The Best Cat Backpack Carriers For 2020

Cats love to explore the great outdoors as much as dogs, but our feline companions are often too proud to be walked on a leash. So, how can you encourage your lazy, haughty cat to be active and spend more quality time with you? Start by getting one of the best cat backpack carriers listed below. Unlike metal crates and handheld carriers, a cat backpack is a fantastic way to provide Tom and Kitty a wonderful view at a vantage point cats prefer. Our feline companions feel more at ease being high up. Another upside of using a cat backpack is that it leaves your hands free, so you can fulfill whatever you need to do.

However, choosing one product from a multitude of options can be a pain in the neck! So, we came up with a list of seven of the best cat backpack carriers, as well as a comprehensive guide on how to choose the right one for your cat.

Best Cat Backpack Carriers (Bubble Backpacks)

Texens Innovative Traveler Bubble Backpack – Editor’s Pick

Texsens is one of the most trusted brands in the pet industry. This company has graced pet parents with premium-quality carriers for many years, and they also paved the way for the bubble backpack craze. Unsurprisingly, they have the edge when it comes to crafting these funky-looking carriers. Our ultimate favorite is the Innovative Traveler. While this model doesn’t have a plastic shell, unlike most bubble backpacks in the market, it features a PU leather construction. Does this make the Innovative Traveler sturdy?

While PU leather isn’t as durable genuine leather, it doesn’t crack or fade when regularly exposed to the elements. What is more, it is a breathable material and 100% vegan. While the bubble window is a thing — or perhaps, even the most outstanding feature of a bubble backpack — the manufacturer has given its users the option to interchange the semi-sphere window with mesh. Additionally, all the nettings are made of a soft PVC material. Even if your cat claws the mesh maniacally due to excitement, it will stay intact.

This bubble backpack also has plenty of air vents so that your feline companion can breathe freedom. While Tom can enter his carrier with ease through the two-sided entry, his chances of escaping are slim. Aside from the bag’s high wear-resistance, you can also tether your cat’s leash. The Innovative Traveler measures 13.39 x 9.8 x 17.32 inches, so it should provide ample room for a 12-pound cat or lighter. The backpack has wide soft-padded straps and a sponged back so that you will stay comfortable during hour-long hikes. Lastly, the bag has a sturdy top handle to fasten a seat belt.

The Bottom Line

What we like most about the Texens Innovative Travel Cat Backpack is that it uses PU leather, which is a lot more breathable compared to plastic. You also have the option to use the mesh and bubble windows alternately. At the same time, the bag provides ample comfort and stability that both you and your pet can benefit from.

ProsCons
interchangeable bubble and mesh windowsno pouch for storing valuables
PU leather construction and PVC mesh
more breathable with 9 air vents and 2 mesh windows
12-lb. capacity

PETRIP Cat Backpack – Best for Large Breeds

Wouldn’t it be nice to have all your furry friends get in on the fun, including your big-boned feline (or your lazy fat cat)? The PETRIP Cat Backpack is your best bet! This carrier features the same PU leather construction as the Texsens Innovative Traveler. The only difference is that the front portion of the bag has a zippered opening. That given, you have the option to have your pet peep through the bubble window or leave it open so that Kitty can enjoy the view.  The size of the carrier is 16.9 x 12 x 13.4  inches. Given the dimensions and durability, you can perfectly fit a 20-pound cat inside.

The Bottom Line

The durable materials and ergonomic design of the PETRIP should allow tubby Tabby to fit inside his carrier without straining your shoulders.

ProsCons
PU leather constructionthe carabiner of the tether is plastic
well-padded and highly adjustable shoulder straps
more breathable with 2 big mesh panels and 12 air vents
20-lb. capacity

Lollimeow Candy Cat Backpack

The Lollimeow Candy Cat Backpack measures 11.42 x 10.63 x 16.14 and has a loading capacity of 13 pounds. This candy-colored backpack is perfect for mall strolling and taking short walks to the park. As you can see, the backpack allows your cat to enjoy a 180-degree view.

Don’t be fooled by its appearance, though. This cute bag is made of polycarbonate, which is a high-performance plastic with high heat resistance and optical clarity. With that in mind, you can rest assured your feline companion is felicitous as her eyes feast on the wonderful surroundings.

This beautifully crafted cat backpack is also as comfortable as it looks. There are chest and waist straps to add stability and help lower the pressure applied on your shoulders.

