist you in deciding which cat carrier best matches your cat and its requirements, we’ve compiled a list of carriers that have received excellent evaluations.

A Quick Comparison of Our Winners in 2023

BEST OVERALLWinner Frisco Two Door Cat Carrier Frisco Two Door Cat Carrier   Multiple sizes  Two loading locations  Easy storage Check Price
BEST VALUESecond place Petmate Two Door Top Load Carrier Petmate Two Door Top Load Carrier   Moderately priced  Sturdy  Lots of ventilation Check Price
PREMIUM CHOICEThird place Catit Cabrio Multi-Functional Cat Kennel Catit Cabrio Multi-Functional Cat Kennel   180° top door  Two doors  Waterproof material Check Price
  Petmate Sky Dog & Cat Kennel Petmate Sky Dog & Cat Kennel   Heavy-duty plastic material  Dual purpose  Two sizes Check Price
  IRIS Easy Access Cat Carrier IRIS Easy Access Cat Carrier   Cheap  Two doors  Foldable handle Check Price

The 10 Best Hard-Sided Cat Carriers

1. Frisco Two Door Top Load Cat Carrier – Best Overall

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  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 24 x 16.5 x 14.5 inches
  • Weight: 6.43 pounds
  • Life stage: Kitten or adult
  • Material: Plastic

We are all aware of how difficult it may be to get our older cats through the carrier’s front opening when they are resisting you. The fact that this cat carrier offers both front and top loading choices makes it easy to place your cat inside without having to hold them in an awkward position, which is what first pulls people to it.

The best overall hard-sided cat carrier is this one, despite the fact that it is a bit more expensive than some others. Both cats and dogs may wear this design, which comes in two sizes. Animals up to 19 inches in length may fit in the smaller size, while 24 inches in length can fit in the bigger size. Your cat will feel secure and not crowded inside because to the spacious design.

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The top component of the Frisco Two Door Top Load Cat Carrier slides within the bottom piece for simple storage, and it is simple to put together. It has a moat within and is constructed entirely of recyclable plastic, making it simple to clean up spills and keep paws dry. To ensure that you can always keep an eye on your pet, there is a lot of ventilation, a collapsible handle, and wire mesh doors.

Overall, we believe that this is the year’s top hard-sided cat carrier.


  • Multiple sizes
  • Two loading locations
  • Recyclable material
  • Moat inside to keep paws dry
  • Easy storage
  • Foldable handle
  • Roomy
  • Two sizes and color


  • Semi-pricey

2. Petmate Two Door Top Load Carrier – Best Value

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  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 19″ x 13″ x 10″
  • Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Life stage: Small adult or kitten
  • Material: Plastic

It might be difficult to find the finest hard-sided cat carrier for the money since you want high-quality items without having to spend a lot of money. If you want to save a few more dollars while still enjoying the features offered by more costly items, the Petmate Two Door Top Load Carrier is a wonderful option.

The maximum weight and length for this cat carrier is 10 pounds and 19 inches. Desirable features include the top and front entrances, which have simple-squeeze closures and a folding handle on top. It includes lots of ventilation openings for your cat on the sides and doors and is certified for air travel.

The sole size available for this carrier excludes bigger cat breeds, and the front entrance is just six inches tall, which is a drawback.


  • Moderately priced
  • Sturdy
  • Two doors
  • Lots of ventilation
  • Foldable handle


  • Smaller size
  • Small front door opening

3. Catit Cabrio Multi-Functional Cat Kennel – Premium Choice

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  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 20 x 13 x 13.8 inches
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Life stage: Adult or kitten
  • Material:Plastic

No of the cost, some individuals desire the finest of the best with the most ease. Despite the Catit Cabrio Multi-Functional Cat Kennel’s high price, there are several advantages to shelling out a little more money.

In addition to having a fashionable design, this carrier features both a top and front load, but the top load has two hinges that can open all the way around so you don’t have to wrestle your cat into going inside. Although there is just one size, the creation is spacious enough for most cats.

With this carrier, traveling is no issue since a seatbelt can be looped through the top handle and two bowls for food and drink can be placed inside. Unfortunately, this carrier cannot be collapsed, which makes storage more difficult.


