Best Cat Hard-Sided Carriers in 2020



AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel Review:


 I got this to replace an older soft-sided carrier which my cat has just about outgrown. I wanted something sturdier, with more space for her on the inside, especially for the potential of going on longer car trips with her. This carrier is a breeze to assemble, and comes with optional nuts and bolts for those who want a more permanent assembly. They're not really needed, though, as the four clips on the side each seem to have a good strong grip, and click firmly into place once set. This allows the crate to still be easily disassembled and packed for storage if need be. To make this carrier more comfortable for my cat, I also got the AmazonBasics Padded Pet Bolster Bed - 22 x 15 inches. The bed just barely fits into the crate, as it seems a tad larger than advertised. It's a tight squeeze to get it settled into the bottom of the carrier, but my cat does seem to like it just fine, so no worries there.

Putting the door on is as easy as just fitting a peg into a hole, then flexing the opening just so to insert the opposite peg. I don't understand the difficulty reported in some of these reviews about getting the door on, because I had the whole carrier, with door, assembled in less than ten seconds (without using the extra hardware). The top door works just fine, as well. The struts that lock it into place are each tensioned with a strong spring, and there's plenty of room to reach in and flip the release tabs up. I saw one review here that mentioned having to use a knife or other tool to flip up the tabs, but that person must have seriously thick fingers, because I am a grown man and I have no problem using my fingers to flip the release tabs up. The door also seems secure enough once properly latched shut. You can see how both doors work in my attached video.

Overall, I'm pleased with my purchase, and glad that I didn't spend twice the amount of money on an inferior product from my local PetSmart. My cat has decided that she really enjoys napping in her cozy new "hideout;" and meanwhile, I just hope that her first trip to the vet in it doesn't scare her away from it entirely. :P



AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel Review:


 I got this to replace an older soft-sided carrier which my cat has just about outgrown. I wanted something sturdier, with more space for her on the inside, especially for the potential of going on longer car trips with her. This carrier is a breeze to assemble, and comes with optional nuts and bolts for those who want a more permanent assembly. They're not really needed, though, as the four clips on the side each seem to have a good strong grip, and click firmly into place once set. This allows the crate to still be easily disassembled and packed for storage if need be. To make this carrier more comfortable for my cat, I also got the AmazonBasics Padded Pet Bolster Bed - 22 x 15 inches. The bed just barely fits into the crate, as it seems a tad larger than advertised. It's a tight squeeze to get it settled into the bottom of the carrier, but my cat does seem to like it just fine, so no worries there.

Putting the door on is as easy as just fitting a peg into a hole, then flexing the opening just so to insert the opposite peg. I don't understand the difficulty reported in some of these reviews about getting the door on, because I had the whole carrier, with door, assembled in less than ten seconds (without using the extra hardware). The top door works just fine, as well. The struts that lock it into place are each tensioned with a strong spring, and there's plenty of room to reach in and flip the release tabs up. I saw one review here that mentioned having to use a knife or other tool to flip up the tabs, but that person must have seriously thick fingers, because I am a grown man and I have no problem using my fingers to flip the release tabs up. The door also seems secure enough once properly latched shut. You can see how both doors work in my attached video.

Overall, I'm pleased with my purchase, and glad that I didn't spend twice the amount of money on an inferior product from my local PetSmart. My cat has decided that she really enjoys napping in her cozy new "hideout;" and meanwhile, I just hope that her first trip to the vet in it doesn't scare her away from it entirely. :P



Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Cat Carrier - Pet Travel Kennel with Top-Load & Foldable Feature for Cats, Small Dogs Puppies & Rabbits Review:


I have two other pet carriers: a very expensive SleepyPod carrier, and a heavy Pet Life folding carrier. This carrier is not as heavy duty as the others, but it fills a gap---its super-portable, super-lightweight, and easy to store away. However, there are some drawbacks you'll want to be aware of.

1.) Although it's not difficult to put together, it's still slightly inconvenient because you have to maneuver the pieces in an unwieldy way to get them to zip together. It's not hard, it's just unwieldy to hold the pieces in the right orientation for the zippers to align.

2.) There's only one mesh panel for good visibility, and it only measures 6"x8". The little oval cutout pattern on the walls doesn't give much visibility at all. (Each hole is 1 1/8" across.)

