The Best Cat Backpack (For Safety & Comfort)

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A cat backpack is a great way to comfortably carry your cat longer distances. But not all cat backpacks are comfortable for both you and your cat.


The best cat backpack for your cat’s safety and comfort (as well as yours) is the:







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This cat backpack is at the top of the list because it has all the important features:

  • Lots of ventilation
  • Big side entries
  • Leash to secure your cat
  • Safety buckles on closures to ensure your cat doesn’t escape
  • Reflective stripe for safety when walking at night
  • Removable shepra-lined bed
  • Exterior pockets
  • Back & shoulder padding and chest & waist straps
  • Strong structured frame so the bag doesn’t collapse in on your cat
  • Collapsible pet dish
  • Budget friendly




Dimensions: 16.3”H x 12.5”W x 10.2”D

Weight of backpack: approx. 2.5 – 3 lbs

Weight limit: 18 lbs

Color: 12 color options

Type of opening: 2 side entries and 1 smaller top entry

Number of entry openings: 3

Ventilation: High

Anti-escape features: yes

Airline approved: not specified but many people reported using it for airplane travel without issue. Fitting it under an airplane seat was tight, but doable.

Budget: Low

Sturdiness: the bag has a removable board in the bottom

Pockets: 1 front zipper pocket and 2 side mesh pockets

Comfort: back & shoulder padding and chest and waist straps



  • Big entries – both sides of this backpack unzip to make it easy to place your cat in.
  • Window opening – there is a mesh window at the top of the bag that can be unzipped so your cat can poke their head out…if they’re not a flight risk.
  • Security leash – if your cat is a flight risk, there is an interior leash you can attach to your cat’s collar that is long enough to allow them to move around, but not so long they can jump out.
  • Pockets – exterior pockets to hold water, treats, etc.



  • Comfort – although the hard bottom gives your cat plenty of support to sit, it can dig into the back and make it uncomfortable for the human if carrying a heavy (I mean…extra fluffy) cat for longer periods of time.
  • Size – some cat owners found this bag to be too small for their cat.


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In this article, you’ll also find:


But first, I wanted to point out a few features to be aware of.



You’ll find common questions about cat backpacks (including if they’re considered cruel) at the end of this article. But there are a couple of downsides to be aware of before you start reviewing the best cat backpacks on the market.


There are many cat backpacks to choose from, and this article shares more of the best ones, based on your, and your cat’s, needs.


It’s important to note that the most common complaints of the cat backpacks on the market are:


1) Not super comfortable for the human

For a cat backpack to support the weight of your cat, the bottom must be firmer than a regular backpack, or the base will simply fold in on your cat.


This firmer bottom will dig into your lower back a little more than a regular backpack.


Every cat backpack I researched had some reviews complaining of the backpack digging into the lower back.


How much it digs in will depend on the weight of your cat, where the bottom of the backpack hits your back, and how long you’re wearing the backpack.


Almost every cat backpack on this list has over 75% of reviewers giving them 5 stars.


So although some people complain about the comfort of each backpack, typically, over 75% of reviewers didn’t find comfort to be a big issue.



2) Too small for the cat

Each backpack on this list also has complaints of cat owners stating the bag is too small for their cat.


In my opinion, the size of the backpack doesn’t warrant a 1 or 2 star review, as the dimensions of the backpack are always stated in the listing and should be compared to your cat’s size before purchasing.


I point out this common negative review to stress the importance of reviewing a backpack’s dimensions in comparison to your cat before purchasing (don’t go by weight capacity in relation to your cat’s weight).


It’s also important not to go by a description of size (e.g. “large”, “extra large”, etc.). Only go by dimensions to be sure your cat will comfortably fit in the cat backpack.




To rate a backpack based on budget, I use the following scale:

LOW: $25 – $40

MEDIUM: $40 – $60

HIGH: $60 and up




If a product listing states that a backpack is airline approved, I have marked it as such. Just because a cat backpack isn’t labelled as airline approved does not necessarily mean that it won’t be allowed on a flight, and vice versa.


It’s very important to check with the airline company before booking your flight, or showing up with your cat in a cat backpack, to ensure the one you’re using follows their regulations.


Each airline has different rules and dimensions you must follow when it comes to cats on the plane and dimensions of carry-ons / cat carriers.



