What Is a Cat Backpack Carrier and the Benefits of Using it

If you are the type of person that is adventurous and your kitty is just as adventurous as you, then you would definitely want to get your hands on the best cat backpack.

Now a cat backpack is definitely one of the items you have to have, as it provides you the opportunity to bring your cat along with you ensuring that your cat is secure and safe at all times.

What Is a Cat Backpack Carrier and the Benefits of Using it

If you were to go online, you would discover that there are numerous cat backpacks available for purchase in different styles and sizes. This massive choice can make things a little bit more complicated when it comes to figuring out which backpack is the best.

I understand that, and that is why I have written this article to show you what features a cat backpack has to have before you can consider it the best cat backpack.

Quite a lot of cats actually enjoy being outside, especially when the weather is really nice, and as a pet owner, you want your pet to feel safe and secure.

Now it is possible to do this with a leash, but when you use a cat backpack, you are able to offer your cat another layer of protection from any scary noises or any animals looking to harm your cat.

There are numerous benefits of using a cat backpack to take your kitty when you want to go exploring.

For example:

It offers convenience, meaning you can take your cat outside and not have to worry about them. You can also offer your cat protection and height considering that cat likes to be high up in the air perching above the ground.

It can also be a novelty for you and your cat. You are bound to get a lot of looks and interest from people when you take your cat out for a walk.

How Does It Work

How Does a Cat Backpack Carrier Work


You might be wondering how exactly a cat backpack works. Well, just imagine a regular backpack but one that has been designed for carrying cats around.

It is a safe way for you and your cat to enjoy adventures together. It is simply another form of the cat carrier, with the exception that this enables you to sling the carrier across your back, leaving your hands available for other things.


There are numerous types of cat backpacks, ranging in sizes and designs. Below are a few of them:

Bubble backpack

This is a cat backpack that resembles a regular backpack but with one major difference, it has a bubble that your little kitty can see out of at all times. This is a great backpack to have if your cat is one that is extremely inquisitive.

Carrier bag backpack

This is a type of cat backpack that actually doubles as a typical cat carrier. What this means is that you can tote your kitty around town or to the vet’s whenever and even switch it to a backpack when you want to head out.

Backpack Cat Carrier VS Handbag Cat Carrier

Backpack Cat Carrier VS Handbag Cat Carrier

Now you might wonder if you want a handbag cat carrier or a cat backpack carrier.

Well, there are numerous benefits attached to either of them, but it just really depends on what you are trying to achieve and where you are going.

A handbag cat carrier can be quite a stylish way to carry your cat around town or to the vet’s.

It is simply something that you can tote around. This difference sets it apart from the cat backpack carrier, is the fact that with a cat backpack your hands are free.

What Makes a Great Cat Backpack


It is important that you choose a cat backpack that gives your cat enough room to turn around and stand without crouching.

You’ll also want to ensure that the carrier has a sturdy enough bottom to support her weight without collapsing.

Most backpacks come with certain weight recommendations, so it is important to know how much your kitty weighs before you buy a cat backpack.


The cat backpack you choose has to be made of durable, quality materials that won’t fall apart during regular use.

Always check the stitching and manufacturing along with the most pivotal points, including the shoulder straps and bottom of the carrier.


The best cat backpack for your cat is one that fits your cat right. It should have enough space that your cat feels comfortable, but not too much that poor little kitty could get lost lol.


When you want to get a cat backpack, you have to understand that you are going to have to carry your cat all around. Now you have to make sure that the added weight of your cat does not become uncomfortable for you.

You have to make sure that your cat backpack has stuff like padded shoulder straps, rubber hand grips, padded backs, and waist straps. All of this ensures that you are comfortable even on long, extended adventures.


You want your cat backpack to be a durable item because this can be a more expensive investment depending on how large you want it and the brand.

This is why you will have to pay close attention to the material, corners, seams, and zippers.

You want to see double stitching, heavy-duty zippers, and reinforced corners and seams to ensure that your cat’s backpack is durable and will last.

