5 Best Cat Backpacks [Reviewed In 2020]

by Evan
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So you are wondering what is the best backpack for your cat? Today, we will provide you with a thorough review of our picks of the top 5, a list of considerations when deciding on the best cat backpack for your friend and you, and we’ll tell you how to get the best use from this backpack. 

Backpacks are so much fun because they allow your kitty to adventure and join with you on trips, and they look adorable while doing so.

The 5 Best Cat Backpacks

4.5/5

This is a classic bubble cat backpack. It holds cats up to 10 pounds, and it would be a perfect fit for a light cat. 

Please make sure your cat doesn’t get near exceeding the weight limit.

Because, if you buy one with a weight capacity of 10 pounds for your furry friend weighing 10 pounds, there is a good chance your friend is going to be smooshed inside.

It has the classic bubble window, so your buddy can look around, and enjoy the view while her servant carries her around. The bubble is removable, so you can let your kitty stick its head out the hole.

You can also replace the bubble window with a ventilation screen to fix any ventilation issues. The sides are mesh to further provide your kitty with the ability to easily breath.

The backpack’s shoulder straps are padded, which will make for a comfortable experience. Don’t worry about rainy days, because it is also waterproof. Your cat will probably only stay dry if it is a fairly light rain. If you are interested in something to keep them dry, we wrote a post about what the best raincoats for cats are.

Fashion Is Key

It is fashionable. As a bubble backpack, your cat is going to attract a lot of attention from passing by pedestrians intrigued by the concept of your cat using the bubble window. On Amazon, you can get it in a multitude of colors.

Of course, it features an inner leash to keep your cat secure, and from running away. This will give you extra comfort if you decide to leave the bubble hole open, so your cat can enjoy the view. It only weighs 3.2 pounds.

I think the selling points of these kinds of backpacks are their style. If you’re looking for a minimal but fashionable bubble backpack for lugging your cat around, this is a pretty solid inexpensive option.

To conclude, this product is great!

Dimensions are 11.3 for length, 8.2 inches for width, and 16.5 inches for height.

Pros

  • Bubble Backpack (have to love the style)
  • Made from oxford cloth and durable plastic
  • Plenty of ventilation
  • Able to interchange the bubble with an air vent or leave it as a hole
  • Comfortable back and shoulder straps padding
  • Outer layer is waterproof

Cons

  • Some are not made to go inside a backpack, and get scared
  • You might get a little too much-unwanted attention by curious people
4.5/5

The Ytonet is a mesh type backpack. It is at a middle price range.

The backpack features a pocket on both sides, so you can have extra storage for any of your things making this a great option for day to day activities. You can open it from the top or front depending on what is easier for you and your cat. This convenience is an absolute plus.

This product holds up to 18 pounds, and comes in classic grey which goes with about anything. When it comes to your comfort, the shoulder straps and the part of the backpack that meets your back is padded. The inside base of the backpack is lined with a nice quality Sherpa fabric to further help your buddy relax.

Good Benefits Mesh Provides

This one has 4 different mesh windows that will provide your kitty with plenty of oxygen to make sure they don’t overheat. The mesh also gives your kitty a nice view of the surrounding areas. The backpack features a pocket on both sides, so you can have extra storage for any of your things.

A security leash is also included within, so you don’t have to worry about any chance of your kitty freaking out, and finding a way to escape without you noticing. If your kitty feels like experiencing the outdoor world while chilling in your backpack, the top has a zipper, so it can poke its cute little head out.

We believe this is one of the best for transporting your kitty around on day trips. The zippers for the bottom door have a locking function to prevent any escape attempts. On the very bottom, there are grippers to keep it in one place with your rowdy kitty inside. It complies with many major airlines.  

If you’re looking for something for short errands, this might be the one for you.

Dimensions are 17.5 inches for the height x 10.8 for the width x 10.8 inches for the length.

Pros

  • No worries about ventilation problems or overheating
  • Extra pockets for water, and treats
  • Works for air travel
  • Removal bottom for cleaning (soap and water)
  • Made from Ecofriendly polyester made to withstand scratching

Cons

  • Mesh is not very strong
4.5/5

Mr. Peanut’s backpack is a mesh backpack without a bubble window. Mr. Peanut’s is specifically designed for airline travel, but can be used for other purposes.

It is one of the more sturdy mesh backpacks out there, and is still within a reasonable price range. It is designed to follow major airline requirements for luggage. This backpack fits felines that are 10 lbs or less.

It has multiple places to store things which is a lot better than many competitors who have 1 or fewer storage compartments. You can use these pockets to hold a water bottle, food, treats, and any little essentials you will need on the trip.

This backpack has mesh on 3 of its sides to make sure your kitty gets lots of oxygen, and doesn’t get stuffy. It weighs 2.7 lbs, which is fairly light. When you need to store it when it is not in use, you can fold it into a small thing for easy storage.

