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Best Cat Backpack : 10 Adventure and Hiking Cat Carrier Backpacks

Posted in: Cat Supplies - Last Updated: August 6, 2022 - Author: Dexter Jones
Posted in Cat Supplies 
Last Updated: February 15, 2021  
Author:  Dexter Jones

Does it break your heart to leave your kitty friend at home when you go off on an outdoor adventure - hiking, biking or walking? Well the answer for you and your fluffball is a cat backpack! And, by that, we mean what people call a 'cat backpack carrier' - as opposed to a backpack for a cat or a backpack shaped like a cat (both of which do exist!).

You won't have to leave your kitty behind on any future trips because theres's now a whole load of choice when it comes to picking a cat  carrying backpack, which allows you to take a trip with your cat knowing that they are enjoying it in comfort and security.

best cat backpack

In this article we're going to cover the 10 best cat backpack models that we have tested on the trail - so that you can find whatever best fits the needs of you and your kitty.

Before we recommend any product on our site we research all the available expert opinion as well as surveying our 1 million followers on social media. Then we buy and test the products with our cats and then pull all that data together to arrive at an expert opinion.

In researching for a great cat adventure backpack we looked at factors such as size, security, comfort, quality, and other considerations as well as the real world experience of our cat owning followers. After measuring the results, we've compiled this list of the ten top-rated cat carrier backpacks that you and your kitty can trust and enjoy together. 

Best Cat Backpack - Our Pick

The best cat backpack we tested is the Pecute Cat Backpack. We chose this as our ‘Best All Round Cat Backpack’ because of its size, ability to expand, great ventialtion, comfort for you and your cat and its good value.

The Pecute Cat Backpack

Our choice is the Pecute Pet Backpack.

Pecute Pet Carrier Backpack, Dog Carrier Backpack, Expandable with Breathable Mesh for Small Dogs Cats Puppies, Pet Backpack Bag for Hiking Travel Camping Outdoor Hold Pets Up to 18 Lbs

It is our top pick as it is a genuine all rounder! The unit is lightweight, but still robust enough to withstand claw and fang attacks. It has plenty of storage, is easily cleaned and has a natural air flow. It is a well thought out design and cats take to it quickly.

Our Pick - The Best Overall : Pecute Cat Backpack

This is the perfect all-rounder providing a large amount of room for your pet to get comfortable.

This cat backpack is lightweight and made from premium materials, making it super robust.

The ventilation meshing is made of a rubberized mesh, defeating those ever exploring ‘mitten claws’!

Cats get very comfortable once inside this carrier so the design is well thought out and popular.

Pecute Pet Carrier Backpack, Dog Carrier Backpack, Expandable with Breathable Mesh for Small Dogs Cats Puppies, Pet Backpack Bag for Hiking Travel Camping Outdoor Hold Pets Up to 18 Lbs

  • Lightweight, durable and portable
  • Expandable, waterproof and easily cleaned
  • Plenty of ventilation and all round visibility
  • It has a chest clip and waist strap helping with stability when carrying a squirmy cat
  • Comes with a sturdy and removable bottom for your pet to sit on comfortably
  • Multiple storage pockets on the side of the backpack
  • Product size: 34x27x44 cm / 13.4x10.6x17.3 in
  • Extended size: 62x34x45 cm / 24.4x13.4x17.7 in

Check out this video and see why the Pecute cat backpack is our number one choice! :

Our hands-on cat kit tester, Holly, tried out the Pecute cat backpack with her kitties and found it to be well-made, comfortable, and, most importantly, her cats loved it.

Runner-Up : Pet Gear I-GO2 Traveler Cat Backpack

If you‘re looking for a multi-functional cat backpack we recommend the Pet Gear I-G02 Traveler.

It can be used as a backpack, tote, carrier and a securable car seat.

The Traveler has an easy to clean removable internal pad. It also comes with two security tethers to attach your feline friends. The sides are expandable to adjust the amount of space.

Be warned, the meshing material is a little thin so if you have a larger, more mischievous cat, damage may be caused.

