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9 Amazing DIY Cat Carrier Plans You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

Written by: Lorre Luther

Last Updated on June 10, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

gray cat in pet carrier

9 Amazing DIY Cat Carrier Plans You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

Every human cat companion needs a high-quality carrier for their buddy. Even if your cat dislikes leaving the confines of their home, there are times when your cat needs to leave the house. Even the least adventurous kitty has to visit the veterinarian yearly.

Having a secure cat carrier where your pet feels safe and comfortable is vital. While you can buy a carrier at your local pet superstore, constructing your own can be a fun weekend DIY project. Read on for a run-down of our favorite DIY cat carriers!

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The 9 DIY Cat Carrier Plans

1. Converted Tote Carrier by Geocities

Converted Tote Carrier by Geocities
Image Credit: Geocities
Materials: Plastic tote box, wire, ¼” hardware cloth
Tools: Drill, jigsaw, sandpaper, file, tin snips, needle-nose pliers
Difficulty Level: Easy

This super cute option is a rift on the basic plastic tote carrier, with a few more bells and whistles, such as relatively large mesh-covered windows. The carrier/cage was initially designed for rats, but there’s absolutely no reason your kitty needs to know that!

The instructions aren’t for specific dimensions, but you can create a plan that’s just the right size for your kitty. While you’ll need to use a drill and jigsaw to complete the project, rest assured you won’t need to be an expert. Basic tool handling skills are all you need.


2. Backpack Carrier by The Q

Materials: Backpack, cardboard, clear plastic bubble
Tools: Utility knife, pencil, compass, scissors, felt, glue gun
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

If you have an old backpack lying around the house, why not turn it into a cool backpack cat carrier? While you’ll need to do a bit of cutting and gluing, the project is surprisingly simple, and the video provides step-by-step instructions that are simple to follow. The result is an adorable cat backpack with a space bubble your kitty can look through to enjoy the view.

It’s a great option if your feline is on the large side, as you can ensure they remain safe by selecting a bag with sturdily attached straps. You’ll probably need to head to the craft store to get started unless you happen to have a clear plastic bubble and glue gun conveniently sitting around the house.


3. Colorful Cat Sling by Crafty ECHO

Materials: Fabric (2 yards), four large rings
Tools: Sewing machine, pins, scissors
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

This fun cat sling is practical and fashionable. It features a pouch for your kitty to rest and sturdy adjustable straps that fasten around your shoulders using utility rings. However, since it lacks a zip or Velcro closure, your kitty can easily escape if they get excited.

If you’re planning to use the sling to take your buddy with you on an outdoor jaunt, it’s probably a good idea to use a harness and leash in addition to the sling. The instructional video provides step-by-step instructions, but you’ll need to know how to sew hems of different widths and thicknesses to get decent results.


4. Super Simple Scarf Carrier by Newton & Pascal

Materials: Scarf
Tools: None
Difficulty Level: Easy

If you have a mellow cat at home and you’re looking for an easy way to transport them to the local park for some outdoor time, this simple scarf carrier is just what you need. Grab any relatively large rectangular scarf you have lying around and tie the ends together. Drape your creation crosswise over your body, and voila, you have the perfect cat carrier. This is not the carrier you need to take an anxious kitty to the veterinarian since it’s not designed to keep your cat put if they really want to escape. However, it’s a nice option if you have a relatively small cat that loves to go places and hang out with you. Make sure not to use silky material that’ll allow the knot to work loose and slip.


5. Recycled Purse Cat Carrier by Instructables

Recycled Purse Cat Carrier by Instructables
Image Credit: Instructables
Materials: Purse/backpack, twisty ties, chicken wire, fabric, ribbon/thread
Tools: drill, scissors, marker, heavy-duty scissors
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

This relatively simple no-sew option is a great way to give an old backpack or purse new life as a carrier for your favorite cat. You only need a bit of fabric, and there’s no need to run to the craft store; just cut up an old pair of jeans or reuse scraps from another project. You’ll essentially be removing one side of the backpack or purse and replacing that with the chicken wire, which provides ventilation and lets your cat see what’s happening.

