Cat backpacks are a fantastic way to introduce your cat to the world around them without having to worry about them getting lost or hurting themselves. They’re especially helpful for senior cats or lame cats that struggle with mobility. Furthermore, cat backpacks have proven to be a less stressful mode of travel for our feline friends than the standard cat crate, because your cat is being held close to you, allowing them to pick up your scent and calm down. This makes them a great handsfree alternative for vet visits with anxious kitties. Cat backpacks come in all shapes, sizes, patterns, and materials. So there is a backpack out there for every kitty - even the scratchy kind. Lucky for you we’ve sifted through the kitty backpack market for you and selected some of the best cat backpacks going today to hopefully make your shopping experience more straightforward and stress-free.

The 10 Top Rated Cat Backpacks

Editor's Picks Product NamePriceRating
Best OverallLollimeow Pet Carrier BackpackCheck Price on Amazon4.6
Best DurablePetsfit Carrier Backpack for CatsCheck Price on Amazon4.6
Best Bubble BackpackHenkelion Cat Backpack Carrier Check Price on Amazon4.4
Best Budget PickTexsens Pet Backpack Carrier for Small Cats Check Price on Amazon4.7
Best StylishHalinfer Space Capsule Cat BackpackCheck Price on Amazon4.7
Best Expandable BackpackPecute Pet Carrier BackpackCheck Price on Amazon4.7
Best for Outdoor UseBEIKOTT Cat Carrier BagCheck Price on Amazon4.3
Best for Large CatsLollimeow Cat Backpack Check Price on Amazon4.5
Best Back SupportPetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier BackpackCheck Price on Amazon4.6
Best Airline-Approved

PETRIP Cat Carrier Check Price on Amazon4.7
*Ratings are from Amazon, Chewy, and PetSmart at the time of publication and can change

1 Best Overall: Lollimeow Pet Carrier Backpack

Best Overall: Lollimeow Pet Carrier Backpack
Key features:
  • Brand: LOLLIMEOW
  • Size: 12.5×16.5 Inch
  • Color: Black
  • Optimal Load: 13lbs

As a bubble backpack, you get an excellent combination of wide view for your cat plus ample ventilation to keep him happy. This easy to carry space capsule backpack also has another trick up its sleeve, with an expandable back to create a cozy tent bed. Made from waterproof materials, the front of the carrier is clear bubble window, ideal for the cat that likes to see where he’s going. Plus, there’s nine large ventilation holes to let all the fresh air in. This is a cat window backpack which you wear on your front and has a small opening on either side so you can reach your pet for a little extra reassurance. And, when your trip out is done, you can fold down the concertina mesh back to create a spacious, comfortable bed for a well-earned rest. 

What others say about it:
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I absolutely love this!! It’s super functional and cool also well made. My cat was meowing a lot at first cause she had no idea what was going on but after walking for a bit she got used to it and had fun looking around. Now I can walk her with my dog. Love love love this!

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2 Best Durable: Petsfit Carrier Backpack for Cats

Best Durable: Petsfit Carrier Backpack for Cats
Key features:
  • Brand: Petsfit
  • Size: 16x10x13 Inch
  • Color: Grey
  • Material: Ethylene Vinyl Acetate

With the conventional looks of a daypack, but with plenty of space and ventilation for your cat, the sturdy Petsfit comfort backpack is worth checking out. Sized for small to medium cats up to 15 pounds, the pack retains its shape, thanks to the quality EVA material. And it’s lightweight too, meaning it’s comfortable for cat owners to carry around. For air circulation, there are two sizeable breathable mesh side panels as well as a top mesh entry that zips out to create a spacious viewing window. And if you pop in a pad for extra Petsfit comfort, your kit should soon feel right at home. And when your trip out with your cat is done, the whole cat hiking backpack folds down flat for storage.

What others say about it:
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My cat actually will sleep in this when I have the door unzipped. My cat is no more than 15 pounds and that probably is near the top end of what would be comfortable for a pet. My cat especially likes the pop-up window. He sits and looks around. It does get quite warm inside during the summer, so keep that in mind.

