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Can You Transport a Cat In a Box? (Cat Carrier Best?)

If you need to transport your cat and haven’t got a carrier yet, you may be wondering if you can get away with using a box instead…

Can you transport a cat in a box?

You can transport a cat in a box, such as a cardboard box. However, it is not ideal for several reasons. The most common issues are lack of comfort, security, and the chance it will escape. Some cat owners use it as a temporary measure if they have no other alternative.

Use these cat carriers instead of a box:

Name Image My Rating
01. Pawfect Pets
Airline Approved Pet Carrier
(Click for the price on Amazon #Ad)
02. Mr. Peanut’s
Airline Approved Soft-Sided Pet Carrier
(Click for the price on Amazon #Ad)
03. SportPet Designs
Foldable Travel Cat Carrier
(Click for the price on Amazon #Ad)
04. Petmate
Two Door Top Load Carrier
(Click for the price on Amazon #Ad)
Click for the price on Amazon #Ad)

What are the disadvantages of transporting your cat in a box?

Why does my cat destroy cardboard boxes?

A black & white cat in a cardboard box.

As discussed briefly earlier there are some disadvantages of using a box for your cat. And, in this section I will give you some more detail on these issues:

01. Not secure

Firstly most boxes are not secure. Meaning they are easy to break apart, especially with an aggressive, or scared cat that is putting up resistance. Especially when you are considering a cardboard box. Therefore they are not a good long-term choice.

02. Uncomfortable

A random box is not designed for cats that is why they are not that comfortable for them. They have hard edges with no padding. This means it can’t help your cat relax when you are o your journey, whether that’s a quick trip to the vet or a long journey with your cat.

03. Easier for the cat to escape

A box, whether that be cardboard or another material has no purpose-built design to keep your cat from escaping. Therefore they are more likely to escape from them. Obviously, this is quite a big issue so it’s another reason why it’s not ideal.

What can I use instead of a cat carrier?

If you are looking for a temporary fix instead of a cat carrier here are some suggestions that can be considered:

01. Gym Bag

Some people have been known to use their gym back to carry their cat in. This is not ideal but a possibility if it’s urgent and you have no other option. Most gym bags are quite spacious and offer soft sides. But the biggest issue is they can’t protect inside very well because they tend to collapse too easily.

02. Cardboard box

As discussed earlier, cardboard boxes have been used, and maybe the main reason you arrived here to see if it’s a consideration. And, while it’s not the best choice, if you have no carrier and have an urgent issue like you need to get to the vet right away, you may have no choice.

03. Laundry Basket

Another option is a laundry basket. I have to say I am not a big fan of these because they have no cover and your cat can easily escape. But, some cat owners have used this before.

What is the best way to transport a cat?

The best way to transport a cat is to use a secure and purpose-built cat carrier. This is because they are designed specifically for your cat and offer the most comfort, especially when compared to a random box.

What do you need for a cat that hates cat carriers?

Cats that hate carriers are typically quite nervous. This means that you need to make sure that they are held securely in the carrier, let me explain…

Therefore the most important thing you should be looking for is:

  • something strong & sturdy
  • made from good quality material
  • Spacious,  so they don’t feel trapped

Good build quality is important because, for example,  if you have a handle that breaks and your cat comes crashing down, it can be very stressful for them.

This can add to their nervousness and make your journey a whole lot harder to deal with.

Why do some cats hate cat carriers?

First of all, not all cats hate them, some are absolutely fine with it. Unfortunately, some of us have cats that generally hate it.

But, let’s step back for a minute and think about it. Would you like to be locked up in a very small enclosed space? The reality is probably not!

Therefore, you should be able to empathize with your cat, right?

Really, you can’t blame them. Not only are they confined to a small space, without any clear exit. They are also unsure of how long they are going to be kept in that place.

Also, think of a long plane ride. It could seem like an eternity to them.

Fortunately, we shouldn’t really need to use these carriers regularly. But, when we do have to use them we must choose the right one.

So, in the next section, I will point out my Top Cat carriers for carrying a cat that hates carriers.

What is the best cat carrier for cats who hate carriers?

This is the best cat carrier (click to see the price on Amazon #Ad) because it is spacious, lightweight can fit under an airplane seat and a comfortable carrier for your cat.

Now that you know my best choice, let me share with you exactly why I selected that one and more importantly four others that may even be a better suit for your individual needs,

01. Pawfect Pets Airline Approved Pet Carrier

Click to see the price on Amazon #Ad


  • Lightweight and allows your cat to breath
  • Enough space for the average cat to sit upright inside
  • Come with two great cushions
  • Enough space for the average cat to turn around
  • Excellent build quality
  • Can fit under most airline seats


  • Security clips are quick awkward to open
  • Double handles are a bit flimsy

The good thing about this carrier is that it has good space. Meaning that your cat should be able to move around freely and enjoy itself.

It also comes with two great cushions that you can use for your cat’s comfort.