Pet Gear I-GO2 Roller Backpack, Travel Carrier, Car Seat for Cats/Dogs, Mesh Ventilation, Included Tether, Telescoping Handle, Storage Pouch

  • A five-in-one product; carrier, car seat, backpack, roller bag and tote
  • Includes a telescoping handle with wheels to function as a rolling case
  • Included tether can be attached to your pet's harness for extra safety
  • Telescoping handle stores out of the way just like a suitcase
  • Sides are expandable to add 7.62cm of additional space;
  • Features two side storage pouches for pet extras
  • Measures 40.64cm l x 30.48cm w x 38.10cm

Best Cat Bubble Backpack : Lemonda Space Capsule Backpack

We can't ignore the cat bubble backpack, or what some folks call an astronaut backpack for cats. A lot of outdoorsy cat lovers like this type of carrier for the look. The defining feature of a bubble backpack for cats is the large clear window (the bubble!) that your kitty can stare out of whilst being carried.

There's a fair amount of choice available if one of these bubble bacpaks is what you're after, but we think the Lemonda is the best option.

This cat bubble backpack is very easy to put together and your cat will get comfortable very easily.

The hard plastic is extremely sturdy and the inside is roomy enough for them to move around with ease. 

The transparent bubble allows your cat to have a good look around whilst travelling. They also look like a furry astronaut so expect a few impromptu ‘selfies’ from passersby!

The backpack comes with a tether for security and the shell is waterproof so you won’t have a wet moggy on a rainy day.

LEMONDA Portable Pet Travel Carrier,Space Capsule Pet Cat Bubble Backpack,Waterproof Traveler Knapsack for Cat and Small Dog Mutil Colors to Choose

  • Fashionable cat astronaut backpack capsule design
  • Available in many colours
  • Made from high quality high density acrylic and canvas, it comes with a velvet pad for kitty inside. 
  • The assembly is super easy; you just screw the dome on
  • Dimension: 12.6"L x 11.5"W x 16.5"H. Fit for cats up to 11lb

Best Premium : Kurgo Cat Carrier Backpack

The Kurgo is the premium choice cat carrier backpack and is suitable for small dogs as well as cats.

The main difference between the Kurgo and all the other designs is that it functions more like a traditional hiking backpack and can double up as your daily backpack when you’re not taking your kitty on a hike or trip with you. 

This also means that even when you are cat backpacking and your cat is in the main section there are plenty of other compartments for your stuff too. And it’s TSA approved as a pet carrier and will fit as hand luggage if you and your furbaby take a flight.

Many people have tried other cat backpacks and end up picking up this Kurgo cat carrier backpack simply because that traditional design makes it the most comfortable and sturdy cat backpack available.

If it was cheaper this would be our top pick, but, given the price, we have to give it the premium pick. If your budget stretches this far, we do give it our top recommendation.

Basically, this is the premium choice because it’s the only one that does both roles so well. Plus it comes with a hassle-free lifetime warranty if it’s not right for your cat or if it doesn’t stand up to the use you and your kitty give it!

Kurgo G-Train - Dog Carrier Backpack for Small Pets - Cat & Dog Backpack for Hiking, Camping or Travel - Waterproof Bottom - Black

  • Dual purpose cat backpack carrier and hiking pack
  • Ventilated, padded design with lots of interior storage compartments
  • Interior swivel latch to secure your cat
  • Waterproof armorsole bottom to keep cat dry
  • Front facing cat backpack is stain resistant and easy to wipe clean
  • Removable, machine-washable interior pad
  • TSA approved pet airline carrier
  • Product size : 13 x 21 x 10 in

Best Transparent : Lollimeow Transparent Travel Cat Backpack Carrier

This is a great travel cat carrier for your cat and is also very comfortable and stylish. Clearly the large transparent full front section is the key feature of this Lollimeow cat carrier.

Some cats love all that clear cover to perr out of and it'll be their number one choice, but for some it's too much as it leaves nowehere to hide. 

The quality of this backpack is also good with the inclusion of a hook inside the cat space to put a pet toy or snack.

The transparent design allows for a panoramic view which is perfect for those nosy cats.

