The Five Best Cat Backpack Carriers

If your cat is an adventure cat, she'll love it when you buy her a cat backpack. They're becoming increasingly popular as cat owners realise their cats like to come along on a hike, or to get a better view when they're accompanying their human on a visit. They're also, let's face it, a lot easier for the human involved - a backpack spreads the weight more evenly and leaves both your hands free, compared to a regular carrier that puts all the weight on one side of your body.

There are also advantages for your cat. Normal, hand-held cat carriers swing around as you walk, because your arms move backwards and forwards. With a backpack, the pack moves around less - giving kitty an easier ride. And instead of being at about the same height as everyone's knees, she's way up high, with a great view of the world around her.

Issues to consider when choosing a cat backpack include making a note of how large and heavy your cat is. Most backpacks are for smaller cats up to 12 lbs, but we did find a few packs that would take a larger cat. Then you need to think about whether your cat prefers confined spaces, or wants to be on top of things; some cat backpacks are basically a box on your back, while others give your cat the chance to pop her head out or peer through a transparent bubble or window and take a look around.

And you'll also want to think about how much of your stuff needs to go into the backpack, whether that's just your keys, or a smartphone and tablet and lunch and a water bottle. Not all packs have much in the way of pockets or additional storage space. You'll also want to think about what you're using a rucksack for. Not all packs are comfortable for real hiking; some are best for the cat about town rather than for a full-on adventure cat.

By the way, if you're thinking about the kind of backpack you often see small dogs in, with little holes to put their legs through - don't. Dogs look cute in these, and they're super happy in them, too. But very, very few cats enjoy that kind of a ride.

Here are our top five picks for the best cat backpacks that you can buy:

Our Top Recommendation

​​​​​​​​​​​​P​etsfit Comfort Carrier Backpack

​The Petsfit Comfort Carrier is a firm, almost cubic backpack with padded back and straps (except for the waist and chest straps, which aren't padded). With mesh windows at the sides and back, ventilation is good and your cat can watch the world go by. It's tall enough for the cat to sit upright, and it has a tether fitted inside so you can attach your cat's harness to stop him jumping out.

  • ​Perfect for cats up to 15 lbs in weight
  • plus
    ​Great visibility and ventilation for your cat
  • plus
    ​In built tether option for extra security
  • plus
    ​Both front and top loading 
  • ​Nearly faultless; although more storage space would be useful

​The pack can be loaded from the front or from the top, and there's a side pocket for keys or smartphone - but not much more storage space. The top panel can be opened if you want to let your cat look out of the top of the pack.

Petsfit Comfort Carrier Backpack


Source: walmart.com

OUR RATING

The bottom is good and firm, and is removable for easy cleaning, and the whole thing folds flat for shipping and easy transport. At around $50 this is a good, solid carrier that you could take on a day hike with your cat. There are two drawbacks - limited colour options, and the fact that if your cat's heavier than 15lbs, this pack won't cope. A bit more storage space also wouldn't hurt.


​Runner Up

​​​​​Pet​ Gear I-GO2 Sport Roller Backpack

PetGear's Escort Roller Backpack isn't really for hiking, but it's a great option to free your hands when you're taking kitty to the vet or off on holiday. It's the most flexible cat carrier backpack we've seen - it can be used as a backpack, a wheelie suitcase with a telescoping handle, a tote, or a car seat (it has loops to pass the seat belt through).

  • plus
    ​Very versatile cat backpack with multiple usage options
  • plus
    ​Can be used to transport your cat whilst traveling by car
  • plus
    Multiple size options for larger cats
  • ​Great value for money
  • ​Would be even better if airline approved

​With mesh windows and ventilation panels, this is one of the larger backpacks we looked at - if it's not big enough you can go up to 'traveler' size (the product page contains detailed information on the different sizes). It's roomy and good for cats who don't like to be confined, and at $40-50 it's inexpensive considering the number of ways you could use it.

Pet Gear I-GO2 Cat Roller Backpack

Source: ebay.com

OUR RATING

​There are a few niggles. The mesh is not the most robust in the world and it could do with some more padding in the bottom. A few buyers have had problems with the wheels, often a weak point in rolling luggage. It's also a pity that it's not airline approved, otherwise the roller would come in really useful. So this might not be right for you if your cat likes to claw things - but the versatility of the carrier makes it a real contender.


