17 Best cat backpacks for carrying and hiking

It happened on one sunlight day. The smell of blossoms moved the air as birds sang their sweet melody. Everything was peaceful and beautiful—the perfect day for a stroll. You heard it as you were about to close the door behind you.

A meow sad enough to break your heart. You don’t want to leave your sweet kitty behind, but what choice do you have? Unlike dogs, cats don’t tend to cooperate when you walk them.

cat backpacks

What if we told you there was a solution to this stalemate? Cat backpacks are a safe and reliable way to explore the world with your feline companion. With them, you will be inseparable no matter where you go.

Summary

We tested a number of products and found that the best cat backpack for carrying and hiking was the Henkelion which offers a great view for your furry friend while having good ventilation. For a small cat, the Bestnova is the best cat backpack bubble design.

Best cat backpacks for carrying and hiking

Here are the category winners:

  • Best overall cat backpack: Henkelion
  • Best backpack for a small cat: Bestnova
  • Best travel backpacks for a fat cat: Morpilot
  • Best front-facing cat carrier: Pawaboo

Let’s dive deeper into the best cat backpacks.

Table of Contents

cat dome backapck

Best clear, bubble “space” with a window

1. Henkelion

Henkelion cat bag

This charming see-through capsule carrier will all but spoil your feline. The transparent window covers an entire side, allowing your pet to see everything perfectly. This model comes in six different colors and costs only $40. It is suitable for hiking as well.

It’s no wonder it’s made it on the list as one of the best cat backpacks.

Pros

  • We loved the massive viewing window for your furry friend.

Cons

  • It’s not foldable.
Henkelion 
You'll love this capsule.

2. Lollimeow

This model features a cute little bubble window that will make your kitty look like an astronaut. You can take the window off, allowing your cat to peek out. This model is airline approved as well and costs $60.

3. Huo Zao

With its stunning Poké ball design, this Huo Zao capsule backpack couldn’t be more fashionable. It sports a bubble window that you can remove as you need. The back is expandable so that you can use it as a cat dome. It can be yours for only $47.99. Gotta catch ‘em all!

Pros

  • The expandable design makes it versatile.

Cons

  • It’s pretty small.
HUO ZAO
Your furry friend will thank you.

4. Yafeco

This Yafeco space capsule features plastic windows on both sides. Thus, your cat can take in even more breathtaking sceneries. The model comes with adjustable shoulder and hand straps, allowing for more carrying options. The polymeric material is waterproof, lightweight, and collapsible. And it all costs only $29.99.

Pros

  • The design is very slick.

Cons

  • It’s not technically a backpack.
Yafeco
It's simple and practical.

5. Bestnova

Our last capsule-style model on the list, this Bestnova backpack, comes with a bubble window and a see-through mesh screen. You can swap freely between the two as you need. The 9 holes guarantee proper ventilation and breathability. You can also take this 35.99-dollar model on a plane trip since it is airline approved.

Pros

  • The large viewing window is great.

Cons

  • It’s pretty small.
Bestnova
It's kitty approved!

For a fat cat

The following models are suitable for large cats.

6. Morpilot

If it’s a large-capacity backpack you seek, then you can’t go wrong with Morpilot. This spacious model is designed for pets up to 15 pounds and has four mesh screens. You can also choose to leave the top open for your curious feline. Be sure to make use of the in-built safety strap to avoid accidents. For such a huge backpack, $38.99 is a small price to pay.

Pros

  • The foldable design is great.
  • We loved the removable mat that’s included.

Cons

  • The bag would be nicer to wear if it was longer.
morpilot 
It even folds.

7. Halinfer

What if you could have a backpack and a cat dome in one? With Halinfer, you can. This amazing model comes not with one but two extensions. Even large felines will fit right in – they can hold up to 20 pounds. It costs $36.99.

Pros

  • It was approved by the cat we tried it with.

Cons

  • We’re not convinced it provides enough ventilation.
halinfer
It expands in the front.

8. The Fat Cat

This enormous space bubble backpack can hold up to 25 pounds! Whether you own an extra heavy cat or you want to bring two with you, this model won’t disappoint. The interior was made to resist scratching, making it especially safe. Its only downside might be the price – $124.99.

Pros

  • It may provide the highest support we could find at 25 lbs.

Cons

  • We’re not thrilled with the design.
Blue and big
Even if your friend is bigger, it's a good product.

9. Petsfit

With a weight limit of 22 pounds, this stylish Petsfit backpack features will hold its shape despite its size. Thanks to the four mesh screens, your kitty will have all the ventilation he needs. The durable material makes it great not only for cats but also for dogs and bunnies. The model comes in five colors and costs $66.99.

Pros

  • Versatile product

Cons

  • The zippers feel cheap.
Petsfit 
It can hold up to 22 lbs.

10. IREENUO

This rucksack features an expandable back so that you can use it as a dome. It can hold up to 17 pounds, and you can fold it for easy storage. Your kitty can enter it through two doors, whichever is more comfortable. You can keep the topside mesh open so that he can stick out his head. The price is $49.99.

Pros

  • The removable mat inside is a great benefit.
  • The ability to expand it makes it very versatile.

