The next time you go hiking, traveling, or walking around downtown, your kitty doesn’t have to stay home. Instead, she can see the great outdoors with a backpack carrier. A backpack carrier lets her explore everything the world has to offer while staying safe, cuddled up next to her favorite human. Many carriers on the market are your standard, hard-shelled or fabric box with a handle. These can be awkward to carry and difficult to take with you as you go about your daily activities. On the other hand, backpack carriers are easy to carry and allow your hands to be free. Many backpacks have ergonomic straps that take the pressure off your back, so carrying your feline couldn’t be easier.
We looked at dozens of cat backpacks in order to find the best, highest-quality, most comfortable cat backpacks at any budget, based on factors such as size, quality of materials, Amazon ratings, and other considerations. We narrowed our search down to five of the top-rated cat backpacks that are on the market today.
We’ve identified the PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack as the best cat backpack overall. While it’s a little pricier than some of our backpack picks, it’s made with durable, high-grade polyester that won’t scratch or tear and features ergonomic shoulder straps. These features, coupled with the fact that it includes an optimal airflow design and easy two-way entry make it an excellent choice for smart cat owners.
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The 5 Top-Rated Cat Backpacks
|Best Overall||PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack for Small Cats and Dogs||4.6|
|Best Bubble Backpack||Lollimeow Pet Bubble Backpack Carrier||4.6|
|Best Budget Buy||Texsens Innovative Traveler Bubble Backpack Pet Carriers for Cats and Dogs||4.5|
|Best Travel Backpack||Petsfit Soft Pet Backpack Carrier for Hiking||4.6|
|Best Backpack with Window||Pecute Pet Carrier Backpack||4.6|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Cat Backpack Overall: PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack
If you’re looking for a comfortable and high-quality cat backpack, the PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack is your best bet. It is packed full of all the features you’re looking for in a cat backpack. It is well ventilated for optimal airflow. It has two entry methods, on the top and on the side, so your kitty can choose which one she feels more comfortable with. It features a zip-up mesh window that can be opened if your pet wants to look out. Plus, it’s lined with thick, cozy sherpa so your kitty can stay comfortable. It also comes with a safety strap and buckle to secure your pet and prevent escape. Another sweet feature is the name tag, so you can add the name of your pet along with your phone number in case of an emergency.
The backpack is also made with your comfort in mind. It features chest and waist straps to help support the weight of your pet as you travel. It also features comfortable padding on the straps and back of the backpack. Side pouches and a front pocket allow you to store essential pet supplies right where you need them.
Reviewers love that the backpack is breathable so their kitty doesn’t overheat, even on long hikes. They also like the fact that it’s fully enclosed, but does allow them to unzip a window if they want to. Reviewers also love the extra pockets so they can carry water and treats along with them wherever they go. Reviewers consistently report that the backpack is comfortable for wear. The double clip shoulder and waist straps help support the weight of their feline to help take the pressure off their back.
PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack Key Features:
- Well-ventilated design
- Two-way entry
- Zip up mesh window
- Thick, cozy sherpa-lined bedding
- Padded straps for extra comfort
- Safety strap and buckle prevents escape
- Name tag allows you to identify your pet
- Measures approximately 12.5 by 10.2 by 16.3 inches and is intended for most size cats
- Available in nine different colors
Best Bubble Cat Backpack: Lollimeow Pet Bubble Backpack Carrier
When it comes to bubble backpacks, the Lollimeow Pet Bubble Backpack Carrier is your best best. The Lollimeow bubble carrier features a completely clear, hard-shell window so cats can see all that the outside world has to offer. Your kitty gets the best of both worlds, safety and security behind the hard shell, but the ability to see her surroundings. The bottom of the carrier is lined with a thick sherpa pad that provides your kitty with the ultimate in comfort. Plus, it offers nine ventilation holes with mesh side panels that open up so you can reach in and pet your feline when she’s nervous.
The Lollimeow is also designed with your comfort in mind. It features thick padded straps and a support pad along the back that make carrying your feline a breeze. Plus, it features a latch hook that prevents your kitty from jumping out of the carrier. It also features a padded top strap that allows you to easily carry the carrier even when it’s not on your back
Reviewers report that their cats like using this carrier. They love the compliments they receive whenever they’re walking around with the kitty in the carrier. They also report that it’s so easy to carry it puts practically no strain on their back. Lastly, they appreciate the fact that the carrier is airline approved so they can take their kitty on the airplane with them easily.