​​​​​​​​Lemonada Cat Bubble Backpack

Lemonda's futuristic carrier is like a space capsule for your cat, with a huge cat bubble window and big ventilation grommets - if your cat aspires to be an astronaut, this is for you. There's no mesh to tempt you cat's claws (though the bubble can be replaced by a mesh window if your cat prefers it). This pack is a great one if your cat likes being the centre of attention, because she's sure to get noticed. It also comes in quite a few funky colors like bright yellow, electric blue and lime green.

  • ​Perfect for cat owners who love the bubble look
  • plus
    ​No mesh for extra security
  • plus
    ​Available in a range of colors
  • Top mounted handle provides several carry options
  • ​Not ideal for very large cats

​The pack is made of a moulded acrylic panel with a robust canvas backing, and comes with a lovely velvet pad inside to make your feline as comfortable as possible. Because the acrylic panel is quite rigid, the pack keeps its shape well. It has padded shoulder straps, but it doesn't have a waist strap to stabilise it, so it's not the best pack for serious hiking, more for strolling around town. A big handle on top makes it easy to use as either bag or backpack.

Lemonda Cat Bubble Backpack

Source: walmart.com

OUR RATING

This isn't a budget option - it will cost you $60 or so - and it probably won't suit a larger cat. There are a couple of drawbacks, too; the plastic dome can get scratched or cracked, and it can be a little bit tricky to fit to the front panel of the pack. But if you want the best looking, most hip backpack for your cat, this is it.


​​​​​​​​​​CozyCabin Cat Carrier Backpack

The CozyCabin backpack is a cute pack with a big porthole in the back of it. Your cat can stick her head out and look at whatever's going on.

Of course, that also means she can escape, and being a cat, she 'll probably try… so there's a leash attachment. Be careful to make sure it's a short leash that doesn't let her jump out!

  • ​Cost effective
  • plus
    ​Internal leash attachment for extra security
  • plus
    Great viewport
  • plus
    ​Comes in three different sizes
  • ​Some owners find the straps uncomfortable

Some cats will love this pack. Other cats will hate it, and it's fair to say that this pack mainly sells to dog owners. But it's a nicely put together and well-padded pack, with padded shoulder straps and a waist strap, and it comes in three different sizes up to 17.7 inches tall for cats up to 12 lbs. As usual with cat carriers, it's probably best to go one size up from the one you think you need.

CozyCabin Cat Backpack Carrier

Source: ebay.com

OUR RATING

Some owners have had niggles with the straps on this pack, and don't find it at all comfortable. At around $30 it may be worth a try if you think your cat would enjoy it.


​​​​​​​​​​​​​KritterWorld Pet Carrier Backpack

KritterWorld's backpack is really only for the littlest cats, up to about 7lbs, but if you have kittens you need to take places, it could be a really good option. It's similar in design to the Petsfit backpack, pretty boxy with mesh panels in the top and front of the pack, and a deep mesh pocket on the side. 

  • ​Well padded for safety
  • plus
    ​Removeable internal fleece
  • plus
    Plenty of mesh panels for visibility and ventilation
  • Top loading
  • ​Only suitable for kittens and smaller cats

​It's a top-loader, and quite well padded, with a removable fleece bed making it easy to clean. It's also fully collapsible once you get home from your hike, and comes in several trendy colors like hot pink.

KritterWorld Cat Carrier Backpack

Source: ebay.com

OUR RATING

​At under $30 it's one of the less expensive backpacks available. It's a pity that it's just half an inch too big to count as airline approved, though some owners have got away with it by just squishing it a bit or lying it on its side under the seat. It's also not the most robust of packs - apparently a few cats have managed to claw their way through the mesh panel.


​​Our Verdict

And the winner is .... ​​the Petsfit Comfort Cat Carrier. ​With both waist and chest strap it's the best suited to serious hiking, with a sturdy bottom giving your cat great support and plenty of ventilation. It's also smart enough to use around town.

If you're not looking for a serious hiking pack, the PetGear Roller is a good choice for its flexibility - backpack one day, wheelie carrier the next.

Cat In A Texsens Bubble Backpack

By the way, if you want to leave the top of the bag open and use the safety harness attachment, make sure your cat is wearing a proper harness and not a collar. If he makes a jump for it and is left dangling, he's going to be pretty unhappy even if he's wearing a harness - but at least he won't choke.