This cat backpack is a good choice if you want your cat to have some extra room when you get to a destination and are able to set the backpack down.


The back expands so if you’re waiting in an airport or at the vets, or are taking a break during a hike, your kitty can have a little extra room to stretch out.





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*Please note that they have come out with a new version, which is what these specs are based on

Dimensions: 16.5”H x 13.2”W x 10.6”D (Expands to 24.2”D)

Weight of backpack: approx. 3.5 lbs

Weight limit: 18 lbs

Color: Multiple colors

Type of opening: top, front, and side openings

Number of entry openings: 4

Ventilation: high

Anti-escape features: yes; anti-escape lock zipper and interior leash

Airline approved: not specified; some mentioned the bag was too big to fit under the airplane seat.

Budget: low

Sturdiness: removable firm bottom

Pockets: 2 side pockets

Comfort: padded shoulder straps, chest & waist straps



  • Expandable – there is a pocket in the back of the backpack (the part that rests on your back) that unzips and extends the space for your cat, when you’re not wearing it as a backpack. It adds another 13.6” to the depth. The extendable portion is just an 1.5” more narrow.
  • Ventilation – this cat backpack has 4 mesh windows and 4 entrances.
  • Removable pad – one side is plush for winter and the other is oxford cloth for summer.



  • Comfort – although the hard bottom gives your cat plenty of support to sit, it can dig into the back and make it uncomfortable for the human if carrying a heavy cat for longer periods of time.
  • Small – this bag is on the smaller side when it’s not expanded so it may be tight for medium to large cats


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The Texans cat backpack has plenty of ventilation on all three sizes, as well as a roll-down top so your cat can poke their head out the top (as long as they’re tethered in to be sure they can’t jump out…you never know what might spook them). The ventilation makes this backpack ideal for longer walks or warmer climates.


The sides open, which make it easy for your cat to walk in and out of the backpack, and it also has a sturdy bottom that has less flex than other cat backpacks.


Another beneficial feature of this backpack is that it folds flat when not in use; great if your home is short on storage.

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Dimensions: 16.5”H x 15.2”W x 11.4”D

Weight of backpack: 2.5 lbs

Weight limit: 18 lbs

Color: Black & grey or pink & grey

Type of opening: side openings and front opening

Number of entry openings: 3

Ventilation: high

Anti-escape features: yes

Airline approved: yes

Budget: low

Sturdiness: removable firm pad for bottom

Pockets: 2 exterior side pockets

Comfort: sponge back and adjustable chest strap




  • Ventilation – the entire front of this cat backpack is mesh, while both sides are over 50% mesh so your cat will have plenty of ventilation while you’re toting them around.
  • Window – the front has a zipper that opens the top of the backpack so that your cat can poke their head out.



  • Comfort – although the hard bottom gives your cat plenty of support to sit, it can dig into the back and make it uncomfortable for the human if carrying a heavy cat for longer periods of time.
  • Straps – this backpack only has the one chest strap and not a waist strap. This allows the backpack to bounce around more.
  • Quality – a small percent of reviewers noted that the quality was below average.


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The box design is what sets this cat backpack apart. Most designs taper at the top, giving your cat less headroom if they’re standing in the carrier.


The MorPilot cat backpack has the same depth, width, and height at the top of the backpack as it does at the bottom.


This cat backpack has a top opening so you can easily interact with your cat and give them pets or treats while they’re in the carrier. You can also leave it unzipped (if your cat’s not a flight risk) so they can poke their head out. Always be sure to clip the tether to their collar, just in case.

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Dimensions: 16.5”H x 13”W x 11”D

Weight of backpack: 3.05 lbs

Weight limit: 15 lbs

Color: Blue

Type of opening: top and front

Number of entry openings: 2

Ventilation: medium

Anti-escape features: yes

Airline approved: yes

Budget: low

Sturdiness: removable bottom pad adds structure

Pockets: 2 side pockets

Comfort: padded shoulder strap, padded back, and chest & waist strap




  • Quality – many reviewers commented on the quality of this backpack, in features such as; the tether’s clasp being metal (not plastic), a sturdy structure, strong mesh, etc.
  • Firm base – the base of this backpack is firm so it gives your cat lots of support and gives structure to the bag.
  • Size – this is one of the bigger cat backpacks on the market so it’s the best one if you have a larger cat.
  • Shape – many cat backpacks taper towards the top, this one keeps its box shape and wide dimensions all the way to the top, giving your cat plenty of room.