Lollimeow Pet Bubble Backpack Carrier Key Features:
- Clear, hard shell lets kitty see the outside world
- Nine ventilation holes and mesh sides provide airflow
- Thick sherpa pad allows for maximum comfort
- Fits cats up to 13 pounds
- Measures approximately 11.4 by 10.6 by 16.1 inches
- Comes in green, red, and yellow
Best Budget Cat Backpack: Texsens Innovative Traveler Bubble Backpack
At just $29.99, the Texsens Innovative Traveler Bubble Backpack is the best cat backpack for budget-friendly pet owners who don’t want to sacrifice quality for price. Three sides of the carrier are made entirely of scratch-resistant PVC mesh that provides maximum airflow and visibility for your pet. For extra visibility, the top opening rolls down and snaps so your cat look out. The carrier is designed with comfort in mind for both you and your pet. A chest buckle provides much-needed relief from the burden on your back during long walks and keeps the shoulder straps from slipping down and jostling your pet. Plus, it includes a soft, cozy mat that’s removable for easy cleaning. Finally, the entire carrier folds flat for easy storage.
Reviewers report that the backpack is sturdy, comfortable to wear, and made of quality materials. They like that it’s made with a lot of mesh for maximum airflow for their pets. They also like that it’s roomy enough for their cat and is made well enough that they don’t need to worry about rips or tears. Reviewers also like that the mesh provides their cat with plenty of options for viewing the world around them.
Texsens Innovative Traveler Bubble Backpack Key Features:
- Well ventilated design for optimal airflow and visibility
- Chest buckles help reduce the burden on your back and keeps the shoulder straps from slipping
- Cozy mat is removable for easy cleaning
- Top opening rolls down to let your cat look out
- Made of scratch-resistant PVC mesh
- Folds flat for easy storage
- Measures approximately 16.5 by 15.2 by 11.4 inches
Best Travel Cat Backpack: Petsfit Soft Pet Backpack Carrier
If you’re looking for a carrier you can take hiking and traveling, look no further than the Petsfit Soft Pet Backpack Carrier. It’s made to comply with all airline rules and regulations, so you can take your pet on the airplane with you. Plus, it’s made with padded straps and chest and hip straps to make it comfortable to carry. It’s also equipped with safety features for your pets, including a tether that keeps your pet attached to the carrier and a removable and comfortable pad for the bottom. The carrier features front and top entryway for your pet to enter and exit easily. The backpack is also completely collapsible so it can fold flat for storage under your airplane seat.
Reviewers love that the carrier is sturdy, well made, and never flexes or bends under the weight of their pet. One reviewer reports that her 12-pound cat had a good amount of extra space to lay down and relax on the bottom of the carrier. Reviewers also like that the carrier is breathable too and that their pet never gets overheated or uncomfortable. They also report that the waist and chest straps make the carrier easy to carry, even throughout long hikes.
Petsfit Soft Pet Backpack Carrier for Hiking Key Features:
- Tether inside attaches to your pet’s collar to prevent escape
- Removable pad for the bottom
- Padded straps and chest and hip straps ensure comfortable carry
- Multiple entryways allow your pet to enter and exit easily
- Solid bottom won’t collapse when use
- Collapsible to fold flat for storage
- Comes in blue, dark blue, green, and grey
Best Cat Backpack with Window: Pecute Pet Carrier Backpack
If you’re looking for a cat backpack with a window, the Pecute Pet Carrier Backpack will not disappoint. It features a huge window for curious felines. Plus, it features an expandable back design to give your pet an enclosed space to rest and explore. You can also open top of the backpack so your kitty can look out. You can choose to unzip the cover on the mesh to allow for breathability and visibility or you can snap on the shade cover to protect your feline from the sun. Four venting holes and mesh holes on both sides ensure plenty of air circulation. The plush pad on the bottom of the carrier can be removed and washed for easy cleaning. The entire bag is made of high-quality oxford cloth that’s waterproof, anti-scratch, and completely non-toxic. It also includes two storage compartments for all of your pet essentials.