3.) If you have an escape artist animal who doesn't like going in the carrier, just be aware that it takes a lot of time (relatively speaking) to zip the door shut. Let's say you take 4 seconds to struggle wth the zipper and get it around the corners ---that's about 3 seconds longer than it would take to shut a hinged door, and speaking from experience, 3 seconds is enough time for your cat (or dog) to elbow past you and say sayonara. If you think you'll be able to do the load-from-the-top method by zipping open the top of the structure, you *can*......but it's also going to take you a long time to get that zipper all the way back around the perimeter again.

4.) The top and bottom shell of the carrier are made out of that extremely lightweight molded foam material---its very innovative, since they're each one continuous smooth piece---it's the material that a lot of lightweight eyewear cases are made from. However, the feet of this carrier are just molded bumps in the foam, which is great for weight-savings, but not necessarily durable in the long term. Mine got dirty just from sitting on my living room floor as I was assembling it.

5.) The included black fleece pad is very soft, but not padded. It feels like you took your fleece pullover out of your closet and put it in the carrier. Also, since the floor of the carrier shell has those molded bumps, thats what the interior looks like too. When you put that thin piece of fleece down, you can still feel the molded bumps. (Since they're very rounded bumps, it's not painful or uncomfortable. If I could fit in there, I'd have no trouble sleeping, even with the unevenness... However, it still would have been nice to have a thicker pad. This is easily remedied by adding your own crate blanket or crate pad...I have a ton of them.

6.) Finally, since the walls come folded up inside the shell, they don't exactly spring back into shape easily. So from a bird's eye view looking down, the carrier still looks a little potato-y when it's all zipped together, rather than a perfect oval.

In spite of all that, there's a lot to love about this carrier. It's featherweight, it can slide into the tightest storage space, and the design is ingenious. If you add your own pad, this is a great carrier, especially for city dwellers who don't have extra storage. This won't replace my other 2 carriers, but it's an ideal backup. At the risk of sounding like a crazy cat person (guilty as charged), this is exactly the type of thing you need for your earthquake kit or disaster go-bag. The luckiest few of the Fukushima disaster or San Bruno gas pipeline survivors had only a few seconds to grab their animal and go; they ended up in temporary shelters wth no carriers for their pet or supplies to take care of them. After seeing that, I made sure that I not only had an earthquake kit for myself, but one for my cat. In the event that I only have 10 seconds to get her and get out the door, you can bet I'm going to grab her, stuff her in my shirt, (probably losing one of my eyes in the process), grab our nearest earthquake bags and scram out of there. I should probably add a stylish eyepatch to my emergency supplies, I'll need it.



Ferplast Atlas 10 Top Opening Cat and Dog Carrier Review:


I bought this for my largest and youngest cat who turns into a tiger when it's time to get in the carrier. The ability to gently put him in from the top, without his being able to brace all paws against the lateral opening, is very helpful. This carrier is well designed but it is lightly built, and I think a feline tantrum or two would damage it. This is not a carrier that (empty) you can sling around, it is too fragile.



Petmate Sky Kennel Review:


This was the only kennel I found that came closest to airline requirements. It is approved by the USDA and IATA. We were on a military move from the states so this a review on the international kennel features and requirements only.

Kennel Features:
This kennel has 11 plastic bolt holes- This is the only requirement that this kennel does not follow. It came with plastic nuts. Metal nuts and bolts are required now for every flight. This carrier has 11 bolt holes plus an additional 4 tie down holes. My airline specifically said that every hole must have a bolt. So we needed 15 metal nuts and screws for the carrier. Some airlines let you leave the 4 tie down holes empty but check to be sure and order the bolts ahead of time to get the right amount. We dind't do this and had to buy 3 kits because of shipping time limits. Metal bolts on amazon did not have prime option. But these are what you need Pet Carrier Metal Fasteners Nuts Bolts (1-1/4" Medium Bolts, 16 Pack) 16 pack will ensure a better safe than sorry amount.
Has Pre drilled zip tie holes- Hard to find kennels with this already done. It is a requirement to zip tie the kennel doors shut. Quick release are best. Helping Hand Assorted Quick Release Nylon Cable Ties, 8-inch Make sure you insist on zip tying your dogs yourself! I watched the security guy do it wrong and had to redo do it myself. So glad I got the quick release. Same thing happened to a friend only they didn't catch that the attendant only thread it though the hole and not the door. Their dog got loose in the belly of the plane after ripping off the door. This brings me to the next feature.