  • 180° top door
  • Seat belt loop for safety
  • Two doors
  • Food and water bowls included
  • Waterproof material


  • Expensive
  • Not collapsible

4. Petmate Sky Dog & Cat Kennel

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  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 21 x 16 x 15 inches
  • Weight: 6.02 pounds
  • Life stage: Adult or kitten
  • Material:Plastic

The Petmate Sky Dog and Cat Kennel, despite its higher price tag, functions as a two-in-one carrier and kennel to provide your feline buddy a secure area to rest or travel. With a length of 21 inches and food and water bowls on the front entrance, the smaller of the two sizes offers plenty of space.

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This carrier has wire doors for added security and ventilation while yet allowing for heavy-duty, recyclable plastic construction. The medium and big carriers are without handles, and certain airlines may not accept them. That said, if you are traveling with a pet, it is still a secure alternative.


  • Heavy-duty plastic material
  • Dual purpose
  • Two sizes
  • Roomy
  • Comes with food and water bowls


  • Pricey
  • Larger sizes don’t have a top handle
  • Only one door

5. IRIS Easy Access Cat Carrier

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  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 19 x 12 x 9.75 inches
  • Weight: 2.87 pounds
  • Life stage: Kitten
  • Material:Plastic

The IRIS Easy-access Cat Carrier is a wonderful choice if you’re searching for a cheap cat carrier for little kittens. The front door is made of wire mesh and has a little plastic door latch that opens from the top. Only kittens or little breed cats should be kept in this size; adult cats shouldn’t. Compared to some of the other carriers, there aren’t many ventilation holes, but there are still plenty for them to breathe.

The folding handle is made for your convenience, and disassembling the latches makes it simple to collapse and store.


  • Cheap
  • Two doors
  • Foldable handle
  • Easy to use latches


  • Not suitable for adult cats
  • Fewer ventilation holes

6. Van Ness Calm Cat Carrier

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  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 20 x 14 x 13 inches
  • Weight: 4.5 pounds
  • Life stage: Kittens or adults
  • Material:Polypropolene

Fearful cats often hide within their carriers, making it virtually hard to retrieve them. With the bottom portion of the Van Ness Cal Cat Carrier sliding away from the top, the feline has nowhere to hide and can be securely picked up. It is made of high-impact plastic components that are simple to clean and has ventilation on all sides so that they have plenty of room to breathe.

Despite its distinctive form, this carrier includes a front door lock mechanism that isn’t always simple to operate. It is unsuitable for bigger cat breeds and lacks a top door.


  • Slide-out feature
  • Lots of ventilation
  • Easy to clean material


  • Complicated door latch
  • Pricey
  • Not large enough for some adult cats

7. Pet Magasin Collapsible Pet Carrier

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  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 17 x 14 x 13 inches
  • Weight: 5.0 pounds
  • Life stage: Kittens
  • Material: Sturdy Mesh

By combining the strength of a hard plastic cat carrier with the plush feel of a mesh carrier, the Pet Magasin Collapsible Pet Carrier brand has succeeded in creating a durable but flexible pet carrier. All price ranges can afford this cat carrier, and the robust walls and top keep your kitty safe yet comfortable.

The top and front doors zip off, which depending from your choice may be useful or an issue despite the carrier’s many ventilation holes. Since this material is not waterproof, cleaning is a bit more difficult.

Pet owners are drawn to this carrier by its svelte style and soft sides since they indicate that most airlines have given it their approval. The cushion inside guarantees your cat is comfortable during the whole journey, and it conveniently folds down into a little package. The majority of mature cats, meanwhile, are too big for the modest size.


  • Affordable
  • Soft but sturdy material
  • Collapsible


  • Not waterproof
  • Too small for adults
  • Zippers make it more difficult to open and close entrances
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8. Pet Mate Ruff Max Dog and Cat Kennel

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  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 26.15 x 18.56 x 16.5 inches
  • Weight: 5.75 pounds
  • Life stage: Adult
  • Material:Plastic

It might be difficult to find a carrier that offers great quality at a reasonable cost. Despite being reasonably priced, this pet carrier lacks many of the extra features seen in other carriers. Despite this, there are several different size possibilities so it can accommodate whatever cat size you may have. Additionally, the entrance is tall, making it simpler to bring your cat inside.

