Smiling Paws Pets
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Smiling Paws Pets’ Expandable Soft-Sided Pet Carrier (with giveaway!)

May 2019 Update: Check out our review of the newly redesigned Expandable Soft-Sided Pet Carrier from Smiling Paws Pets!

With five resident cats in the house now, we’re always on the lookout for a great carrier. We need one for each cat in case of emergency. And because we foster on and off, we also have a carrier dedicated to fostering activities, which means we need at least six carriers in the house at all times.

When provided with the opportunity to review the Expandable Soft-Sided Pet Carrier from Smiling Paws Pets, we jumped at the chance! Check out what the cats thought of the carrier and then be sure to enter our giveaway!

Smiling Paws Pets Disclosure

Expandable Soft-Sided Pet Carrier

Smiling Paws Pets sends the carrier in its own carry case. Simply remove it from the case, insert the bottom pad and then zip it up!

We received the medium size carrier to review. Woodrow is our biggest cat (longest and tallest), and you can see him standing next to the closed up carrier. I thought it would be too small for him, but read on to see how Woodrow fared.

Sophie and Dexter Go Inspecting

You better believe that as soon as the cats heard me opening up a box, they were right there to inspect everything. Check out the video below to see if Sophie and Dexter approve of the Expandable Soft-Sided Pet Carrier!

About the Expandable Soft-Sided Pet Carrier

As you can see, the carrier from Smiling Paws Pets is approved by both Sophie and Dexter. And did you know that it’s also airline approved? The carrier also offers great air flow through its four mesh sides. And for pet parents on the go, the carrier can be strapped into the car to offer a safer ride for your cat or small dog.

If you’re used to using a top-loading carrier, this one does not have that option. However, simply flip it on its side or end – and voilà! You now have a “top-loading” carrier. Just take care to set the carrier back on its base slowly to not jostle your cat. We’ve done this in the past with a front-loading carrier and it’s worked for us. This may or may not work for your cat, depending on their disposition.

I mentioned that we received the medium size to review, but they also offer a large size. Dimensions for both are below.

Expandable Pet Carrier Dimensions

Quite the Popular Pet Carrier

The carrier was so popular that there was a lineup to test it out. Dexter took his time really testing out the carrier’s durability. (It passed inspection.)

When Dexter finally settled in for a nice long sit, Sophie wanted him outta there!

white cat and tabby cat

Just as Sophie started to settle in, Woodrow wanted his turn and asked her to hurry up.

white cat and tabby cat

As you can see, the Expandable Soft-Sided Pet Carrier is quite the popular lounging spot! After having the carrier set up for a couple of weeks now, it’s clear that it isn’t a one-time interest item for the cats. The carrier is in my office, and I’ve found either Woodrow, Dexter or Sophie in it at least once a day.

tabby cat in carrier
Woodrow relaxing in the nifty carrier.


Smiling Paws Pets has graciously allowed us to give away one medium size Expandable Soft-Sided Pet Carrier to one lucky reader! Simply enter a blog comment below and then enter the giveaway.

The giveaway is open to U.S. residents who reside in the 48 contiguous states, 18+ years of age, except where prohibited by law. One winner will be selected randomly by Rafflecopter and contacted via email. The winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize. Failure to do so will result in forfeiture of the prize, and a new winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter. The giveaway closes on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 5:00pm Pacific.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Discount Code

Smiling Paws Pets is also offering our readers 15% off the Expandable Soft-Sided Pet Carrier until Friday, March 23, 2018. Just enter the code chattycats15 on the checkout page. Order one now!

About Smiling Paws Pets

Smiling Paws Pets offers more than just travel carriers for cats and dogs. They also have litter mats (check out our previous review), pet beds and odor/stain remover products. “We create quality pet products to nourish pets & caretakers for a better tomorrow.” Learn more on their website.

Keep up-to-date with the latest from Smiling Paws Pets on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

Would your cat enjoy the Expandable Soft-Sided Pet Carrier from Smiling Paws Pets?

tabby cat in carrier
Woodrow says, “Enough with the pictures, Mom! Let me enjoy the carrier in peace!”

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  1. Well I do think that’s one of the best designed carriers I’ve seen. The expandable portions are perfect if your pet wants to stretch out (like on a trip) but the other version is still cozy for pets who prefer the security of a smaller enclosure. Very practical! I think even Sammy would not object to that type of carrier! Glad your crew likes it……obviously it’s gone beyond the “taking to the vet” stage at your house into the “great spot for a snooze” !

    Hugs, Pam (and Teddy too)

  2. It’s like the best thing ever, right? We love ours. I was leaving it out in front of the heat vent for Rosie but I kept tripping over it so had to move it to less high traffic area. Rosie did not approve of the move.

    I am going to enter the giveaway for a friend if that’s OK? Her cat kind of needs one of these carriers.