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3 Best Bubble Backpack: Henkelion Cat Backpack Carrier

Best Bubble Backpack: Henkelion Cat Backpack Carrier
Key features:
  • Brand: Henkelion
  • Size: 16.5×11.4×12.2 Inch
  • Color: Black
  • Material: Oxford fabric

We like the space-age look of this bubble pet backpack from Henkelion, with a full transparent window for your cat to see out – and be seen! And this space capsule backpack is versatile as you can wear it on your front or back. The bubble backpack is made from durable and weather resistant Oxford cloth, while the clear window is made from scratch resistant ABS. Nine air holes promote air circulation and are spaced to give your cat the benefit of all-round fresh air. And cat owners are not forgotten too, as the padded shoulder straps take the weight out of carrying your feline. Perhaps not best for prolonged periods, but for shorter trips this carrier space capsule is a clear favorite. 

What others say about it:
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Cats do what they want, you don’t own a cat – they own you! So when I showed my hubs our new cat pack, we both rolled with laughter. I really didn’t think she would like it but about half way around the block, our furhighness chilled out and enjoyed the ride. We’re going to keep testing it out and see how much use we can get out of it.

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4 Best Budget Pick: Texsens Pet Backpack Carrier for Small Cats

Best Budget Pick: Texsens Pet Backpack Carrier for Small Cats
Key features:
  • Brand: Texsens
  • Size: 15 x 12.6 x 16.7 inches; 2.7 Pounds
  • Color: Grey/Pink
  • Material: PVC Mesh + Oxford
  • Optimal Load: 18 lbs cat or 15 lbs dog

This urban chic pet portable carrier will look smart with any outfit, but as a cat backpack it also hits the mark. Made from durable PVC mesh on three sides, with a pet-safe plastic back, the pack gives your kit a 180-degree view of the outside world to keep him entertained. And with the mesh windows, he has plenty of air flow. A roll down entry door doubles up as a window and the whole pet carrier is scratch-resistant. Add in comfort shoulder straps and chest buckles, breathable back mesh to keep you cool and a safety leash inside the backpack to keep your cat secure, and you get a nice piece of pet gear for your money.

What others say about it:
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We took our cat in this for a spin around the neighborhood on our walk with the dogs to see how he’d adjust to it. Granted, our cat takes most things in stride but he did enjoy it. After about 20 to 30 minutes he’s tired of being confined and was ready to go back to the house. This will be nice for taking him to the vet and short jaunts around outside. Seems like a good value for the price. Can’t comment on longevity since we just got it but for a cat that likes to see this is a good breathable carrier.

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5 Best Stylish: Halinfer Space Capsule Cat Backpack

Best Stylish: Halinfer Space Capsule Cat Backpack
Key features:
  • Brand: Halinfer
  • Size: 11.5 x 14.5 x 16 inches; 3 Pounds
  • Color: Blue, Pink, Black, Yellow
  • Material: Polyester
  • Optimal Load: Up to 12 lbs Pet

As a space capsule style backpack, the halinfer works a treat, thanks to its lightweight and expandable design. You wear it as a front or back cat carrier, with a full clear hard-shell bubble for puss to see where he’s going. For rest time the mesh back panel expands to create a neat and spacious cat bed. Sized for cats up to 12 pounds, as a backpack, it has just sufficient room, and a removable inner pad and built-in leash ups the comfort and security. And when it comes to keeping everything fresh, you get plenty of air holes plus two side mesh windows for healthy ventilation. Anti-scratch and airline approved, this is a good carrier space capsule for the smaller cat. 

What others say about it:
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My 17+lbs norwegian forest cat (girl) fits in fine and this is much easier for vet trips as someone who doesnt drive. In a carrier she’d rock the cage so hard it’d knock my shoulder out. Not a chance with this. Very sturdy and well made and once shes in the car for a while thr back unzips for more space.

