The cat carrier that I have appears to be a fairly rare type. It has coated wire mesh on all sides with a plastic floor that has a flanged edge – very simple. An important design feature is that the cat is placed in the carrier from the top – a top loader in washing machine language. For me, that makes getting a cat in the carrier a lot easier. Cats are often (always?) reluctant to cooperate when being placed in a carrier, and who can blame them? Also it is large and easy to clean. It is the one at the top in the picture below.
The old fashioned cat carriers are made of wicker with end-loading. These are very attractive but very difficult to clean when soiled. Carriers tend to get soiled because anxious cats can pee or even defecate in a carrier (i.e. Charlie). Personally, I wouldn’t vote for the wicker carrier unless you are really into style over substance or your cat is a great traveller. However, it may suit many people if their cat is not the nervous type.
The most commonly seen cat carrier is the molded plastic rectangular model with end-loading. These are also available with top-loading. They can be dissembled into two parts for easy storage.
I don’t believe that price is a major factor in selecting a cat carrier because they are all relatively cheap or am I a bit out of touch with modern, budgeted life?
My current preference is the one that is middle-left in the picture. It can be dissembled, it has top-loading and end-loading and is easy to clean. It is an American model: Nature’s Miracle® Double Door Cat Retreat, available at Petsmart for $39.99.
You can also buy all fabric cat carriers that look very sexy but are they easy to clean? Another variation is a the stroller “Snoozer 4-in 1 Roll Around”. It is like a carry-on piece of human luggage for a long weekend with wheels but contains a cat or dog instead. This is a specialist sort of carrier that most people wouldn’t consider buying unless they are frequent fliers and always take their cat. It is probably designed for the American market where flying between cities is common because of the size of the country.
Can anyone spend a minute or two to leave a comment to say why they think a certain carrier style is the best?