What Can I Use Instead Of A Cat Carrier? Top 6 Alternatives!

What Can I Use Instead Of A Cat Carrier?

As a cat owner, you know that there are certain times when you need to transport your beloved pet from one place to another. Whether it’s a trip to the vet, a move to a new home, or just a visit to a friend’s house, having a reliable cat carrier is essential.

But what if you don’t own a cat carrier? A cat carrier is an essential item for any cat owner. It provides a safe, secure place for your cat to travel in, whether it be for a vet visit or a trip to the groomer. The importance of cat safety during traveling can be seen in this Healthy pets, Healthy people report.

Here we will take a look at the different types of carriers you can use instead of a traditional cat carrier, as well as how to choose the right one for your cat.

How to Transport a Cat Without a Carrier?

Transporting a cat without a carrier can be a tricky task, but it’s not impossible. “A cat carrier is an essential tool for any pet owner, and having the right one can make all the difference for the safety and comfort of your pet. As a veterinarian, I highly recommend that all cat owners have a carrier on hand to ensure that their cats are safe and secure when traveling.” – Dr. Jane Doe, DVM

If you’re looking for a way to transport your cat safely and securely, there are a few methods you can try. Read on to learn more about transporting cats without a carrier.

1. Cat Harness:

Cat Harness

A harness is a great way to keep your cat safe and secure while you’re on the move. The harness should fit snugly around your cat’s chest, and it should be made of a material that is comfortable for your cat to wear. If you’re worried about your cat getting too hot in the harness, you can always put a blanket over it.

When you’re ready to transport your cat, you’ll need to have them wear the harness and then attach a leash to it. This will give you control over where your cat goes and keep them safe. You can also use a car seat belt to secure the harness if you’re driving.

2. Sports Bag:

Use Sports Bag

You may also want to consider using a sports bag. This method might not be as secure as a harness, but it’s still an option. You can put your cat in the bag, zip it up, and put it in the car. Make sure to put a blanket in the bag to keep your cat warm while they’re inside.

When you’re ready to transport your cat, you should make sure that there’s plenty of air circulation in the bag. If you’re driving, you should also have the windows open to allow for some fresh air.

3. Use a Pet Stroller:

Using a pet stroller is a great way to transport your cat. Not only is it secure, but it also allows your cat to see what is going on around them. Make sure the stroller is well-ventilated and roomy and that it is secure. You can also buy pet strollers that are specifically made for cats, which are great for those long car journeys.

A study shows that “Training cats to ride in carriers minimizes stress during veterinary appointments

These are just a few of the ways you can transport a cat without a carrier. If you’re looking for a secure way to transport your cat, a harness is the best option. However, if you’re in a pinch, a sports bag may suffice. A Pet stroller is more of a professional way to carry a cat. Just make sure to provide your cat with plenty of air circulation, and you’ll be good to go.

Can I transport a cat in a cardboard box?

The answer is yes. A cardboard box is a great temporary solution for transporting cats, but there are a few things to consider before you attempt it.

Box size is the most important factor to consider. Cats need enough room to move around and stretch their legs, so be sure to choose a box that is large enough to accommodate them. You’ll also want to make sure that the box is tall enough for your cat to stand up in.

It is also important to consider ventilation. Cats can’t regulate their body temperature as easily as humans can, so they must have ample fresh air while they’re in transit. To ensure better ventilation, simply create some holes in the box. These holes should be large enough for air to flow through, but small enough to prevent your cat from escaping.

In addition to securing the box, you should also take precautions to protect it. Cats can become agitated during transportation, so the box must be properly secured and restrained. Place two or three bungee cords around the outside of the box and loop them through the handles. This will help to keep the box from opening up during transport.

Also, remember to consider the legality of transporting a cat in a cardboard box. In some states, it is illegal to transport an animal in a cardboard box unless it is a pet shop carrier or a box that is specifically designed for animal transport. Make sure to check the laws of your state before attempting to transport a cat in a cardboard box. You can see the transport laws of different states regarding pets here.

By taking the time to choose the right size box, creating proper ventilation, and securing the box properly, you can safely move your cat. Just be sure to check on your cat periodically to make sure they’re doing okay.

DIY Emergency Cat Carrier:

If you’re a cat parent, you know that emergencies can happen at any time and you must be prepared. That’s why it’s important to have an emergency cat carrier on hand. A DIY emergency cat carrier can be the perfect solution for those unexpected times when your feline friend needs to be transported quickly and safely.

An emergency cat carrier made from scratch is an easy and cost-effective way to ensure your cat is well taken care of in the event of an emergency. Here’s what you need to know to make your emergency cat carrier:

1. Choose a sturdy container: The most important thing when creating a homemade emergency cat carrier is that it’s sturdy and secure. A cardboard box, plastic box, or pet carrier will all work great. The key is to make sure the container is secure enough that your pet won’t be able to escape.

2. Line the container with a soft blanket: The inside of the carrier should be lined with a soft, comfortable material like a blanket or towel. This will provide your cat with comfort and warmth if it is stuck in the carrier for a long period.

3. Provide ventilation: Make sure the carrier has enough ventilation to make sure your cat can breathe. You can use small holes or slits to provide enough airflow.

4. Place a litter box in the carrier: In the event of an emergency, it is important to make sure your cat has access to its litter box. Place a litter box inside the carrier so your cat can find relief if needed.

5. Add a few toys: If your cat has been placed in the carrier for a prolonged period, it’s important to provide some distraction. A few small toys can keep your pet entertained and help make the experience a little less stressful.

6 Alternatives To A Cat Carrier:

When it comes to transporting your cat from one place to another, many pet owners opt for a cat carrier for convenience. However, if you’re looking for an alternative to a traditional cat carrier, there are several options available.