  • Comfort – although the hard bottom gives your cat plenty of support to sit, it can dig into the back and make it uncomfortable for the human if carrying a heavy cat for longer periods of time.


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This cat backpack works great for travel as it has wheels and a telescope handle so you can pull it like a suitcase. It also has two straps on the back you can put a seatbelt through, so the carrier can work as a car seat for your cat.


This backpack comes in medium, large, and extra large. All sizes are larger than the cat backpacks on this list, however the wheels, feet, and metal telescope handle don’t make this backpack appropriate for “everyday” use; it really should be used for travel.


When carrying your cat through an airport, to and from a car, or through a hotel, you likely won’t be going as long of a distance as you would if you’re taking your cat on a hike or perhaps walking to the veterinary clinic.


So although this backpack isn’t as comfortable to wear on your back, the larger sizes and rolling feature make it more comfortable for your cat to be in for longer periods of time.


If you plan to take your cat on a plane ride, you must ensure you choose a size that follows the airline’s guidelines, which vary depending on the airline.

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Dimensions: multiple sizes (smallest being 19″ H x 14″ W x 9″ D)

Weight of backpack: varies by size

Weight limit: varies depending on size

Color: varies depending on size

Type of opening: front

Number of entry openings: 1

Ventilation: medium

Anti-escape features: yes

Airline approved: depends on size

Budget: high

Sturdiness: removable bottom pad

Pockets: 2 exterior side pockets

Comfort: variety of straps / handles



  • Versatility – there are 5 ways to use this cat backpack: carrier, car seat, backpack, roller bag, and tote, making it easier to carry. It also comes in a variety of sizes and works great upright or setting the backpack down on the back (so it’s longer than it is tall).
  • Size – these backpacks have lots of room for bigger cats.



  • Comfort – although this bag allows you to carry/use it in a variety of ways, the structure and wheels can make it more uncomfortable than other cat backpacks (when being worn as a backpack). The metal rod for the extendable handle goes down the middle of the back, which can also cause some discomfort when the bag is worn as a backpack.
  • Sturdiness – many reviewers found that this bag is not weighted properly and when carrying (not rolling) by the handle, the bottom swings back and the top forward. It also seems to topple over on its front when set down.
  • Quality – a few reviewers found that their pets weren’t happy in the carrier and were able to bust the zippers open or break through the mesh.


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Bubble cat backpacks have become popular because of their fun futuristic look. However, if you plan to take your cat on long trips with a backpack, a bubble backpack may not be the best choice.


Plastic is used for the bubble portion of the backpack, which traps heat inside. There are ventilation holes, in bubble backpacks, but not as much as fabric cat backpacks.


With traditional cat backpacks, the portion that allows your cat to see out is made from mesh, which creates ventilation. When that portion of the backpack is replaced by solid plastic, you lose that ventilation.


If you do decide to go with a bubble backpack, be sure you’re checking on your cat and the temperature inside the bag frequently.

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Dimensions: 16.5”H x 12.2”W x 11.4”D

Weight of backpack: not specified

Weight limit: 10 lbs

Color: variety

Type of opening: front and side

Number of entry openings: 2

Ventilation: low

Anti-escape features: yes

Airline approved: yes

Budget: low

Sturdiness: removable fleece pad

Pockets: 2 exterior side pockets

Comfort: padded shoulder straps and chest strap




  • Price – many reviewers liked this backpack for the price.
  • Design – cat owners who purchased this backpack love the look of it with the clear dome and the fact that their cat gets a clear view (and other people get a clear view of their cat).



  • Size – this backpack is on the smaller size so it’s good for kittens or small cats but will likely be too tight for larger cats
  • Quality – many reviewers found the quality to be low
  • Protective plastic – the bubble part of the backpack comes with a protective “sticker” over it, which is hard to remove around edges and ventilation holes, leaving bits of plastic in the seams.
  • Not very sturdy – the bottom isn’t as sturdy as some backpacks so heavier cats tend to not have as much support. It’s also a little front heavy, causing it to roll onto its front when set down.