Has single piece metal door- Be sure to follow this guideline, a metal single piece door. No plastic allowed! Some larger kennel doors have a fold in the middle of the door to make packing easier. Some airlines don't specify the type of door needed and some forbid the fold. It gives the dog the ability to pull the door in which will then collapse and allows for escape. This kennel door is a solid one piece.

Has protruding bar/side handles- This follows the requirement of "a spacer rim protruding at least 3/4 on all sides with ventilation openings"This is so the airline can carry and move the kennel without using the handle (known to fail on some kennels) and prevent a dog from being able to bite or contact movers hands. This kennel states that the rim is designed to work as side handles.

Has 4 sides of air holes- Requirement is air holes must be "on all four sides at least halfway on each side". This kennel has it and even better metal grates! I had a friend whose dog chewed the space between the plastic holes during flight. Some kennels show in the picture that they have air holes in the back but come to find after ordering they didn't have the air holes on the backside in the smaller sizes. Especially for cat carriers. Note- Domestic flights only requires 2 vent sides but they stack and pack kennels like baggage and airflow will be restricted. Go with ventilation on all sides.

Food Dishes- These were actually deep enough to be functional. Kennels with dishes attached inside on the walls are not allowed. Airlines must be able to "access dishes attached to door without opening the kennel door" they do this through funnels. On my main international flight with 2 layovers and a total of 20 hours travel they did not feed or water my dogs once. Even though it's the law. My advice freeze water ahead of flight so it doesn't make a mess or even better get a lixit water bottle to ensure your dogs don't dehydrate. We got Lixit Small Dog Water Bottle 16-Ounce

Stickers- This kennel came with stickers and that is a requirement but airlines have them and will use their own as well. The stickers included are crap and leave an awful residue. The airlines put the sticker packet of paper work over the " "Live Animal" in 1-inch letters on the crate's top" required sticker. Upon removal of that it lifted the sticker below mucking up the brand new kennels. My advice, bring the stickers and apply at check in where they are needed once the paperwork covers the entire top of kennel and use airline stickers if possible.

Note for size- The length requirement for international travel is [their length + half their leg] so there must be ample room in front and back. This made us need the larger kennel which is much larger than our previous kennel. Some will say that the rule of thumb is as long as they can turn around it's okay. But that is the length rule for IATA. Height for IATA includes ears and ears cannot touch top of kennel while standing. Again, why we had to go up a size (dang chihuahuas). After traveling with my pets on over 6 different flights I can say that most airline attendants are clueless about the pet requirements needed. I had one tell me they don't even receive training on the requirements and offered to let both dogs go into one kennel (a international no no). But I did have had one who knew their stuff and used a tape measure. So better safe than sorry!

Traveling with your pet no matter how far is stress full. With international flights being long dogs get anxious and try to escape, sometimes successfully in cheep kennels. So get this one! Airlines have different requirements and regulations. It's better to buy new then to try to modify existing kennels. Save yourself the time! Get this kennel and you only need to purchase zip ties (hand release are best), metal bolts, and some puppy pads. I realize this is much more info than necessary for a review but I know how hard it was getting this information. Please check this as helpful so that it may help others in the complicated kennel requirement process. Safe Travels!



Petmate Sky Kennel Review:


This was the only kennel I found that came closest to airline requirements. It is approved by the USDA and IATA. We were on a military move from the states so this a review on the international kennel features and requirements only.

Kennel Features:
This kennel has 11 plastic bolt holes- This is the only requirement that this kennel does not follow. It came with plastic nuts. Metal nuts and bolts are required now for every flight. This carrier has 11 bolt holes plus an additional 4 tie down holes. My airline specifically said that every hole must have a bolt. So we needed 15 metal nuts and screws for the carrier. Some airlines let you leave the 4 tie down holes empty but check to be sure and order the bolts ahead of time to get the right amount. We dind't do this and had to buy 3 kits because of shipping time limits. Metal bolts on amazon did not have prime option. But these are what you need Pet Carrier Metal Fasteners Nuts Bolts (1-1/4" Medium Bolts, 16 Pack) 16 pack will ensure a better safe than sorry amount.
Has Pre drilled zip tie holes- Hard to find kennels with this already done. It is a requirement to zip tie the kennel doors shut. Quick release are best. Helping Hand Assorted Quick Release Nylon Cable Ties, 8-inch Make sure you insist on zip tying your dogs yourself! I watched the security guy do it wrong and had to redo do it myself. So glad I got the quick release. Same thing happened to a friend only they didn't catch that the attendant only thread it though the hole and not the door. Their dog got loose in the belly of the plane after ripping off the door. This brings me to the next feature.

