Does your curious cat love exploring the great outdoors with you? Enriching your cat’s life with safe outdoor travel is now possible, largely thanks to harness and leash training and handy-dandy cat backpacks.
PSA: Cat backpacks are not backpacks for your cat to wear; they’re backpacks for YOU to transport your cat safely and soundly on your adventures outside together.
Whether it’s hiking, camping, or simply walking your cat in your garden, having a cat backpack nearby to use as a carrier bag is the best way for your cat to stay safe while enjoying the outside breeze.
For example, having a cat backpack for Yoda has been a serious game-changer for us. Our cat backpack keeps him safe while we hike, explore parks and trails, and it’s even the perfect hideout for him while traveling in the van.
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See below for our top selection of best cat backpacks for traveling cats, including the backpack we use for Yoda!
Best Cat Backpacks for Hiking, Large Cats, Camping, Traveling, & more!
There are a variety of uses of a cat backpack. Filter through our top picks and choose the best for your needs!
1. Best Cat Backpack for Large Cats – Fat Cat Backpack
A few months ago, we got our hands on The Fat Cat Backpack (check out our full review) while we were living in Mexico.
Praised as one of the heftiest cat backpacks on the market, The Fat Cat can hold up to 20 pounds of fluffy kitty. 🙂
Here are our top 5 reasons for loving the Fat Cat Backpack:
- It is well-made and offers a safe-haven for Yoda while out exploring.
- The cat backpack is comfortable as a backpack itself with adjustable straps and mesh padding.
- The option to swap out the bubble for the hard mesh allows Yoda more visibility or privacy.
- Yoda can “hang out” of the backpack while being attached on the inside so he stays safe.
- The fat cat backpack is great for car transport. In the van, we use it as a little house that lays flat. Yoda uses it to sleep inside it during trips or just as a hide-out when the road gets too loud.
Price: Above $100
Rating: 5/5 | Best Overall Cat Backpack
Summary: If you’re serious about getting outside more with your cat, then fork over the investment for this cat backpack. It’ll last long and we can vouch for its pawsomeness!
2. Best Budget Cat Backpack – PetAmi
Not sure your cat will enjoy exploring with you in a cat backpack? Then there are more budget-friendly cat backpack options that won’t hurt as bad if your cat refuses to go for a ride.
In any case, always make sure to slowly train your cat to use a backpack! Here are some of our best cat backpack training tips.
The PetAmi is a much-loved and widely used cat backpack. Rover the “Kitty Uber” cat uses it on Instagram and recommends it in our interview.
In short, the PetAmi is a no-frill budget cat backpack. The main difference between the PetAmi backpack and the Fat Cat is the bubble/mesh attachments. The PetAmi pet backpack only has mesh and no cut-out.
Your cat can still hang out from the top of this cat backpack easily and securely. The extra mesh pocket on the front is a given handy feature especially for storing cat treats.
PetAmi’s cat backpack comes with the added bonus of a collapsible travel bowl, which is great for keeping your cat hydrated while out adventuring.
Price: Under $50
Rating: 4.5/5 | Best Budget-Friendly Cat Backpack
Summary: The PetAmi is a great starting point for newbie cat backpackers!
3. Best Cat Backpack for Hiking – Petsfit
If you intend to do mostly hiking with your cat with a cat backpack, then consider this one by Petsfit. It’s simple, airy, comfortable and stylish.
We particularly like the fact that it has wide viewing possibilities for your cat. After all, you want your cat to be able to see the great outdoors!
The extra ventilation from this cat backpack design is why it’s such a good cat backpack for hiking. You’ll want the extra breeze for both you and your cat. Carrying a 10-pound kitty can get ya a little sweaty!
The only downside about this backpack is that there are no pockets. Luckily, most collapsible travel bowls have a metal clip you can attach to a zipper. But where will the treats go?!
Rating: 4/5 | Best Cat Backpack for Hiking
Summary: Petsfit offers a simple and affordable design for those wishing to go hiking with their cat.