The Bottom Line

The Lollimeow Candy Cat Backpack is a lot sturdier than it looks. This adorable bag is a great example that a charming backpack can also be rugged and heavy-duty. The only problem with this bag is the sheer amount of attention it gets since it is stinking cute and pretty hilarious to boot.

ProsCons
polycarbonate shellnone
180-degree view
the easiest backpack to clean
13-lbs capacity

Best Cat Backpack Carriers (Fabric/Mesh)

PetAmi Deluxe Backpack

Providing Kitty with a high-quality cat backpack doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. The PetAmi Deluxe Pet Backpack should provide your cat with a comfortable and safe mode of transportation, while you stay on a budget. This backpack is made of 600-Denier polyester fabric. Know that 600-Denier polyester is a thick and heavy-duty fabric that offers decent water and abrasion resistance. Unless Kitty chews like a dog, she can’t break free through just by scratching.

The best part about the PetAmi Deluxe Pet Backpack is that you can use it interchangeably as a handheld carrier. There is a padded handle atop the bag, so you can carry it like a regular carrier when you need it to. You would feel cozy, either way. The shoulder straps are thick and wide, and the back comes with comfortable padding. Also, there are waist and chest buckles to give you the support you need to carry your cat.

Would Kitty feel comfortable, too? Definitely! Aside from the ample space, Kitty would feel snug as a bug in the Sherpa-lined bottom. Also, you can be sure that your beloved pet won’t heat up inside the carrier. As you can see in the picture, it has three generously sized mesh windows to promote air circulation. You can unzip the front mesh window if you wish to interact with your cat. The bag also includes a safety strap and three safety buckles, which are quite handy if your cat is still anxious during its first few trips.

Since each side is a zippered entry, it would be easy for you to load your feline passenger. There is also a zippered front pocket and two elastic pockets for you to tuck in some valuables. The bag measures 12.5 x 10.2 x 16.3 inches and given its construction, it should support cats weighing 15 pounds or lighter.

The Bottom Line

This handheld carrier and backpack combo by PetAmi will give you more bang out of your bucks. Made of breathable materials combined with a well-ventilated design, your cat will remain cool and cozy inside. Don’t forget to bring a bottle of water and some packed food. The bag has enough pockets to tuck in Kitty’s essentials, as well as your valuables. My only gripe is that the bottom may sag eventually because of the lack of support. But for the price you pay, I know you wouldn’t mind making a few alterations.

ProsCons
600-D polyester constructionThe bottom lacks enough tautness to last a long period
2-sided access w/ a mesh pocket on each side
Sherpa-lined bottom pad, cushioned back, and well-padded straps
15-lb. capacity

PetAmi Premium Pet Backpack

This cat backpack is another PetAmi product we highly recommend. The carrier measures 11.5 x 9 x 16 inches and supports cats weighing up to 10 pounds. Similar to the Deluxe model, it features the same heavy-duty 600-Denier polyester construction and scratch-resistant mesh. The bottom interior is Sherpa-lined so that your cat can travel comfortably. While the shoulder straps would never shift off, the extra support offered by the waist and chest straps is a nice addition. Simply put, you will find many of the interesting features of the PetAmi Deluxe in this model. So, the question is: what is the biggest difference between the two?

The PetAmi Premium Pet Backpack only has one access point. Is this a disadvantage? Not exactly. The zippered mesh opening is nearly 12 inches wide and because the bag has a rectangular shape, you can lay the bag down so that it fits underneath a plane seat. So instead of shipping Kitty in the cargo hold, she can stay in the cabin with you or fly first-class! Some might also frown upon the placement of the mesh, but small kittens may actually like it since it allows them to lounge inside and look through the bottom window.

The Bottom Line

If the other PetAmi backpack doesn’t appeal to you, you might want to try this model, instead. This carrier includes the same heavy-duty construction as the former and it is affordable for any budget. The best part? Your feline passenger can travel by plane with this backpack.

ProsCons
600-D polyester constructionthe carabiner of the tether is plastic
extra-wide zippered mesh top entry8-lb. capacity contrary to the manufacturer’s claim
airline-approved
extra-large mesh panel

Pecute Expandable Cat Backpack – Best For Long Travels

The Pecute Expandable Cat Backpack is one of the best cat backpack carriers for long-distance trips via air or land. Although this bag costs twice than the PetAmi backpacks, every inch of this backpack screams of unparalleled durability. This product boasts of a 300-Denier cationic Oxford fabric construction and multiple mesh windows made of PVC composite. Understand that these fabrics are often used for demanding applications because of their strength, durability, and flexibility. In other words, the bag is built to last!

