It's natural for adventure cat parents to worry about the well-being of their feline friends whenever they go outdoors.
Particularly cat parents who are new to the game rely on cat backpacks to keep their cats safe while they are on an adventure. Cat backpacks allow you to carry your cat comfortably and give your cat a safe place.
In case you are short on time, here´s our favorite cat backpack from all the ones we've tested:
- Good and sturdy construction
- Sporty feel
- Fits large cats (15lbs)
- Good airflow
Backpacks are not always needed or created equal. There are a few things you need to know before you buy a cat backpack and in this article, we'll talk about what to look for in a cat travel backpack and give tips on how to carry your cat safely in a backpack.
What's a Cat Backpack
A cat backpack is a cat carrier that you can hang from your shoulders, like any other backpack. They are used to carry your beloved cat in style:
Keeping your cat safe and secured in a convenient and easy-to-carry cat carrier. It's perfect for bringing your furry friend on walks, hikes, trips to the local market, and cross-country adventures.
The best backpack will have features that are good for your cat's comfort and your own. So, when you buy a cat backpack for travel, you should look for one that is well-made and safe.
As a rule of thumb, the more you are considering going out, the most you should invest in a cat backpack that suits you. If you only want the backpack to take your cat to the vet once a year, then you probably don't even need a backpack as long as you have a carrier.
While not everybody needs a backpack, many will do. Let's see if you should get a cat backpack and under what circumstances.
Why Should you have a Cat Backpack?
I believe that those who said that cats are low-maintenance animals have never had a cat. It takes a lot of effort to keep a cat enriched, and many are starting to walk their cats on a leash to do so. It's a great way to keep them healthy and happy (although you can also keep a 100% indoor cat happy)
Learn to Walk your Cat on a leash:
If you are walking or considering walking your cat on a leash, it might be a good idea to get a cat backpack so that you can carry your cat there when they get tired of walking. (Regardless of what social media says, cats won't walk more than a few hundred meters without stopping, so if you want to go at pace, you'll need a way to carry them at times).
Same goes for traveling with your cat. I personally take my cat with me wherever I go (the most I've been separated from her has been a couple days). t's much more difficult to travel if you take your cat on a trip with you. In these case it's also a good idea to take with you a safe place that's comfortable to carry around.
A cat backpack is the safest and most reliable way to carry your furry friend. Cat backpacks are convenient for taking your cat on trips to the vet, for a stroll in the park, or on a hike. Cats may enjoy the outdoors while being safely contained in a backpack.
Do Cats Like Being in Backpacks?
In the end, no one answer works for everyone. Some cats are OK inside carriers and cat backpacks while others are not. Some cats might like one particular backpack only just as some cats are fine in any other cat carrier.
In some instances, a cat might get anxious while traveling or hiking and having a safe place to go to will trigger them to get inside your carrier or backpack! This is good! This means that they trust the backpack as a safty spot.
On the other hand, no cat will want to stay in a carrier or backpack if they would rather stay outside. So for cats that are brave and accostumed at adventuring and walking on a leash, the backpack will be the very last resort and most of the times, they will rather stay on your shoulder or your lap vs. their carrier or backpack.
You, as the owner, are the one who is most familiar with the cat's individual preferences and comfort needs. Explore and learn what is best for your fellow adventure buddy.
Some cats may need some time to get used to riding in a cat backpack before they become comfortable doing so. Give them time and several opportunities before you decide what's right for them.
Backpack vs. Carrier what's Best?
If you are thinking about traveling with your cat or would like to carry your cat with you for a long distance or with your hands free, probably a cat backpack is best.
For traveling by plane or by car, maybe going to the vet, a cat carrier is more than enough.
Are Cat Backpacks Safe?
When used right, cat backpacks are safe for cats in every way. Follow these steps to ensure the safety of your cat while they are in the carrier:
- Teach your cat to get on the backpack on their own
- Never leave the backpack unattended
- Check regularly on your cat while the backpack is on (you can't see them)
- Ensure the backpack is free from stuff that can fall on top of your cat or hurt them.
- Be certain there are ventilation options in the backpack.
You shouldn't have any issues as long as you invest in a high-quality backpack and keep a close check on your feline friend while they are inside the carrier.
Start with shorter trips so that you and your cat get used to the backpack and move to bigger adventures as you both get comfortable.
How to Choose a Cat Backpack
What kind of backpack is best for transporting your cat depends on your feline friend, your preferences, and the things you want to do with your cat.
Consider these elements while choosing a cat backpack.
Before buying a backpack, know how much weight it can hold. It must be sturdy enough to support your cat's body weight and be the right size.
- Total Number of Openings:
There are different openings on a cat backpack. Consider where you will need those openings to feed/comfort/let your cat in and out of the backpack.
I like having at least two openings, one on the large side (in case the backpack is on the floor so that I can reach to my cat from above) and one on the top (so that the cat can stand tall on the backpack and take the head out while walking)
We strongly advise that you always have your cat wear a harness for security when exploring with you. Check this post to learn how to put a harness on a cat.
Your cat's harness needs to be tethered to the backpack. This will make it easier to keep them safe in your backpack and prevent them from jumping off.