The pad at the bottom of this bag is made from fleece and is removable so you can give your little one a place to rest when your resting as well. A security leash is featured within this backpack.

Dimensions are 17 inches for height, 11 inches for length, and 10.6 inches for width. The manufactures specify further and say cats that are 14 inches long or less, and 10 inches tall or less are suitable for this backpack.

Pros

  • Mesh (lots of airflow)
  • Security Leash
  • Pad at the bottom is made from fleece
  • Suitable for airline travel
  • Solid base so the backpack doesn’t collapse inwards on your cat.

Cons

  • Not for large cats
4.5/5

If you have a big cat, then you’ll need a big backpack. As the weight limit is 19.8 lbs, it will be able to hold almost any breed of cat other than maybe a fat Maine Coon.

It features a top that can be opened, so your feline can peer out the top to chill out, and get some wind blowing on them. The bubble is removable, or you can replace it with a mesh screen if you would rather have that.

If you have a pet that loves to do magic tricks and disappear, the Fat Cat has a leash attachment to keep any sneaky cats from running away.

If your kitty is the one to try to escape, you won’t have to stress about any possible situations that could occur with a cat on the run, since it has the leash security feature.

Most cats should be able to lie completely down if they would rather just chill out. If you’re looking for a backpack for a cat scared of really tight space, and they are normal-sized cats, I might consider getting a bigger backpack like this one to help relieve any anxiety. 

This bubble backpack is a great choice for owners looking for an easy way to take their larger cats around with them on daily errands.

Dimensions for the Fat Cat are 15 inches, 11.4 inches, and 17.7 inches. 

Pros

  • Fits the largest breeds out there
  • Chest straps for extra support
  • Bubble backpack with window

Cons

  • On the pricier end, but worth the cost!

4.5/5

We had to include one cat carrier because these do work well, they just don’t have the pizzazz of the cat backpack and especially nothing close to the style of the bubble backpack.

The great thing about these kinds of carriers is the extra space they provide your cat. It holds up to 23 pounds which is way more than any backpack.

The downside is you have to hold it in your hand or on a singular shoulder. This is going to be a lot more tiring.

The zippers on this bad boy are locking, so you don’t have to worry about having to play a game of tag with your cat at an inconvenient time. Also, it comes in inexpensive, which is not bad for what this offers.

Also, there are pockets on both the front and backside. So, you can take any extra things you might need.

Like every backpack we talk about for carrying cats, this one comes with a leash to provide extra security in case a little game of chase does occur. The bed is machine washable, which is huge since cat pee is for sure gonna end up in here.

There are mesh screens on three of the sides for good airflow. If you’re looking for a product that will provide you with great practicality and durability, then the classic handheld carrier is great for carrying your cat. 

The thing about these is they just don’t have the style of any bubble backpack, but they are a solid choice!

Dimensions for the HITCH carrier are 20 inches by 13 inches by 13 inches.

Pros

  • Maximum weight is 23 lbs
  • Multiple mesh screens (circulating air)
  • Fleece at bottom
  • Zippers that can lock
  • 10-year warranty

Cons

  • Carrying is harder with handheld, and shoulder strap carriers rather than backpacks.

Buyer's Guide

Kitty’s Experience

The kitty’s experience is probably the most important aspect of your decision. If your buddy is not happy, the backpack is not going to get used. Make sure the inside has plenty more space than what your kitty will take up, and comfortable padding. If it does not have enough space, your cat might become claustrophobic and this will make them scared. Some are too flimsy, and when a cat gets into it she weighs down the bottom, and the rest of the bag comes closing in on her. Before purchasing, make sure that isn’t a recurring issue in previous buyers.

User (Your) Experience

You are the one that will have to have the backpack on your back. You want to make sure it is just as comfortable for you as it is for your cat. The quality of the straps is very important, as this will determine if your shoulders get sore. I would make sure the reviews say nothing about uncomfortable shoulder straps. You want to make sure that there is also plenty of padding for your back. Since your cat will be right next to your back, this might provide for some unpleasant experiences. If you have sufficient padding this will improve your happiness while carrying the bag.

Ventilation

This is the most important factor. You NEED to make sure the bag has sufficient ventilation. If you are at all worried about not getting enough air, I would suggest a mesh bag. Sufficient ventilation means that there are plenty of holes to ensure your kitty breathes enough. All the ones we are suggesting in this post have no history of not having enough airflow.

Practicality

If you are someone who has a lot of things that you like to carry around, you want to make sure the bag you are looking at has some extra room for your essentials. You might be annoyed if the bag you buy is perfect for everything except the fact that you have to shove everything in your pocket. I would also make sure the bag you purchase a built-in security leash if you are worried about a cat that is known to try to escape.

