Do Cats Prefer Hard or Soft Carriers?

It’s important to have a good cat carrier that is spacious and comfortable. However, there are two types to choose from, the hard carrier or the soft carrier, the problem arises when you aren’t sure which one your cat will prefer.

Every cat may have its own preference, but most cats prefer the hard rigid carriers since its firm, gives good support and retains their body while not smashing them on movement. The hard plastic cage-like carriers are more stable and my cat feels safer in it. However, the hard and soft carriers work well for different experiences and activities depending on the lifestyle you live and the nature of your feline.

Normally the soft padded carriers are made with flexible materials like nylon, polyester or mesh that doesn’t offer enough support and protection, therefore every movement can be felt and your cat can get a little agitated, since they may feel as if they are being pushed around. Cats also don’t like slippery surfaces and sometimes the soft carrier can be a little slippery against the cat’s fur coat.

When choosing to buy a soft padded carrier take into consideration the pros and cons to make the right choice.

Space efficient. Little to no protection.
 Have good ventilation Difficult to clean
Easy to carry.  Not sturdy
Comfortable.  Can be easily torn
Easy to travel with  Non water proof
Easy to enter & exit.  A lot of exposure to the sun.

The hard plastic carriers are rigid, durable and very supportive. The tough outer shell of these carriers serves as protection and a barrier from getting squashed and fiddled with every movement. When travelling this carrier is one of the best since travels can get a little turbulent and this hard structured covering works well in ensuring the safety of your feline.

The pros and cons associated with the hard plastic carriers are as follows.

 Offers more protection Difficult to store
 Strong and rigid Takes space
 Easy to clean Less comfortable
 Prevents outdoor interference 
 Airline approved 

Types of soft carriers

There are a variety of carriers to choose from, ranging from different colours, size and aesthetic appearance and types. The most commonly used soft padded carriers are

  • Sherpa deluxe pet carrier– This carrier have many different features and is versatile. Available in three sizes to suit the weight of your feline. It can accommodate cats up to 20 pounds, the carrier is comfortable due to its soft padded interior and its distinctive shape. This carrier is suited for car, plane or train travel. Features include, escape roof, mesh for ventilation, contains safety belts and wire-framed edges to protect the cat.
  • Aleko Handheld carrier – This soft padded carrier boasts with features and durability. Its made with soft breathable fabric with mesh sides that provides proper ventilation. Its cushioned interior allows for a comfortable ride. This carrier focuses on comfort and safety while providing a proper experience for the pet.
  • Oxgord carrier – Rated number one by consumers when it comes to design, accessories and style. This carrier is an awesome addition to your cats routine especially if you enjoy travelling. The carrier is suited and compliant by most airlines and meets the requirements for a comfortable and fun-filled drive or flight. The features include, it’s washable, easy to clean, collapsible, have good ventilation, soft interior and it also converts into a temporary kitty bed.

Types of hard carriers

When choosing hard carriers it’s important to know that there are several carriers to choose from each with different specifications and features.

  • Midwest carriers – These hard exterior carriers come in a variety of colours and features. Its fashioned focused and aesthetically appealing for any type of pet. It’s durable, easy to clean, provides visibility for a good view, built-in handles and is airline approved. This carrier offers protection and safety against any dangers and can save your cats life in case of an accident.
  • Iris deluxe – This pet carrier is specially designed to meet travel standards while providing a comfortable relaxed stay. The cage-like carrier is well ventilated, waterproofed, easy to clean, durable and is space-efficient when storing. The carrier accommodates a door padlock to ensure safety. This carrier comes with food and water trays which are attachable and easy to assemble.
  • Petmate kennel – This heavy-duty protective carrier is ideal for almost any indoor pet for any outdoor adventure. It caters for pets of any size and shape. This carrier is shelled with a hard plastic interior with holes on either side for good ventilation. Its made for travel and is built to last. Rated 4.3 stars out of 5.

Are soft cat carriers safe ?

Soft carriers are mostly made with nylon, polyester or flexible rubber. These kind of carriers are very unstable and may not hold their shape with pressure or even movement. While it’s very comfortable its not very sturdy and strong to protect the cat within.