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You may be wondering why you need to spend more money on a cat backpack when you could just use a regular backpack.


Most importantly, a cat backpack has proper ventilation for your cat and mesh material or plastic that allow your cat to see what’s going on.


It would be scary for your cat to be stuffed into a dark backpack and not be able to see their surroundings. Which is why you should never use a regular backpack to tote your kitty around.


A cat backpack also has more structure. The bottom will typically have padding and will be more sturdy than a regular backpack, so your cat has something to sit/stand on, without the bag caving in on them.


The form of a backpack will also give more headroom for your cat as the top is built out more than a regular backpack.


There are also safety features built into a cat backpack in the form of tethers that can be clipped onto your cat’s color to ensure they can’t run away when the zipper is opened, or if they happen to break through the zipper. Most will also have a clip that keeps the zipper closed when in-travel.





There are several options when it comes to cat backpacks. These are the most important ones to look for before purchasing.




Ventilation is one of the most important features to consider when deciding on a cat backpack.


You want your cat to have enough airflow and you don’t want them to overheat.


If you’re using the backpack for short trips to and from the veterinary clinic, you can probably get away with a cat backpack that has less ventilation. If you’re using the backpack for longer outdoor trips and your cat may be in the heat, lots of ventilation is necessary to ensure your cat doesn’t overheat.




Truth be told, a cat backpack just isn’t going to be as comfortable as a regular backpack.


A cat backpack must be designed in a way that it’s comfortable for your cat with a sturdy bottom and enough room, which are the exact features that make the backpack less comfortable for you to wear.


Every backpack on our list had reviewers complaining of the comfort and that after a while, the bottom of the backpack starts to dig into your lower back.


Some people remedied this by padding the bottom of the backpack a little more.


Although most cat backpacks have padded shoulder straps, the weight of the bag and your cat may also cause some discomfort after long periods of wear.


Choosing a backpack with a chest strap and a waist strap will help make the bag more comfortable to wear, and prevent it from bouncing around as much when walking (this also makes it more comfortable for your cat).




Ideally, the cat backpack you choose will have both a chest strap and a waist strap. These keep the backpack snug against your body so it’s more comfortable for you and less movement for the cat.


Cats can get motion sickness, just like humans, so the less the backpack bounces around, the better it will be for your cat.




Look for durable materials and strong mesh so your cat’s claws can’t tear through it.


Keep in mind that bubble backpacks have plastic domes that will trap more heat inside the bag and reduce the amount of ventilation your cat has.




Consider what you’ll be using your cat backpack for; that will help determine which backpack is right for you and your cat.


Vet Visits – your cat may prefer a cat backpack to a regular carrier, which is great to lower stress levels for vet visits. If your cat is quite docile and doesn’t mind vet visits, the type of opening may not matter.


But if your cat gets upset at the vets, you want to choose a carrier that allows the veterinarian to safely handle your cat. Reaching into a bag from the top can make it difficult for them to grab a sick, injured, or aggressive cat.


Regular carriers allow the cat to lay down and for veterinarians to take the top off the carrier and even treat the cat while they’re in the carrier.


Cat backpacks may be fine for taking younger cats or kittens to the vets, but they may not be ideal for senior cats.


Airline travel – if you plan to take your cat on a plane, and you want to keep the backpack under the seat in front of you during the flight, then you must check the dimensions of the backpack and the max dimensions the airline will allow as a carry on (more importantly, a carry on they’ll allow you to keep under the seat in front of you).


Each airline has different standards for carryon dimensions and what size of backpack they will or will not allow on the plane.


Hiking or walking – if you plan to use the backpack to take your cat on longer walks or hikes, you’ll want to choose a more durable backpack, one with a lot of ventilation (so your cat doesn’t overheat), and one that will be comfortable on your shoulders and back.




Almost every cat backpack will have, at the very least, a tether inside the bag that can clasp on to your cat’s collar to ensure, even if they do jump out of the bag or make a run for it when you unzip the bag, that won’t get very far.


Look at the length of the tether and make sure it will give your cat enough room to move around in the backpack.


Some backpacks will also have clasps over the zippers to ensure your cat can’t wiggle them open.