Has single piece metal door- Be sure to follow this guideline, a metal single piece door. No plastic allowed! Some larger kennel doors have a fold in the middle of the door to make packing easier. Some airlines don't specify the type of door needed and some forbid the fold. It gives the dog the ability to pull the door in which will then collapse and allows for escape. This kennel door is a solid one piece.

Has protruding bar/side handles- This follows the requirement of "a spacer rim protruding at least 3/4 on all sides with ventilation openings"This is so the airline can carry and move the kennel without using the handle (known to fail on some kennels) and prevent a dog from being able to bite or contact movers hands. This kennel states that the rim is designed to work as side handles.

Has 4 sides of air holes- Requirement is air holes must be "on all four sides at least halfway on each side". This kennel has it and even better metal grates! I had a friend whose dog chewed the space between the plastic holes during flight. Some kennels show in the picture that they have air holes in the back but come to find after ordering they didn't have the air holes on the backside in the smaller sizes. Especially for cat carriers. Note- Domestic flights only requires 2 vent sides but they stack and pack kennels like baggage and airflow will be restricted. Go with ventilation on all sides.

Food Dishes- These were actually deep enough to be functional. Kennels with dishes attached inside on the walls are not allowed. Airlines must be able to "access dishes attached to door without opening the kennel door" they do this through funnels. On my main international flight with 2 layovers and a total of 20 hours travel they did not feed or water my dogs once. Even though it's the law. My advice freeze water ahead of flight so it doesn't make a mess or even better get a lixit water bottle to ensure your dogs don't dehydrate. We got Lixit Small Dog Water Bottle 16-Ounce

Stickers- This kennel came with stickers and that is a requirement but airlines have them and will use their own as well. The stickers included are crap and leave an awful residue. The airlines put the sticker packet of paper work over the " "Live Animal" in 1-inch letters on the crate's top" required sticker. Upon removal of that it lifted the sticker below mucking up the brand new kennels. My advice, bring the stickers and apply at check in where they are needed once the paperwork covers the entire top of kennel and use airline stickers if possible.

Note for size- The length requirement for international travel is [their length + half their leg] so there must be ample room in front and back. This made us need the larger kennel which is much larger than our previous kennel. Some will say that the rule of thumb is as long as they can turn around it's okay. But that is the length rule for IATA. Height for IATA includes ears and ears cannot touch top of kennel while standing. Again, why we had to go up a size (dang chihuahuas). After traveling with my pets on over 6 different flights I can say that most airline attendants are clueless about the pet requirements needed. I had one tell me they don't even receive training on the requirements and offered to let both dogs go into one kennel (a international no no). But I did have had one who knew their stuff and used a tape measure. So better safe than sorry!

Traveling with your pet no matter how far is stress full. With international flights being long dogs get anxious and try to escape, sometimes successfully in cheep kennels. So get this one! Airlines have different requirements and regulations. It's better to buy new then to try to modify existing kennels. Save yourself the time! Get this kennel and you only need to purchase zip ties (hand release are best), metal bolts, and some puppy pads. I realize this is much more info than necessary for a review but I know how hard it was getting this information. Please check this as helpful so that it may help others in the complicated kennel requirement process. Safe Travels!



Petmate Sky Kennel Review:


This was the only kennel I found that came closest to airline requirements. It is approved by the USDA and IATA. We were on a military move from the states so this a review on the international kennel features and requirements only.

Kennel Features:
This kennel has 11 plastic bolt holes- This is the only requirement that this kennel does not follow. It came with plastic nuts. Metal nuts and bolts are required now for every flight. This carrier has 11 bolt holes plus an additional 4 tie down holes. My airline specifically said that every hole must have a bolt. So we needed 15 metal nuts and screws for the carrier. Some airlines let you leave the 4 tie down holes empty but check to be sure and order the bolts ahead of time to get the right amount. We dind't do this and had to buy 3 kits because of shipping time limits. Metal bolts on amazon did not have prime option. But these are what you need Pet Carrier Metal Fasteners Nuts Bolts (1-1/4" Medium Bolts, 16 Pack) 16 pack will ensure a better safe than sorry amount.
Has Pre drilled zip tie holes- Hard to find kennels with this already done. It is a requirement to zip tie the kennel doors shut. Quick release are best. Helping Hand Assorted Quick Release Nylon Cable Ties, 8-inch Make sure you insist on zip tying your dogs yourself! I watched the security guy do it wrong and had to redo do it myself. So glad I got the quick release. Same thing happened to a friend only they didn't catch that the attendant only thread it though the hole and not the door. Their dog got loose in the belly of the plane after ripping off the door. This brings me to the next feature.