LOLLIMEOW Pet Carrier Backpack, Waterproof Bubble Backpack Carrier, Cats and Puppies,Airline-Approved, Designed for Travel, Hiking, Walking & Outdoor Use

  • Panoramic transparent cover, full transparent front cover, 180 degree views
  • Plenty of ventilation holes and mesh design making sure there is adequate ventilation
  • Ergonomic double shoulder strap, easy to carry
  • With side pockets for storing your belongings
  • 11.4" L x 10.6" W x 16.1" H. Suggested Weight: 0-13lbs for small to medium cats

Most Escape Proof : Petsfit Large Expandable Cat Carrier Backpack

Our greatest fear is for our best friend to escape from a cat backpack and for sheer panic to set in. Our crafty pals are all potential “escape artists” so we must always be careful. 

The design of this Petsfit Expandable carrier backpack limits the chances of escape as the zips and materials are rigid and sturdy. Additionally it's a top entry backpack so escape is harder for even the most houdini of cats!

It is suitable for large, heavy cats with a bit of an ‘attitude.’ So this cat backpack certainly gives peace of mind.

Petsfit Dog Backpack Carrier,Cat Backpacks Expandable with Great Ventilation,Fleece Mat,Perfect for Hiking,Camping Hold Pets Under 25 lbs

  • Extremely hard to escape from
  • Made of oxford fabric with padded shoulder and chest straps, sturdy enough for pets up to 8kg
  • Breathable mesh design creates great ventilation
  • A door on the top for easy access
  • Warm fleece mat included, tethers inside the backpack to secure pets in place
  • Dimensions: 33cm x 27cm x 44cm, extended 28cm x 37cm x 37cm

Best Airline Approved Pick: Petsfit Airline Approved Pet Carrier Backpack

This cat carrying backpack is lightweight, strong and comfortable to carry.

Importantly, the Petsfit lives up to its name as it is airline approved so can legally be taken onboard a plane and placed under the seat.

Although it's made in fabric and mesh, it's a sturdy carrier that holds its shape and protects your cat if you're travelling with them.

The viewing meshing is made from a resilient material that limits ‘claw and fang’ damage. 

If you’re flying, this Petsfit cat backpack could make your journey far more comfortable and stress free.

Petsfit Comfortable Dog Cat Backpack Carrier for Travel Hiking Walking Cycling Suitable for Pet up to 22 Pounds, Blue

  • Perfect for pets less than 5KG
  • Removable matt for easier cleaning
  • Pet carrier airline approved
  • The cat backpack comes with a safety strap to secure your pet and prevent escape
  • Two mesh windows for ventilation and visibility
  • Side pockets can store small goods

Best Budget : PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack

This PetAmi Deluxe cat carrier backpack is our budget pick because it is comfortable, well priced and enables the cat to look out easily. 

Entry at the sides and top makes it easy to get your cat in and out.

The opening at the bottom allows for ease of cleaning.

It is a little on the bulky side, but is still quite lightweight, very sturdy and good quality.

PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack for Small Cats and Dogs, Puppies | Ventilated Design, Two-Sided Entry, Safety Features and Cushion Back Support | for Travel, Hiking, Outdoor Use (Heather Gray)

  • Mesh cloth on all sides and large internal space allowing maximum comfort.
  • Waterproof and easy to clean.
  • Mesh windows create good air circulation and visibility.
  • Top safety: Good quality zipper and interior tether prevents your pet from escaping
  • Comfortable: Ergonomic weight design. Easy to fold for storage.
  • Lots of fun and looks great. Perfect for travelling with pets.
  • Can hold pets weight up to 8kg

Best Luxury Pick: Cloverpet Luxury Astronaut Cat Bubble Backpack

Although we have a premium pick above, that is a traditional style of backpack. However, if you want luxury and the cat bubble backpack look then this is your best pick.

Cloverpet’s cat bubble backpack really does push the boundaries of pet design.

This cat astronaut backpack is no exception and is guaranteed to turn heads.

Perfect for travel and has plenty of ventilation, a spacious interior and a soft fleece bedding.

