Backpacking with your cat – Best cat backpack review


Cat backpack carriers – why?

There are some very important situations where cat backpack carriers are essential. The obvious one is traveling. But, even if you never leave your postcode, a cat backpack is a versatile tool for visits to the Vet, a short stay with family and friends, or if you have to leave home in a hurry (like a hurricane or bushfire approaching).

Cat backpack carriers come in a number of styles. There is no real one-size-fits-all. We consider the main types and which ones are best for different cats.

If you travel with an adventure cat, then a backpack provides comfortable, convenient, and safe transport. Having a cat carrier in your collection, and perhaps a sturdy back is a must for nomadic life. If you want to go for short walks, hiking, or grab a coffee when leaving kitty somewhere may not be an option; then a backpack is for you.

What type is cat backpack carrier best for life on the road? The best cat backpack review considers the top brands on the market.

If you are keen on cat travel, check out our articles here.

Our Top Pick

Meow&Woof Cat Backpack Carrier

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Meow&Woof Cat backpack

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Do I need a backpack for my cat?

The age-old problem that animal lovers regularly face; what to do when you have to run errands? For many dog lovers, it’s as easy as tying the dog up outside while you run in. If it’s a small dog, maybe you stuff it in your bag (a great big purse) for a minute. But when we are talking cats, well stuffing doesn’t work.

Even the most laid-back cats can be spooked when they are in a strange environment. A large part of the adventure of nomadic life is the unknown each day holds. As the owner (or, if you ask kitty, “servant” or “sherpa”) cat safety is a heavy responsibility. This is where a backpack carrier comes in.

The time to train kitty to view the backpack as a safe place is now. Remember with any training, consistency, familiarity, and repetition are important. Introduce the backpack as a bed and a carrier as soon as possible.

At A Glance – Best Cat Backpack Review – Top Choices


Best Overall

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Meow&Woof Cat backpack
Meow&Woof Cat backpack

Runner Up

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Superbe cat backpack carrier
Superbe cat backpack carrier

Strong Material

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Petsfit Soft Pet Backpack Carrier
Petsfit Soft Pet Backpack Carrier

Bubble

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Petrip Cat Backpack Carrier
Petrip Cat Backpack Carrier

Budget Buy

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PetAmi Premium Pet Carrier Backpack
PetAmi Premium Pet Carrier Backpack

Why are cat backpacks essential for nomads?

Hiding the evidence

Backpacks are ideal for hiding your cat.

Say what? Why hide the cat? Well, we are not suggesting you do anything nefarious, illegal, or immoral, but there are times where discretion is best.

Here are some of our experiences while on the road:

  1. Sitting in an outdoor café, sipping on our coffee, watching life go by, whilst kitty discretely sleeps in the safety of her backpack placed on a chair that’s tucked under the table.
  2. Sprinting into a café to grab a coffee to go, with the cat safely tucked into her cat backpack because it was too warm to leave her in the car.
  3. Strolling through the mall with the cat.
  4. An even nicer stroll through an outdoor market.

Containing your cat in a high-stress environment

Doing laundry in the laundromat. This is a common activity for nomads on adventures. A necessary evil that can also be loud and hot. With kitty in the safety of her cat backpack, your hands are free to get the laundry done and get out of there. It’s not a place either of you will likely want to hang around.

When traveling long drives to remote places, there are times the only lunch you are going to have is a picnic. You may have to stop beside a busy road or highway. Kitty can sit under the shade of a tree with you in the safety of her pack while you enjoy your lunch.

Getting things done

The nomadic life is awesome, but there are times when you may find yourself craving for a little indulgence like getting your hair trimmed. Yes, speaking from experience you may be able to take your cat in with you. It took two tries before finding a salon that would accept kitty in the shop, but it was all worthwhile once we settled in. This would not have happened if we did not have the cat backpack.

Ensuring safety

Even if hiking with your cat on a leash, the habit of taking the cat backpack is a good one. You never know when you are going to come across dangers such as unrestrained dogs or predators. The ability to pop the cat in the backpack gives peace of mind.

There have been times when our cat has been walking happily along and suddenly becomes anxious. Once in her backpack, she settles quickly as it is her safe place. At times we have figured out what caused the upset, other times, it is left to the imagination as to what the perceived danger could have been.

We have also used the cat backpack as a safe place when starting out, seeking a place where the cat can roam freely on a leash.

In one instance, we were camped near a beach where sandy islands popped up in the receding tide. We decided to take the cat out to one of the sandy islands so she could roam freely. Safely in her cat backpack, we waded several times before reaching our destination.

Once free (well, on leash), our cat decided this dream of playing in the sand was ours, not hers. She promptly waded into the water, intending to head for home.

Not all adventures work out as expected, which is why we decided to do our best cat backpack review. There are great options available.

For more tips on cat safety, click here.

best cat backpack review
best cat backpack review
best cat backpack review
best cat backpack review

Best Cat Backpack Review

Best Overall – Meow&Woof Cat Backpack Carrier

This cat backpack carrier is perfect if you have a large cat. Best of all, it is a backpack, wheeled carrier, and a pet bed all rolled into one. It has very smooth wheels, lots of ventilation for kitty, and side pockets for your bits and pieces.