Has single piece metal door- Be sure to follow this guideline, a metal single piece door. No plastic allowed! Some larger kennel doors have a fold in the middle of the door to make packing easier. Some airlines don't specify the type of door needed and some forbid the fold. It gives the dog the ability to pull the door in which will then collapse and allows for escape. This kennel door is a solid one piece.

Has protruding bar/side handles- This follows the requirement of "a spacer rim protruding at least 3/4 on all sides with ventilation openings"This is so the airline can carry and move the kennel without using the handle (known to fail on some kennels) and prevent a dog from being able to bite or contact movers hands. This kennel states that the rim is designed to work as side handles.

Has 4 sides of air holes- Requirement is air holes must be "on all four sides at least halfway on each side". This kennel has it and even better metal grates! I had a friend whose dog chewed the space between the plastic holes during flight. Some kennels show in the picture that they have air holes in the back but come to find after ordering they didn't have the air holes on the backside in the smaller sizes. Especially for cat carriers. Note- Domestic flights only requires 2 vent sides but they stack and pack kennels like baggage and airflow will be restricted. Go with ventilation on all sides.

Food Dishes- These were actually deep enough to be functional. Kennels with dishes attached inside on the walls are not allowed. Airlines must be able to "access dishes attached to door without opening the kennel door" they do this through funnels. On my main international flight with 2 layovers and a total of 20 hours travel they did not feed or water my dogs once. Even though it's the law. My advice freeze water ahead of flight so it doesn't make a mess or even better get a lixit water bottle to ensure your dogs don't dehydrate. We got Lixit Small Dog Water Bottle 16-Ounce

Stickers- This kennel came with stickers and that is a requirement but airlines have them and will use their own as well. The stickers included are crap and leave an awful residue. The airlines put the sticker packet of paper work over the " "Live Animal" in 1-inch letters on the crate's top" required sticker. Upon removal of that it lifted the sticker below mucking up the brand new kennels. My advice, bring the stickers and apply at check in where they are needed once the paperwork covers the entire top of kennel and use airline stickers if possible.

Note for size- The length requirement for international travel is [their length + half their leg] so there must be ample room in front and back. This made us need the larger kennel which is much larger than our previous kennel. Some will say that the rule of thumb is as long as they can turn around it's okay. But that is the length rule for IATA. Height for IATA includes ears and ears cannot touch top of kennel while standing. Again, why we had to go up a size (dang chihuahuas). After traveling with my pets on over 6 different flights I can say that most airline attendants are clueless about the pet requirements needed. I had one tell me they don't even receive training on the requirements and offered to let both dogs go into one kennel (a international no no). But I did have had one who knew their stuff and used a tape measure. So better safe than sorry!

Traveling with your pet no matter how far is stress full. With international flights being long dogs get anxious and try to escape, sometimes successfully in cheep kennels. So get this one! Airlines have different requirements and regulations. It's better to buy new then to try to modify existing kennels. Save yourself the time! Get this kennel and you only need to purchase zip ties (hand release are best), metal bolts, and some puppy pads. I realize this is much more info than necessary for a review but I know how hard it was getting this information. Please check this as helpful so that it may help others in the complicated kennel requirement process. Safe Travels!



Petmate Sky Kennel Review:


This was the only kennel I found that came closest to airline requirements. It is approved by the USDA and IATA. We were on a military move from the states so this a review on the international kennel features and requirements only.