CLOVERPET Luxury Dog Cats Puppy Travel Bubble Pet Carrier Backpack,Yellow

  • Revolutionary cat backpack bubble semi-sphere window design
  • Available in multiple colours
  • Mobile pet bed and car seat two-in-one, approved on most major airlines
  • Built-In security leash, mesh panels & ventilation holes
  • Soft washable pad, top & side entries for maximum accessibility
  • Inside Dimensions:11.4"LX11"WX15"H

Most Easily Cleaned: Petrip Cat Carrying Backpack

Our fuzzy companions can get a little nervous at times and that inevitably leads to a smelly mess being made. 

The Petrip cat backpack could be the perfect solution to this. It is made from high quality oxford fabric and PU leather so any mess can be cleaned with a rag and a light wipe, super easy.

It also comes with nine ventilation ports keeping your cat companion happy and cool

The backpack is airline approved if you are thinking of taking your furry friend on any  international journeys.

Petrip Pet Backpack Carrier for 20 lbs Cats Small Dogs, Expandable Cat Backpack with Super Ventilated Design, Safety Straps, Buckle Support, Airline Approved Collapsible Dog Backpack

  • Second generation coffee backpack
  • PU leather - super easy to clean
  • Space capsule design makes this chest bag cool and futuristic
  • Bubble window can provide security and ease anxiety for your lovely pets
  • Perfect for hiking, travel, outdoor activities
  • Airline Approved
  • Plenty of ventilation ports

Best Fat Cat Backpack: ‘Fat Cat’ Cat Backpack Carrier

Some of our four legged friends are a little more ‘rotund of body’! 

To tackle this we recommend the ‘Fat Cat’ backpack.

It holds the most weight out of any cat backpack on the market at a whopping 9 kilograms! 

There’s enough space for them to fully lay down and sleep. If you’re wanting a roomy backpack, this is absolutely the one for you!

The Fat Cat Backpack for Larger Cats - Premium Pet Carrier Bag for Travel and Hiking

  • Includes both back and adjustable shoulder straps with extra thick padding
  • Comes with a Bubble and Meshing alternative
  • Top opening so your cat can hang out and look around
  • Storage space, side pockets, security leash
  • Durable & Large Size - Designed for convenient outdoor travel for you and your pet
  • Carries up to 9 kilograms! Biggest on the market

This fat cat backpack has many fans! You can find plenty of unbiased reviews online from cat lovers who’ve bought them and are using them. We have found an excellent ‘Fat Cat’ review!

Check out the video below to see an in-depth look at the Fat Cat backpack! It also includes a cheeky kitty who keeps popping up to lend a hand!

Best Hiking Option: Texsens Backpack Cat Carrier

It’s becoming more and more popular to see us crazy cat owners taking our moggies on walks and adventures.

If this is something that you‘re interested in, then several of our choices are great for hiking or adventure trips, but we recommend you take a good look at this Texsens Cat Backpack

This backpack is a unique 360 degree meshing design. 

This will give your cat unbeatable visual-ability and unrivalled airflow. It is lightweight and very comfortable to wear with plenty of thick padding.

A must for the trekker!

Texsens Cat Backpack Carrier, Super Breathable Carrier Backpack, Airline-Approved Bubble Cats and Puppies Backpacks, Designed for Hiking, Travel& Walking (Grey)

  • 360 degree meshing and viewing
  • Plenty of padding on the back
  • Skylight window to pop head out of
  • Hands free, lightweight carrying
  • Removable pad for easy cleaning

Who Should Buy a Cat Backpack?

Cat backpacks can be used in far more situations than a conventional carry case. A cat backpack can be used to take your cat to the vets and appointments.

Now they can be used for travelling, hiking, adventuring and even bike riding. You will never have to leave your furry friend at home again! 

The good news is that many of these backpacks for cats are actually airline approved.

This will allow you to keep your cat with you when flying, rather than placing them down in the dreaded cargo hold. I know you all hate the thought of that!