When it comes to proper ventilation, this backpack also has a lot to give. But unlike cheap knock-offs, you won’t have to worry that your little Houdini might run to the woods. Scratch or bite, this backpack can withstand a good deal of abuse from your pet for a long period. Better yet, fasten Kitty’s collar to the safety rope, so she can’t escape even if you leave the top open. Your furry friend can enjoy the view from there or through the acrylic plates. The leash strap is strong and the steel ring is stainless steel.

The highlight of this bag, however, is its pop-out extension. With this feature, you can provide your feline passenger with more room for movement while traveling. There is also a zip opening, so you can feed your pet. The bag measures 13.4 x 10.6  x 17.3 inches and expands to 24.4 x 13.4 x 17.7 inches. Despite the size and build of the product, it remains comfy and lightweight. You can easily pull the bag over your back and haul it around. The support straps are excellent at taking the weight off the shoulders. There are also plenty of little pouches for storing food, treats, etc.

The Bottom Line

We can’t say enough good things about the Pecute Expandable Backpack. This product is proof that fabric-constructed cat backpacks can also be up to snuff when it comes to durability. Even frequent exposure to the elements will not damage this product quite easily. The only thing that could be a potential issue is the price. But because this bag ticks all the boxes, you should get it regardless of the cost, particularly if you are dead set on making Kitty an adventure cat.

ProsCons
300-D cationic Oxford constructionvery expensive
PVC composite mesh and acrylic plate windows
comes with a built-in retractable hook and a zipper lock
airline-approved

Texsens Innovative Traveler Mesh Backpack

Got a super fluffy cat? You may want to consider getting the mesh version of the Innovative Traveler Backpack. This mesh backpack has many of the common features we love about the Innovative Traveler Bubble Backpack. These features include the firm Sherpa-lined pad, safety measures, and ergonomic design.

The bag measures 15 x 12.6 x 16.7 inches and is sturdy enough to carry a 17-pound cat. As you can see in the picture, all three sides are mesh to promote airflow. Having three-sided mesh panels also equates to a 180-degree view. The zippered mesh window on the front provides your cat access to her carrier and at the same time, Kitty could use it as a window where she could poke her head out. The netting is scratch-resistant PVC, so don’t even think of declawing your cat.

The Bottom Line

This mesh backpack by Texens is a fabulous choice to keep your fluffy friend from overheating on a warm day. With three mesh sides made of PVC, your cat can enjoy a 180-degree view from the inside.

ProsCons
3 mesh panels and access pointsno waist strap
non-bendable bottom pad with Sherpa lining
sturdy, lightweight, and collapsible for easy storage
17-lb. capacity

How To Pick The Best Cat Back Carrier For The Feline Explorer

A cat backpack offers many perks, but only if you choose among the best cat backpack carriers in the market and not the cheapest one you see. This section will show you what factors to consider so you can pick the right one among the bunch.

Type

Cat backpack carriers either feature a heavy-duty fabric construction or have a hard shell. Traditional cat backpacks look similar to the rucksacks we use, while hard shell cat backpacks resemble mini space capsules. The latter is also known as bubble backpacks. Each type of backpack has its advantages and disadvantages, for instance, hardshell cat backpacks are designed for maximum durability, waterproofing, and abrasion resistance. Therefore, a bubble backpack is a perfect choice when you cruise down the road because it can withstand impact in the event of an accident. But if you want your feline passenger to join you in the airplane cabin, you will need an airline-approved cat backpack made of breathable materials. In the end, it all boils down to the activities you plan on doing with your whiskered fellow.

Size

Needless to say, you need to choose a backpack that can accommodate the size of your cat. A carrier too small limits your cat’s movements, making Kitty feel cramped and uncomfortable. The right size should give Kitty enough room to turn around, sit down, and stand without hunching. Otherwise, your little freedom fighter will try to claw its way out! Unless you plan on stuffing the bottom with a blanket, you shouldn’t choose a carrier that is too big for your cat, as well. Having too much wriggle room may also increase the likelihood of Kitty getting tossed around inside.

To find the right size, you need to measure and weigh your feline companion first. Then check the dimensions and weight of the product. Typical cat backpacks cater to small and medium breeds. If you have a large breed weighing 18 pounds or more, you want to look into models designed specifically for big kitties. Lastly, check the maximum weight capacity of the carrier.