Reviewers love how sturdy and well made this carrier is. They like that the top mesh opening can be unzipped and rolled up to allow your pet peak out. They also like that the back pushed out so that it opens up to a larger carrier. Reviewers report that their pets seem to love the carrier and actually get in to explore and relax. Lastly, reviewers like how comfortable the carrier is thanks to the straps that go across your chest and waist to offer more support.
Pecute Pet Carrier Backpack Key Features:
- Built-in retractable safety tether prevent pets from escaping
- Expandable back design to give your pet an enclosed space to rest and explore
- Top opens for extra visibility
- Made of waterproof, anti-scratch, and non-toxic oxford cloth
- Storage compartments allow you to take all of your pet supplies along with you
- Designed for pets up to 18 pounds
- Comes in grey and blue
Who Should Buy a Cat Backpack
If you like to travel with your pet or don’t want to leave her home while hiking, traveling, or shopping, a cat backpack is a great option for both of you. Most cat carriers on the market are hard-shelled or fabric boxes with a handle. These are awkward to carry and typically require the use of both of your hands to stabilize. They’re difficult to take with you even if you’re just bringing your cat to go to the vet, but almost impossible to take with you on activities, such as hiking or walking about downtown. Backpack carriers allow you to easily carry your cat and keep your hands to be free so you can go about your regular activities. Therefore, they’re great to use for short trips, such as to the vet or the groomer, but also for taking your cat on hiking adventures or walking around downtown. Cats also seem to prefer the style and comfort of a backpack to that of a regular carrier because they can snuggle up close to you and see the outdoor sights.
Backpack carriers are also great for traveling with your pet. Many varieties are airline approved, which means you can take them onto the airplane with you and avoid dangerous cargo situations. Because the backpack allows your hands to be free, you can also carry your usual luggage without hindrance.
If your cat enjoys a bit more freedom and can be trusted with it, then you may want to check out The Best Cat Harnesses And Leashes.
Important Features to Consider
A cat backpack should offer enough room for your cat, provide proper ventilation, and hold your pet securely. Here’s what to consider when selecting a cat backpack:
- Bubble or fabric carrier? There are two types of cat backpacks: bubble and fabric carriers. The main difference between these two backpacks is that bubble backpacks feature a hard-shell with a “bubble” window for your cat to look out, while fabric backpacks are typically made of high-quality oxford fabric and feature mesh-covered windows. Both are great options for you and your pet. Bubble carriers, with their hardshell exterior stand up to a lot of wear and tear. However, some cats seem to prefer the soft, structured style of fabric carrier. Plus, they’re typically lighter in overall weight, taking some additional strain off of your back.
- Size. Your backpack should be large enough that your cat can turn around completely and stand without crouching. The carrier should also have a sturdy bottom that will support her weight without collapsing. Be sure to weigh and measure your cat before purchasing a carrier and check with the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure that your chosen carrier is big enough for your pet.
- Materials. Your cat backpack should made of durable, high-quality materials that won’t fall apart during use. Some cat backpacks are made with a polycarbonate shell that not only stand up to the test of time, but also provides a layer of protection for your pet. Others are made with oxford cloth and mesh. In either case, be sure to inspect the stitching along the bottom and shoulder straps to ensure optimal safety for your pet.
- Ventilation. Most pet backpacks come with ventilation holes and/or mesh panels that provide airflow to your pet. Make sure that there’s enough ventilation for your pet that she stays comfortable and cool. If you’re planning on taking your pet out on especially hot days, look for carriers with even more options for ventilation, such as mesh panels you can unzip for more airflow.
- Safety. You’ll also want to ensure that the backpack you choose has some safety measures for your pet. Most backpacks come equipped with a tether that you can attach to your pet’s harness to keep her secured in the carrier. If your pet is known for escaping, look for a carrier that doesn’t offer an open panel and choose an option that has a plastic shell or mesh covering.
- Ergonomic support. Carrying around your pet on your back for long periods of time can put strain on your cervical and lumbar spine. Look for backpacks that offer ergonomic features that help counteract this problem, such as padded shoulder straps, padded back, and chest and waist straps. These features help support your spine, as well as help stabilize the backpack to protect your feline.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a cat backpack?
