What backpacks are best for cats?

Quandary cat riding in backpack
Erin Shuee treats Quandary to a chin scratch on the trail. (Photo: instagram.com/exploration_cat)

Many adventurer cat owners say their felines are comfortable snuggling up inside their daypacks or nestling atop them, but there are a variety of backpacks on the market that are designed specifically for pets. These pet backpacks provide ventilation, stability, security and a wide viewing range for your adventure cat.

Before purchasing a backpack, you need to know your cat — his behavior, what he loves and what he hates. According to PetMD, “The most important factor in determining what style of carrier you should get is dependent on the type of cat you have.”

Here are a few backpacks that offer the comfort, safety and enjoyment your cat needs to embark on an adventure:

Outward Hound PoochPouch Backpack

At only 9 pounds, adventure cat Eevee fits purrrfectly in her Outward Hound backpack. According to her human, Emily Grant, the highlight of this backpack is the abundant pocket space, but the main drawback is the lack of support at the bottom.

Also, she encourages cat owners not to leave the top of the bag open and attach your cat to the leash clip. “I tried once, and [Eevee] ended up jumping out anyway and hanging from that attachment,” said Grant. “Usually while we are hiking, if I put her in the backpack, I just leave her leash on.”

tortie cat in backpack

Photo: Emily Grant

U-pet Pet Carrier

An acrylic, semi-sphere window on this cosmic-looking backpack provides the ultimate viewing experience for cats traveling in space. All joking aside, the U-pet backpack is a versatile pack with three options for use: the opening can be covered with a bubble or a screen or simply left open.

Krissa Anderson noticed that her cat, Gandalf the Grey, seeks out his U-pet backpack whenever he feels anxious. Once inside, he enjoys poking his head out to survey his surroundings.

“I’m sure it makes Gandy feel safe, and it makes me feel more comfortable bringing him out on trails,” she told Adventure Cats.

U-Pet Carrier

Photo: u-pet.co

Goimprints Deluxe Backpack Pet Carrier

Johanna C. Dominguez and her cat, Sirius Black, chose this backpack for its size. Being a rather large cat, Sirius needed a backpack that could hold at least 20 pounds. Even though he recently outgrew this pack, Dominguez appreciated the ventilation and comfort it provided.

woman hiking with cat in backpack

Photo: Johanna Dominguez

Pet Gear I-GO2 Escort

On the smaller side, this backpack is a favorite of Stevie, a blind adventure cat from Ireland, and her human, Patrick Corr. The pack provides safety as well as fresh air when Stevie needs a break from walking. Foster and Smith, recommend this backpack — as one of several — that can protect your cat from other pets, people and hot pavement.

Patrick Corr and his cat Stevie on backpack

Photo: Patrick Corr

The Fat Cat Backpack

This backpack comes in multiple colors and is designed to hold up to nearly 20 pounds of feline, and it features mesh sides, air holes and a detachable bubble to ensure your kitty is comfortable and able to enjoy the scents, sights and sounds of nature. There’s also a cozy mat for kitty to curl up on, as well as side pockets, adjustable straps and clip inside for your cat’s leash.

tuxedo cat in pink Fat Cat backpack

Photo: Cody Wellons

DIY cat platform

Even though this platform isn’t available for purchase, it’s not too difficult to make. Just ask veterinary student Erin Dush. Having tried backpacks in the past, Dush discovered that her cat, Josie, wasn’t fond of confined spaces. Today, Josie rides on an aristo-cat-ic platform of PVC piping covered in canvas. Carabiners and a bungee cord secure the platform to the shoulder straps of a backpack.

“Josie is the kind of temperament where she likes to be close to me and communicates her needs pretty well,” said Dush. “Not all cats would sit on a platform while birds and bugs fly around, so a more enclosed bag might be better for that.”

cat on backpack outside

Photo: Erin Dush

Once you’ve trained your cat and selected a harness, selecting a cat backpack is the next step toward an amazing adventure with your feline friend. Also, don’t forget to familiarize yourself with these adventuring best practices.