Portability and weight

Just because you finally have your cat in the backpack does not mean that it won’t want to get out or even stay in. When these moments happen, you can make use of a cat leash that typically comes with the backpack.

Not only would it allow carrying a harness possible but would also prevent accidents in case you leave the cover open unknowingly.

You can always harness the cat and clip on the leash to the bag to ensure that it doesn’t run off to a little adventure of its own.

Easy of maintenance

Your cat backpack should be extremely easy to clean and maintain. There is no point spending a sizeable sum on something that becomes filthy before you know it and is then difficult to remove the dirt or filth attached to it.

You should be able to simply wipe it down when you are done using it, and then also be able to thoroughly clean it when it is necessary.


It is important that the cat backpack that you choose has to be one that has numerous security measures to ensure that your cat does not escape out of the carrier. The majority of backpacks typically come with a leash.

Does spending more means more quality?

There are numerous price ranges when it comes to cat carriers, so you can be sure that there is something for everyone.

Now, as a cat owner, you want the very best for your cat, but you might wonder if paying an arm and a leg for a cat carrier is the right move, or if you would be better of getting something that is more budget friendly.

Well, it really is up to you and what you want to get out of your cat carrier, as there are numerous cat carriers at different price points that offer high quality.

How To Prepare a Cat for a Travel

How To Prepare a Cat for a Travel

Just as with humans, it is possible for cats to be stressed and feel anxious when traveling.

When you take a cat away from its familiar territory and put her in a cat carrier, it can upset the delicate balance and cause her to feel agitated.

This is why you have to take time and be very considerate when preparing your cat for travel in a cat carrier, especially if your cat has never traveled before.

Taking the time out to prepare your cat ensures that the travel experience is both comfortable and less stressful for you both.

Below are the few steps you have to take into account:

  • Take the cat to the vet

Any type of travel, particularly air travel can be a very hard experience for a cat. It is important that your cat is healthy enough to undergo any sort of travel, especially if it is air travel. The vet has to examine your cat and make sure that it has received all of its vaccinations.

  • If you do not already have a cat carrier, it would be in your best interest to purchase a cat carrier that suits not just your purpose but is also comfortable for your cat

That being said, it is important that you make sure the cat carrier you get is one that is airline approves, especially if you plan to travel in the near future.

  • Before even traveling, you have to make sure that your cat is acclimated to the carrier

When you think about it, your cat is going to spend quite a bit of time in the carrier, especially if you are going to use it for more than just vet visits. It should be a place that your cat feels comfortable. You can do this by placing things like your cat’s favorite toy or comfortable bedding.

  • Keep the carrier open in a location that your cat is most likely to be at or near

This location could be your cat’s scratching post or bed. When you do this, you let your cat explore the cat carrier in his or her own time.

How To Teach a Cat To Use a Backpack Carrier

It is easier to train your cat when they are young. However, this does not mean that older kitties can’t learn new tricks. It may just take a little longer.

We also suggest starting backpack training soon after you start harness training your cat. Cats react to positive reinforcement – that is rewarding your cat when they exhibit a positive behavior.

In the case of backpack training, the positive behavior would be using their backpack. The rewards you use really depends on your cat and what they enjoy. Treats are very useful for food-motivated cats.

Other cats love playing with toys. You can even use clicker training to encourage your cat to use their backpack. The aim of positive reinforcement is to associate your cat’s backpack with something positive.

Using Treats to Make Your Cat’s Backpack a Happy Place

If your cat is food motivated, treats are a great way to encourage them to like this backpack. Open up the backpack in an area that your cat frequents, like your living room. Place a few of their treats in the backpack.

Once your cat is starting to feel comfortable going into the bag, start closing it slightly with smaller increments and reward them with treats.

Once your cat is comfortable with being inside the bag, all closed up, carry the backpack on your front and walk around inside your home. Remember to reward them with treats.

Once they are comfortable with this, a transition to wearing the backpack on your back.

Now you can start taking your cat outside. We suggest starting small in a controlled area and then slowly transition to areas with more stimuli.