What do you do when it’s that time of year again and you have to take your kitty to the vet? You probably put them in a box and pray that they will stay inside, right? Maybe it’s time you upgrade that shabby old box and get your kitty the best cat carrier they deserve!

Here are five cat carrier reviews that we think will help you choose the best cat carrier for your feline friend.

Our Pick

Winner: Petyella Expandable Cat Carrier

URL: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075SY583P/

The Petyella Expandable Cat Carrier was designed to meet your cat’s needs for safety but for comfort as well. The carrier features a reinforced steel frame that will prevent the carrier from collapsing in on the kitty. The 600D polyester material mesh is going to encourage air circulation so that your cat has plenty of fresh air. With that said, the carrier is capable of folding up nice and compact when you aren’t using it.

This pet carrier is airline approved, so you can take your pet with you on your flight. There is a fleece bed that your cat can lay on while flying, but the carrier also includes a paw print blanket for a little extra comfort. Along with the blanket, there is a collapsible water dish included so you don’t have to worry about your kitty getting dehydrated while traveling.

Notable features of the Petyella Expandable Cat Carrier include:

Strong straps and seams, durable zippers, enhanced stability, soft mat and a light weight

Expanding sides that zip out to give adult dogs and cats plenty of room.

Easy to carry by shoulder strap or integrated handles.

Folds flat for storage under a bed or in a drawer.

Carries cats up to 11 lbs and measures 11 x 11 x 18 inches and 31 x 11 x 18 inch in expanded mode.

Durable metal swivel clips prevent twisting of shoulder strap

Leash clip prevents your animal from dashing out.

Free fleece blanket and collapsible bowl

Storage pocket on the side of the crate keep accessories at your fingertips.

1 Year Money Back Guarantee - 100% refund of your purchase price. No questions asked.

When looking at what people had to say about the Petyella Expandable Cat Carrier, they had great things to say. Customers appreciated that this pet carrier included a comfortable fleece bed, a blanket, and a water dish. They went on to say that they were impressed by how lightweight the carrier was and that the comfortable shoulder strap didn’t dig into their shoulder while carrying it. Several customers commented that the case felt pretty sturdy and they were confident that their cat’s wouldn’t be able to break free.

Though there were many positive reviews, there were some people who were disappointed with their purchase. Of these critical reviews, customers were most disappointed that the zippers on the case were defective. Some people said the zipper on their case was missing the pull tab, while others said that the zipper on their carrier would get stuck from time to time in certain areas. Other customers reported that they received the wrong colored case, but also the accessories that were included didn’t match the colors they received.

Best Soft Sided Cat Carrier

Winner: Bergan Comfort Carrier

URL: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XHFUB9U/

The Bergan Cat Carrier is designed to be stylish and functional! This is the best cat carrier for those who have heavier cats and you don’t (or can’t) carry the weight on your shoulder. This is because the carrier is outfitted with removable wheels and a pull strap that allows you to pull the bag as if it were a piece of luggage. However, if you have to go up steps or you don’t want to drag your cat behind you, the pull strap does convert to a padded shoulder strap. The bag is so lightweight, you will just be carrying the weight of your pet and an extra pound or so for the bag.

The carrier also features strong mesh on all four sides and on the top. This allows for excellent airflow, allowing your kitty to get plenty fresh air, but also so you can look in and check on them without having to open the case. The bag also features several pockets on the sides so that you can tuck away treats and toys to make the trip a little more pleasant for your cat. The case is airline friendly, so you can rest assured that you’ll be able to fly with your cat right at your feet in this cat carrier.

Notable features of the Bergan Comfort Carrier include:

Comfort Carrier has a practical design, which creates stress free traveling.

Its generous mesh panels ensure maximum breath-ability.

Includes a washable fleece travel bed and light tan interior for a cushioned and cool ride

Multiple mesh panels for maximum ventilation for your cat

Internal Dimensions: 18" L x 11" H x 9" W

Typically for pets up to 20lbs; however, varies per pet, refer to dimensions

We ensure every product comes with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

When looking at what people had to say about the Bergan Comfort Carrier, they had great things to say. Customers liked that the case was large enough for two cats (one person said she had two 8-pound cats in the carrier) and they had plenty of room to get up and move around. Other customers reported that they appreciated that the carrier gave you the option to carry it on your shoulder, or pull behind you. Other people said they liked that this case was airline compatible and they can take their cat with them on trips instead of trying to find care arrangements.

