Key Takeaways:

  • Discover alternative methods to transport your cat safely without a traditional cat carrier.
  • Learn how to create a DIY cat carrier with items you may already have at home.
  • Understand the importance of ensuring your cat's safety and comfort during transportation.

Cats are notorious for their dislike of travel, and sometimes, even the sight of a cat carrier can send them into a frenzy. But what happens when you need to take your cat to the vet or move to a new home, and you don't have a traditional pet carrier on hand? Fear not, cat owners! 

There are several creative and safe alternatives you can use to transport your feline friend. In this article, we'll explore various options that can serve as a substitute for a cat carrier, ensuring your kitty's safety and comfort during travel.

The Trusty Cardboard Box: A Quick Fix

A cardboard box can be a quick and easy emergency cat carrier. Ensure the box is sturdy enough to hold your cat inside without risk of collapsing. Cut small holes for air and a larger entry point, reinforcing the edges with tape for added strength. A soft towel at the bottom will provide comfort for your kitty during the ride.

Laundry Baskets: Not Just for Clothes

Laundry baskets with a latching top can double as a makeshift cat carrier. The mesh sides allow for ample airflow, and the solid base offers stability. Secure the lid with bungee cords or twist ties to prevent any chance of your cat escaping. Place an old towel inside to create a cozy environment for your cat.

DIY Cat Carrier: A Personal Touch

For the crafty cat owners, a DIY cat carrier can be fashioned from a plastic tote. With a table saw or a drill, create small holes or a door, and smooth the edges with wood putty. Line the bottom with a soft towel, and use a secure latching top to keep your cat safe during transport.

Soft Carriers: Comfort on the Go

Soft carriers, such as a sports bag or a large purse, can be a temporary solution for short trips. Ensure there's enough room for your cat to sit and turn around comfortably. Zip the bag partially to allow for air circulation while preventing escape, and place a soft towel inside for added comfort.

Harness and Leash: For the Trained Kitty

A cat harness with a leash can be a good alternative for cats that are trained and comfortable with them. This method allows your cat some freedom while keeping them secure. Always supervise your cat when using a harness and leash to prevent any risk of injury or escape.

Pillow Case: A Soft Enclosure

In a pinch, a pillow case can serve as an emergency cat carrier. It's soft, breathable, and can be easily carried. Tie the end securely, leaving enough space for your cat to breathe comfortably. This method should only be used for very short distances and as a last resort.

Stroller Adaptations: A Cozy Ride for Your Feline Friend

When it comes to ensuring your cat's safety during transportation, a modified baby stroller can be a surprisingly effective solution. By securing a soft carrier or crate inside the stroller, you provide a mobile and secure environment for your feline. 

This method is particularly useful for cat owners who live in urban areas and need to navigate busy streets. The stroller not only protects your cat from the stress of a vet visit but also shields them from potential animal cruelty by keeping them out of reach from other animals or unkind passersby.

Moreover, most cats prefer a calm and quiet space, and a stroller with a cover can offer just that. It's essential to ensure the stroller is stable and doesn't tip over, providing a smooth ride for your pet. For those who are reader-supported, you can find pet DIYs with image credit to sites like Instructables, which often feature creative ways to adapt a stroller for pet use.

Remember to include a comfortable blanket or towel tools to make the space more inviting for your kitten or cat, turning the stroller into a cozy haven on wheels.

Customized Tote Bags: Tailored Totes for Tails

When it comes to transporting your feline friend, customized tote bags can be a stylish and practical solution. These bags can be fashioned from durable materials to ensure your cat's safety while on the move.

With a few modifications, such as adding a secure closure and ventilation holes, a tote bag can become a cozy nook for your kitty. Remember to choose a bag with sturdy handles to support the weight of your cat comfortably.

Moreover, these tote bags can be personalized with your pet's name or even a katzen world image credit to showcase your love for your furry companion. It's essential to ensure that the bag remains flat at the bottom so your cat can sit or lie down with ease.

For added comfort, place a familiar blanket inside the bag to help your cat feel at home. Always consult with your veterinarian before putting your cat in a new type of carrier to ensure it's a safe option for your pet.

The Pet Sling: Snug and Secure

Pet slings are becoming increasingly popular among cat owners who prefer to keep their pets close while on the go. These slings are designed to hold your cat snugly against your body, providing a sense of security and warmth.