A cat backpack is a cat carrier that is worn on the back, just like a regular backpack. It has an opening at the top or side to let your cat into the carrier and a window for your cat to look out. A cat backpack should also have plenty of ventilation holes that allow for air to get in and out of the carrier. Lastly, it should have two shoulder straps that allow you to carry it on your back.
How do you carry a cat in a backpack?
First, pick up your pet, and place her in the carrier through the entryway of the carrier. Place her in rear-end first, so she doesn’t get frightened. Attach the safety tether to your cat’s harness so she can’t jump out of the carrier. Zip up the door and ensure all other openings are closed. Lift up the carrier and place it on your back slowly. Be sure not to jostle your pet as you secure the carrier onto your back. Attach any chest or waist straps that your carrier has to support your back.
Do cats like cat backpacks?
Most cats seem to prefer cat backpacks to regular, box-type carriers. Cats are curious by nature and like being able to see their surroundings. They also like being close to you, which provides them a sense of safety and security, even in new and unknown situations.
How do I train my cat to use a cat backpack?
Cats typically don’t need any training to use a backpack, but if your feline seems a bit unsure about it, you can use these training tips. Place a few cat treats in the backpack to encourage her to go in. After she goes in and out a few times and begins to get more comfortable in the carrier, you can close the door behind her. Give her plenty of praise. Once she’s more acclimated to the carrier with the door closed, you can pick the carrier up and put it on your back. Walk around the house until she becomes more used to the carrier. Then, you can take her outside, gradually building up to longer and longer trips.
Other Cat Backpacks We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other cat backpacks. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best cat backpacks list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your cat. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Bubble Cat Backpacks
This space capsule-style backpack is a perfect fit for cats under 10 pounds. Cats can look out the transparent window and enjoy the sights, while they stay safe and secure in the waterproof outer shell.
- High quality scratch-resistant poly-carbonate and oxford cloth
- Adjustable padded back and shoulder straps make for a more comfortable carry and relieve pressure on the back
- 19 different colors and styles to choose from
This stylish carrier features a hard, ABS plastic shell to protect your kitty, and fits felines up to 13 pounds. It’s airline approved and comes with a travel bowl for easy on-the-go snacks and water breaks.
- Breathable mesh back pad and a shoulder belt increase comfort
- Nine ventilation holes give cats plenty of fresh air and ventilation
- Side pocket holds drinks and snacks while out and about
This cat backpack features a transparent hard shell in the front and an expandable back panel so your cat can have some room to play whenever you stop along your journey. The backpack effortlessly fits cats from one to twelve pounds.
- Expandable back panel allows your kitty to enjoy outdoor time in the sunshine
- Entire backpack weighs three pounds
- Airline approved
With a clear, hard-shell semi-sphere, this backpack allows your kitty to see more of the world around her. Padded shoulder straps and an ergonomic design allow you to wear the backpacks for long periods of time without discomfort.
- Nine ventilation holes provide optimal airflow
- Ergonomic design makes it easy to carry
- Comes in twelve colors
Designed for cats up to 26 pounds, this soft-sided dog carrier is perfect for larger felines. It features a smaller size bubble window that allows cats to see the outside world, or, if they prefer not to, they can choose snuggle up below the window.
- Top has a zipper to let your cat see the outdoors
- Safety tether strap keeps your pet secure
- Measures approximately 17.7 by 11.4 by 15 inches for larger felines
The Lemonda bubble backpack allows you to swap out the clear, hard bubble with a mesh cover for even more airflow and ventilation or remove it completely so she can poke her head out. It comes with a velvet pad for your kitty to lie on so she’s even more comfortable.
- Measures approximately 12.6 by 11.5 by 16.5 inches and fits cats up to 14 pounds
- Made of selected canvas and high density acrylic material for durability and safety
- Comes in black, yellow, cyan, pink, white, and green
Made of vegan leather and featuring a space capsule window, this backpack blends style with function. It allows you to remove the hard bubble shell and replace with a mesh cover for more airflow.
- Twelve ventilation holes and two mesh panels provide great airflow
- Designed for pets up to twenty pounds
- Comes in six great colors
Designed for cats up to 19.8 pounds, this cat carrier holds more weight than practically any backpack on the market. It features an interchangeable cover and the the top opening rolls up and snaps back so that your cat can look out.