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6 Best Expandable Backpack: Pecute Pet Carrier Backpack

Best Expandable Backpack: Pecute Pet Carrier Backpack
Key features:
  • Brand: Pecute
  • Size: 42*35*28 cm / 16.5*13.8*11.0 in
  • Extended size: 42*35*62 cm / 16.5*13.8*24.4 in
  • Color: Gray, Blue, Black
  • Material: Cationic Oxford Cloth
  • Optimal Load: 18 lb

This large cat backpack is like a mini cat condo as it can be expanded to 90% of its original size! In standard mode, you get a neat backpack style carrier, with sufficient room for cats up to 18 pounds. Made from waterproof, anti-scratch Oxford cloth, it has large mesh windows on all sides, with a large zipped top entry. For you, it’s comfortable to carry, thanks to the shock-absorbing design, including sponge back, padded shoulder straps and retractable chest and waist buckles. When you stop for a break or you need a more space for your kit, simply expand the back panel to create a portable travel bed they can lie down in. Add side pockets and a double-sided padded mat and you have a cracking cat carrier for your money. 

What others say about it:
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I have 2 5lb cats. I wanted something that could work for both of them. We are hikers and wanted to bring our girls (cats) with us. I read the reviews which seemed mixed. But I figured let’s give it a shot. I am so glad we did! I left it fully open (completely extended) for days and both girls jumped in and out all day. They even took naps in it. So, we decided to take a walk with them. My husband wore the backpack because it is a little big for me (I’m 5’1″). The girls did fine.
The backpack can get a little warm, so our girl with thicker fur was slightly hotter. But overall, the construction is high quality and we haven’t had a break or tear. And folding completely flat is a plus when you live in a small place.
I would recommend this item.

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7 Best for Outdoor Use: BEIKOTT Cat Carrier Bag

Best for Outdoor Use: BEIKOTT Cat Carrier Bag
Key features:
  • Brand: BEIKOTT
  • Size: 13.9 x 9.8 x 16.5 inches
  • Color: Blue, Pink, Black, Yellow, Red
  • Material: Polyester

As a traveler bubble backpack, this airline-approved cat bubble carrier hits the mark. The backpack front is a semi sphere, giving your cat a clear view of the world outside. But the durable hard-shell keeps them feeling safe and secure. There’s also two side windows, so you can reach in to comfort your pet, while the nine large ventilation holes keep everything fresh. The rest of this travel pet carrier is made from eco friendly Oxford cloth, with padded shoulder straps for your carrying comfort. And we like the added touches, such as security leash and collapsible bowl. Designed for cats up to 13 pounds, it’s not for larger cats but for smaller kits, this is the way to travel in bubble style.

What others say about it:
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Bought this for my niece and she loved it!. It’s a much lighter pink than in picture but it’s perfect color for an 11 year old girl. Material is perfect, can be easily cleaned. Her cat fits in it just fine but i couldn’t help trying it with my little 4 lb. yorkie and she looked so cute in it that i purchase one for myself in a different color!
I also purchased a rechargeable USB fan for the warmer days. Fits perfect in side pocket.

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8 Best for Large Cats: Lollimeow Cat Backpack

Best for Large Cats: Lollimeow Cat Backpack
Key features:
  • Brand: LOLLIMEOW
  • Size: 17.7×11.4×15 Inch
  • Color: Grey
  • Material: Polyester

Lollimeow has combined the best of both pet carrier worlds, with a bubble capsule window set in a traditional backpack design. The result is a carrier that, while it can only carry small cats, is durable as well as airline approved and would also make an ideal kitten backpack The bubble window resembles a ship’s porthole but gives a decent view, plus it’s removable and there’s an alternative top opening so they can safely pop out their head. The side mesh panels allow for plenty of ventilation and the inner safety strap connects to their leash for total security. Waterproof, lightweight and easy to clean, you also get a couple of side pockets for all those essential pet travel treats. 

What others say about it:
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Took our cat to see the Grand Canyon!
Great quality! Super fast shipping. Would definitely recommend this to anyone in the market for a cat backpack.