They are ideal for short trips to the vet or for a little outdoor time with your cat. The sling's design allows for hands-free operation, giving you the ability to multitask while ensuring your cat is safe.

When choosing a pet sling, look for one that is reader supported and comes with positive reviews from other pet parents. The sling should be made from a soft, breathable fabric to keep your cat comfortable. 

Additionally, it should have an adjustable strap to fit different body sizes and a safety clasp to prevent escapes. Always introduce your cat to the sling gradually, allowing them to become accustomed to it before embarking on any outings. With the right sling, you and your cat can enjoy many peaceful strolls together.

The Pet Backpack: Trendy and Practical

For the adventurous cat owner, a pet backpack is a trendy and practical alternative to a traditional cat carrier. These backpacks are designed with pets in mind, featuring ventilation, a sturdy base, and a viewing bubble or mesh windows so your cat can enjoy the scenery. 

It's a hands-free option that allows you to carry your cat on hikes, bike rides, or just a walk around the neighborhood. The backpacks also often come with compartments for towel tools, treats, and water, making them a convenient choice for longer trips.

Pet backpacks are especially popular among owners of younger cats and kittens who are still getting used to being transported. The close proximity to their owner can be reassuring for a pet, reducing stress during a vet visit or while encountering dogs and other potential stressors. As with all pet products, it's important to choose a backpack that's the right size for your cat and to gradually get your cat accustomed to being in it. 

The Gym Bag: A Temporary Transport

A sturdy gym bag with mesh sides can be a makeshift pet carrier for a calm cat. Ensure the bag is well-ventilated and secure the zippers with twist ties. A soft towel inside will help absorb any accidents and provide a comfortable base for your kitty.

The Large Purse: Fashionably Functional

For small cats or kittens, a large purse can be a temporary carrier. Choose a purse with a zippered top and enough structure to provide support. Partially zip the purse to allow for air and prevent your cat from jumping out. Line the purse with a soft towel for your cat's comfort.

Litter Box: An Unconventional Choice

A clean litter box with high sides can be used as a makeshift carrier. Cover the top with chicken wire or a sturdy net, securing it with bungee cords. This option provides a familiar scent for your cat, potentially reducing stress during the car ride.

Baskets with Lids: A Homely Option

A basket with a secure lid can be a charming alternative to a cat carrier. Ensure the basket is strong enough to carry your cat's weight and has air holes for ventilation. Secure the lid with bungee cords and line the basket with a soft towel or blanket.

The Art of Distraction: Treats and Toys

When using an alternative to a cat carrier, distracting your cat with treats or their favorite toy can help reduce stress. This can make the transition into the makeshift carrier smoother and keep your cat occupied during the journey.

Safety First: Securing Your Cat in the Car

Regardless of the alternative you choose, it's crucial to secure the makeshift carrier in the car. This can be done by placing it on the floor behind a seat or using the seatbelt to strap it in. Safety should always be the top priority when transporting your pet.


Transporting your cat without a traditional pet carrier doesn't have to be a stressful ordeal. With a bit of creativity and household items, you can create a safe and comfortable alternative for your feline friend.

From cardboard boxes to laundry baskets, and even DIY projects, there are numerous options to choose from. Remember to prioritize your cat's safety and comfort, and always secure the makeshift carrier in your vehicle. With these tips, you and your kitty can enjoy a stress-free journey, no matter the destination.

FAQ Section

Is it safe to transport my cat without a traditional cat carrier?

While traditional cat carriers are designed for safe transport, there are safe alternatives you can use in a pinch. Ensure that any makeshift carrier is secure, well-ventilated, and comfortable for your cat, and always secure it in the car to prevent movement during travel.

Can I use a pillow case as a cat carrier for a long trip?

A pillow case should only be used as a last resort and for very short distances. It's not suitable for long trips as it doesn't provide the structure or security that a traditional carrier or other alternatives offer.

How can I make a DIY cat carrier from a plastic tote?

To create a DIY cat carrier from a plastic tote, cut a door or air holes using a table saw or drill, ensuring the edges are smooth and safe. Line the bottom with a soft towel for comfort, and use a secure latching top to prevent your cat from escaping. Always supervise your cat when using a DIY carrier.

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