- Leash clip keeps your pet safe and secure in the carrier
- Side pockets allow you to carry all of your essentials with you wherever you go
- Designed for big cat breeds, such as Maine Coon, Siberians, Ragdolls, and more
At just $17.88, this backpack is one of the least expensive options on the market. It features a large hard-shell, clear “space capsule” that lets your kitty see all of her surroundings and a comfortable pad she can relax on along the bottom.
- Made with carefully selected canvas and high density acrylic material
- Measures approximately 13.4 by 9.8 by 16.5 inches and fits cats up to 13 pounds
- Lightweight carrier clocks in at only 2.7 pounds total
Although it’s a bit more expensive than some of our backpack picks, this carrier is packed full of features. It even includes a mini fan that acts as a portable air conditioner for your kitty during the warmer months.
- Dark brown window decreases the outside stimulus for more anxious pets
- Inbuilt lamp with gradual illuminating system to make your pet feel safe at night
- Ergonomic shock-absorbing back and high-tech shoulder strap material reduces back strain
Travel Cat Backpacks with Window
At just $24.95, this cat backpack carrier is a steal in terms of the amount of features it offers. It features a zip-up window that can be opened if your cat prefers. It also features breathable padded shoulder straps and back mesh for optimal comfort while you’re out and about.
- Measures approximately 11.5 by 9 by 16 inches and fits most small to medium sized pets
- Comes with a collapsible water bowl
- Available in nine exciting colors
Durable, light, and comfortable, this backpack puts practically no strain on your back. Mesh sides and pop-up top allows for maximum ventilation and the ability to see freely without feeling cramped.
- Safety strap and tether secures curious felines
- Made of high quality PU and EVA mesh
- Fits felines up to fifteen pounds
This fabric carrier features a zip up mesh top that can be unrolled and secured so your cat can look out if she prefers. Plus, it features two mesh panels on either side that can also be let down during especially hot days.
- Sternum and waist buckles for maximum comfort during long trips
- Soft plush bed for maximum comfort for your pet
- Measures approximately 11.4 by 12.6 by 16.8 inches
This soft-sided dog backpack is made of durable polyester and mesh that’s able to withstand heavy scratching. Plus, it’s roomy enough to house cats up to 15 pounds.
- Two entry ways that open up to allow your pet to look out
- Leash tether inside prevents your kitty from escaping
- Back and shoulder straps are made with extra thick padding for comfort
Made with heavy duty rubber mesh, your cat won’t be able to claw her way out of this carrier. It features large mesh panels in the front and on the sides to provide maximum airflow and a place for your kitty to look out and explore the world.
- Measures approximately 17 by 11 by 13 inches
- Pockets on both sides provide room for storing essentials
- Safety tether prevents escape
Designed for larger cats and small dogs, this carrier holds pets up to twenty five pounds to accommodate even your larger cat. It features a hip belt and sternum belt to help take the pressure off your back when carrying your cat long distances
- Comes with a hassle-free lifetime warranty for peace of mind
- TSA airline approved
- Water-resistant fabric top and a waterproof Armorsole bottom
Different from most types of bubble carriers, this carrier features unique clear plastic windows on either side of the carrier. The rest of the carrier is made with heavy duty fabric material that’s scratch-resistant.
- Fits cats up to 17 pounds
- Compliant with most airlines and TSA regulations
- Chest buckle relieves pressure off of the shoulders
For those who are in need of a carrier to take their pet out on especially hot days, this backpack features 360 degree mesh, ensuring ventilation and optimal airflow. Plus, it features an expandable back panel that provides your cat with an enclosed space to explore.
- Designed for cats up to 15 pounds
- Folds flat for easy travel and storage
- Sponge padded back for extra comfort while carrying
With an expandable front, this pet carrier backpack gives your pet more space to rest and explore. It also features four spacious entrances and exits for your pet to easily get in and out.
- Three large mesh windows ensure ventilation and visibility
- Designed for cats up to 15 pounds
- Made of waterproof and anti-scratch oxford cloth
Suitable for cats up to ten pounds, this fabric carrier offers four large mesh windows for optimum airflow and visibility. It’s designed to be compliant with all airline rules and regulations so you can take your pet with you during travel.
- Safety stretching collar prevents escape
- Thick padding on the shoulder pads provides maximum comfort
- Multiple exterior pockets allows you to store all of your pet essentials