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Dogs make great travel companions because you can simply snap on a leash and head out. Cats are a bit more challenging. They can be skittish and averse to leash-training, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still take them with you when you adventure outside the house.
All you need is a cat backpack. It may sound a bit silly, but cat backpacks are a safe, comfortable way to travel with your cat. After all, your cat deserves to see the world too!
There are plenty of cat backpacks out there, but they aren’t all worthy of your consideration. We’ve done the research and read the reviews to bring you our top picks for the best cat backpacks on the market.
At a Glance: 10 Best Cat Backpacks To Buy
In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each cat carrier backpack later in the article.
- Breathable mesh windows on three sides
- Water reservoir pocket
- Numerous zippered pockets for storage
- Three large ventilation panels
- Wheels and telescoping handle
- Made from durable oxford fabric
Before we jump into the individual product reviews of the 10 best cat backpacks, let’s take a moment to learn about cat backpacks and what you should be looking for when you start shopping.
Why Should You Trust Us?
We are lifelong cat lovers and devoted cat owners, so we’ve had plenty of time to learn what it takes to make a great cat product.
We’ve done extensive research on cat carriers, read hundreds of customer reviews, and tested several options ourselves to get a feel for what it takes to make a cat carrier truly great. We did additional research on cat backpacks and have read reviews for all the most popular models on the market. You can see the full video review below:
Based on extensive research and customer reviews, we’ve selected the following cat backpacks as the best options currently available on Chewy and Amazon.
What To Look For in a Cat Backpack?
A cat backpack is a safe and comfortable way to carry your cat whether you’re traveling to the vet, going on vacation, or taking your cat for a hike.
All cat backpacks are not created equal. It’s important to evaluate the design of the backpack, the quality of the materials, and the level of safety and comfort it affords your cat. Here are a few things you should look for:
- Materials – Consider the materials used for the body of the backpack as well as the straps – you want to make sure your cat will be safely contained. The material should be durable and thick enough to hold up against sharp cat claws but not so heavy it becomes difficult to carry.
- Support – A good cat backpack should have a sturdy base to support your cat’s weight and heavy-duty straps for use in carrying the backpack.
- Comfort – Make sure you pick a cat backpack large enough to comfortably accommodate your cat and look for interior padding as well. You should also consider your own comfort – check to make sure the straps are wide and adjustable. Check for ventilation as well!
- Durability – Not only does the backpack need to support your cat’s weight, but it should be durable enough to last through many uses. If you’re taking your cat hiking, it may also need to hold up against inclement weather and spot-cleaning as needed.
- Convenience – Check the zippers and other closures to make sure it’s easy enough to get your cat into and out of the bag. It also doesn’t hurt if the bag has extra pockets for things like treats and a collapsible water dish. Your cat backpack should be functional.
- Security – Finally, make sure your cat is going to be safe inside the bag. That means reinforced seams, locking zippers, and maybe an internal leash to keep your cat restrained.
As you start shopping around, you’ll find that many cat backpacks look alike. Looks can be deceiving, however, so be sure to consider the factors listed above when making your selection.
The Top 10 Cat Backpacks Reviewed
Tips for Using a Cat Backpack
Once you’ve chosen your cat backpack, you may think the hard part is over. Unfortunately, that might not be the case.
Not all cats take to cat carriers and cat backpacks. If you’ve had a hard time getting your cat into a carrier in the past, you’re likely to have the same struggle with a cat backpack. The good news is you can work with your cat to get him used to the backpack, so he doesn’t put up such a fight.
Train your cat using positive reinforcement.
Cats respond well to positive reinforcement training – the trick is to find something your cat wants that you can use to motivate him. For the most part, some tasty treats will do the trick, or you might try using your cat’s favorite toy.
Here’s how to teach your cat to like the backpack:
- Place the cat backpack on the floor in a room your cat tends to frequent.
- Open up the backpack and place a few treats or your cat’s favorite toy inside.
- Give your cat the freedom to come over and sniff the backpack.
- Praise your cat verbally and offer more treats when your cat gets close to the backpack or goes inside.
- Once your cat has gotten comfortable going into the backpack on his own, start zipping it closed a little with your cat inside.
- Pause for a few seconds before unzipping it and releasing your cat.
Using this training sequence, you can gradually get your cat used to spending longer periods of time in the cat backpack. Hopefully after a few training sessions your cat will no longer be nervous about the backpack, and you won’t have a hard time putting him into it when you need to.