Tuft and Paw Porto Cat Carrier Review: Folding and Versatile
When all zipped up, the Porto kind of looks like a sophisticated duffle bag and there is a luggage handle pass-through on the back. When not attached to a suitcase, the bottom of that pass-through zips closed so it can be used as a pocket instead. An additional pocket on one end also has an ID card slot for writing your and your cat’s information on. There are also seat belt straps to keep it from bouncing around in the backseat while driving, but as the brand states, this isn’t a guarantee of safety if you crash. (Also, you shouldn’t strap them into the front seat, as the airbag could be fatal in an accident.)
The canvas shell is water-resistant and should be spot-cleaned only. I sprayed it with the faucet and it wiped dry easily, though of course, should you be caught in a rainstorm, the fabric around the zipper and straps will stay damp. The pad can be thrown into the washing machine.
The Porto only comes in one size, but with a 30-pound weight limit, most cats and even small dogs should fit. My three cats run the gamut of size, weighing 4, 10, and 20 pounds. Technically my biggest cat fits, but since your cat should be able to turn around completely, he probably needs something bigger. My husband and I don’t take them out of the house frequently, but we’ll keep testing it.
Cost of Comfort
Tuft and Paw designers work alongside cat behaviorists to make sure their ideas are not just visually appealing, but consider the safety and mental well-being of cats too. In this case, that influenced the amount of mesh. There’s one mesh door and a small panel on the top, which might be less mesh than you’re used to. Tuft and Paw’s spokesperson told me that while most cat parents assume more mesh is better, too much visual exposure can actually make tense situations worse. There’s enough mesh for airflow and some sight, but not so much to cause already scared cats to be overwhelmed.
Its products are usually as pricey as they are beautiful—all of our cats deserve to play on this luxurious cat tree but not all of our cats are contributing to the bills, am I right?—but in this case, I don’t think $99 is outrageous. It’s not much more than the $60 to $80 carriers I was used to, and I did notice an obvious quality upgrade when I switched to the Porto. The uber-expensive $195 Diggs Passenger carrier uses thicker, more rugged material. But it’s also smaller, with an 18-pound limit. If you’re on the fence, Tuft and Paw also includes price breakdowns on every product page to explain the general costs that go into creating and shipping each item.
Knowing why a product costs so much doesn’t magically put money in my pocket, but the work that goes into Tuft and Paw’s designs makes spending money on its products a little easier than just throwing money at a random Amazon seller. Hey, I said easier, not painless.