Macaw travel cage

Finding A Comfortable Multi-Purpose Macaw Travel Cage

Traveling with your macaw? Learn how to select the macaw carrier, prepare essential travel kits, and follow best practices for car and plane trips. Ensure your macaw's comfort and safety on every journey with our detailed guide.

Revised: 4/24/2024

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Embarking on an adventure with your macaw can be exhilarating, but ensuring their safety and comfort during travel is paramount. Finding the perfect macaw travel cage is the first step to turning daunting journeys into enjoyable escapades. Whether you're navigating through busy airports, driving scenic routes, or preparing for an unexpected evacuation, the right setup can make all the difference. Dive into our comprehensive guide to explore how to travel smoothly and stress-free with your feathered companion by your side.

Choosing the Right Macaw Carrier

When selecting a macaw carrier, consider your bird's size and tail length to ensure a comfortable fit. Choose a robust carrier that suits your travel needs and can withstand your macaw's beak strength, ensuring safe and secure transport.

Measure Twice, Perch Once

1. Preparation for Transportation: Before choosing a carrier, measure your vehicle's backseat and the door openings to ensure that the carrier can easily fit inside your car. If you're planning to travel by plane, it's crucial to contact the airline in advance to verify their specific requirements for carriers. This step is vital to avoid the inconvenience and cost of returning a carrier that doesn't meet airline standards or fit your vehicle.

2. Choosing the Right Orientation: Select a carrier that allows your macaw to perch horizontally, which is essential for accommodating the bird’s long tail. This design helps prevent discomfort and damage during travel by giving your macaw plenty of space to rest without cramping its tail.

3. Measuring and Assessing Features: Measure your macaw’s width, length, and height to ensure the carrier is a good fit. Choose a model with doors on both the front and back to simplify the process of placing and removing your macaw while safeguarding its tail. Ensure that the perch is centrally located for balance and that food and water bowls are easily accessible to keep your macaw comfortable and well-fed during the journey.

Don’t Let Your Bird Fly the Coop with A Subpar Macaw Travel Carrier

When investing in a macaw carrier, think of it as a major purchase that extends beyond just a travel necessity. This carrier will serve multiple critical functions in your bird's life, including safe transport, visits to the vet, emergency evacuations, and even as a temporary hospital or sleep cage. Given its varied use, selecting a carrier that ensures the safety and comfort of your exotic pet is paramount.

Choose a carrier constructed from high-quality materials designed to withstand the demands of a macaw. Look for carriers made with sturdy, bird-safe metals and chew-resistant materials such as solid plastics or high-denier fabric. These materials are not only durable but also safe for your bird, reducing the risk of accidental ingestion or injury.

Additionally, it's crucial to verify that any paints or coatings used are non-toxic and lead-free to prevent health issues. Quality materials might come at a higher cost, but they ensure durability and longevity, making the carrier a worthwhile investment for your macaw’s well-being across many situations.

Furthermore, purchasing from reputable companies is essential. It's important to read reviews and consult with friends or fellow bird enthusiasts to gauge the reliability and safety of the carrier. Opting for a cheaper, lower-quality imported item may seem economical initially, but such decisions often lead to regrets when safety and durability issues arise over time.

Types of Macaw Carriers

When choosing a travel cage for your macaw, budget between $300 - $600. The selection of macaw-specific carriers has really thinned out recently, giving buyers fewer options to choose from. This shift in the market means it’s tougher to find carriers that are just right for macaws. If you’re looking for one, it’s crucial to really dig into the details of the remaining choices to ensure they meet your needs for quality and safety. You'll encounter three primary types of macaw carriers:

Typical Wire Cages:

When selecting a typical wire macaw travel cage, focus on both the bird's comfort and the cage's functionality. Choose a cage that offers ample space for your macaw to move and stretch without compromising tail feathers or wings. Quality construction is essential—look for cages crafted from steel or aluminum that feature secure, well-made welds and a robust powder-coated finish to resist wear from your macaw's chewing and climbing.

Consider how the cage will integrate into your travel plans. It should be easy to load into your vehicle and move around, whether that means navigating through a hotel lobby or making a quick trip to the vet. Prioritize designs that include secure yet accessible doors and features that simplify cleaning, like removable bottom trays and less complex interiors.