Pet backpacks open up a whole new world of opportunity to share adventures together.

cat backpack

Things to Consider

The three most important factors when deciding on the ‘puurfect’ cat backpack are:

  • All cats are different sizes! It is important that you choose a backpack that has enough space for them to be comfortable in. They must have enough room to easily turn around and sit up.
  • It must have proper and adequate ventilation. This is obviously critical.
  • The build quality must be rigid, strong and be, you guessed it, escape proof!

Cat Bubble Backpack or Carrier Cat Backpack?

Bubble backpacks have a hard-shell and feature a semi-sphere “bubble” for cats to look out. That's the 'astronaut' look we mentioned earlier!

As we said, they make your cat look a bit astronaut like so are also incredibly fun to go out and about in. The polycarbonate hard-shell makes them strong, durable and totally waterproof. 

cat bubble backpack

The hard-shell design really does make your cat feel safe and secure.

The carrier bag design is more lightweight. The backpack is made from high-quality oxford fabric which is a thick and durable woven blend. 

The mesh windows provide lots of ventilation and gives a big viewing area for them look out from.

Escape Proof

The thought of a cat carrier opening up mid-journey is utterly terrifying! It happened to us at a motorway service station a few years ago.

Thankfully, we grabbed our tabby boy before he ‘legged it’ into the chaotic unknown. I don’t even want to think about what could have happened to him. Too scary. 

There must be effective levels of security to prevent your cat from escaping. The zips and doors must be escape proof!

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A tether is usually included so you can attach that to your pet’s harness or collar to keep them secured in the carrier. 

If your pet has been known to escape, avoid designs that open up at the top. Choose the option that has meshing or a transparent plastic opening.

Cats can squeeze through the smallest of openings, so keep this in mind if you have a budding ‘Houdini’ on your hands.

Unlike our motorway stop, always ensure that you have attached the tether or leash so that even if your cat does escape the backpack they won’t get far!

Ergonomic Support

A pet backpack must be comfortable as you will be wearing the backpack for long periods of time.

Pick a design that takes pressure off of the pressure points on your cervical and lumbar spine. 

Importantly, pick a backpack with both shoulder straps and a chest or waist strap. These help distribute the weight, as well as stabilizing the backpack so your pet doesn’t get bumped.

Also, make sure the straps have plenty of padding so they don’t start ‘digging in’ after those longer days.

What Size?

As mentioned before, the sizing of a backpack pet carrier is very important. Your cat must be able to turn around and stand up freely.

Check that the bottom of the carrier is strong enough to support their weight. 

The bottom must not collapse or bend out of shape. All quality backpacks have weight limit recommendations.

Be sure to check these specifications before you buy - especially if you have a ‘portly puddycat!’

Design Quality

A cat backpack must be durable and built from quality materials that won’t fall apart after regular use.

Remember, cats have delicate ‘mitten tools’ that will soon unpick poor materials. So beware!

Adequate Ventilation

Your backpack must be able to provide proper ventilation for your cat.

All good carriers have meshing openings or vent ports, that allow air to pass in, through and out.

cat carrier backpack ventilation

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I securely put my cat in a backpack?

Pick up your pet under their front legs and with your other hand supporting their bottom. Place them in to the carrier through the entryway rear-end first, so she doesn’t feel trapped and can still see you.

Are they easy to clean?

Enter your text here...Yes. Most pet carrier backpacks are designed to be easily cleaned. They are deliberately made from materials that are super easy to wipe down with a cloth. Most of the bed bottoms are removable and can be easily cleaned.

How do I get my cat used to a cat backpack?

Leave the backpack on the floor at home so your cat can explore around it in their own time and at their own leisure. Leave the entry door open so they can get used to going in and out. 

Leave some of their favourite treats inside it so they think, “this is actually a really nice place...it’s now mine!” After a week or so they will be acclimatised and more likely to see the backpack a part of their kitty kingdom. Ours certainly does! 

In the beginning make shorter trips until your pet becomes used to travelling in the cat carrier. Longer journeys can come with time.

Here is a useful video on how to get your cat used to a pet backpack:

Are cat backpacks safe?

As long as the cat backpack is well designed and well made from sturdy materials they are safe.

As long as they are calm most cats like confined (but not restricted) spaces. They will actually enjoy being in their cat backpack.