There were some people who left critical reviews of the carrier and the most common complaint people had was that the carrying case wasn’t as large as they had anticipated. Some people reported that their cat didn’t have very much room to move or lounge. Other customers reported that the mesh isn’t indestructible and their cats put a hole in the mesh. A few people also mentioned that the zippers on their bag needed repairing only after a few uses.

Runner Up: Airline Approved OxGord Pet Carrier

URL: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EW2WKZU/

The OxGord Pet Carrier is one of the most respected name in the pet supply and accessory industry. Their airline approved, soft sided carrying case features a Sherpa bed inside, which is  going to make your kitty comfortable while traveling. The pet carrier is quite sturdy, even though there are numerous mesh panels to promote air circulation and breathability. When you’re traveling in the car with the carrier, there are safety belt straps that allows you to buckle the carrier securely to the seat.

This pet carrier is FAA Airline Approved, which means that you can fly with your cat without any hassle. If you do have a cat who gets anxious while flying, the unwind and bind feature is designed to keep your kitty calm in-flight. If there is a favorite treat or toy your cat likes, you can tuck it away in the storage compartments that are designed in the bag.

Notable features of the Airline Approved OxGord Pet Carrier include:

19"x10"x13" inches - Can hold up to 15 pounds.

Compliant with most airlines (please check with your airline before flying).

The unwind and bind feature allow owners access to their pets without the risk of escape.

Includes:

Removable fleece travel bed

Padded shoulder strap

Lost and found tag

Storage compartments for medicine, toys and treats.

Made from durable and comfortable breathable materials for maximum airflow.

Ventilated security screens are easy to clean and 100 percent washable.

Money Back Guarantee

When looking at what people had to say about the Airline Approved OxGord Pet Carrier, they had great things to say. Many customers commented that the design of this carrying case is well thought out and they like that the case is easy to use. People also appreciated that the bed can be removed to be washed and the water-resistant underside will protect the rest of the carrier from getting damaged if the cat has an accident. Customers also liked that there is a zipper that makes it easy for you to check on your cat without worrying about the cat escaping.

Some people were not as impressed with this case and left critical reviews. Of these critical reviews, the most common problem people had was that the seam on their bag popped. They went on to say the cat wasn’t doing anything vicious to the bag – they just leaned on it. Some people said the zippers were difficult to use with one hand without it getting stuck. A few other people commented that the bag was too small and their cats would not fit into it.

Best Hard Sided Cat Carrier

Winner: Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel

URL: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0062JFGM0/

Unlike other pet carriers you may come across, the Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel features a door on top of the crate that enables you to lower your kitty inside if they are hesitant to going in through the front door. Not only will the top loading door make it easier to put your cat inside, but you can check in on your cat without having to jostle the crate to peer in through the side. The handle on the crate is designed to be ergonomic and it’ll fit comfortably in the hand.

This crate doesn’t rely on a latch system to hold the components together, instead it requires hardware that is going to be far better at holding everything together. When it is all assembled, you’ll be able to take this cat carrier on an airplane, as it meets all airline travel requirements. You’ll want to put a small pet bed or a comfortable blanket inside so that your cat is nice and comfortable for the journey.

Notable features of the Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel include:

Steel and plastic construction for enhanced strength, safety and visibility

2-door carrier design allows for easy access to pets

Durable ergonomic carry handle for safer pet transport

Water cup NOT included. Inner Dimensions: 21" x 14.75" x 13.25"

Ideal for small pets no more than 7 inches tall and 15 inches in length

Product Dimensions : 24.05" X 16.75" X 14.5"

 

When looking at what people had to say about the Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel, they had great things to say. Many customers reported that the crate was easy to assemble and they appreciated that the necessary hardware was included with the crate. People also appreciated that the crate was large enough to accommodate small dogs, cats (of course) and other pets like rabbits and guinea pigs. When it comes to loading their pets inside the crate, many customers appreciated the option to put them in through the front, but also using the top door.

On the other hand, not everyone was satisfied with their purchase and they left some critical comments about the carrier. The most common complaint people had was that the crate wasn’t as large as they had hoped. People commented that their pet barely had any room to move around. Others commented that the crate didn’t feel very sturdy, even though it was made from a thick plastic. Some went on to say that the top door needs to be held open, which is impossible if you’re struggling to get your cat in the crate to begin with.