Kennel Features:
This kennel has 11 plastic bolt holes- This is the only requirement that this kennel does not follow. It came with plastic nuts. Metal nuts and bolts are required now for every flight. This carrier has 11 bolt holes plus an additional 4 tie down holes. My airline specifically said that every hole must have a bolt. So we needed 15 metal nuts and screws for the carrier. Some airlines let you leave the 4 tie down holes empty but check to be sure and order the bolts ahead of time to get the right amount. We dind't do this and had to buy 3 kits because of shipping time limits. Metal bolts on amazon did not have prime option. But these are what you need Pet Carrier Metal Fasteners Nuts Bolts (1-1/4" Medium Bolts, 16 Pack) 16 pack will ensure a better safe than sorry amount.
Has Pre drilled zip tie holes- Hard to find kennels with this already done. It is a requirement to zip tie the kennel doors shut. Quick release are best. Helping Hand Assorted Quick Release Nylon Cable Ties, 8-inch Make sure you insist on zip tying your dogs yourself! I watched the security guy do it wrong and had to redo do it myself. So glad I got the quick release. Same thing happened to a friend only they didn't catch that the attendant only thread it though the hole and not the door. Their dog got loose in the belly of the plane after ripping off the door. This brings me to the next feature.

Has single piece metal door- Be sure to follow this guideline, a metal single piece door. No plastic allowed! Some larger kennel doors have a fold in the middle of the door to make packing easier. Some airlines don't specify the type of door needed and some forbid the fold. It gives the dog the ability to pull the door in which will then collapse and allows for escape. This kennel door is a solid one piece.

Has protruding bar/side handles- This follows the requirement of "a spacer rim protruding at least 3/4 on all sides with ventilation openings"This is so the airline can carry and move the kennel without using the handle (known to fail on some kennels) and prevent a dog from being able to bite or contact movers hands. This kennel states that the rim is designed to work as side handles.

Has 4 sides of air holes- Requirement is air holes must be "on all four sides at least halfway on each side". This kennel has it and even better metal grates! I had a friend whose dog chewed the space between the plastic holes during flight. Some kennels show in the picture that they have air holes in the back but come to find after ordering they didn't have the air holes on the backside in the smaller sizes. Especially for cat carriers. Note- Domestic flights only requires 2 vent sides but they stack and pack kennels like baggage and airflow will be restricted. Go with ventilation on all sides.

Food Dishes- These were actually deep enough to be functional. Kennels with dishes attached inside on the walls are not allowed. Airlines must be able to "access dishes attached to door without opening the kennel door" they do this through funnels. On my main international flight with 2 layovers and a total of 20 hours travel they did not feed or water my dogs once. Even though it's the law. My advice freeze water ahead of flight so it doesn't make a mess or even better get a lixit water bottle to ensure your dogs don't dehydrate. We got Lixit Small Dog Water Bottle 16-Ounce

Stickers- This kennel came with stickers and that is a requirement but airlines have them and will use their own as well. The stickers included are crap and leave an awful residue. The airlines put the sticker packet of paper work over the " "Live Animal" in 1-inch letters on the crate's top" required sticker. Upon removal of that it lifted the sticker below mucking up the brand new kennels. My advice, bring the stickers and apply at check in where they are needed once the paperwork covers the entire top of kennel and use airline stickers if possible.

Note for size- The length requirement for international travel is [their length + half their leg] so there must be ample room in front and back. This made us need the larger kennel which is much larger than our previous kennel. Some will say that the rule of thumb is as long as they can turn around it's okay. But that is the length rule for IATA. Height for IATA includes ears and ears cannot touch top of kennel while standing. Again, why we had to go up a size (dang chihuahuas). After traveling with my pets on over 6 different flights I can say that most airline attendants are clueless about the pet requirements needed. I had one tell me they don't even receive training on the requirements and offered to let both dogs go into one kennel (a international no no). But I did have had one who knew their stuff and used a tape measure. So better safe than sorry!

Traveling with your pet no matter how far is stress full. With international flights being long dogs get anxious and try to escape, sometimes successfully in cheep kennels. So get this one! Airlines have different requirements and regulations. It's better to buy new then to try to modify existing kennels. Save yourself the time! Get this kennel and you only need to purchase zip ties (hand release are best), metal bolts, and some puppy pads. I realize this is much more info than necessary for a review but I know how hard it was getting this information. Please check this as helpful so that it may help others in the complicated kennel requirement process. Safe Travels!



Petmate Sky Kennel Review:


This was the only kennel I found that came closest to airline requirements. It is approved by the USDA and IATA. We were on a military move from the states so this a review on the international kennel features and requirements only.