Normally the soft padded carriers have mesh nets along the sides that are very lightweight and can easily be torn. If your cat is aggressive in nature or even too playful, without a doubt your feline’s claws can rip through it and escape or other predators can enter. This kind of carriers can be used in everyday living or maybe going out for shopping.

If you intend on travelling its good to get a more sturdy and rigid carrier as its outer shell forms like a protective layer to keep the cat safe inside. When driving, in case of an accident the hard plastic carriers could be a saving grace in its aid to keep your cat safe. If you using a soft padded carrier it might not be as safe since the carrier isn’t firm enough.

When flying with cats, the hard carrier is also more secure and may provide more protection since flights can be a bit turbulent and rough at times. The soft padded carriers can keep your cat enclosed but offer little to no protection on impact.

Depending on the type of lifestyle you and your feline live its good to get a carrier that suits accordingly.

What size should a cats carrier be ?

When purchasing a carrier for your cat its important to choose the right size. Choose a big carrier and your cat will tumble about with each movement, choose a too small carrier and your cat will get feel cramped and could hyperventilate. The size of the carrier really matters as it should provide a good temporary alternative home for your cat whilst their are not home.

So what size should a cats carrier be? When choosing a carrier its good to get one that is about 1,5 to 2 times your cats size. This general rule will help to choose a comfortable and free surrounding, for your cat within the carrier. Your cat must be able to.

  • Turn around and move inside the carrier.
  • The carrier must be high enough to suit the cats height.
  • The cat must be able to feel and at ease without being crammed.
  • The carrier must be comfortable and the cat must be used to the carrier.
  • The cat must be able to lie down and stand up effortlessly within the carrier.

Do cats like a small or large carrier?

Cats necessarily don’t prefer small or large carriers, they just want to be comfortable and at ease whilst inside the carrier. They need enough room to properly breath and to be able to practice involuntary movement within the carrier. It’s important to get the right size of carrier, if you get a too small carrier your cat will feel squashed and if it’s too big your cat will struggle to balance falling on either sides. However some character of cats might have their own preference according to their nature.

Some cats mostly those of a docile and fearful character often like smaller carriers. The small carrier almost provides like a safe haven, which makes the cat feel protected. This is due to feline instincts and their actions to always defend themselves from other predators. The small carrier makes the cat feel as if its hiding away from other predators and dangers.

On the other hand playful and friendly cats like a little more room inside the carrier to fiddle and fidget around. Thus a slightly bigger carrier would be good to include a few toys and rattles to provide some entertainment for the cat while within the carrier. The little extra space will allow your feline to remain engaged for the full duration while being inside the carrier.

Best cat carriers for large cats?

Cats that are larger and heavier in weight are relatively more difficult to carry or travel with. Cat breeds like,

  • The Siberian cat
  • Ragdolls
  • Maine coon
  • Savannah
  • Ragamuffin

When choosing carriers for these types of cats you must be wise in your decision since not all carriers may be well suited for them. You must look for carriers that are

  • Bigger.
  • Can handle more weight.
  • Higher quality.
  • With extra features.

Example of carriers for large cats.

1.Petluv carrier – This carrier is softly padded with heavy-duty rubber mesh and closable straps. Its large interior is perfect and well equipped for just about any size pets. This carrier is strong, rigid and very durable. This type of carrier is mostly suited for medium to large carriers.

2. Expandable pet carrier by pet peppy – This premium carrier is airline approved and very well developed for travelling and touring. Its best feature enables it to expand to suit any size pets. This metal-framed soft padded carrier is the best of both. It contains a soft cushion inside for a comfortable experience while the metal structure enhances its strength.

3. 2PET foldable crate – This crate-like carrier can easily fit two average-sized pets or one larger pet. Its smart design and effortless functionality make this one of the best carriers in the market. Its space-efficient and strong enough to withhold pets of up to 20 pounds. This carrier is made with steel frames, nylon and flexible rubber, perfect and well equipped for larger cats.

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