Runner Up: AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel

URL: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OP6SVJW/

The AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel is an affordable two door pet carrier that allows you to safely carry your cat from one place to another. This unit has a steel wire front door, but it also has a door on the top where you can lower your kitty down into the carrier if they are reluctant to go in by themselves. The top door can be opened either on the right or the left. This convenience lends itself to being a functional carrier for right handed pet owners and left handed pet owners alike.

This pet carrier is made from a heavy duty plastic material that will your cat contained, regardless of how much they may struggle. There is plenty of ventilation in this carrying case so that your cat has access to fresh air, but so that you can look in a check on your kitty, but also for your cat to look out and be aware of their surroundings.

Notable features of the AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel include:

Two-door, top-load model allows for easy loading of your cat or dog

Measures 23x15x13 inches (LxWxH)

Top door can open to the left or right for easy access and convenience

Included screws can be used to further secure the top and bottom of kennel for reinforcement

Made of durable plastic with a steel-wire front door

 

When looking at what people had to say about the AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel, they had great things to say. Customers who left positive reviews of these carriers commented on how nicely the carrier was constructed. People felt that the plastic was sturdy and they could rely on the steel wire door to stay latched. Customers appreciated that there was a door on top of the carrier because their cats were apprehensive about going into the carrier on their own.

There were some people who were less impressed with their purchase and they had some concerns about the quality. The most concerning complaint was that the top door was not very sturdy and when you used the handle to carry the case, the top door would open. Many were upset that this is quite dangerous, as their cats could have ran away and gotten hurt when the door opened and the case fell in a busy parking lot. Others were upset that the holes for the screws didn’t line up properly, making it very difficult (or impossible) to get all the screws in.

What To Look For When Choosing the Best Cat Carrier?

Choosing a pet carrier for your pet is incredibly important because you want to make sure they are safe, secure, and comfortable. If you travel a lot and you want to bring your cat, instead of finding a house sitter or lodging solution, you may want to consider finding the best cat carrier for air travel, as these are going to be airline approved.

Here are the main factors you will want to take into consideration when looking for your new cat carrier:

Type: There are several different types of carriers that you can choose from:

 

Cardboard Carrier: A cardboard carrier is usually given to new cat-parents who are bringing home a newly adopted cat or kitten from a shelter. These carriers are not suited for long term or air travel.

 

Soft Carrier: A soft carrier is generally made from a soft nylon material and will have a sturdy, removable bottom. They often look like a large gym bag with mesh windows so the cat can get plenty of fresh air. They will have zipper openings on the side of the bag and on the top.

 

Hard Carrier: These carriers are often made from plastic or polypropylene and they are going to have ventilation on each side of the crate. These crates will have one or two doors (one on the side and one on the top) and they are going to be the easiest to clean.

 

Size: The size of your carrier should be large enough so that your cat has enough room to stand, stretch, and turn around. Size is especially important if you are going on longer trips because you want to make sure there is enough room in the carrier for food and water dishes. To figure out the size, you will want to know the size and weight of your cat and choose a carrier that way.

 

Ventilation: It’s important that the cat carrier you opt for has plenty of ventilation while you are traveling. Not only is it important for your cat to have fresh air, but the best cat carrier for nervous cats will have ways for you to look in, and them to look out, also.

 

Easiness to Clean: Cleaning your cat carrier is going to be par for the course while traveling, so you’re going to want a case that is easy to clean. There are some soft cases that have removable bottoms, but if you just want something super simple, a hard carrier is the way to go.

 

Airline Approved: Traveling with your pets can be tricky, especially if you are flying. However, look for an airline approved carrier to make sure your pet is going to be safe. Each airline has their own regulations, although most of the best cat carriers for airplane travel will be safe to use on all airlines. To be safe, you should always check with your preferred airline for these regulations.

Our Recommendation

There are many cat carriers on the market and choosing the best cat carrier for your furry friend doesn’t have to be a hassle. Of the ones we’ve discussed in these buying guide, the Petyella Expandable Cat Carrier is by far our top choice. It’s affordable, it’s a soft carrier that your cat will be able to breathe and move in, and when it isn’t being used, it folds up nice and compact for storing! What more could you ask for? Oh, that’s right! A soft fleece bed and a collapsible water dish. How perfect is that?

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