- Windows and Air Holes
Choose a backpack with ventilation and window openings, so your cat doesn't feel trapped within its carrier. These windows are usually made of mesh. Some windows are constructed of plastic with air holes.
Best Cat Backpacks by Type
Because not every backpack has been designed for the same purpose, here's a short list of the best backpacks by occasion:
Airline Approved Cat Backpack for Traveling
A backpack carrier may make airport travel more pleasant for you and your cat if you don't have a rolling carry-on suitcase. Mr. Peanut's Backpack Carrier is the best carrier to use before, during, and after a flight because it is easy to use, strong, and comfortable for you and your cat.
The straps, back panels, and chest strap of the carrier are all adjustable for comfort. A luxurious plush mat that wraps around the interior provides a comfortable ride for your cat, whether on its back or beneath an airplane seat.
The bag has a tether, and the zippers buckle for extra security. When the top panel is flat, the front-loading door has a roll-up privacy flap that covers it.
- Well made and durable
- Comfortable for the human
- Works vertical and horizontal
- Too samll for big cats
Cat Backpack for Hiking
Hikers with dogs are common on the trails, but cat owners are a rare sight. On the other hand, some cats like walking through nature because it gives them a chance to get some fresh air and see new things. A cat backpack is a great option if you want to take your cat hiking but don't want to have them walk the whole trip.
"The Navigator" Convertible Cat Rucksack Carrier is the perfect backpack for outdoor enthusiasts, explorers, and people who like to hike with their cats. The mesh windows provide your cat with plenty of ventilation and visibility, making it ideal for visits to the vet and motor rides.
- Good and sturdy construction
- Sporty feel
- Fits large cats (15lbs)
- Good airflow
With its adjustable waist strap, chest strap, and cushioned shoulder straps, this backpack can carry up to 25 pounds while keeping every hooman comfortable. The whole bag folds up for simple storage and may be used as a backpack or a standard carrier. If you have a particularly curious cat, you may connect its leash and harness to the safety straps included in our backpacks.
Types of Cat Backpacks
There are a few different types of cat backpack carriers available, including the Extendable Cat Backpack, the Carrier Backpack, and the Bubble Window Backpack.
Cat Backpacks with Window or Bubble
Carrying your cat in a bubble backpack carrier is a safe and chic solution. The outside of this bag is made of rigid polycarbonate, which gives it a hard shell. The bubbling, half-sphere glass cage gives the cat a clear view of the outside world while making it feel safer. Because of the window, the bag is a completely see-through backpack.
Because of the window, the bag is a completely see-through backpack.
Cat Backpack and Carrier
The backpacks are composed of a very sturdy fabric that can withstand repeated use. This model is great for traveling with your cat because it has mesh windows that let air in and let you see out while keeping your cat's privacy.
Extendable Cat Backpack
Here's a backpack that will make taking your cat on hikes a breeze. The waist and chest straps help keep you steady on your feet while navigating rough terrain. The Oxford fabric is water-resistant, so your cat won't get wet if it rains. Because of the roomy interior, your cat will have plenty of opportunities to exercise and snack. If you intend on simply using this backpack for hiking, it folds neatly when your trip is over.
Cat Backpack for Large Cats
If you have a big cat, you'll want a bag to keep him safe and provide breathing room. The Lollimeow Large Cat Backpack Carrier is a safe and comfortable way to carry cats that weigh up to 26 pounds.
This cat backpack is made of waterproof nylon and polyester and is very light and durable. As a bonus, these materials are water- and scratch-resistant, so they can be cleaned quickly and easily.
The Lollimeow Large Cat Backpack Carrier has a top hole so your cat can easily get in, weighing between 5 and 8 pounds, making it ideal for those who don't want to carry a bulky bag but still want to take their feline companion with them.
The mesh viewing glass gives you a great field of view even when you're on the move, and the padded backpack will keep you as comfortable as possible. To allow your cat to peek out and explore, the mesh window can be taken out.
It´s a secure and robust option for cat owners who want to take their pets on adventures. High-quality canvas and polyester construction ensure your cat's safety and comfort while traveling. Customers attest to the lightweight pack's durability and airflow. Chest and shoulder straps may be adjusted to find the most comfortable position. It's comfortable for cats since they can stretch out within the pack.
Best Cat Backpack
To me, the best backpack for your cat is a backpack that your cat is comfortable in. I like carrying my cat on my shoulder so I always take my cat harness with me when I travel. I have a cat backpack that can be used as a carrier when Mia is on my shoulder but also as a backpack if I need to travel with her on my back.
Ideally, at some point, someone will design a backpack that you can use to carry your stuff on top of your cat. Today there´s no backpack in the market as such and I tend to use a regular hiking backpack where Mia sits on top. I hold her carrier in my hand until it´s time to board the plane.
Alternatives to a Cat Backpack
As I mentioned earlier, I much rather prefer a backpack where I can put my cat´s stuff and mine and carry her on my shoulder.
To do this I rely on an escape-proof cat harness and a leash and a little training.
It keeps us agile and she can come up and down my shoulders as she pleases, making her trips more comfortable (at least from and to the airport) keeping the time she stays inside the carrier/backpack as short as possible.
To learn more about how we travel I recommend you check this video!
Stay wild, stay safe, see you outdoors!
Albert & Mia