The quality of the material is also very good. The great thing is you should be able to fit this comfortably under your airline seat. This is also backed up by passengers of American Airlines explaining that they had no issues with fitting this under their seats.

The negatives about this carrier are as follows: You may find that the dual handles on the carrier itself are great but they are not ideal for really long journeys. Because they are a bit small, flimsy, and are uncomfortable.

And the final thing, which is quite minor, to be honest, is the small clips. They are a little bit awkward to get open. But, this is not a real deal-breaker.

02. Mr. Peanut’s Airline Approved Soft Sided Pet Carrier

Click to see the price on Amazon #Ad


  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Strong, to keep your cat safe.
  • Secure clips to hold the zipper closed.
  • Handy strap to transport easily.
  • Easy access top loader.


  • Doesn’t fit snuggly under an airplane seat – needs a bit of squeezing.
  • The side window really needs a secure zipper as well (like the others)
  • Quite short in height, meaning some cats may struggle to stand up.

This cat carrier is made of flexible material which, I quite like about this. It’s more flexible than the other strong plastic variations.

This doesn’t mean that it is not strong enough for your cat. It just means that it’s a lot more convenient to fit into places like under your airline seat. It gives your cat a bit more maneuverability within the carrier itself.

You also get a pretty cute strap that allows you to transport your cat effortlessly.  There is also a clip that locks in the zips on the carrier. However, they should have added one to the side window too.

A couple of negative things: Firstly, its actual size is quite big meaning that if you want to fit it underneath your airline seat you may need to squash it down a bit to make it fit perfectly.

And this may cause a little bit of stress to your cat. In addition to this, as discussed briefly earlier, the side windows zipper could also do with a security clip to hold it in securely. It’s not a big issue but it just may make you feel a bit paranoid that your cat will escape, are you with me?

03. SportPet Designs Foldable Travel Cat Carrier

Click to see the price on Amazon #Ad


  • Good size for a smaller cat
  • Folds flat for convenient storage.
  • Simple to set up.
  • Come with a nice mat.
  • Great accessible door.


  • May struggle with bigger cats (19 pounds +).
  • The sides are a bit flimsy.

This carrier is ideal for a smaller cat. In fact, you can even fold it up and flatten it out so it’s even more ideal for carrying. You can expect it to be roughly about the size of a briefcase once you flattened it out.

It also comes with a great fleece mat to keep your cat warm. You will also find it easy to get your cat in and out due to a really large convenient door.

It is also beneficial that it is all one big piece with no small screws to lose.

A couple of negative things I would say: If you have a really big cat, like a Maine Coon (Click here to see why people love the black variety Maine Coon cats),  for example, something over 19 pounds, you may find that it is not quite big enough.

However that this is my opinion, other people have said that they have different breeds of cats and have managed to fit in with no issues.

There are also some small spaces near the bottom of the carrier. This needs to be monitored in case your cat gets stuck there.

04. Petmate Two Door Top Carrier

Click to see the price on Amazon #Ad


  • Good strong build quality.
  • Nice treat tray for your cat.
  • Smooth opening (& closing) mechanism.
  • Securely closing bottom and top.
  • Spacious.


  • Bit Heavy.
  • A little bulky – if you are on a long journey on foot, could be hard work.

The Petmate carrier is very strong and sturdy. This is ideal for cats, especially nervous cats that may be unsettled within the carrier.

It also comes with a really nice little treat tray which I thought is a nice little bonus for anyone that really loves their cats.

The good thing about this carrier is that it’s got a very good sturdy and secure top and bottom mechanism. And, it’s also a good space for an average-sized cat. For example, if you have a 10-pound cat, you should find it has ample room to move.

The only negatives I would say: It is quite bulky and heavy so it’s not always ideal if you have to hold it in your hand for long periods of time.

05. Ruff Maxx Carrier

Click to see the price on Amazon #Ad


  • Simple to set up.
  • Spacious.
  • Very comfortable for most cats.
  • Good secure locks.
  • Strong secure bottom.
  • Strong secure doors.


  • Compartments are quite shallow, so storage is limited.
  • Handles seem a bit flimsy.

This carrier is a great size and is ideal for most cats. It is also very easy to put together. You literally just need to bolt in one or two screws and you’re away. It’s very easy to get up and running.

The bottom half and the door are very secure and sturdy. And, in general, it’s a very well-made and strong carrier.

A couple of negatives: The compartments on top do not have much space. So, you may find that storage is a bit limited.

Also, you may find that there are few sharp edges in the compartments. I don’t know if this is a one-off but you may need to sand it down to make sure that it is safer. Also, the handles seem not very strong, maybe in time, they could be a problem.

Should you put a blanket in a cat carrier?

A small blanket in the carrier may help your cat feel more comfortable. However, some decide to use a blanket to cover the actual carrier. This is because it may help your cat feel less anxious being transported to an unseen location and new environment.