Kennel Features:
This kennel has 11 plastic bolt holes- This is the only requirement that this kennel does not follow. It came with plastic nuts. Metal nuts and bolts are required now for every flight. This carrier has 11 bolt holes plus an additional 4 tie down holes. My airline specifically said that every hole must have a bolt. So we needed 15 metal nuts and screws for the carrier. Some airlines let you leave the 4 tie down holes empty but check to be sure and order the bolts ahead of time to get the right amount. We dind't do this and had to buy 3 kits because of shipping time limits. Metal bolts on amazon did not have prime option. But these are what you need Pet Carrier Metal Fasteners Nuts Bolts (1-1/4" Medium Bolts, 16 Pack) 16 pack will ensure a better safe than sorry amount.
Has Pre drilled zip tie holes- Hard to find kennels with this already done. It is a requirement to zip tie the kennel doors shut. Quick release are best. Helping Hand Assorted Quick Release Nylon Cable Ties, 8-inch Make sure you insist on zip tying your dogs yourself! I watched the security guy do it wrong and had to redo do it myself. So glad I got the quick release. Same thing happened to a friend only they didn't catch that the attendant only thread it though the hole and not the door. Their dog got loose in the belly of the plane after ripping off the door. This brings me to the next feature.

Has single piece metal door- Be sure to follow this guideline, a metal single piece door. No plastic allowed! Some larger kennel doors have a fold in the middle of the door to make packing easier. Some airlines don't specify the type of door needed and some forbid the fold. It gives the dog the ability to pull the door in which will then collapse and allows for escape. This kennel door is a solid one piece.

Has protruding bar/side handles- This follows the requirement of "a spacer rim protruding at least 3/4 on all sides with ventilation openings"This is so the airline can carry and move the kennel without using the handle (known to fail on some kennels) and prevent a dog from being able to bite or contact movers hands. This kennel states that the rim is designed to work as side handles.

Has 4 sides of air holes- Requirement is air holes must be "on all four sides at least halfway on each side". This kennel has it and even better metal grates! I had a friend whose dog chewed the space between the plastic holes during flight. Some kennels show in the picture that they have air holes in the back but come to find after ordering they didn't have the air holes on the backside in the smaller sizes. Especially for cat carriers. Note- Domestic flights only requires 2 vent sides but they stack and pack kennels like baggage and airflow will be restricted. Go with ventilation on all sides.

Food Dishes- These were actually deep enough to be functional. Kennels with dishes attached inside on the walls are not allowed. Airlines must be able to "access dishes attached to door without opening the kennel door" they do this through funnels. On my main international flight with 2 layovers and a total of 20 hours travel they did not feed or water my dogs once. Even though it's the law. My advice freeze water ahead of flight so it doesn't make a mess or even better get a lixit water bottle to ensure your dogs don't dehydrate. We got Lixit Small Dog Water Bottle 16-Ounce

Stickers- This kennel came with stickers and that is a requirement but airlines have them and will use their own as well. The stickers included are crap and leave an awful residue. The airlines put the sticker packet of paper work over the " "Live Animal" in 1-inch letters on the crate's top" required sticker. Upon removal of that it lifted the sticker below mucking up the brand new kennels. My advice, bring the stickers and apply at check in where they are needed once the paperwork covers the entire top of kennel and use airline stickers if possible.

Note for size- The length requirement for international travel is [their length + half their leg] so there must be ample room in front and back. This made us need the larger kennel which is much larger than our previous kennel. Some will say that the rule of thumb is as long as they can turn around it's okay. But that is the length rule for IATA. Height for IATA includes ears and ears cannot touch top of kennel while standing. Again, why we had to go up a size (dang chihuahuas). After traveling with my pets on over 6 different flights I can say that most airline attendants are clueless about the pet requirements needed. I had one tell me they don't even receive training on the requirements and offered to let both dogs go into one kennel (a international no no). But I did have had one who knew their stuff and used a tape measure. So better safe than sorry!

Traveling with your pet no matter how far is stress full. With international flights being long dogs get anxious and try to escape, sometimes successfully in cheep kennels. So get this one! Airlines have different requirements and regulations. It's better to buy new then to try to modify existing kennels. Save yourself the time! Get this kennel and you only need to purchase zip ties (hand release are best), metal bolts, and some puppy pads. I realize this is much more info than necessary for a review but I know how hard it was getting this information. Please check this as helpful so that it may help others in the complicated kennel requirement process. Safe Travels!



Petmate Sky Kennel Review:


This was the only kennel I found that came closest to airline requirements. It is approved by the USDA and IATA. We were on a military move from the states so this a review on the international kennel features and requirements only.