4. Best Airline Approved Cat Backpack – Mr. Peanut’s
If you want a cat backpack that can be used as a comfortable carrier for plane travel, then check out Mr. Peanut’s airline-approved cat backpack!
Especially for in-cabin plane travel, it’s important to have a cat carrier/backpack that is comfortable, spacious, breathable, and which conforms to most airline pet policies.
Mr. Peanut’s does a fantastic job at grouping together the most needed features of a cat backpack, without any frills or eye-catching space bubbles.
What you get from this seriously well-priced backpack is extremely high functionality. And it’s pretty stylish if I might say so myself!
If I had the choice to buy another cat backpack, I’d probably by this one because we are often traveling with Yoda in the plane cabin.
Not to mention, this brand gives back! They are a USA-based, family-owned business and sponsor of the Pay a Shelter Pet Forward Program.
Price: Under $50
Rating: 4.5/5 | Best Airline-Aprroved Cat Backpack
Summary: A superbly-equipped and affordable cat backpack for all types of travel, including plane travel.
5. Best Breathable Cat Backpack – Texsens
If you want the combined features of maximum ventilation with the convenience of side pockets, the Texsens cat backpack has just what you’re looking for.
The Texsens Innovative Pet Travel Backpack is quite unique in that it showcases mostly mesh. More mesh means more breathability for your cat, and not to mention visibility.
So if your cat is highly curious and not skittish, consider getting a cat backpack which offers higher visibility.
The cool innovative design of this backpack also means you can fold it down small, which is a great feature if you want to save space. This would’ve actually been great for us in the van, but Yoda seems to be doing well with his anyway.
The upside of the Texsens cat backpack brand is that they offer several other designs at a fair price. So if you’re wanting a more aesthetic bubble cat backpack, they have those too.
Price: $35-75 (varies)
Rating: 4/5 | Best Breathable Cat Backpack
Summary: The maximized mesh design is great for curious cats who overheat easily. It’s also one of the cheapest cat backpacks we’ve seen.
6. Best Functional + Stylish Cat Backpack – PETRIP
Looking for sleek city-chic? A cat backpack CAN be stylish as well as functional after all!
The PETRIP cat backpack combines a modern design with top features like bubble + mesh attachments, ventilation, pockets, and lots of space.
The top-loading compartment is great unless you want to unzip it while hiking to give your cat more air. Once unzipped, the bubble area just hangs down so its best to keep this closed while you’re active.
At nearly half the price of the Fat Cat Backpack, it’s easy to see why PETRIP is a popular choice for cat backpacks.
Price: Above $50
Rating: 3.5/5 | Best Functional + Stylish Cat Backpack
Summary: Get both a modern look and functionality out of this cat backpack. Plus, it’s pretty affordable and ideal for larger cats.
7. Best Transparent Cat Backpack – Lollimeow
Lollimeow is one of the leading transparent cat backpacks, known for its cute and convenient design.
With only 9 breathing holes, this cat backpack isn’t the most breezy backpack and isn’t recommended for walks or hikes under the sun as the glass can quickly heat up your cat.
However, the transparent design attracts a lot of customers and it’s clear why (get it?). We love the full visibility for your cat, but make sure your cat loves the attention before buying into a transparent / bubble cat backpack.
We personally prefer to have more privacy when out exploring with Yoda, but it all depends upon your cat’s taste (and yours too, but that’s not as important).
Price: Above $50
Rating: 3.5/5 | Best Transparent Cat Backpack
Summary: Your cat will have full visibility in this cute and stylish backpack. Not recommended for long hikes as there’s not much ventilation nor mesh for your back.
8. Best Expandable Cat Backpack – SOURCER
If you’re worried about your cat not having enough space, you can always opt to get an expandable cat backpack.
The SOURCER cat backpack offers cats (kittens – small adults cats only) the opportunity to lounge out inside the expandable mesh compartment. Maximum recommended weight is 12 pounds.
