Cat backpacks are pretty much essential to adventuring with cats. They are also a great help during training and helping your cat become more confident outdoors. However, there is an endless list of options to choose from. So I decided to make a guide to help you decide.
If you’re just starting training/ taking your kitty out – I created “an ultimate guide” to cat harnesses a while back.
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Why is it essential
Cat backpacks are important when adventuring with your cat for a number of reasons, including:
- Great way to introduce your cat to exploring beyond your yard/ neighborhood
- Cat backpacks allow your cat to experience the outdoors without having to be on the ground/ on the leash. This can be a great alternative to walking your cat on leash (sometimes circumstances don’t allow for harness training etc)
- Some cats can be easily scared by new environments, so a backpack can provide them with a sense of security. The backpack will feel like a familiar and safe space for your cat, which can help to reduce their anxiety.
- It can help with preventing your cat from escaping. When your kitty views the backpack as a safe space, it’s more likely that they go there when spooked, rather than just running away or freezing.
- Cat backpacks make it easy to bring your cat with you on adventures. You can wear the backpack on your back or front, which gives you hands-free mobility. Or your kitty can sit on top of the backpack (like Chumka in the featured photo)
- A cat backpack allows you to take your cat on more activities that would otherwise be difficult or impossible, such as hiking, camping, or traveling. This can help to enrich your cat’s life and give them new experiences.
Types of cat backpacks
There aren’t necessarily different “types” of packs to choose from. It’s more about the type of activity you need them for… I like to think that there are 2 types of backpacks – for leisure use and for hiking/more strenuous adventures. So before you set your heart on a certain product, it’s important to decide on the “type” – or where you want to take your pet! 😸
“Leisure use” backpacks usually are smaller and don’t offer much storage space. There probably is 1 or 2 pockets on the side where you can store your keys, phone, or other miscellaneous items. Here is a list of what I bring on our “day to day” adventures.
Hiking packs are larger, more sturdy, and more expensive. They often come with hip support belt, a dedicated space for your pet, and often are waterproof. They can also be great for larger breeds if your cat doesn’t fit comfortably in “leisure” packs.
I will include my recommendations later in the post! 😊
How to choose the right backpack
So you decided on a type of backpack you want… (if you didn’t, it’s ok 😉) If you are considering getting a cat backpack, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Size: The backpack should be the right size for your cat. It should be large enough for your cat to stand up and turn around comfortably, but not so large that it is bulky and difficult to carry. Our current pack – Petsfit Pet Carrier – even allows Chumka to lay down and nap.
- Material: The backpack should be made of a durable material that can withstand wear and tear. It should also be breathable to prevent your cat from overheating. I don’t recommend using backpacks with plastic windows/ features – even if they have little ventilation holes. It’s not breathable enough and can cause the temperature inside the pack to raise.
- Features: The backpack should have features that make it comfortable for your cat, such as padded sides and a mesh window for ventilation. It should also have features that make it convenient for you, such as a waist strap and shoulder straps. Bonus points for any pockets!
Tips for using a cat carrier backpack
- Introduce your cat to the backpack slowly. Let them sniff it and explore it before you try to put them inside.
- Reward your cat for being in the backpack with treats or praise. This will help them to associate the backpack with positive experiences.
- Make sure the backpack is the right size for your cat. It should be big enough for them to stand up and turn around comfortably.
- Start with short walks and gradually increase the distance as your cat gets used to it.
- If your cat starts to get anxious, stop and take a break.
Our Backpack recommendations
Here are some of our favourite backpacks! We actually used all of them at some point or still have and use them 😊
Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. This will not affect the price of your purchases.
Petsfit Pet Carrier Backpack
This is one of the most popular pet backpack used by adventure cat community. It’s quite roomy for “regular size” cats and sturdy enough that they can stay on top.
Kurgo G-Train – Carrier Backpack for Small Pets
This backpack is a great backpack for hiking with your pet. It’s also great if you need to bring some more things with you for the adventure. It has waterproof bottom which I love as we use it for kayaking.
Pecute Pet Carrier Backpack
This is the most budget friendly option but don’t let that fool you – it’s still a great backpack. I know I said that I don’t like the plastic panels but this pack is an exception. The biggest thing I didn’t like is the lack of pockets.
If you finished reading this post but have some questions, check out this post that answered most common questions on cat backpacks.