The Pet Mate Ruff Max Dog and Cat Kennel satisfies the majority of USDA regulations for air travel, although bigger sizes may not fit below an airline seat. In comparison to some of the other mentioned items, it also has less air holes.


  • Lots of sizes
  • Tall door


  • Larger sizes won’t fit on a plane
  • Only one door
  • Fewer ventilation holes

9. Frisco Top Loading Cat Kennel

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  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 18.9 x 14.2 x 12.6 inches
  • Weight: 12.64 ounces
  • Life stage: Kittens
  • Material:Plastic

Due to its reasonable cost and capacity to support up to 18 pounds, this choice is popular. It is smaller, however, and older cats may not find it to be the most comfortable.

The Frisco Top Loading Cat Kennel is distinctively shaped and has a folding handle, but it only offers a top-loading option, which might be harmful for your cat if it isn’t latching properly. It only comes in two colors and is perfect for quick travels and tiny animals.


  • Affordable
  • Holds up to 18 pounds
  • Two colors


  • Top load design could be dangerous
  • Small size
  • Doesn’t accommodate adult cats
  • Only one door

10. Midwest Spree Hard Cat Carrier

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  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 20.7 x 13.22 x 14.09 inches
  • Weight: N/A
  • Life stage: Adults and kittens
  • Material:Plastic

If you need something that is practical for short journeys but are on a tight budget, the Midwest Spree Hard Cat Carrier is a wonderful option. Despite being constructed of plastic, it isn’t as tough as other hard-sided carriers. The door is constructed of plastic as well and is brittle.

It can fit cats of practically all sizes since there are several color selections and two distinct size options. Although it is inexpensive, transporting this kennel doesn’t provide much comfort, either physically or emotionally.


  • Affordable
  • Multiple sizes and colors


  • Cheap plastic material
  •  Plastic door
  • Suitable for only short trips
  • Only one front door

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Hard-Sided Cat Carrier

Finding a good cat carrier is not difficult. But it is something that warrants careful contemplation. You want to be able to move with your cat in a manner that is comfortable for both of you.

Buy cat carriers only if they provide room for your pet to sit or lie down, are made of waterproof materials that are simple to clean, and have a door that can be opened without you having to force your cat inside and risk injuring them. Ultimately, choose a carrier that will keep your cat feeling safe while they travel and won’t crumble in your hands.


We hope that we’ve collected enough reviews to help you decide which cat carrier will make your feline companion feel the most at ease. You’ve learned that the Petmate two-door top load carrier is best for the money, with the Frisco two-door top load carrier coming out on top overall. We’re convinced that you’ll discover a carrier from this post that meets everything on your wish list and helps your cat feel less bothered when they travel, regardless of whether you have no money or the tightest budget.

Frequently Asked Questions 


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What are the advantages of using a hard-sided cat carrier?

Hard-sided cat carriers offer durability and protection for your cat, ensuring their safety during travel. They are easy to clean and often come with secure locking mechanisms.

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How do I choose the right size of a hard-sided cat carrier for my pet?

Measure your cat’s length and height while they’re standing. The carrier should be at least 1.5 times longer than your cat and tall enough for them to stand comfortably.


Are there specific safety features I should look for in a hard-sided cat carrier?

Yes, look for carriers with sturdy latches, adequate ventilation, and escape-proof designs. Some carriers also have safety straps to secure them in a car.


Can I use a hard-sided cat carrier for air travel?

Yes, many hard-sided carriers are airline-approved. However, it’s crucial to check with your airline for specific regulations and requirements before traveling with your cat.


How should I introduce my cat to a new hard-sided carrier to reduce stress?

Gradually acclimate your cat to the carrier by leaving it open in your home with familiar bedding and treats inside. Encourage your cat to explore it at their own pace to create positive associations with the carrier.




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