With this cat backpack, you also have full visibility of your cat! The hardshell is transparent with a side of color for aesthetic design.
I don’t recommend this backpack for pro adventurers who want to do lots of physical activity. The size seems too small for an adult cat to comfortably be inside for hiking, etc. However, it does the trick for car rides and other small trips.
Price: Just above $50
Rating: 3/5 | Best Expandable Cat Backpack
Summary: This isn’t the best cat backpack for hiking, but offers extra space for car travel.
9. Best Polarized Hard Shell Cat Backpack – Hcupet
Want the style of a hard shell cat backpack without the potential of sun damage for your cat’s eyes and ears? The Hcupet brand of pet supplies offers just the solution: A polarized cat backpack!
Now you can adventure around town even on a clear day with this UV-filter cat backpack. This is a great solution for fair-skinned kitties who can easily get sunburnt on their light-colored ears.
The aesthetic does appear darker, however, which might give your cat some more wanted privacy.
Like with all the other kitty backpack options, consider what exactly you and your cat need from a backpack. Should you decide polarized would suit your lifestyle, then this backpack would be a great fit for you.
Price: Above $50
Rating: 3/5 | Best Polarized Cat Backpack
Summary: This polarized hard shell cat backpack is great for protecting your cat from harmful UV rays. Not recommended for large cats (max load size 10 lbs). Comes with a bonus collapsible travel water bowl.
10. Best Space Capsule Cat Backpack – Xpect
Are you here just for the snazzy space capsule cat backpack designs? Then choose from three unique colors and styles (like the Pokeball one) from Xpect’s line of cat backpacks.
You must know, these types of cat backpacks are not the best for physical lifestyles, nor for larger cats. But they do offer a simple, all-inclusive design should you just want a basic cat backpack for your cat.
The max recommend size for cats is 10-13 lbs, so typically this weight range is best for kittens or small to medium-sized felines.
If you’re unsure about the size or breathability, it’s best to upgrade to something more functional rather than cute.
Price: Under $50
Rating: 3/5 | Best Space Capsule Cat Backpack
Summary: A basic, functional “space bubble” cat backpack for beginners. Not recommended for advanced cat backpackers who wish to hike lots.
Final Thoughts: 10 Best Cat Backpacks Ultimate Guide
There you have it! Our ultimate guide for the top 10 best cat backpacks on the market today. Which type of cat backpacker will you be?
While all of these backpacks offer a variety of uses, our overall favorites are by far: Mr. Peanut’s, PetAmi, The Fat Cat, Petsfit, and Texsens.
Send us your questions and comments by email or drop a line below! We always look forward to hearing from you!
Thanks so much for reading and don’t forget to follow us on our adventures with Yoda! Follow us on Instagram @fluffyyoda for adventure inspiration, outdoors, travel tips, and more!
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Thanks to everyone who helps make The Fluffy Kitty better by sending us feedback and sharing our content with others. ❤️
Sunday 31st of May 2020
This is such a great and comprehensive list! I have a future plan to live the Vanlife for 6 months with my cat, so I am so happy to have stumbled upon your page! Would the PetAmi backpack be good for 1-3 mile hikes with my kitty? Thanks!
The Fluffy Kitty
Monday 1st of June 2020
Hi Caroline! Thanks so much for reaching out - glad to be of help! How exciting! You should check out my guide to van life with a cat in that case :) The PetAmi is a great hiking backpack! I actually prefer the zippered mesh where your cat can stick his head out on that backpack than our bubble attachment (which sits too low) on the Fat Cat. The water bowl accessory and side pockets will come in handy when hiking too for storing items like treats or water. Happy hiking! xx
Friday 13th of December 2019
Such a great idea. No one would have dreamt of using a cat backpack not so long ago. Love the fact that there is a UV Backpack for cats that are likely to get sun damage. Our cat would happily take a walk around the block while being carried but that was his limit.