Durability

Always check what materials the manufacturer used to make the backpack and double-check whether the stitching is done correctly, especially around the pivotal points, such as the bottom and shoulder straps. An ideal bag has a sturdy frame to withstand the brunt of your cat and keep its shape for an extended period. Otherwise, Kitty could get injured if the structure breaks. If you choose a fabric construction instead of a hard shell, you want to make sure the bottom has a firm board to prevent it from sagging. The carrier should also have a strong and tear-resistant lining. Good examples include Oxford fabric and leather.

Our contenders for the best cat backpack carriers are made of quality materials, so you can rest assured you can get a durable product whichever you choose.

Security

Not all cats look forward to their first trip outdoors, especially if you have to move past a high-traffic neighborhood or take the public commute. With this in mind, it is crucial to look for a backpack with added security measures to prevent your anxious cat from breaking away.  Look for a bag that includes a tether where you can attach to your cat’s harness. Yup, we suggest that Kitty wears a harness during your outings. If you know by heart that your pet is a determined escape artist, you should avoid cat backpacks with mesh windows.  Cats are liquids — they can squeeze through small openings!

Ventilation

Our best cat backpack carriers all feature an efficient ventilation system. Ventilation is another vital factor to consider. Lack of airflow inside the carrier causes your cat discomfort, particularly during the day when temperatures are rising. If you choose a hard shell carrier, you want to make sure there are air vents. Otherwise, your pet will fall victim to heatstroke. A cat backpack made of breathable fabric and has mesh windows is a sound choice, but you want to make sure Kitty isn’t the type to claw or chew her way out of the mesh.

Ease Of Use and Cleaning

You don’t expect to go out wearing two bags when you’re on a date with your furry friend, right?  That’s why it pays to get a cat backpack that has enough pockets to tuck in valuables and pet essentials. The cat backpack should also be accessible for you and your feline companion. Many of the best cat backpack carriers in our list offer multiple access points. A bag with several entry points makes it more comfortable for your cat to hop in.

Since you will be carrying your cat’s weight for long periods, you want a backpack that offers ergonomic support, as well. The design should take the pressure off your shoulders and hips. Choose a backpack that has thick and well-padded shoulder straps. A chest strap is also a nice addition. Lastly, you want a backpack that is easy to keep clean and wash.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Cats Like Living In A Backpack?

Cats love heights and the root of this love affair harks back to their tree-climbing ancestors in the jungle. Our feline companions feel much safer when they are up high because they get a better vantage point, especially when there are kids and dogs around to annoy them. That is why cats warm up to backpacks quicker than handheld carriers or portable crates.

Can You Use A Cat Backpack For Air Travel?

Yes, you can if the backpack adheres to the policies provided by the airline. Know that only a few cat backpacks are airline-approved. Bubble backpacks, in particular, are not allowed because these bags do not fit under a plane seat and they do not match all the welfare needs of your cat during a flight.

Are Cat Backpacks Safe To Use?

All of the best cat backpack carriers listed above are safe to use. The products we picked feature durable construction, ergonomic support for the owner, and proper ventilation for the feline passenger.

How Long Should A Cat Stay In The Backpack?

A healthy cat should be fine being cooped inside the carrier for a few hours. Just be sure to take Kitty out occasionally so she could stretch, eat, and relieve herself.

Is A Cat Backpack Suitable For Long Trips?

Unless your cat’s backpack is airline-approved, it isn’t is suited for a long-distance journey. A majority of cat backpacks don’t allow your feline passenger to sleep or eat properly.  Therefore, these carriers are best suited to short journeys, such as a trip to the groomer, vet, park, bistro, mall, etc.

Conclusion

If given the chance, Tom and Kitty would love to go out and see what the amazing outdoors have in store for them. However, carrying your cat around using a traditional carrier hamper your movements and sometimes, it can dampen your mood, as well. That is why we encourage cat owners to use a cat backpack carrier, especially if you plan on participating in certain activities with your pet.

Although we already cherry-picked the products we reviewed above, there is one product among our seven best cat backpack carriers that is a few steps ahead of others – the Texens Innovative Traveler Bubble Backpack. We could hardly say anything negative about this backpack. The PU leather construction looks and feels expensive. Best of all, it is built to last many seasons.

Lara Jill Regencia-Baylosis

Lara's love for animals started at the age of 5 when she took care of a little injured chick. She's now the proud fur momma of a mischievous and highly energetic Chow Chow and a supporting patron of The Philippine Animal Welfare Society.

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