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9 Best Back Support: PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack

Best Back Support: PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack
Key features:
  • Brand: PetAmi
  • Size: 12.5 x 10.2 x 16.3 Inches
  • Color: Heather Gray
  • Optimal Load: Up to 18 lbs.

We think the PetAmi is a good choice for hiking as it’s comfortable and allows your cat plenty of space and fresh air. Made from 600D high grade polyester, the backpack has a sleek shape, and sits well on your back. There’s extra thick padding on the shoulder straps and you get added waist and chest buckles for extra support. Inside your cat has a good view out, thanks to the front window opening and large side mesh panels. There’s also a Sherpa lined pad to keep him cozy and a free water bowl. The inner structure is reinforced too, so that it doesn’t collapse while you both happily go about your travels. 

What others say about it:
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Great product! Came flat but was not squshed so when you zip it all together it keeps it’s shape. There is a hard removal bottom for easy cleaning and support. Great strap support. The netting is platic reinforced so very strong. The best part of this was the pockets. Most carriers I looked at didn’t have pockets to store food, water etc. Very well made and great price. Highly recommend. I would love to try more of their products!

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10 Best Airline-Approved: PETRIP Cat Carrier

Best Airline-Approved: PETRIP Cat Carrier
Key features:
  • Brand: Petrip
  • Size: 13.77 x 16.9 x 5.9 inches
  • Color: Grey
  • Material: Leather

Our Premium Pick is this super-smart cat carrier, combining a space capsule design with an urban backpack look. Made from high quality Oxford mesh fabric and PU leather, it’s a sizeable pet carrier, with enough space for cats up to 22 pounds. The front zip opener also gives the option of adding a bubble window, while two side mesh panels as well as ample air holes provide all the needed ventilation. The shoulder straps are nice and wide to distribute weight and the chest strap helps to keep everything secure and stable. For the money, you get a fashion-forward travel pet carrier that you and your cat will be happy to be seen in. 

What others say about it:
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Upon reciving and ‘assembling’ this pet backpack, my cats jumped in it immediately. They both love it and have even chosen to sleep in it instead of with me a few times at night. Neither of my cats are near the 22lb weight maximum, but they’re both quite long so I wanted to make sure I got a backpack that would be large enough where they wouldn’t be cramped. They fit fine standing as well as laying down with room to spare. I will be taking this out into the world in a few days for a vet appointment, I just hope they still like it after!

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Cat Backpack Buying Guide & FAQ

How To Choose The Right Cat Backpack

Security, comfort and ventilation are the essentials when it comes to your cat’s new backpack. Here what you should look out for:

Material: You need your backpack to be durable, so look for quality materials that can keep up with the pace. Water-resistant fabrics such as Oxford cloth are a good choice as they are tough enough to cope with claws but is flexible and pretty lightweight. PVC and pet-safe plastic and mesh are other options.

Size: Your backpack needs to be large enough to give your cat room to turn around, sit down and stand up, but not too large that she is too ‘loose’ inside or it becomes cumbersome to carry. It also needs to be able to carry her weight as most models are designed to only carry cats weighing up to a maximum of 10-12 pounds.

Bubble or mesh windows: Cat backpacks have two types of windows, bubble or mesh. With a cat bubble backpack, you get a hard-shell exterior which includes a clear semi sphere window. However, you do need to ensure the backpack has sufficient ventilation. A mesh window cat travel backpack, on the other hand, is a softer carrier which includes mesh panels that double up as windows to let plenty of fresh air through.

Entry: Cats can be wriggly creatures, so you need a quick and easy entry point to get them inside and settled. Many pet travel backpacks will provide both a top and side entry point for convenience, just make sure the zippers or locking mechanism are effective and easy to access.

Security: Once inside their backpack, you want your pet to stay there and so your portable travel cat carrier should have essential security measures to keep them safe. As well as good zippers, look for a tether loop or inner leash to attach to your cat’s collar.

Ventilation: Your kit needs to be able to breathe easily so ensure the carrier has sufficient ventilation.  Most packs have several mesh openings which let air pass through. If you’re opting for a bubble backpack, check it has enough large ventilation holes to keep everything fresh inside.