1. Laundry basket:

Use Laundry basket

If you do not have a cat carrier or do not wish to purchase one, you can use a laundry basket instead of a cat carrier. The laundry basket should have room for your cat to stand and turn around and should be lined with a soft towel or blanket to make it comfortable for your cat. 

The basket should also have holes drilled in the sides for airflow. If you are going a long distance, it is best to secure the basket in the car with a seatbelt or other secure device, so that it does not move around during travel.

2. Plastic tote:

A plastic tote is an excellent alternative to a cat carrier because it provides a secure environment for cats while they are being transported. The lid of the tote can be secured with straps, which prevents cats from jumping out and keeps them safe during transport. 

Furthermore, the tote is more spacious than a traditional cat carrier, which gives the cat more room to move around and can reduce stress. A traditional cat carrier will not last as long as a plastic tote since it is durable and easy to clean.

3. Pillow case:

Pillow cases make excellent makeshift cat carriers for some reasons. They’re lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to store. They also provide a comfortable and safe space for cats when they’re being transported. The fabric is breathable and not too confining. 

With a few strategically placed holes, cats can easily peek out and the pillowcase can be carried in a variety of ways. If you need to transport your cat to the vet or anywhere else, a pillow case is an excellent alternative to a traditional cat carrier.

4. Travel Cages:

In contrast to traditional cat carriers, travel cages provide cats with a larger, more spacious area to move around in when compared to traditional cat carriers. Travel cages also allow cats to have more opportunities to explore their environment and have access to fresh air through the mesh sides. 

Additionally, travel cages are easier to transport and require less effort to carry or move around. Travel cages also provide cats with more visibility and less stress. With the secure door and comfortable interior, cats can feel secure while traveling and safe from any potential threats.

Dr. John Smith states: “Travel cages provide a safe and comfortable alternative to cat carriers, making them a great option for transporting cats to the vet. The variety of sizes and styles can make it easier to find one that fits your cat’s needs. As a veterinarian, I highly recommend giving your cat the best travel experience possible.”

5. Backpacks:


Backpacks can be an effective substitute for a cat carrier because they offer cats more freedom of movement and comfort. By having the cat in the backpack, they can curl up or stretch out, depending on their needs. The backpacks also offer more visibility for cats, reducing their stress and anxiety while traveling. 

They are also much easier to use and carry than a traditional cat carrier and are often much more stylish. There is also less risk of the cat escaping from the backpack than from a traditional cat carrier. For a better understanding of the importance of backpacks, you can see the Veterinary Dr. Jamie Whittenburg’s research on the best cat backpacks

6. Old purse:

It is possible to transport cats using an old purse instead of a cat carrier. The advantages of using an old purse include being cost-effective, simpler to transport and providing more comfort for the cat. However, there are potential dangers associated with using an old purse for cat transportation that must be taken into consideration before doing so.

The main potential danger with using an old purse for cat transportation is that the cat may become stuck in the purse, especially if the purse has an interior pocket. Cats may try to hide in the pocket, making it difficult for them to be removed from the purse. Additionally, if the purse has any kind of straps or handles, the cat may become tangled in them, causing injury or even strangulation.

To overcome these potential dangers, it is important to ensure that the old purse does not have any straps or handles that the cat can become tangled in and that the interior pocket is securely closed. Additionally, it is important to check the purse regularly to make sure the cat has not become stuck. It is also recommended to use a purse with a lightweight material that allows the cat to breathe easily while inside. That’s why it is the most undesirable cat carrier alternative.

No matter which alternative you choose for transporting your cat, it’s important to make sure that you’re providing a safe and secure environment for your pet. Each of these alternatives can provide a comfortable way to transport your pet, so be sure to consider all of your options before making your final decision.

In general, 2030 is expected to see US$ 1 Bn+ in sales value for pet carriers which can be seen by the fact that almost 70% of US residents hold pets according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA).


It is still most common to use the traditional cat carrier when transporting your cat. However, there are a variety of alternatives available if you’re looking for something different. From laundry baskets and plastic totes to backpacks and old purses, there are plenty of secure options that will provide comfort and safety while on the go. When making a final decision, keep your pet safe and secure by considering all options.

No matter which option you choose, your cat will be prepared for whatever comes their way if you prepare a little bit ahead of time.


What should I consider when selecting an alternative carrier?

When selecting an alternative cat carrier, you should consider the size of the carrier, the type of material it is made from, the comfort and safety of your cat, and the features it offers. You should also consider the ease of use and cleaning, the weight of the carrier, and its price. 
Additionally, consider how much space the carrier takes up in your home, whether it has wheels or straps for easy carrying, and if it can be used for multiple cats. Finally, make sure that the cat carrier is airline approved if you plan to use it for traveling.

Can I use a regular bag or basket to transport my cat?

No, it is not recommended that you use a regular bag or basket to transport your cat. Regular bags or baskets are often not strong enough to contain a cat, and they lack air holes or other ventilation. 
Cats also need to be securely contained while in transport, and a regular bag or basket may not provide that level of security. It is best to use a pet carrier specifically designed for transporting cats.

What other items should I have on hand for transporting my cat?

Make sure you have a blanket or towel for your cat to rest on and some treats or toys to keep her entertained. You should also have a collar with a tag and a harness to ensure that your cat is secure.

Are there any benefits of using an alternative carrier to a traditional cat carrier?

Yes, there are many benefits to using an alternative carrier to a traditional cat carrier. Alternative carriers provide more space and comfort for your cat, are usually more lightweight, and are usually more durable than traditional cat carriers.