Durability

Durability means how long you will be able to use the bag for before it loses its functionality. The one you are looking at should be made out of quality material. Before purchasing a kitty backpack, look to see if anyone has complained about the bag falling apart in the reviews. The zippers of a bag can either make or break the quality of the bag. If you go on the lower price range, I would consider buying some replaceable zippers to ensure that if the zipper does break, then you know you still have a usable backpack. Always read the reviews to make sure that zipper, and overall bag quality is not an issue.

FAQ

What Is A Cat Backpack?

Cat backpacks are backpacks that specifically designed to hold and transport a cat around. They are just like a normal one in the sense that it carries stuff. They usually have a few air vents to provide circulating air. They have small windows, so your cat has a place to look out, and enjoy the surrounding area. Most backpacks are very minimal and are just there to transport your cat, and nothing else. They are perfect for trips that last only a few hours.

In the past, there was almost no viable options when you needed to take your cat somewhere. Have you ever seen a backpack in use? It’s adorable, and fascinating when you see a cat peeking out the little bubble on the backpack. It’s like the cat is the captain of their space ship.

How Are They Used?

Most are designed just to carry your cat around for very short trips. Say you want to go to a coffee shop across the street, but your cat friend is being needy. You don’t want to leave her at home, but you have no good way of taking her out with you. Backpacks solve this commonly faced issue.

Another use could be a day hike to a beautiful park, and you have guilt about leaving them at home. Also, you think your cat would love to reconnect with nature and get a taste of the outdoors.

Getting To The Vet Is A Walk In The Park

Don’t even get me going on how much easier this can make getting your cat to the vet. Slowly introduce a backpack, and get them to start liking it. Next time you go to the vet it will be a lot easier.

This new supply is a relatively new idea, and no wonder that is has popped off. This new invention allows you to take your cat with you in a comfortable fashion.

Some backpacks have a lot more space, and are not just backpacks for cats, but overnight trips.

Once your cat starts loving going on adventures in her new backpack, you’ll truly love the backpack too!

What Are Bubble Cat Backpacks?

These usually feature a little clear window which is a sphere that barely protrudes from the bag. This feature allows your cat to get a view of what is outside by getting into the bubble portion of the bag, and looking around the surrounding area.

Bubble backpacks usually feature holes all around the bag to provide ventilation, and they are usually not big. These backpacks are usually a little more expensive than the other kind of bag, mesh backpacks.

Bubble backpacks are generally better at protecting your feline friend from the elements. They have a window, and plastic external layer rather than mesh everywhere, which will keep your cat dryer, and warmer. In our opinion, they are pretty cool looking, as most of them are pretty stylish.

If you are a hiker looking for something that will keep your cat more isolated from the cruel outside world, maybe a bubble backpack is the type of bag to go with.

What Are Mesh Backpacks?

They are like bubble backpacks. But instead of featuring a little window, there are mesh screens everywhere, and these act as windows/air vents.

The entire backside of the mesh backpack is a mesh fabric to provide proper ventilation for your kitty. These kinds of backpacks are generally a little less expensive than their counterparts, bubble backpacks.

This backpack is great for places that have generally warm, and dry weather. Any rain will easily seep through the mesh, and we all know most cats hate water.

How Do To Get Your Cat Used To Being Carried?

Carrying your cat on in your backpack sounds so fun. But, what if your little guy doesn’t want to use the bag?

You want to make sure to reward good behavior in regards to the bag. If she gets into the bag, give her a treat. Soon enough she will associate the bag with goodness.

Take It Slow!

Make sure that you start slowly with the use of the bag. You do not want to jump straight into going into the city with your backpack.

Taking your cat into a situation with a lot of loud noises, and commotion will leave her having a bad association with the bag and the experience.

Once you have her in the bag, for the first few times walk around your house so she gets used to the new experience while in a safe environment like your house.

Progressively make the trips longer, and with more commotion. You could do the first few times in your house, then go to a quiet park a few times, then try a place with other people like a coffee shop.

Periodically check on how your cat is doing, and adjust your behavior on what she is expressing. If she is freaking out, take her out of the bag and make sure she feels loved. With the proper steps, soon enough your cat will love your new backpack, and call it her second home.

This article is a good resource as well on this topic.

How To Pick The Size

When choosing a backpack to carry your cat, you want to make sure the backpack will provide tons of space for your furry friend.

Weight Limit

First, consider the weight of your cat. All backpacks on Amazon will tell you how much weight the bag can hold. When considering this make sure you leave a few pounds for other things you might want with you during the day. For example, if you have a 7-pound cat, I would suggest buying a bag with a 10-pound weight limit, so you have room to put water, and snacks, or other daily essentials.

The more you follow the guidelines manufacturers suggest for weight limit, the longer the bag will last, and you will have a generally better experience with the bag. They have set the guidelines for a reason, so I would suggest making sure you take these into account.