Ensure that the cat backpack you choose has ample air holes or meshing for good ventilation. We haven’t come across any that fail in this regard but be 100% certain that your cat can breathe easily.

And, lastly look to have a cat backpack with a tether and clip that to your cat’s collar or harness for maximum safety.

Are cat backpacks cruel?

In a word, no. First thoughts could be that cat backpacks would be cramped for you cat. However, they are no different from carrying your cat in a conventional cat carrier.

We regularly see that they look forward to getting into these backpacks and relaxing.

A far cry from the conventional cat carriers which they all seem to hate.

Can you carry a cat in a backpack?

You mean a normal everyday backpack that you use for school or hikes? Do not attempt to carry your cat in anything but a purpose built cat carrier.

Sorry for pointing out the obvious but stranger things have happened.

Cat backpacks are 100% designed for Tiddles! 

They have plenty of ventilation and also act as a safe-space if they are nervous travellers.

How do you travel with a cat?

If you’re making the step to buy a cat backpack, it’s a given that you’ll be doing some kind of trip with your cat.

When travelling with your cat,please follow this process:

  • 1. Drive short distances for practice
  • 2. Ensure they have an ID collar and are microchipped
  • 3. Plan regular kitty pit stops
  • 4. Have plenty of water, treats, food and cleaning wipes.
  • 5. Confirm any hotel you are staying at allows pets.
  • 6. If your cat is easily stressed speak to your vet regarding medical assistance.
  • 7. Keep your cat in its carrier at all times.
  • 8. Never leave your cat in the car....EVER!

Why do cats hate car rides?

Cats are notorious creatures of habit. They are very much dialed in to their surroundings and daily schedule.

Removing them from their comfort zone will stress them out and make them nervous.

What is the best cat backpack?

For the perfect allrounder we recommend the Pecute cat backpack. It is lightweight and made from robust materials.

The ventilation meshing is rubberized limiting ‘kitty’ damage. The design is well thought out and popular.

How do cats like to be carried?

Some breeds of cats love the warmth and comfort of being held.

Being held also means that their ‘hooman’ will give them lots of fuss as well so it’s a win-win! 

Saying that, some cats aren’t as comfortable being picked up. Cats value their own personal area and can often resist being carried so it can vary from moggy to moggy.

Just be aware of their boundaries and don’t push that. Hopefully your cat will take to being carried in a cat backpack.

Can you put two cats in the same backpack carrier?

This is debatable and depends on several variables. We would suggest that it is not fair to place two adult sized cats in a singular carrier.

However, for a very short ride to the vets this may be acceptable, but for long journeys this is a big no-no. They will become cramped, irritable and become aggressive towards each other. 

Nervous cats may also become car sick resulting in poop, urine and cat sick coming into the equation.

Not at all nice if there is more than one cat in the carrier. So please, just use your common sense.

Why does my cat poop inside the carrier?

Following on from above. It is normal for cats to become nervous or scared when something unfamiliar affects them.

There may be occasions when this will happen inside a carrier and they will feel outside of their comfort zone.

This will result in them peeing or pooping, so be prepared!

Best Cat Backpack - Summary

A cat backpack is becoming a popular alternative to the more traditional carry cases. They're far more practical, comfortable and much easier to carry.

We all know that most cats absolutely hate their old style carry cases which is always hard for us owners to cope with.

We now see cats enjoying using a modern day cat backpack carrier and we’re also learning how many of them love to explore with their ‘hoomans!’ out hiking or on an adventure. Just make sure you do your research!

We do love the cat bubble backpack style (hi there astronaut kitty!), but our favorite overall is the Pecute Cat Backpack.

Picking any one of these best cat backpack choices that we've reviewed ensures your kitty lots of space, a spacious and escape proof environment, good quality materials and an excellent airflow. 

You get that right and you will unlock a whole new world of adventure for you and your furry partner in crime!

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About the author

Dexter Jones has been a solid member of the ‘Mad Cat Dad’ club since time began! Dexter has been a keen cat writer for many years and lives in Croatia. He lives with his two tabby cats, Milly & Marly, who also flew in from the UK to start their new Adriatic island life together.