Cat Backpacks for Adventuring with Your Cat

cat-backpack-catexplorer

One of the easiest ways to take your cat out and about with you is in a cat backpack.

A cat backpack is a backpack that you can place your cat in and carry them around. It functions as a carrier but also is a backpack that you can wear on your back.

The backpack not only acts as a carrier for your cat, but it also can act as their safe space when they feel scared.

The benefit of using a backpack over a typical carrier is that it leaves your hands free while adventuring. Typical cat carriers are usually boxy and require one or more hands to carry them.

Pet backpacks also typically have pockets that allow you to carry a few essentials like keys and treats.

There are many types of pet backpacks that you can purchase. Each has its benefits and not so great aspects.

The backpack you pick really depends on you and your cat and how you plan to use it.

What to Look for When Choosing a Backpack to Carry Your Cat

Size

The backpack you choose needs to be the right size for your cat. They need to be able to sit in it properly, move around it sufficiently and stand up. Most of all, they need to be comfortable in it.

While choosing a backpack, check the weight that it has been rated to. We also recommend that you check the dimensions, and compare these to your cat. Perhaps the backpack is rated to your cat’s weight but it may not be high enough for them to be seated upright. Like us, your cat won’t enjoy spending a lot of time hunched over because their backpack is too small.

Your Cat’s Comfort

Ensuring that you cat can sit upright in their backpack is not the only aspect you need to consider when it comes to your cat’s comfort in their backpack.

Cat Backpack Base

The base of the backpack is also important. 

If it is soft it may result in the bag sagging, but if it is too hard, it might be uncomfortable. Most backpacks now come with a cushion for your cat. You can also create your own cushion using a blanket of jumper.

Cat Backpack Structure

We also recommend considering the structure of the bag.

 Many backpacks for cats have a soft structure. While this may enable you to fold up the bag and store it easily, it may also result in the bag folding in on your cat, which they may find uncomfortable. In saying that, bags made of plastic may also be uncomfortable and heat up.

Windows and Air Holes

Imagine being carried around in a small container with no windows – sounds pretty uncomfortable & claustrophobic right? And not mention – how would we breathe?

Our cats would feel the same.

A pet backpack needs a sufficient number of windows. Typically these are made out of mesh or plastic. The mesh windows also allow air to enter the backpack. The plastic windows are typically like an astronaut dome and have a few air-holes in them. Some backpacks also have separate air-holes ‘drilled’ in them.

Openings

We recommend checking how you would place your cat in the backpack and how they will get in by themselves.

Many backpacks open from the top, while others open from the front or side.

We suggest you choose a backpack which can be opened while you are carrying your cat so that they can poke their head out. In these situations, the backpack should also have a tether that connects to their harness. We strongly recommend that this is a bungee or adjustable tether, which allows your cat to move freely.

Your Comfort

At the end of the day, you will be the person carrying your cat on your back. As such, the pet backpack that you purchase needs to be comfortable for you.

We recommend purchasing backpacks with a chest and waist strap which helps distribute the weight on you. Similarly we suggest checking that the backpack’s shoulder straps are padded and the back is designed accordingly.

Cost

Prices of backpacks vary significantly.

You do get what you pay for. A cheaper backpack will not be as well made or as comfortable as a more expensive one.

However, you could try starting with a cheaper backpack and transition to a premium backpack when you are certain that your cat enjoys exploring in their backpack. Realistically, not all cats do and it does require a fair bit of training.

How You Will Use the Backpack

The backpack you use also depends on the activities you will be doing with your cat.

For longer adventurous activities, look for a backpack with a padded back, with chest and waist straps. You will also need to make sure it is comfortable for your cat and is big enough.

However, if you are just planning on shorter trips in a city area, a smaller backpack may be better for you.

Your First Cat Backpack

Cat backpacks can be a little expensive and as such, we understand if you would like to dip a toe in and purchase a cheaper one as an experiment, to see if your cat takes to catexploring in a backpack.

The Pioneer Cat Backpack

Pioneer Cat Backpack

Pioneer Cat Backpack

Pros

+ Backpack has

  • Multiple entry points

  • Bungee tether to clip your cat’s in via their harness

  • Padded back for your comfort

  • Non slip durable base

  • Interchangeable spaceship bubble & mesh window

  • Mesh windows

  • Air holes so that your cat can breathe

  • Handle so that you can pick up the bag from the top

  • Removable mat

+ It is easy to place your cat in the backpack

+ Sides open so that your cat can sleep on them

+ Rated for cats that weigh up to 11lbs (5kgs)

Cons

- No chest or waist straps

- Only for smaller cats

The Versatile Cat Backpack

While some catexplorers will love hiking and others love exploring urban areas, the majority of us do both.

As such we need a backpack that works for both types of activities.

The Ranger Cat Backpack

Ranger Cat Backpack

Ranger Cat Backpack

Pros

+ Backpack has

  • Multiple entry points

  • Padded back, shoulder straps and chest straps – making it comfy for you

  • Mesh screens and windows on the front, sides & top

  • Front mesh window opens and rolls up so your cat can look out

  • Top of the bag can be opened 2 ways

  • Pockets on the side

  • Adjustable tether to clip your cat in

  • Removable mat for cleaning

  • Non slip base

  • Base can be opened for easy cleaning

+ Top is sturdy enough so can sit on top and rest paws on human's shoulder

+ Rated for cats that weight up to 22lbs (10kgs)

+ Can be folded to be stored easily

Cons

- Backpack has a lot of mesh, which can get cold in winter

- Not a lot of extra storage room

The Backpack For the Bigger Cat

The Apollo Cat Backpack

Apollo Cat Backpack

Apollo Cat Backpack

Pros

+ Rated for cats that weight up to 22lbs (10kgs)

+ Backpack has

Multiple entry points

Bungee tether to clip your cat’s in via their harness

Padded back for your comfort

Non slip durable base

Interchangeable spaceship bubble & mesh window

Mesh windows

Air holes so that your cat can breathe

Pockets

Chest strap
Removable mat for easy cleaning

Cons

- May need more storage space than other backpacks