Using Play and Toys to Encourage Your Cat to Use their Pet Backpack

Open up the backpack in an area that your cat frequents, like your living room. Put their favorite toys in the backpack and encourage your cat to sniff them.

Once your cat is starting to feel comfortable going into the bag, start closing it slightly with smaller increments and keep playing with them.

Once your cat is comfortable with being inside the bag, all closed up, carry the backpack on your front and walk around inside your home.

Once they are comfortable with this, a transition to wearing the backpack on your back.

Now you can start taking your cat outside. We suggest starting small in a controlled area and then slowly transition to areas with more stimuli.

How To Safely Travel with a Cat Carrier

If You Are Traveling By Car

If You Are Traveling By Car

The first thing is to make sure that your cat is comfortable, but yet safe at the same time.  Put your cat in a large sturdy carrier that they can stand up in, stretch, and turn around easily.

Cover the bottom of the carrier with some type of padding, preferably not something that will slide around, but that will stay covering the floor of the carrier.

Secure the carrier with a seatbelt.  If you are in a car accident, you want your cat to be as safe as possible.

After all, aren’t you wearing a seatbelt? If you had a young child in the car, wouldn’t their car’s seat be secured with a seatbelt?

If it is a short trip, under 6 hours, then your cat will be just fine staying in the carrier the entire time.

If it is a longer trip, especially if it is over a several days period, you may want to let your cat out of the carrier periodically to get a drink of water and use the litter box.

If you are traveling a long distance and think that your cat may need to use the litter box, the easiest way is to purchase some of the disposable litter boxes that come with litter already inside.

You can place these on the floor of the car for your cat to use – once they have eliminated, you can dispose of it in a trash receptacle – no muss, no fuss.

Be sure to bring plenty of water with you, but only give it to your cat when you are parked.

Do not leave a water bowl in your cat’s carrier while driving – it will only spill and make a mess, and you will end up with a wet unhappy cat.

It may also help to bring a gallon jug of the water your cat drinks at home – whether it is tap water or filtered water. Cats won’t always drink water that tastes different.

Don’t feed your cat the morning of your trip, or while you are driving.

They will be just fine only eating in the evening for a day or two, and it will minimize the risk of your cat vomiting in their carrier during the trip.

If You Are Traveling by Plane

If You Are Traveling by Plane

There are two ways for your cat to travel by plane – in the cargo hold or in the cabin with you.

Of course, the ideal is to keep your cat with you, but that does add significantly to the cost on most airlines, and some airlines do not allow pets in the cabin.

If you do decide to have your cat travel in the cabin with you, there are several steps you need to take first.

When you make your reservation, if someone tells you that cats are allowed in the cabin, get their name and contact info.

Even better, get it in writing – have them a fax, email, or mail it to you.

Show up early to the airport. Most airlines have a limit as to how many animals are allowed in the cabin, and if the airline books too many pets in the cabin, it will be a first come first serve basis.

If you are number three and they only allow two pets in the cabin, then you will be forced to take another flight or send your cat cargo.

Be sure that you have an airline approved carrier. If in doubt, take it to the airport long before the day of your flight and ask them if it is an acceptable carrier for in the cabin.

It will need to be able to fit under the seat in front of you, so it will have to be fairly small.

Have a cloth cover that covers the openings in the carrier so your cat cannot see what is going on around them.  The less they see, the less stress they will experience.

How to Clean and Maintain a Cat Backpack Carrier

A clean cat backpack carrier is more pleasant to your cat, but it is not just that, a clean backpack does not have any parasites, and you don’t have to worry about any smells showing up on your cat.

The padded portion of the carrier can be cleaned in the washing machine on the hottest cycle possible (check the washing instructions first). This is also a good time to wash soft (drool-covered) chew toys.

Vacuum the interior of the crate or carrier to suck up crumbs, hair, flea eggs and the like.

If you don’t have a good way to vacuum it at home, take it with you the next time you have your car washed and have it done there.

Wash hard-sided or metal crates using warm water and a mild, unscented dish detergent.