The bags on the lower end of the price scale do tend to be lower quality. More people complain of zippers breaking, seams splitting, straps snapping, etc.


If you need a backpack to take your small cat back and forth to the vets once or twice a year, a budget-friendly backpack may be appropriate.


If you plan to take your cat along with you for weekly walks/hikes, invest in a higher-end backpack to ensure it will last with all the wear.




Many bad reviews left for cat backpacks are due to them being too small. However, every backpack clearly states the dimensions and encourages shoppers to measure their cat before purchasing.


It’s important to choose a backpack will be the right size for your cat.


Don’t go off of pictures to determine if your cat might fit. Many companies selling cat backpacks will actually photoshop a regular sized, fluffy cat, into the backpack, making it seem like the bag will fit a larger cat.


But the only way to be sure is to measure your cat and compare their measurements to the bag’s measurements.


It’s also important not to go by weight. Every cat backpack will state the maximum weight the backpack will hold.


Your cat must be less weight than the maximum weight the cat backpack will hold, but whether your cat will fit or not has more to do with dimensions than weight.


Some reviewers will state that their 10 lb Beagle dog fits perfectly while someone with a 10 lb cat will complain of it being way too small. Just like humans, pets carry their weight in different ways. So although your cat may also be 10 lbs, they may be taller than the reviewer’s Beagle dog.




Cat backpacks come in a few different shapes and shape is most important to keep in mind if you have a bigger/taller cat.


Most cat backpacks will have more depth at the base, getting narrower towards the top of the backpack. This shape works if your cat is small/short or will curl up in the bottom of the bag. But if your cat is taller, the space at the top of the backpack may be too tight for their head.


If you have a taller cat, you may want to look at backpack that’s more cube shape; having the same width and depth at the top of the backpack, as at the bottom.


For example, the Morpilot Backpack Carrier may be a good choice.




If you plan to take your kitty on longer trips, pockets come in handy for cat accessories. You may need water, food, treats, medication, or even their favorite toy to keep them happy and comfortable.


Most cat backpacks have exterior pockets, but there are a few that don’t so it’s a feature to check for before making your final decision.





The following are some common questions when it comes to buying and using a cat backpack:




Some cats do and some don’t. Some cats will even get motion sickness from being in the backpack.


You know your cat best and will be able to tell if they like it. But you’ll only be able to tell after you’ve purchased the bag and taken them for a walk.


There’s no guarantee that every cat will enjoy riding in a cat backpack.


If your cat doesn’t seem to mind regular carriers or car rides, there’s a good chance they won’t mind a cat backpack.


It’s also beneficial to introduce the cat backpack to your cat when they’re young, if possible. Habits are easier formed from kitten-hood so if you get them used to riding in a cat backpack from the start, especially when the trips are for fun (and not to the vets), they will quickly learn the backpack is nothing to fear.




The main reason you don’t want to use a regular backpack to tote your kitty around in is because they don’t have proper ventilation.


Even if your cat is calm on walks and you’re able to unzip the top of a regular backpack so they can poke their head out, the bag doesn’t have enough structure in the bottom to give them something more solid to sit on.


You also never know when something might spook them and trigger them to try and jump out of the backpack. A cat backpack is ventilated so you can fully close all the zippers. They also have anti-escape features, such as a tether.




If your cat doesn’t enjoy going in the backpack, then yes, it can be cruel to put them in one.


However, if it is your only way to get your cat back and forth to vet visits, then unfortunately, it’s a necessary unpleasant experience for your cat to go through (alternatively, if your budget allows, there are vets that will make house calls).


It can also be cruel if the bag doesn’t have enough ventilation and it’s a hot day (please see the next question).


You know your cat better than anyone, so you’ll be able to tell if they enjoy the bag or not.


If your cat freely walks into the cat carrier or doesn’t fight you when you try to put them in it, even after you’ve taken them out on an adventure in it, it’s a good sign they enjoyed your outing and weren’t traumatized by it.


If your cat is howling, scratching to get out, and won’t go anywhere near the bag once you do let them out, it’s likely they did not enjoy their experience. And forcing them to continue to go on walks with you for your pleasure, or so you can get your money’s worth out of the bag, would be cruel. (Unless, as mentioned, you must use the bag to take them to vet appointments.)