Meow&Woof Cat backpack
Meow&Woof Cat backpack
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  • Seamlessly converts into a backpack, wheeled carrier or bed
  • Telescopic handle
  • Mesh on three sides – great ventilation
  • Fold flat and fabric makes for easy storage
  • Tether clip for added security
  • Padded straps for comfort
  • Cat can easily sit up or stand
  • Room to lay down and stretch when pack is flat
  • Side pockets – great for carrying water, leash etc
  • Easy to load your cat
  • Don’t recommend for car travel with seatbelt
  • Fabric can be more difficult to clean

As an Amazon Associate, Walkabout Cat earns from qualifying purchases


Runner Up – Superbe Cat Backpack Carrier

This is lighter as it has no wheeled option – it is strictly a backpack. It can be comfortably worn on your back, and front if kitty needs your support. The back zips down to give extra space when the backpack is on the ground. It has a roll-down flap to keep the sun off the rear panel if required.

Superbe cat backpack carrier
Superbe cat backpack carrier
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  • Light backpack, great for hiking
  • Tether clip for added security
  • Good ventilation
  • Roll-down flap for extra sun protection
  • Zip out additional space when on the ground
  • folds completely flat
  • Good amount of side storage
  • Good value for money
  • Don’t recommend for car travel with seatbelt

Strong Material – Petsfit Comfort Cat Backpack

The bottom of this pack is sturdy and doesn’t collapse under their pet’s weight. It offers plenty of room and is well-ventilated with mesh on the front, both sides, and the top.

Petsfit Soft Pet Backpack Carrier
Petsfit Soft Pet Backpack Carrier
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  • Tether clip for added security
  • Good ventilation
  • Easily fits medium size cat
  • Chest clip and waist strap for stability
  • Front and top loading
  • Light weight
  • Not a lot of storage
  • Is a backpack only

Best Bubble – Petrip Cat Backpack Carrier

If you are looking for a bubble backpack, then Petrip has it all. With 9 air holes and 2 mesh areas, you have sufficient ventilation coupled with the funkiness of a bubble backpack. The side opening of this cat backpack will easily double as a bed.

Petrip Cat Backpack Carrier
Petrip Cat Backpack Carrier
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  • Tether clip for added security
  • Great ventilation
  • Extra large
  • Padded shoulder straps and a chest buckle
  • Front opening or side opening
  • Futuristic design with bubble window
  • Made from Oxford cloth and leather
  • Easily cleaned by wiping
  • Folds flat when not in use
  • No storage
  • Not a roll around
  • Plastic bubble not easy to change over to mesh

Budget Buy – PetAmi Deluxe Cat Backpack Carrier

Your choice of 9 colors and designed for convenience. This two-sided entry backpack is a good choice as long as your cat isn’t too big. It is rated for medium-sized cats.

PetAmi Premium Pet Carrier Backpack
PetAmi Premium Pet Carrier Backpack
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  • Safety buckle tether and leash for security
  • Well ventilated
  • Padded shoulder straps, waist and a chest buckle
  • Two side access points
  • Reinforced structure with a sturdy base
  • Comes with collapsible pet bowl
  • Not a good fit for a large cat
  • Bottom plate rests on the carriers back
  • Average quality

As an Amazon Associate, Walkabout Cat earns from qualifying purchases

Tips – Help kitty love the new cat backpack

  • Let kitty explore the backpack before putting him or her in it.
  • Put treats inside the pack so he or she will be drawn to it.
  • Start with short walks inside only.
  • Increase duration of walks to include outside.
  • Add a short car trip (around the block).
  • Increase duration of car rides.
  • Until the cat is used to it, try not to go anywhere (such as the vet) that will cause anxiety.
  • Reward with treats after each trip.
  • Tuck familiar items (clothing with your smell on it works well) into the pack.
  • Leave the pack out for further investigations and a potential place to sleep.

Best cat backpack carrier review – Questions people ask

Are backpacks safe?

Yes. If you have bought a quality backpack, it is a safer way to carry your cat in public than many other options. Always make sure your new pack has a tether so you will not lose your cat if it accidentally gets loose.

Do cats prefer soft or hard carriers?

A well-trained cat will like any carrier. And, cats are okay with, and sometimes prefer small spaces. The wearer is likely to prefer a soft carrier as they are more comfortable. A hard carrier is easier to clean but takes more room to store. It really comes down to personal choice, yours, not the cats. Our cat has tried several backpacks; some included in our cat backpack carrier review. She seems comfortable with all but prefers a stable bottom.

How do I calm my cat down in the carrier?

Keep the entire experience positive. Encourage your cat to spend time in the carrier and slowly start replicating experiences your cat is likely to come across as a fellow nomad. For more information on dealing with cat anxiety, check out this article.

How long is too long in the backpack?

It really depends on the weather and what you are doing. If you are hiking, any more than 2-3 hours is pushing it. Your cat may be thirsty or need to go potty so consider regular breaks.

Your cat will let you know when they are no longer comfortable. It is up to you to recognize the message that is being sent and to respond appropriately.

Please be aware of the effect of heat stress on cats, check out our article on managing cats and hot weather.

Luckily cats spend a good portion of their day sleeping. But when kitty says enough, kitty means enough.

Chaucer and Georgie chillin.
Chaucer and Georgie just chillin.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter.

Izaak Walton

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