Kennel Features:
This kennel has 11 plastic bolt holes- This is the only requirement that this kennel does not follow. It came with plastic nuts. Metal nuts and bolts are required now for every flight. This carrier has 11 bolt holes plus an additional 4 tie down holes. My airline specifically said that every hole must have a bolt. So we needed 15 metal nuts and screws for the carrier. Some airlines let you leave the 4 tie down holes empty but check to be sure and order the bolts ahead of time to get the right amount. We dind't do this and had to buy 3 kits because of shipping time limits. Metal bolts on amazon did not have prime option. But these are what you need Pet Carrier Metal Fasteners Nuts Bolts (1-1/4" Medium Bolts, 16 Pack) 16 pack will ensure a better safe than sorry amount.
Has Pre drilled zip tie holes- Hard to find kennels with this already done. It is a requirement to zip tie the kennel doors shut. Quick release are best. Helping Hand Assorted Quick Release Nylon Cable Ties, 8-inch Make sure you insist on zip tying your dogs yourself! I watched the security guy do it wrong and had to redo do it myself. So glad I got the quick release. Same thing happened to a friend only they didn't catch that the attendant only thread it though the hole and not the door. Their dog got loose in the belly of the plane after ripping off the door. This brings me to the next feature.

Has single piece metal door- Be sure to follow this guideline, a metal single piece door. No plastic allowed! Some larger kennel doors have a fold in the middle of the door to make packing easier. Some airlines don't specify the type of door needed and some forbid the fold. It gives the dog the ability to pull the door in which will then collapse and allows for escape. This kennel door is a solid one piece.

Has protruding bar/side handles- This follows the requirement of "a spacer rim protruding at least 3/4 on all sides with ventilation openings"This is so the airline can carry and move the kennel without using the handle (known to fail on some kennels) and prevent a dog from being able to bite or contact movers hands. This kennel states that the rim is designed to work as side handles.

Has 4 sides of air holes- Requirement is air holes must be "on all four sides at least halfway on each side". This kennel has it and even better metal grates! I had a friend whose dog chewed the space between the plastic holes during flight. Some kennels show in the picture that they have air holes in the back but come to find after ordering they didn't have the air holes on the backside in the smaller sizes. Especially for cat carriers. Note- Domestic flights only requires 2 vent sides but they stack and pack kennels like baggage and airflow will be restricted. Go with ventilation on all sides.

Food Dishes- These were actually deep enough to be functional. Kennels with dishes attached inside on the walls are not allowed. Airlines must be able to "access dishes attached to door without opening the kennel door" they do this through funnels. On my main international flight with 2 layovers and a total of 20 hours travel they did not feed or water my dogs once. Even though it's the law. My advice freeze water ahead of flight so it doesn't make a mess or even better get a lixit water bottle to ensure your dogs don't dehydrate. We got Lixit Small Dog Water Bottle 16-Ounce

Stickers- This kennel came with stickers and that is a requirement but airlines have them and will use their own as well. The stickers included are crap and leave an awful residue. The airlines put the sticker packet of paper work over the " "Live Animal" in 1-inch letters on the crate's top" required sticker. Upon removal of that it lifted the sticker below mucking up the brand new kennels. My advice, bring the stickers and apply at check in where they are needed once the paperwork covers the entire top of kennel and use airline stickers if possible.

Note for size- The length requirement for international travel is [their length + half their leg] so there must be ample room in front and back. This made us need the larger kennel which is much larger than our previous kennel. Some will say that the rule of thumb is as long as they can turn around it's okay. But that is the length rule for IATA. Height for IATA includes ears and ears cannot touch top of kennel while standing. Again, why we had to go up a size (dang chihuahuas). After traveling with my pets on over 6 different flights I can say that most airline attendants are clueless about the pet requirements needed. I had one tell me they don't even receive training on the requirements and offered to let both dogs go into one kennel (a international no no). But I did have had one who knew their stuff and used a tape measure. So better safe than sorry!

Traveling with your pet no matter how far is stress full. With international flights being long dogs get anxious and try to escape, sometimes successfully in cheep kennels. So get this one! Airlines have different requirements and regulations. It's better to buy new then to try to modify existing kennels. Save yourself the time! Get this kennel and you only need to purchase zip ties (hand release are best), metal bolts, and some puppy pads. I realize this is much more info than necessary for a review but I know how hard it was getting this information. Please check this as helpful so that it may help others in the complicated kennel requirement process. Safe Travels!