Durability: Your backpack needs to keep its shape as well as being scratch resistant and tough enough for everyday use. Look for a sturdy base and check the quality of the frame to ensure it won’t break easily or lose its shape.

Comfort: Look inside the backpack to check it has a sturdy base to support your cat, and opt for a carrier that has a removable comfort pad if you can. As you will be carrying the pack, check out the design. Padded straps, waist and chest buckles will help you take the weight, while a padded back area will make it comfortable to carry.

Airline compatible: If you’re planning on using your new cat backpack to take your pet onto an airplane, then ensure the model you are looking at is airline approved.

Accessories: A few added extras will be the finishing touch to your backpack. Pockets are always a great help when traveling with your pet. Other extras to look for include a collapsible water bowl and removable inner pads.

Close-up portrait of handsome young man with hiking backpack holding cute cat on nature

Cat Backpack vs Handbag-Style Cat Carrier

While picking a cat carrier is a personal choice there are differences between a backpack and a more traditional cat carrier:

Cat backpack: Designed to be sturdy yet comfortable, a cat backpack carrier can take the weight of your cat, leaving your hands free.  They are also designed to be lightweight, giving you greater mobility and cat-carrying convenience. And, as they are worn higher up on your body, your cat may well feel safer and away from any hazards on the ground.  However, they are usually weight-limited so not suited to larger cats and not the best choice for long journeys.

Handbag-style cat carrier: With the look of sports bag, these soft-sided cat carriers also allow your cat to also lie down, making them a good option for longer journeys. And they are convenient when flying, as long as you opt for a bag that’s airline approved. However, being soft sided, they don’t offer quite as much protection and you need your hands to carry them.

Tips for Getting Your Cat Used to the Backpack

Your cat may be a little resistant of their backpack at first but there are steps you can take to encourage your kit to feel at home:

  • Give them time to explore and get to know the backpack. Place a few of her favorite cat treats inside the pack, then leave it on the floor with the entry open so she can have a look in her own time.
  • Once your cat is more confident getting inside the pack, briefly close the door, then open it again, giving her plenty of praise. Repeat as appropriate.
  • When she’s happy in the backpack and comfortable with the entry being closed, carefully lift the pack onto your back. Walk around your home or garden for a few minutes and monitor her reaction.
  • Once she is calm and settled, you are now ready to venture further afield. Start with short trips, building up the time she spends in her carrier until your kit is a total backpack riding pro!

Tabby cat looking curious out of a backpack carrier next to a travelling bag

Source:

  1. Ken Lambrecht, DVM, Cats in Carriers: What’s Going Through Your Cat’s Head?, PetMD

FAQs

It does depend on your cat, and their personality. Some cats don’t like to be enclosed and they will certainly let you know about it! If you’ve taken your time to choose the right sized backpack and you have allowed your cat a little time to get used to being in it, then they should be content to be carried. But never force an unhappy or resistant cat inside a backpack – look for an alternative way to transport them instead.

The backpack needs to be large enough for your cat to comfortably stand as well as sit, stretch and turn around. Their weight is also a factor as most cat backpacks have a maximum carry weight. If in doubt, measure and weigh your cat so you can choose the right sized backpack for them.

While there’s no hard and fast rule, practicalities as well as the personality of your cat will dictate how long you can keep them inside their backpack. Your cat will need breaks to go to the potty as well as drink and stretch, which means a couple of hours is ideally the longest you should go at one stretch.

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t put two cats into a feline backpack as long as it’s sized to carry them both. For adult cats, you’ll need a large carrier, but two kittens should be happy inside a regular sized pack. However, it’s not recommended to keep two cats secured inside a carrier for longer than a few hours, as they need to be able to get out and stretch.

Eloise Hands

Eloise is the owner of a Malamute/Akita cross, a first-time mum, and an animal enthusiast from England. She comes from a family which has never gone a day without a pet (or 3!), and over the years has learned all the best tips and tricks to raising a difficult pet. A knowledge that she has put to good use, to help others navigate the limitless world of pet care.

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