Dimensions

Next, you have to consider the dimensions of the bag, and how that corresponds to your cat. Again, on Amazon, there will be dimensions. You want to allow your feline lots of space to move around, get comfy, and lie down.

Measure the length (head to but), width (horizontally across the back of your cat), and the height of your cat. Once you find these dimensions, you want to make sure it has more than enough space. You can do this by adding a few inches to your cat’s dimensions, then comparing those new dimensions with backpacks with the same dimensions.

Be Safe, Not Sorry!

If you know your pet gets anxious in small spaces, but you think a backpack might work, I would try to get a bag that you know has plenty of extra space.

Also, consider a mesh bag so your cat is exposed to the outside world more than a bubble backpack if they are claustrophobic. This will fill the bag with light, and constant fresh air to comfort her.

If your cat is a few pounds less than the maximum capacity of the bag, your cat should fit fine in most bags, but always check dimensions before purchasing any bag. Read the reviews for the product to make sure other people don’t have a problem with space.

Most manufacturers of backpacks have designed their product for a cat in the 7 – 12-pound range, so if your cat is in this range most products will work just fine. If you are the owner of a cat that weighs more than the average cat like a Maine coon, the Fat Cat Backpack could work well.

If you are interested in a visual on how someone else measures a pet for dimensions consider watching this video. Even though this video is with a dog, and for a crate, it can help give you a visualization of measuring a 4 legged pet.

What Are Alternative Options?

Strollers

Strollers are a pretty good alternative to backpacks. The reason you might choose one of these over a backpack is if you are worried about your cat being too claustrophobic. A stroller will provide your cat more room to move around, and will not be as cramped as a backpack.

The problem is their practical use and price. They are great if you are just going on a walk on a nice paved path with your cat. If you want to go to any restaurant, cross streets, or do anything that goes off a nice path, cat strollers will be a hassle, and simply not work in many instances.

Too Much Of An Effort!

If you want to go inside a restaurant for a drink or something, you will have to leave the stroller outside. This means locking the stroller up. Even if you are not worried about the possibility of it getting stolen, it might be hard to find a place to put the stroller.

Also, you have to consider that you will have your cat tag along inside with you which is another large hassle. You will have to put them on a leash, and there are just so many things that would be involved in the process of taking your cat anywhere.

Honestly, the cat stroller is great if you like to go on walks on paved paths daily, and you know your cat loves to tag along. This could be a great product that compliments a backpack in use, but is not as versatile as a backpack.

Also, the price is significantly higher than a backpack. These can range from $50 to $200. It’s not terrible, but if your purpose is a device to transport your cat with you daily then a backpack is optimal.

Harnesses

Harnesses are another alternative to cat backpacks where you walk them around like a dog. You might think walking your cat will never be an option, but you should give it a try because it can be very rewarding.

The pros of walking your cat is you can help your cats get exercise, while you do too. If you are going for a short trip like going to the vet or walking through a local park, the harness strategy could be for you. The problem with walking cats is that a lot of cats aren’t made for a leash and harness.

Cats are made for short, but intense spurts of exercise like when they are hunting. Or when they are chasing their toys around. Walking is almost the exact opposite of short, and intense. Some cats are definitely into being walked through.

Taking Them On Walks

Bengal cats are known for going for walks, and we have a post where we show reviews of some of the best harnesses for Bengals. Again, I would suggest a harness as more of a supplementary product. Cat backpacks will work in almost every situation on your hands, but harness and leash won’t.

The leash though will work better for getting your cat exercise especially if they love being on a leash. Furthermore, a leash and harness are kind of interchangeable with each other as they serve very similar purposes.

If your cat is not the harness type, consider a stroller, but if you want to help your cat get exercise get a harness. Another thing is that they will not break the bank nearly as much as a stroller.

Handheld Carriers

Handheld carriers are very close to the practical use, and function of backpacks. These are like a little cat home, have more space to sleep and lie down, act as a kennel, can be used to go on planes, and for longer trips. They are especially great when you own two cats, if that is your case, check out our post on two cat carriers.

The reason we say these are good for longer trips is because they provide your cat a more spacious little home.

If you want a carrier with a litter box that can take your cat driving with, here is a review on the best ones.

Great For Longer Trips

Carriers are great for longer trips. Backpacks beat them in everyday life, and short errands. With backpacks, you can hold your cat on your back, which is a lot comfier than any handheld or shoulder carrier. Also, backpacks are less tiresome than any handheld cat carrier.

I would suggest a carrier if you frequently go on long trips, and you want to have your cat with you on them. If you go on very few long trips, a backpack should be sufficient for the rare long trip.

Conclusion

In our opinion, backpacks are the best way to transport your cat around as they can do the jobs of all the alternatives mentioned above. 

Backpacks are truly a great solution.

In our opinion, the Lemonda is the best.

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