Heavy-Duty Plastic: 

When exploring heavy-duty plastic macaw carriers, the Caitec Perch & Go Large and the adapted Sky Kennel stand out as robust options. These carriers offer the durability needed for the powerful beak and claws of a macaw, along with a design that ensures safety during transport. They are typically lighter than metal cages, making them easier to transport while still providing sturdy, secure enclosures. Look for features like adequate ventilation, strong locking mechanisms, and see-through walls that allow you to monitor your pet without opening the carrier.

Both the Caitec Perch & Go and the adapted Sky Kennel are designed with travel convenience in mind. The Perch & Go features a clear polycarbonate construction giving your macaw a comfortable view of its surroundings, which can help reduce stress during travel.

The Sky Kennel, often used for air travel, is made from high-density plastic that withstands handling and provides ventilation and door features required by IATA.

Ensure the model you choose fits comfortably in your vehicle and is approved for airline use if needed. Additionally, consider the ease of assembly and disassembly for cleaning, as well as how simple it is to attach food and water containers securely.

Luggage Grade Backpack or Horizontal Carrier: 

Celltei, a U.S.-based, woman-owned business, specializes in high-quality, customizable macaw carriers. The founder, a parrot owner herself, is deeply committed to providing excellent products and ongoing customer service. Each carrier is made-to-order, ensuring that it meets the specific needs and preferences of each customer, reflecting the company's dedication to quality and care for the bird community.

The Pak O Bird from Celltei is designed for "active use," perfect for macaw owners who like to take their feathered friends on walks or even hiking. It's lightweight and portable, with adjustable straps and a supportive frame to make carrying comfortable for you and your macaw. This carrier is ideal for outdoor adventures, allowing you to include your bird safely in more of your daily activities and travels.

For those who need a carrier suited for vehicle or plane travel, the Large Travel Carrier with Fleece Cover is an excellent choice. It's built to be sturdy and secure, providing a calm, cozy environment for your macaw with its additional fleece cover for warmth and privacy. This model is especially useful for longer journeys or flights, ensuring your bird’s comfort and safety every step of the way.

Remember to check with your specific airline carrier regarding their for specific requirements for travel with birds.

Macaw Carrier Comparison Chart

Carrier Model Pros Cons Best For
Frisco Heavy Duty Wire Dog Carrier - Chewy Large, readily available, collapsible, good ventilation Bulky, unsure of paint quality, may require locks, perch & bowls Sleep cage, hospital cage, vet visits, car trips, evacuation
Perch & Go, Large  Long, two doors, keeps tail safe, carrying handle, shoulder strap, adjustable perch, fits in most cars Potentially needs a reinforcement door lock Sleep cage, hospital cage, vet visits, car trips, evacuation
Sky Kennel Various sizes, good ventilation, IATA approved, thick plastic, optional wheels Bulky, heavy, aggressive chewers can destroy, requires additional accessories travel, sleep & hospital cage, evacuation
Pak O Bird, Vertical perching, backpack style, thick 1680 Denier, many options May be destroyed by persistent chewers (Celltei offers repair services) Hiking, walks, out and about town, 
Celltei Large Macaw Carrier  Customizable, made to order No reviews yet; brand new as of early 2024 Pending evaluation

Helpful Travel Accessories for Macaws

Macaw bird carrier

Traveling with your macaw can be a breeze with the right gear:

  1. Macaw Harness: Keep your macaw secure and safe with a safe, durable macaw leash. It's a must for letting your bird stretch its wings safely during travel stops.

  2. Portable Perch: A portable perch gives your macaw a place to get out of the carrier and stretch its wings. A macaw stand can take up a lot of cargo space so consider a large parrot shower perch that sticks to windows and most smooth shower walls.  

  3. Spill-proof Water and Food Dispensers: Keep messes to a minimum with spill-proof dispensers. These keep your macaw fed and hydrated without the fuss, especially during bumpy rides.

  4. Carrier Cover: A lightweight, breathable cover helps calm your macaw by blocking out excess light and bustle. It’s ideal for protecting your bird from the glaring sun or filtering out light at night. Plus, it keeps dander inside of the travel cage. 

  5. Bird First Aid Kit: Always pack a first aid kit tailored for birds. Include items like styptic powder, gauze, and tweezers to handle any minor emergencies while away from home. Make sure to include your birds medical records, proof of an up to date physical examination, and proof of ownership, especially if you're traveling across state lines.  

These essentials make car or plane trips with your macaw much smoother, letting you focus more on the adventure ahead. 

