Cats can be difficult to wrestle into traditional pet carriers. Even if you get them in with a minimum of blood, a hard-shell crate can be awkward to carry.
It’s less of a problem on car journeys but quickly becomes a problem if you want to take your cat on something like a hike, where you need your hands free.
So, we started researching cat backpacks. We assessed many different models for breathability, how escape-proof they were, and how comfortable they were for cats and their owners.
Of these, the best was the Petkit Pet Backpack Carrier.
But it’s not the only cat backpack you can choose from. Read on to learn more about the various cat backpacks you can buy so you can take your fluffy friend with you everywhere.
Here are some of the best cat backpack selections available.
Petkit Pet Backpack Carrier
Best Expandable Cat Backpack: Pecute Pet Carrier Backpack
Best Cat Backpack for Large Cats: Cat Backpack Carrier Bubble
Best Cat Backpack for Two Cats: HOVONO Double Compartment Cat Backpack
When investigating the best cat backpack, the one we liked best was the Petkit Pet Backpack Carrier.
The newly improved design also increases ventilation. So despite the solid plastic window, your cat gets plenty of air while in the backpack. At the same time, there’s no mesh to claw, which makes escaping that much harder.
There’s a built-in fan for extra ventilation and a light to help your cat adjust to evenings, which is useful for cats spending a long time in the backpack.
The design is detachable; Remove the pod-style carrier from the straps for easy cleaning and to help familiarize your cat with its crate.
This backpack is one of the best cat backpacks for people with large cats, like Maine Coons.
The main compartment expands to give your cat extra space to stand up and turn around.
Because it’s designed for active people, who intend to take their cat hiking or out-of-doors, the backpack is lightweight. It also has four breathable but sturdy mesh windows to ensure the backpack is well-ventilated.
The zippers lock firmly in place, so even the most determined cat can’t escape.
The bottom also unzips and doubles as a comfortable, padded place for pets to sleep. Unzipping it and leaving it on the floor is the ideal way to familiarize cats with their new carrier.
The cat backpack is waterproof and scratch-proof. Additionally, it offers side pockets that can hold everything from cat treats and snacks to flashlights.
But the best cat backpack for large cats is the Cat Backpack Bubble.
The shape is comparable to Petkit’s carrier, with the bubble of plastic featuring prominently in the front. But it differs significantly in that the back of the backpack can expand to accommodate a larger cat.
It comfortably accommodates cats weighing up to 20lbs, making it ideal for Maine Coon owners who need an affordable and practical travel solution for their gentle giant.
It has nine ventilation windows, so despite the plastic panel in the front, ensuring there’s lots of fresh air for your cat.
Multiple entrances also allow your cat to come in and out as needed.
The double zippers add another layer of cat-proofing. And the ergonomic shoulder straps make this one of the most comfortable cat backpacks for humans. That’s crucial since the heavier the cat, the more weight you need to manage on your back.
Another reason to consider this backpack is that it is airline approved. The expandable compartment doesn’t just work for large cats. You can use it to give your cat a bit of extra space while flying.
However, the backpack does not include instructions on how to expand the carrier. Some reviewers found this frustrating and reported the process was unexpectedly complicated.
The HOVONO cat backpack stands out because it features two compartments. That makes it ideal for cat owners searching for a lightweight, multi-cat carrier.
The compartments are well-ventilated, with mesh windows that let in air and offer your cat a chance to survey its surroundings.
Because this is a multi-cat carrier, the backpack straps are particularly ergonomic and heavy-duty. The design also features a belt-style buckle for your waist to relieve stress on your shoulders.
The compartments unzip for convenient storage. They also offer several loading options for the cat, either through the mesh window or the top of the carrier.
There are two side pockets if you intend to use the carrier on hikes, and these can hold things like water bowls or bottles.
Those are some of the best cat backpacks you can find. But what makes them better than other models?
Here’s what to look for in a cat backpack.
One of the most important things when considering a cat backpack is its size. For the best results, it helps to measure your cat.
Cats don’t make that easy, so one workaround is to know your cat’s weight and check it against a sizing chart.
Ideally, the carrier should be spacious enough for your cat to comfortably stand up and turn around.
This factor is just as imperative for you as it is for your cat. Cats don’t feel heavy until you are carrying one on your back to the vet or over a Munroe-type hill.
Look for backpacks with well-padded bottom cushions but also ergonomic shoulder straps.
In addition, this is doubly important for owners with generously proportioned cats.
Since you are effectively zipping your cat into a bag, you must ensure the backpack is well-ventilated.
A good cat backpack offers multiple windows and ventilation spaces.
Despite this, the manufacturers must sufficiently reinforce those windows so your cat can’t slash them open.
There’s nothing more alarming than bundling a cat onto your back and realizing minutes later they aren’t there anymore.
In addition to reinforced mesh, you should also consider whether the zippers on the backpack lock in place.
There are a variety of excellent cat backpacks on the market, but the best is the Petkit Pet Backpack Carrier.
It’s breathable and comfortable to wear, and even the cleverest cat can’t escape it.