Yes, even properly vented cat backpacks can get hot.


Just imagine if you were stuck in a bag that was only slightly bigger than you, and that bag was strapped to a human who was moving around and raising their body temperature.


That’s why it’s so important to choose a cat backpack with plenty of ventilation, and be mindful of when you’re taking your cat out on adventures. A 3-hour hike on a hot, sunny day may not be best for your cat.


Stop for frequent breaks when carrying your cat in a backpack and check to see if they feel warm, are lethargic (i.e. moving slow or seem drained of energy), if they are panting or drooling, have a rapid heartbeat, have vomited and/or have diarrhea, have dark red or greyish gums, or even have sweaty feet. These are all signs your cat may be overheating.


If you think they have heat exhaustion, get them into some shade, and if safe to do so, let them out of the carrier so they can lay on some cool grass or dirt. Offer them water and try to reduce their stress levels.


If your cat doesn’t get stressed by water, try pouring some cool (not cold) water onto your hand, or a towel, and petting your cat with it. This can help cool them down.


It’s then important to get them to the veterinary clinic so they can properly treat your cat and ensure they’re okay. A cat over-heating is a serious condition.




Please go off the measurements and weight of your cat and compare them to the dimensions and maximum weight of the backpack.


In general, cat carriers should be 1.5 times the size of the cat. However, when it comes to cat backpacks, they’re typically a little more snug, due to their shape and function.


Keep your cat’s comfort in mind and look for a bag that will allow them to sit upright with an inch or two clearance above their head so they’re not having to crouch.


Your cat should also be able to turn around in the bag.


You want your cat to be able to comfortably sit up in the bag, without crouching. If your cat is on the smaller side, they may even be able to lay down and curl up in the bag. Otherwise, the bag may need to sit with the backside down for your cat to lay down.




There isn’t one straight answer, it all depends on the cat.


Some cats don’t like hard or soft carriers. In which case, it’s a matter of determining which type of carrier they like the least, and avoiding that one.


A hard carrier is likely the best option if you have an anxious cat that doesn’t like to travel and is going to try their hardest to escape. Hard carriers are also easier to clean; cats that are nervous travellers will often vomit or go to the washroom in their carrier.


If your cat is fairly calm, doesn’t mind travelling, and won’t try to scratch their way out of the carrier, a soft carrier could be a good option.


The only way to know which option your cat prefers is to let them try both.


If you purchase a soft carrier in the form of a backpack and your cat doesn’t seem to mind it, then there’s no need to try out a hard carrier.


If your cat doesn’t like the soft carrier, it may be worth it to try a more traditional hard carrier to see if they’re more comfortable with the material, shape, and size.


It’s unlikely your cat is going to want to curl up and sleep during your outing; they’re more likely to be on high-alert, taking in the new surroundings.




In most cases, two adult cats won’t fit in one backpack. But it will depend on the size of your cats and the size of the backpack. Most cat backpacks aren’t big enough to hold one bigger cat, so if you have 2 large cats, it’s unlikely both will fit.


*The Pet Mate travel backpack did have one reviewer showing 2 adult cats in one carrier, however, it didn’t look like they would have much room to move around or lay down. So it wouldn’t be ideal for long trips.


If you have 2 kittens, or two small cats, one large backpack may fit them.


However, it’s important to look at the dimensions of the backpack you’re considering buying, measure your cats, consider what you’ll be using the backpack for, and keep the comfort of your cats top of mind.


If you’re using your cat backpack to take two cats on an 8-hour plane ride, and your cats are full grown adults, it’s unlikely you’ll find a cat backpack big enough to fit both of them comfortably.


With adding another cat to the backpack, you’re adding more body heat. So if your 2 cats will fit comfortably into a backpack, be sure you’re choosing one with lots of ventilation.




That depends on the airline and the backpack…and your cat.



Each airline has their set of rules when it comes to allowing, or not allowing cats in the cabin of their planes. Most airlines allow pets on their planes but not all will. And some only allow pets in the cabins on domestic flights.


They’ll also have unique rules when it comes to the size of the carrier and total weight of it with your pet inside. Some even have rules on how old the cat must be (e.g. over 8 weeks of age).