Cons

  • It had an odd smell when it arrived, although most of it disappeared after airing it out.
IREENUO 
It has expandable mesh.

Front-facing

11. Pawaboo

Pawaboo bag

The Pawaboo front carrier is an excellent choice. Thanks to its many adjustable straps, you won’t feel sore. The flexible yet breathable material will also make your pet fall in love with it. This 26.99-dollar model is ideal not only for kitties but also for small dogs.

Pros

  • Simple design

Cons

  • Our test cat wasn’t a fan of front carrying.
  • It might be too large for some cats.
Sale
Pawaboo 
It's a front carrier.

12. Generic

Thanks to its Velcro zipper, this front-facing pet carrier couldn’t be more secure. Though the material is elastic and airy, this also means it can hold pets only up to 5.5 pounds. Still, smaller felines will surely fall in love with it. The price is $59.99.

Pros

  • It felt adequately sized for most cats.

Cons

  • The design may be too much for some.
Generic
It has an intricate design.

It’s definitely one of the best cat backpacks.

13. Coppthinktu

You can wear this fashionable Coppthinktu carrier both on the front and back. The adjustable neckline allows your pet to look around freely. And thanks to the two zippers on each side, your feline’s safety is assured. You can buy it for $33.99.

Pros

  • The colors are very patriotic.

Cons

  • The straps are pretty narrow.
Coppthinktu 
We love the American colors.

Airline-approved

14. Tirrinia

The Tirrinia airline-approved backpack includes a removable soft pad that will give your pet all the comfort he needs. It features a see-through mesh screen that you can roll up. The top one can also be opened. It has side pockets for water bottles and treats, the perfect load-out for a voyage with your furry friend. It’s affordable too – just $36.98.

Pros

  • It’s one of the best backpacks for small cats.

Cons

  • We struggled a bit with the zipper.
Tirrinia 
It's airline-approved.

15. PetAmi

PetAmi travel backpack

PetAmi brings great value for money to the table. For only 39.99, you’ll get this splendid airline-approved beauty. With 7 different colors to choose from, you’re bound to find the variant which suits your style. It also includes a collapsible water bowl.

Pros

  • It’s available in many colors.
  • It’s a great size for the 12-pound cat we tried it with.

Cons

  • It feels a bit flimsy.
PetAmi 
Gray is classic.

16. Covono

The Covono backpack is not only airline-approved, but it’s also expandable. The expansion doubles the available space, making it that much comfier for your furry friend. The top can be removed and there is a safety leash inside. You don’t need to worry about your pet falling out. The price is $49.99.

Pros

  • It has a very classic look.

Cons

  • The back is pretty stiff.
COVONO 
It offers a lot.

17. ELLONI

This model is expandable, meaning you can also use it as a dome. Apart from being airline-approved, it also sports a soft foam cushion for additional comfort. It has a mesh screen as the primary source of ventilation and costs $54.99.

Pros

  • It has great airflow.
  • It was user-approved.

Cons

  • It’s pretty small.
ELLONI 
It passes our design test.

Why do I need a cat backpack?

As their name implies, cat backpacks are designed to transport your feline companions. Unlike common pet carriers, you wear them on your back. Say goodbye to constant swapping from one hand to another. Backpacks distribute the weight evenly on your back, so you will find them more comfortable.

It might strike you as another one of those ideas that seem simple. You don’t know why you haven’t thought about it until now. Why couldn’t you use a regular backpack? Isn’t this just a silly invention meant to milk your money? Don’t put your kitty into a common school bag just yet.

Cat backpacks are equipped with holes or mesh panels. It allows your kitty to breathe and provides the necessary ventilation. Your kitty needs to breathe, after all. And why would you bring your pet along if they can’t see a thing? Cat backpacks feature a window. Let your feline marvel at the world around!

Most models also come with pockets to carry some items with you. A mat might also be included to make your cat as comfortable as possible.

Factors to consider

Here are factors to consider as you’re buying a cat backpack.

Size

The backpack you’re about to purchase can’t be too small, or your kitty will suffocate in it. If it’s too big, it might not be able to reach the dome and look outside. Always measure your pet before visiting a store.

Material

Material plays a huge role when selecting the backpack of your dream. Soft materials provide more ventilation, and they are often collapsible. Storing your items will no longer feel like a game of Tetris.

On the other hand, hard materials might be necessary in some cases. For instance, large animals might cause the bottom to droop if the rucksack’s made of soft fabric. Moreover, airlines generally prefer hard shell models. They will also last longer.

Comfort

It should be your number one priority on our list. If your feline feels like a prisoner in your new rucksack, you’ve wasted your precious money. Look for one with sufficiently large windows and lots of ventilation holes.

The better models also have a soft mat at the bottom for extra comfort. But if the one which caught your eye doesn’t, don’t despair. You can place down a blanket or a piece of clothing you don’t need anymore.

Your comfort is as important as your pet’s. Try it on before you purchase, and look for models with back pads and comfy shoulder straps. If you plan to go on longer trips, waist and chest straps might provide additional relief.