Traveling by Car with Your Macaw

Traveling by car with your macaw doesn't have to be a hassle. Here's how you can keep both you and your feathered pal comfortable on the road:

1. Secure and Spacious Carrier

Pick a sturdy carrier that gives your macaw plenty of room to move without cramping. Make sure it’s securely fastened in the back seat with seat belts or other car-safe methods to avoid any sliding or tipping. Place it where it won’t get direct sunlight or blasts from the air conditioner. 

2. Keep the Temperature Just Right

Macaws can be pretty picky about temperature. Keep your car cool during the summer and warm in the winter, and keep an eye on the temperature regularly. Never leave your macaw in the car alone. Not only is bird theft a real thing, but the car can overheat in minutes creating a health crisis.

3. Water and Snacks

Long drives mean you’ll need to plan for water and access to foo. Use spill-proof containers to keep things tidy and accessible. If you’re on the road for a while, plan some pit stops to give your macaw a chance to eat and drink without the car moving. Remember, some birds get car sick.

4. Stretch Those Wings

Everyone needs to stretch their legs, or in this case, wings. Plan regular stops on long trips to check on your macaw and let them out (safely harnessed, of course) to stretch and destress.

5. Quiet Please

Keep the noise down. Cars are naturally noisy, but avoid extra loud music or sudden sounds that could startle your macaw. Some soft background music can be soothing for both of you.

6. Health First

Pack a first-aid kit designed for birds, just in case. It’s also a good idea to visit the vet for a quick check-up before you hit the road, especially if you will be crossing state lines. Don't forget to include proof of ownership in your first aid kit. 

With a little planning and these practical tips, road tripping with your macaw can be a smooth and enjoyable adventure. Just remember, the key to a successful trip is making sure you're both comfortable and safe.

Traveling by Plane with Your Macaw

When planning to fly with your macaw, especially for international destinations or in situations like military relocations, the preparation period can be quite extensive, often ranging from 6 to 9 months. This timeframe allows you to address all necessary health, safety, and regulatory requirements to ensure a smooth journey for your feathered family member.

1. Understanding CITES Regulations

For international travel, it's crucial to be aware of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which regulates the movement of animals and plants across borders to protect endangered species. Macaws, being exotic birds, often fall under these regulations. You will need to apply for and obtain the appropriate CITES permits, which can be a lengthy process, requiring thorough documentation and proof that your bird was legally acquired.

2. Health Certifications and Vaccinations

Visit an avian veterinarian to get all necessary health checks and vaccinations that your destination country requires. This visit typically includes a thorough health examination and obtaining a health certificate that must be endorsed by a government veterinarian. Some countries have specific entry requirements that might need treatments for parasites or other preventive care several months in advance.

3. Start Discussions with Your Preferred Airline Carrier Early

Contact airlines early to discuss their policies for transporting pets in cargo, as regulations can vary significantly. This conversation should cover not only the dimensions and specifications for travel crates but also booking specifics, as some airlines limit the number of animals on each flight. Additionally, understanding the airline’s procedures for handling pets in cargo will give you peace of mind.

4. Prepare for Quarantine Requirements

Some destinations may require a quarantine period for incoming pets to prevent the spread of diseases. Researching these rules beforehand allows you to prepare both mentally and logistically for what your macaw will need during this period, whether it's arranging for care facilities or understanding the conditions under which your bird will be kept.

By starting the planning process early and navigating these important steps, you can ensure that traveling with your macaw, whether domestically or internationally, adheres to all legal and safety standards, minimizing stress for both you and your bird during the move. 

Related Posts:

 RV Travel With Your Bird
8Tips For Traveling With Your Bird By Car
6 Unexpected Reasons You May Need A Bird Carrier


BringFido. (2023). *Pet friendly hotels & accommodations*. Retrieved from [](

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. (2023). *What is CITES?* Retrieved from [](

Federal Aviation Administration. (2023). *Traveling with pets*. Retrieved from [](

International Air Transport Association. (2023). *Live animals regulations*. Retrieved from []( (2023). *Finding pet friendly hotels around the world*. Retrieved from [](

U.S. Department of Agriculture - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. (2023). *Pet travel from the U.S. to a foreign country*. Retrieved from []

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Diane Burroughs, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist trained in ABA therapy techniques. She specializes in avian anxiety disorders and is certified in Nutrition For Mental Health. Diane has written a number of bird behavior books and she offers behavior consultations. She's developed a range of UnRuffledRx Science-backed Parrot Wellness Supplies.