Your cat backpack cannot exceed the dimensions the airline has defined for max size. It also must not exceed the max weight with your cat in the carrier.


Backpacks are a good solution for airline travel, if they’re the right size for your cat and for the airline’s guidelines, because they’re soft and are easier to fit under the seat in front of you.



If your cat isn’t a great traveler to begin with (i.e. they don’t like walks or car rides) they may not be great on plane rides.


It’s important to talk to your veterinarian about any upcoming trips and determine a way that you can make your cat as comfortable as possible. They may prescribe an anti-anxiety medication or even a medication for motion sickness, which can make your cat a little drowsy and help with getting them through the flight. *Never give your cat human anti-anxiety or anti-nausea medication.


You may also try non-prescription products to help reduce your cat’s stress when travelling. Such as:

  • Thunder vest – similar to how a weighted blanket helps reduce anxiety in humans, this vest applies constant, gentle pressure to calm your cat
  • Calming collar – this collar releases essential oils that help calm your cat
  • Pheromone spray – the spray mimics the natural facial pheromone cats mark their territory with and helps them feel safe and calm

It’s important to try a dry run with any medication or product, before taking your cat on a plane, to see how they react. Your vet can advise you on what type of medication to give to your cat and when, but for something like a Thunder Vest, you could strap it on your cat and then take them for a car ride to see if they’re calmer than usual.




Always make sure the zippers are fully closed on the backpack before heading out. They can wiggle their little noses in an opening or get their claws in there and slowly open the zipper.


Most backpacks have a tether inside, which is like a short leash attached to the bag. Put a harness on your cat and then attach the tether to their harness. So if they do happen to get a zipper open and try to escape, they can’t get very far.




Hopefully your cat will be just as excited about your new cat backpack as you are. But be prepared, it may take some warming up to.


There are some best-practices to follow to prevent your cat from getting spooked by the cat backpack and help ensure they look forward to your adventures together.



  • Do leave the cat backpack out in the open so they’re free to wander in and out of it, smell it, and rub their scent on it whenever they please.
  • Do place a few treats in the backpack so they begin to associate it with something pleasant. You may also get in the habit of giving your cat a treat at the beginning and end of each backpack trip.
  • Do start with short trips. If you plan to eventually take your cat on bus rides, bike rides, long walks, or even plane rides, let them warm up to the backpack before taking them on those adventures. Start by walking around the house with them in it, then take them to quiet areas outside, and slowly increase the duration of the trips, and even the noise levels they experience.
  • Do bring the essentials for your cat when going on longer trips. If you’re going out for a longer walk, make sure you have water and food to keep them happy.
  • Do try spraying some cat pheromone spray on the backpack before introducing it to your cat, just to help ensure there aren’t any funny smells that may turn them off of the bag from the start.




  • Don’t take your cat down a loud, noisy street for their first few trips. They may become overstimulated and scared, then associate the backpack with that experience. If you live on a busy street, try taking them into your backyard and walk around for several minutes, slowly lengthening the duration of your walks and going a little bit closer to the noisy road. Or, if you don’t have a backyard, try walking around your apartment, or up and down the hallways or stairs until your cat seems more comfortable.
  • Don’t take your cat someplace unpleasant, like the vets, on your first few trips with the backpack.
  • Don’t force your cat into the backpack and close it up. Your cat may not ever enjoy the backpack so it’s important to let them decide if they want to go in it.
  • Don’t take them out on a day that’s too hot or too cold. You want your cat to be comfortable and being trapped in a backpack in the blazing sun while your body heat warms them even more, won’t be enjoyable for your cat.




Even with your best efforts, your cat still may become spooked during a trip. It can be difficult to determine what caused them to suddenly turn their nose up at the cat backpack, but you may be able to encourage them to try it again.


Give it time.


Also be prepared for the fact that your cat may not like the cat backpack no matter what you try.


If you or your cat have never tried a cat backpack before, be sure to review the return policies before purchasing to ensure you can return the bag if it’s not a fit.


Also be sure that as soon as the bag arrives, give it a try. You don’t want to wait until your next vet visit only to find out your cat doesn’t like the bag, at which point, you may have missed your return window.



I hope this article has helped you choose a cat backpack 🙂