The purpose of the rucksack is to distribute your cat’s weight evenly across your body. If it’s not comfortable, you might as well get a regular carrier.

Budget

Whatever you may be shopping for, you can’t escape the constraints of your budget. If it’s your first purchase, buying cheaper models might be a good idea even if there are others you like better.

It is because you don’t know whether your cat will like it or not. If all goes well, you can upgrade to a fancier one. If not, then you at least didn’t waste too much money.

Are they safe?

FactorDescription
SizeMake sure the backpack is the right size for your cat. It should be large enough for your cat to sit comfortably. However, you don’t want it unstable or difficult to carry.
ComfortLook for a backpack with padded shoulder straps. You might want the bottom of the backpack to be padded. A removable pad for your cat to stand on is also an option.
SecurityEnsure that the backpack has secure closures, such as zippers or buckles. It helps prevent your cat from escaping. Look for a backpack with a tether or harness attachment.
VentilationMake sure the backpack has ample ventilation to keep your cat comfortable. You don’t want to be stuck in a hot car, either. It helps prevent overheating. Mesh panels or vents allow good air circulation.
DurabilityConsider the material of the backpack and its overall construction. Durable materials withstand wear and tear. The seams need to be well-stitched, and the zippers sturdy.
StyleThink about your personal style. The color, pattern, and design of the backpack are things to think about. Additional features could include pockets or reflective strips to make it easier to see at night.
cat backpack and rolling carrier

Cat backpacks are a safe and fashionable tool for transporting your furry friends. They have holes or mesh screens for ventilation. They also feature a plastic window. Your kitty can take in all those breathtaking views!

Though safe, there are some rules you’ll have to follow while using them.

The most important one is to manage your time well. Cats can generally stay in the backpack for up to 6 hours. After this time, they tend to become restless and even frustrated.

Plan your trips according to your kitty’s needs – let him out every once in a while, so he can stretch out his limbs. Hydration is also important. Even if you go out on short trips, always have some water on you. On longer trips, your cat will need access to food and a litterbox.

If the weather’s too hot, consider taking your feline for a stroll another time. Although cat backpacks are ventilated, such a small space can heat up easily.

Pay attention to this, particularly if you have a backpack with a large see-through screen. When the sun’s out, the backpack might turn into a greenhouse.

Their personality

adjustable strap cat carrier

You should also consider your cat’s personality. For feisty felines, we recommend buying hard shell backpacks.

Even if your kitty decides to vent his frustration, he won’t be able to tear the walls apart. For heavier animals, you should also buy a hard shell backpack. They are sturdier and won’t sag, making your kitty more comfortable.

You’ve probably seen those delightful cat videos dubbed ‘If I fit, I sit.’ These videos capture cute kittens lying in bizarre places, such as high-heel shoes or fish bowls.

While kitties might be flexible, you shouldn’t confine them to small places. Always buy a backpack they can fit in.

A soft surface

Make sure you place a soft mat or a blanket at the bottom. After all, you want only the best for your cat.

When you buy a backpack, take things slow in the beginning. As the saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Your kitty might feel overwhelmed by this new means of transport.

But don’t feel discouraged if he resists at first – don’t just shove your cat into the backpack the moment you buy it. Let it lie around your home. Odds are, he will enter it by himself.

Consider placing yummy treats inside, too. It ensures that your pet develops a positive association with the carrier.

Once he is comfortable with the backpack, take your kitty on a short stroll. A quick walk up and down the street will be enough for the first time.

Much like humans, cats take a while to adapt to new sensations. Over time, the two of you will be able to explore the world together!

If you can see your pet is frightened of the backpack or doesn’t like the outdoors, don’t force him against his will. Not every kitty has the same personality. Some will never take to this means of transportation, and you shouldn’t force them.

Why you can trust us & how we picked

We love cats as much as you do! But did we tell you that we love hiking too? And we all miss our pets when we are out. So to be able to take them out with us, cat backpacks come in handy. That’s why we tested the best cat backpacks for carrying and hiking. We tested each backpack with different-sized cats at different locations. Some locations were in plains, while some were in hilly areas. The ones in which the cats were most comfortable were listed above so that your pets never have to go through that.

How much do they cost?

Cat backpacks for carrying and hiking start from $25 and can go up to $4000. But honestly, you can get a good cat backpack for under 100$. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a backpack. But, just in case you want to give your pet a luxury experience, you can always go for the expensive ones.

Why you can trust us & how we picked

We love cats as much as you do! But did we tell you that we love hiking too? And we all miss our pets when we are out. So to be able to take them out with us cat backpacks come in handy. That’s why we tested the best cat backpacks for carrying and hiking. We tested each backpack with different-sized cats at different locations. Some locations were in plains, while some were in hilly areas. The ones in which the cats were most comfortable were listed above so that your pets never have to go through that discomfort.

Conclusion

Cat backpacks are an innovative means of transport for your pet. Safe and reliable, you and your furry friends will never have to be apart anymore. However, you must use them wisely.

Your feline friend will need to get used to this novelty before you can take him out. Once you start going on trips, let your feline out regularly and make sure you always have water on you.

If you follow the right principles, then both of you will enjoy the many adventures that await you!

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