Diane's products have been featured in the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery and at Exoticscon, a conference for exotic pet veterinarians. Her bird collars & supplements are stocked in avian vet clinics and bird stores throughout the US. With over 30 years in the field of behavior, Diane has created thousands of successful individualized behavior plans that help pets thrive.

TAGS: #MacawTravelCage #MacawCarrier



If you are new to birds, you'll soon learn that there are a few pieces of equipment that are absolutely essential for your bird's safety and well-being.

A lot of people don't realize that pet birds, parrots in particular, are actually exotic pets that are only a few generations away from having lived in the jungle and rainforest.  Unlike a domesticated pet, such as a cat or a dog, our pet birds need highly sophisticated care in order to thrive. is all about providing information and care help to support parrot wellness.  We’ve developed specialized supplies to help birds that have developed troublesome problems that may threaten their welfare and their very lives.

I have been a bird fanatic ever since I adopted a health compromised chicken when I was in middle school. As an adult I got a bad case of parrot fever. And, being an animal lover, I studied everything I could get my hands on so that I could provide Peachy, my Moluccan cockatoo, the best care possible.

Now, years later, I'm proud to say that my parrots are thriving. I attribute my success to being highly in tune to provide my birds with optimum parrot wellness, everyday.

Early on, I’d invested in high quality, essential parrot care accessories that have enriched the lives of my feathered friends for  years.

For my medium to large sized parrots I made sure that their cages were roomy,  safe, and encouraged exercise.  Since I have a bird room I am able to leave the cage door open with a bird tree stand nearby to encourage foraging and exercise.

I love to travel, so having a high quality, easy to clean bird carrier for each of my pets (that allow them to perch in an upright position) was essential. Sadly, one of the things that I have noticed in the 25 years that I've owned is that many American companies that make specialized products for birds have gone out of business.

So, nowadays, it is difficult to find high-quality bird carriers for our larger feathered friends. In the early days of BirdSupplies.Com, I worked with several companies that produced very nice bird carriers that accommodated African grey parrots, amazon parrots, cockatoos, and even long-tailed macaws. 


There used to be a company called Crystal Flight that made unbelievable acrylic bird carriers. They sold their medium-to-large bird carriers worldwide. 

I got to visit Loro de Parque in the Canary Islands a number of years ago and saw that they were using Crystal Flight Bird Carriers. Crystal Flight was one of the few specialty bird carrier manufacturers that made safe products for macaws. Now, it's almost impossible to find a macaw specialty bird carrier.

For a long time, I sold converted Sky Kennel Dog Carriers for parrots. These thick, plastic carriers are airline approved, but they require a few simple conversions for use with birds.  Unfortunately, they, too, are hard to find these days.

Donna Clark invented Wingabago Bird Carriers back in the early 1990’s.  She sold the company off to a number of years ago but unfortunately the design changed from Donna's original. The plastics now turn yellow and the purchase process has become rigorous.

Now, we have to get creative to adapt a traditional dog carrier for cockatoos and macaws.

The bottom line is that no responsible pet bird owner should be without a safe, well-ventilated bird carrier for each bird in the home. 

I’ve found that a bird carrier is a critical item to have on hand in case your bird has a medical emergency, requires a quick trip to the veterinarian, or if you need to evacuate due to a natural disaster. 

Your bird carrier can also double as a sleep cage. And, it is  great for vacation purposes and interstate moves. Look for a Carrier that can serve several uses - 

  • Travel 
  • Evacuation
  • Sleep
  • Hospital Cage.

Choosing A Multi-Use Bird Carrier

Think about what uses you may have for a bird carrier given your bird species, travel requirements, evacuation needs, potential health concerns, and your household.  

For instance, I use the Featherland Paradise, Perch 'n Go, Polycarbonate Bird Carrier, Clear View Travel Cage with Handle, Small for my small to medium-sized parrots.  I like that it is clear so my birds can see me and I can see them. Also, I can move the perch or down depending on the size of the bird that's in it.  Plus, I love the stainless steel front and back that allow for plenty of ventilation.

By the way, Featherland Paradise used to offer a long macaw bird carrier, but I've not seen it lately, possibly due to COVID.

I still have a few regular sized Wingabago bird carriers that I've used for evacuation purposes with my African grey parrots. I also have one large Wingabago for Peachy.