The mesh is secured using the twisty ties threaded through holes drilled in the material. The instructions include tips for lining the inside of the carrier, but don’t forget to cover the sharp edges of the mesh and remove any stray pieces of plastic or fabric to keep your cat safe. While the concept works with purses and backpacks of any size, the design is probably best suited for smaller cats.


6. Cardboard Carrier on Wheels by KmiX

Materials: Cardboard, mesh, magnets, plastic piping and edges, velcro, sturdy strap, fabric handgrip, wheels
Tools: Utility knife, compass, ruler, pen, sponge, drill
Difficulty Level: Difficult

If you’re a serious crafter, this project will give you a nice challenge. When you’re done, your cat will have an adorable little carrier on wheels. The carrier is made entirely of cardboard with plastic rods to create a handle you can use to pull the contraption behind you.

It also features a sturdy carrying strap and a fun velcro closure. The project requires a lot of time and expertise to complete, which may not be the best use of your weekend since all it’ll take is one trip outside in the rain for all of your work to fall apart.


7. No-Sew Old Shirt Carrier by Jean the Pet Writer

No-Sew Old Shirt Carrier by Jean the Pet Writer
Image Credit: Jean the Pet Writer
Materials: Long-sleeved shirt
Tools: Scissors
Difficulty Level: Easy

This is hands down one of the easier options on our list. It doesn’t require tools, the ability to sew, or even much patience to put together. The sling works best with long-sleeved t-shirts that are worn out, but you can also use a regular button-down cotton shirt or even a cardigan.

Cut the shirt down the middle, tie the ends over your shoulder and use the ends to create a secure pouch. This is not the best option for hyper cats that don’t enjoy being held, and it won’t keep a frightened cat contained at the veterinarian.


8. Fleece Kitten Sling

DIY cat carrier
Image Credit: Instructables
Materials Fleece blanket, thread, safety pins
Tools Measuring tape, scissors, needle, or sewing machine
Difficulty Level Easy

This kitten sling is so simple to make that you should have it done in less than an hour! It’s designed to keep kittens close so they can hear your heartbeat, which should help keep them calm while being carted around. All you’ll need to create it is a fleece blanket you don’t mind cutting up and some sewing skills.

Cut to the required width, sew the edges up so they don’t unravel, then do a bit of folding. Once you’ve finished that, you’ll sew the ends closed and secure them with safety pins (though you could also add buckles here if preferred). Insert your cat, and you’re good to go!


9. Small Pet Carrier

Materials Old duffle bag, corrugated plastic panels, pet screen, glue
Tools Cutting tool, scissors, measuring tape
Difficulty Level Easy

This small pet carrier (meant for a rabbit but perfect for felines, too) does require a bit of work when it comes to cutting up stuff, but overall, it’s relatively easy to put together. And it looks almost like a cat carrier you’d purchase from a store!

You’ll need an old duffel bag (one large enough for your cat to fit) and corrugated plastic panels to start. Measure the sides of the bag, then cut a plastic panel for each side that’s just a bit shorter (because these will go inside the bag). Next, you’ll cut some slits on the inside of the bag to fit the panels. Then, you’ll be cutting out a place for a window and fitting the pet screen into it. And that’s pretty much it!

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Final Thoughts

Whether you’re looking for a way to get your cat to the veterinarian in a pinch or a cute pouch you can wear to take your elderly feline outside to enjoy the fresh air, there are several DIY options for you to choose from. Some simple choices are little more than cardboard boxes, and others are stylish backpacks that can last for years.

Regardless of the option you choose, your cat’s safety comes first. Always use sturdy materials that can safely support your cat’s weight, and make sure there are plenty of ventilation holes, so your pet gets lots of fresh air. Consider using a harness and leash in addition to the carrier for extra safety, and never leave your cat alone in the carrier, either at home or for a few minutes in the car.

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Featured Image Credit By: zoegayah, Unsplash

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