When you needed to take your cat from Point A to Point B—whether to the vet, to visit family, or to the pet sitter—your options used to be limited to a standard travel pet kennel. Nowadays, there are more exciting ways to take your cat out of the house (even if it’s just to and from your parked car). While seeing cat harnesses and cat strollers walking down the street may be more common now, cat backpacks are still a new way to take your cat along for the ride.
Cat backpacks generally look like a cross between a cat carrier, a knapsack just like the one you toted books with in middle school, and sometimes, a space suit built for astronauts. There’s a compartment with padded straps that evenly distribute weight for a comfortable carry, mesh panels for breathability, and a window so your kitty can look out on their surroundings. While you might immediately have visions of bringing your cat on long hikes through the woods, these carriers are intended for shorter jaunts that wouldn’t necessitate a litter box break.
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There are some essential features to look out for in a cat backpack to make sure both you and your kitty have an enjoyable time. For starters, the compartment needs to be designed with some privacy so your cat feels secure and not 100 percent on display (which would make anyone anxious, let alone your cat). There has to be adequate ventilation and enough room that your cat doesn’t feel stuck. These options tick all those boxes, so find the best carrier that fits your kitty's needs, and tag us on Intagram @DailyPawsMag in your adventures!
This cat carrier backpack’s bubble-like window launched many imitators (and thousands of Google searches when spotted in public). The design lets your cat not just see out but turn their head for a better look at their surroundings. For a change of pace, the bubble can be swapped out with the flat screen-style mesh attachment (included)—and you can also switch up the carrying style with a purse-like handle.
Shop now: “The City Chic” Cat Backpack, $95; yourcatbackpack.com
When you want a bag that looks good and performs well, it’s hard to beat this cat backpack—especially at this affordable price point. One of the best cat backpacks on Amazon with over 2,600 five-star ratings, the structured design comes in 12 colors. Ventilated panels on the sides and front, along with a sherpa lining for coziness, make any trip extra comfy.
Shop Now: PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack for Small Cats, $40; amazon.com
Perhaps the best cat backpack for making a statement, this carrier is resembles a mid-century modern television. There are more ventilated panels than you think (including the top and bottom of the front panel as well as the sides), and there’s an adjustable dial to control air flow. Other fun bonuses: The interior illuminates, and the window is slightly tinted for privacy and reduced glare.
Shop now: PETKIT Pet Backpack Carrier for Cats, $80; amazon.com
This cat travel backpack has two entry options: The zippered front window, or the zippered top panel. (Tip: If using the top panel, turn the backpack so it sits straps side down for a cat carrier-like entry.) One of the roomiest options on the market, the backpack carries up to 16 pounds and promises enough space for your pet to be able to turn around.
Shop now: JesPet Dog & Cat Carrier Backpack, $40; chewy.com
If you need to get two kitties out of the house, this cat travel backpack keeps them happily secured in their own individual compartments. Each has mesh windows and side holes for ventilation and is constructed from a washable cross-weave fabric. If you don’t have a duo, you can also remove the center divider to create one large compartment (ideal for cat breeds known for their height, like the Maine Coon or Savannah), or simply dedicate one compartment for supplies.
Shop now: ibiyaya Double-Compartment Pet Carrier, $149; amazon.com
The light yet sturdy spring wire frame that makes up this cat backpack (which can double as a traditional-style carrier) gives it structure without weighing you down. While there is plenty of ventilation, the panels begin about a third of the way up the front and sides of the backpack, giving your cat the option of peeking out at her surroundings or cuddling up away from the view.
Shop now: Sherpa 2-in-1 Pet Carrier Backpack, $53; petco.com
While hiking is better suited for dogs than cats, a harness-trained feline that’s used to the outdoors might be up for the fun. If that’s the case, this heavy-duty cat hiking backpack is the right option. The solid bottom provides support for your cat (unlike softer-bottomed bags that may collapse) while the chest and hip straps help distribute weight evenly for a comfortable carry.
Shop now: Petsfit Sturdy Hiking Pet Carrier Backpack, $55; amazon.com
If your cat is okay with being on display, nothing can compete with the views from this top-rated cat dome backpack. It has an anti-scratch expandable back net that creates a contained “yard” outdoors or indoors, or it can be used as a tunnel-like entry.
Shop now: Lollimeow Pet Carrier Backpack, $37; amazon.com