Should I Cover My Cat’s Carrier When Traveling?

Should I Cover My Cat's Carrier When Traveling

When traveling with a cat, the question of whether to cover their carrier or not is an important one. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, there are several factors to consider when deciding whether to cover your cat’s carrier.

Studies have shown that cats naturally feel safer when their environment is dark and enclosed, and covering the carrier can help to provide this kind of environment, reducing stress and anxiety.

Research has also found that cats who experience less stress while traveling are less likely to experience motion sickness, making the journey smoother and less unpleasant.

On the other hand, if the cat feels too hot, covering the carrier can increase the temperature, leading to discomfort. Therefore, the decision to cover the cat’s carrier ultimately depends on the individual cat, the temperature of the environment, and the duration of the journey.

How To Keep Cat Warm in Carrier?

Dr. Maria Neumann, a vet at Animal Care Center, advises: “When traveling with your cat, make sure the carrier is well insulated and that the temperature inside stays comfortable. If you’re traveling in cold weather, dress your cat in a warm coat or sweater to help them stay warm.”

Cats can become chilled very quickly, and that can lead to serious health problems. Here are some tips for keeping your cat warm in their carrier:

Preparing Your Cat’s Carrier:

Carrier preparation is a necessary step to ensure a safe and comfortable journey for your cat. Here are some tips to help you get your cat’s carrier ready for travel: 

A. Choose a carrier with plenty of ventilation

Choose a carrier with plenty of ventilation

You should consider ventilation when choosing a carrier for your cat. Look for one that has plenty of air holes, with mesh panels that are large enough for your cat to breathe comfortably. 

B. Line the carrier with something soft and absorbent: 

It’s also important to line the carrier with something soft and absorbent, such as an old towel or a blanket. As a result, your cat will be more comfortable in the carrier, and any messes he may make during the trip will be contained. You should also provide your cat with some familiar items, such as a favorite toy or blanket, to assist them to feel more secure in their carrier.

Keeping Your Cat Warm in a carrier:

A. Heat Source:

Cober with blanket in extreme cold

Keeping cats warm in a carrier involves providing an appropriate source of heat. This can include a hot water bottle, a heated pad, or a blanket. Hot water bottles should be wrapped in a towel or blanket and placed near the cat, but not in direct contact. Heated pads should be placed on a low setting and monitored for temperature. A blanket can be used to keep the cat warm but must be designed for pet use. All heat sources should be used in moderation and monitored for safety.

B. Insulation:

Insulation is necessary to keep the cat warm and comfortable while in the carrier. Towels, bubble wrap, and sleeping bags can all be used to insulate the cat and the carrier. 

Towels should be placed on the bottom of the carrier and around the sides, to provide extra cushioning and warmth. Bubble wrap can be used to insulate the outside of the carrier and should not be in direct contact with the cat. Sleeping bags can be used to cover the cat and the carrier, providing warmth and security. 

In the opinion of Dr. Becker, “Using a sleeping bag in the bottom of the carrier can help to keep the cat warm and provide extra insulation during transport.”

In addition to the above, veterinarians recommend that cats be kept in a quiet, dimly lit environment while in the carrier. This can reduce stress and anxiety, and keep them calmer. The carrier should also be well-ventilated and comfortable for the cat. To avoid injury or escape, ensure that the carrier is placed in a secure location.

Is It Better To Cover The Cat Carrier With A Blanket?

Wrapping a blanket around a cat carrier can be beneficial for cats during travel. Cats are naturally territorial animals and they feel more secure when they are in a confined, enclosed space. Cats can feel more secure and comfortable during transport when their carrier is covered with a blanket.

Veterinarian Dr. Mark Walden, DVM, states that cats can experience fear, anxiety, and stress during travel, which is why covering their carriers will make them feel calmer and more secure. He further explains that this is especially important for cats that are being transported for medical reasons, where the stress of an unfamiliar environment can cause them to become frightened and agitated.

A blanket placed over the carrier can also reduce noise and vibrations experienced by the cat. These noises and vibrations are muffled by blankets, which can keep the cat relaxed and reduce the risk of them becoming distressed during travel.

To keep the carrier’s temperature consistent, blankets can be useful. Cats can suffer from heat stroke or hypothermia if they become too hot or cold during transport. Blankets can help to insulate the carrier and keep the temperature inside more consistent.

Why Should I Cover The Cat Carrier? 

Recent research has shown that draping carrier cats in transport can help reduce the stress-related hormones released by cats. This is because cats are highly sensitive to visual and auditory stimuli, such as the sights and sounds encountered on a car journey. 

It can help reduce cats’ fear, anxiety, and stress when the carrier is covered, thereby creating a sense of security and containment. Cats can also be protected from outside temperatures, hot or cold, by wrapping the carrier.

How To Cover The Cat Carrier? 

Cat carriers should be covered when being transported. It’s been demonstrated that cats can experience a decrease in heart rate and respiration rate when their carrier is covered. Hence, it is essential to consider the cover, which should be made of breathable material, such as lightweight muslin or cotton, and should be secured firmly, so that it does not slip off or become loose during transport. 

You should also be careful to not tighten the cover too much since this can cause your cat discomfort and overheat. To prevent the cover from moving or becoming loose when using a carrier in the car, be sure to secure it with a seatbelt or seat belt strap. Furthermore, make sure to include a few air holes in the cover to ensure your cat can get adequate air circulation while in the carrier.


When traveling with cats, it is important to consider the safety and comfort of both the cat and the traveler. Covering the cat’s carrier can help to provide a sense of security and comfort for the cat while traveling, reducing stress and potential behavior issues.

Additionally, covering the carrier can help to keep the cat contained, reducing the risk of escape or injury. Ultimately, the decision to cover a cat’s carrier when traveling is up to the guardians, and if done properly, covering the cat’s carrier can be beneficial for both the cat and the guardian.


Is it okay to have my cat in the carrier during the entire journey?

It is best to provide your cat with some time out of the carrier during long trips. This can help to reduce the amount of stress your cat may be feeling and provide them with the opportunity to move around and stretch their legs.

What is the recommended length of time for a cat to be in a covered carrier?

A cat should not be in a covered carrier for more than a few hours at a time. The space your cat has access to fresh air and the ability to move around should be considered when transporting your cat for a longer period.