Rinse thoroughly, making sure you don’t leave behind any residue that could irritate your pet’s skin. If the carrier needs a higher level of sanitation because your pet had an accident in it, use a mixture of one-half cup bleach and one gallon of water to kill bacteria.

Let the bleach solution sit on the surface of the crate for at least five minutes before rinsing thoroughly with clean water. Let it air-dry completely in the sun.

Do’s and Don’ts To Do With a Cat Carrier

Do's and Don’ts To Do With a Cat Carrier

DO’S – Make sure your cat is used to the cat carrier

Don’t wait until you have to travel to the vet’s office to place your cat in a new carrier. The trick is to get your cat used to the carrier beforehand.

After bringing home a suitable cat carrier, place it down in a spot where your cat may inspect it at leisure and leave the entry door open.

Place a warm familiar blanket on the bottom of the carrier and a favorite toy inside as well.

Let the carrier remain there for a few days so the cat will become used to its presence and hopefully become curious enough to inspect it.

As your cat sniffs it, natural curiosity may build and your kitty might even climb inside.

If your cat does not enter the carrier voluntarily, gently place your feline friend inside and secure the door. Leave the cat inside the carrier for a few minutes, then allow him or her out.

Repeat the process, which allows your pet to become used to being inside the carrier.

Once your cat has no fear, you can calmly take the cat outside in the carrier and go for a short ride in the car. You might want to attempt the process daily for a week or so.

Bring Along Help

If you want a little extra care for your cat while you travel to the vet, bring along a second person.

One person can drive, while the other either holds the carrier or comforts the anxious cat in its carrier secured by a nearby seatbelt. The non-driving friend can also protect the carrier, ensuring it doesn’t jerk around while the vehicle is moving.

Have a Chat With Your Veterinarian

Communicating with the vet is essential. If your cat experiences anxiety no matter how hard you try to calm their nerves, talk to your vet.

The doctor might suggest a calming sedative beforehand. The goal of these medications is to keep your cat from becoming stressed.

DON’TS – Don’t Get Stressed

If you become anxious or agitated when going to the vet, your cat might notice your stress and behave negatively.

Even if your cat resists the car ride, don’t become nervous or raise your voice. Staying calm may help your pet stay calm as well.

To keep the mood light and possibly calm nerves, try playing the radio in the car.

Tune into soft, soothing sounds and talk softly to your pet as you drive. Staying calm and focused is key to reducing any stress your cat may experience.

If your cat displays aggression or fear when visiting the veterinary office, never scold or yell at your pet. Patience and understanding go a long way under such circumstances.

Don’t Feed Your Cat Before the Trip

Your cat shouldn’t be fed shortly before the car ride if medically acceptable. This especially may be a good idea if your pet has motion sickness.

The veterinary team will want to feed lots of treats during the visit! Bring your cat hungry so that way they are eager to eat the snacks provided.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size of cat carrier do I need?

Your backpack needs to be large enough for your cat to be able to stand without crouching and to be able to turn around.

You should also pay attention to the upper-limit weight recommendations of the backpack manufacturer. Be sure to weigh and measure your cat before making a purchase.

Do cats prefer hard or soft carriers?

Well, when it comes to the preference of the cat, that actually depends on the individual cat, as some cat love soft carriers and others love the hard ones.

I think you will also have to take into account the material used to make the lining of the carrier as well when making a decision.

How Long Can Cats Stay in a Backpack Carrier?

Cats are able to stay in a backpack carrier for a couple of hours, but you have to ensure that there is enough water and your cat is getting a sufficient amount of ventilation.

That being said, there will be a time when your cat will become restless and want to come out of the cat backpack, which is why you should pay attention to your cat and how she’s feeling.

Final Word

These are just some of the things that you should pay attention to when selecting a cat backpack.

The most important things you have to consider are how they affect your cat and how your cat is able to cope with being in a cat backpack.

Photos from: Wifesun / depositphotos.com, liukov / depositphotos.com, londondeposit / depositphotos.com, Kzenon / depositphotos.com, Amaviael / depositphotos.com, belchonock / depositphotos.com, Savvatexture / depositphotos.com.

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