  3. This is a fabulous carrier. I am impressed with the amount of thought that went into the design for what is good for kitties. My cats are different sizes, and this would accommodate either one of them wonderfully. I can see my two taking turns lounging in it as another cat bed just like yours do. Plus, in the Summer when my kitties prefer not to use beds, this would store away easily. I love it!

  4. Looks like the perfect carrier for my Inky cat who, when it comes time to get in the carrier, develops a few extra legs and becomes twice her size. I love the soft sides and cozy pad.

  5. what a great-looking carrier and snuggly pad for going to the vet and especially for longer trips. any one of my five would love it. thanks for offering the giveaway. –suz in ohio

  6. Thank you for the review! We have an old hard case and have been looking into options. It’s good to know this is airline approved with the terrible accident that happened on United Airlines. Seeing models in the carrier really helps! Love it!!

    1. I wrote a post on our thoughts on that United incident on and I think the carrier being too large may have played a small part. It’s so sad. Such a terrible sad event. Preventable. *sigh*

  7. As someone that flies with her dog all the time SOFT side is always better. Always. This looks good. Always check the dimensions with the airlines – they change all the time. *sigh*

  8. I’ve been slowly replacing the plastic hard shells for my 4 cats. I have one on wheels which is wonderful for my 17 pounder but it’s large for my two 7 pounders. This looks like it would be perfect.

  9. The carrier looks really cosy and the kitties seem to enjoy it. I thought it is a lot smaller but seeing how your cats fit in perfectly, it looks like it’s the perfect size after all.

  10. What a sweet ride! Not only does it have soft walls, but it looks all comfy and soft inside, too. Not like those stupid plastic carries my peep has for us. I think I’m gonna have to have a little chat with my peep, explainin’ how I have been unjustly deprived. MOUSES!

  11. With our bunch and fosters I am like you and need a bunch of carriers in case of emergency and really could use one more. We have one, a cheapy, that we all dislike.

  12. Whoa! That’s a nice PTU. If I didn’t hate all PTUs, I’d have wished that TW would have taken this for our review. She says we would like to win one though.

  13. The Smiling Paws Pet Carrier looks very cozy but nice to be able to expand for more room too! I think hard carriers have their time and place, such as when transporting a sick kitty to the vet but when traveling or going for a nice relaxing ride kitties need real comfort! This looks purrfect!

  14. That is a really nice carrier. We love how it expands. We can always use another carrier around here.

  15. This looks like a really good carrier and I love that it is soft sided that expand especially when you travelling as while waiting for connections you can open up the sides plus it would be perfect if I did dog events for Layla to lie in.

  16. This looks like a nice carrier for a cat or small dog. I have both! Anytime you find pets in the carrier of their own volition you know you have a good one! I think leaving it out like that will decrease the stress of having to be in it for a vet visit or other excursion.

  17. This looks good. I haven’t tried a carrier with my current cats – except to bring Daisy from the Foster Home to her forever home but I could use a new one. My previous cat ripped soft-sided carriers apart in minutes. She hated being in them. Not sure yet what the new ones will do.

  18. This looks like a great carrier/bed. We won’t enter the giveaway because we have a few cat carriers here and are sure someone else can use them. Will we see you at BlogPaws this year?

  19. I would love to get a carrier like this. We’re still so old school, still using the hard shell carriers, my cats look at my like “duh”! I better not show them this they’ll bug me to get one. mol
    Cool that you keep it in your office, it will make vet visits so much easier! (we hope right?)
    The video is super cute!

  20. First, I love the name of your blog :-) This was certainly an honest review by the three chatty cats. I approve of the ventilation and the set up…looks like a very practical and well-made carrier.

  21. While all three of our cats would love this, I think it would be especially helpful for my senior kitty, Moko. She’s been having medical issues for the past couple of years (hyperthyroid) and that means more frequent trips to the vet than when she was 100% healthy. I have hard, plastic cat carriers for my cat but even with a fleece blanket in the carrier, I’m sure Moko would be much more comfortable in a carrier like this!

  22. You guys sold me! We recently won a different carrier and since I’ve put it out, one cat or the other has been in it. I imagine the first time one is transported to the vet in the carrier – that will be the end of its popularity, but I’ll take it as long as it lasts!

  23. I have 4 cats ranging in size from 8 lbs to 18 lbs. This carrier looks perfect for them! We just moved 1600 miles with them not too long ago, and they are still look at their old plastic carriers with such mistrust!

  24. I love this carrier! It’s so neat how it is expandable, I’ve never seen one like this before. My kitties would love this for trips to the vet or groomers.

  25. I love the look of this carrier and how thoughtfully designed it appears to be! Really enjoyed your writeup on it & the adorable inspection photos! I think my kitty would love it. :D

  26. The carrier looks really cosy. I imagine any pet that is domesticated and fits would enjoy this product.