Last updated: August 27, 2021

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Cats are creatures of habit, but sometimes it is simply necessary to travel with them to other destinations. To make the trip comfortable, you'll need certain helpful accessories, such as a cat travel backpack. It may also be the case, although rare, that your cat loves to travel and discover new places, and to do so safely, you'll need a good cat travel backpack.

There are different cat backpacks on the market, adapted to different sized cats and according to the type of trip or the means of transport you are going to take. In the following article we aim to help you to understand this market more. And we will also help you get to know your cat's travel needs better and give you tips to make any trip a comfortable experience for your pet and for you.

Key Facts

  • If your cat is not comfortable traveling and if it is not strictly necessary, just leave it at home. If it loves to check out new places or you absolutely need to take it to another place, the backpack is the safest and most comfortable option there is today.
  • Before leaving home, even if it is protected in your backpack, a cat must have certain vaccines and it is recommended that you have a chip in case it gets lost. There are medications and supplements, such as mild sedatives, that can be useful if your cat gets nervous during travel. But these must be prescribed and approved by a veterinarian.
  • There are basic features to look for when buying a backpack, such as ventilation that is suitable, material that is comfortable and design to make sure that the cat does not overheat when the sun hits the bag for extended periods of time--such as when you are walking with him in the city.

Ranking: The Best Cat Backpacks

In this section you will see a collection of the most popular backpacks to transport cats on the market. In addition, we have summarized and highlighted the main features to make it easier for you to get to know each of the products. Thus, you can choose which backpack you and your cat will like the most.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Cat Backpacks

Before buying a cat backpack, you need to understand why you need it. In the following paragraphs we will help you to understand more about this market and about the habits of these animals. Remember that cats are very routine-oriented, and they don't always like going outside. But sometimes it is necessary and these backpacks may make them enjoy going out more.

Red cat on the walk, looking out of the window carrying a backpack, walk with a cat in the Park on a Sunny day.

The image of a traveler touring beautiful places along with their best feline friend is endearing.
(Source: Elena Shishkina: 119974571/

When does my cat need a backpack?

If you need to take your cat away from home for activities such as going to the veterinarian, going on a trip or taking it to a family member's house for a vacation, it is essential to transport it in a comfortable and, above all, safe manner. Standard cat carriers were, in the past, the most comfortable method for pet transport until backpacks for felines arrived on the market, which are much more comfortable for you and for the animal.

If you need to take a trip by public transport or in your car, by law, the cat must be put in a bag or box that meets certain requirements in terms of measures and that most backpacks meet. Airlines also have very specfic rules for traveling with pets.  If your cat has a tendency to escape, you might still want to take it outside but what can you do? Whay not let kitty enjoy nature excursions from your backpack?

What are the advantages of using a backpack to carry my cat, compared with other methods?

When you take your pet away from home to other places or use some type of transport, you need the proper equipment. A loose cat could run due to fright or instinct, and running into the street can be very dangerous. In this table we will compare the different ways to bring your cat safely out of the house for vet visits, vacations, etc. with each of their advantages and disadvantages:

Item Advantages Disadvantages
Cage or Carrier Many varieties and types of Materials.

Prevents the animal from getting outside of it and thus prevents it from escaping.

More inconvenient for the user to transport, because they have a handle, all the weight falls on one part of the human's body.
Cat Backpacks Created to prevent your pet from escaping and, at the same time, allow air to enter so that the animal is well ventilated and can breathe freely. Much more comfortable for you when carrying your pet.

Some can be uncomfortable for the animal, by forcing your pet upright.

Bag Cheaper, since you can use one you already have at home. Unlike cages, these do not prevent the animal from leaving its interior, so they are less practical. In some means of transport they are not allowed.
Harness or leash Your cat will feel freer.

There is a lot of variety in styles among harnesses adapted to the safety required to transport cats by car.

If your cat tends to be nervous or skittish, with a harness it may feel more unprotected than with a backpack or bag.

You need to practice using a leash or harness with your cat before you leave home with you cat in such items.

What vaccinations should I get for my cat before taking it on the road in his backpack?

Cats that are always at home are more protected from contracting diseases. There are some vaccines that you should get all cats in all cases. However, if you are going to take kitty out of the house, either with a harness or with a backpack, it is even more important to have your pet vaccinated. If your cat is a kitten, the vaccination process must begin when the cat is two months old.

Veterinarians recommend the trivalent vaccine for all cats, and the leukemia vaccine for any cats that may come into contact with stray cats. Therefore, if you are going to take your cat in public, it is recommended that you get both. The trivalent vaccine is made in three stages and the leukemia vaccine is done in two sessions. It is better to be safe where your cat's health is concerned.

Is it necessary for my cat to leave the house in a backpack?

A cat backpack is essential if you have to leave the house with the cat by necessity. But remember that cats are animals of habit and, in most cases, indoor cats like to stay home. Now, although it is not usual, there are very curious kittens that will want to go out and explore the outdoors from time to time. If you live in an isolated area and your cat is well-behaved, you can let them outside, but in many cases this is not safe or even possible.

But life within the four walls of a house can be for some very monotonous felines. That can lead some cats to very naughty behavior, since they get bored and need to discharge their energy and express their instincts in some way. You should watch the behavior and preferences of your pet closey. Don't force him out if he is not interested and do try to give him some outdoor time and fresh air in a cat backpack if you see he is curious about the outdoors.

Walk in the autumn forest on a sunny day with your favorite cat in a convenient bag for animals with an illuminator window

Remember that it is necessary to avoid giving the cat food and water in the hours before a trip.
(Source: Larysa Lyundovska: 123938697/

Can I travel the world with my cat and a backpack?

The image of a traveler touring beautiful places with his best feline friend is endearing. But a cat is not a dog and these animals can become very stressed with travel if it is not their "thing." You can only go on a trip with your cat if you see that it is comfortable and it enjoys the experience. Most cats do not like to travel, but there are some who do. If you see that changes and departures are not well-received by your cat, do not subject your cat to a trip unnecessarily.

If you see that your cat loves going out to see new places, and explore the wide world around him, then travel together may be an option. Always keep in mind that a cat is a living being and not a toy, so your trip must constantly adapt to the needs of the kitty. You must find accommodations that accept pets and transportation that allow you to take the cat with you. You should be prepared to deal with many limitations and plan ahead if you want to take fluffy with you on a world backpacking trip.

Can my cat get dizzy traveling inside his backpack?

If your pet is not used to traveling or leaving home, but it is really necessary to do so, avoid giving him food and water in the hours before the trip. Cats can get dizzy and vomit from motions sickness, which will make their trip very unpleasant due to the discomfort of the unfamilar movement of the car, train, bus, etc. It is best that you give your cat their meal three or more hours hours before traveling, so you can be sure he will not vomit during the trip.

You can also go to the veterinarian and ask if he can prescribe any medication or supplement that helps your cat not to vomit. There are some items available and they wil be able to tell you if it is recommended to give one of these products to your cat or not. It always depends on the number of hours that the trip you are going to make is going to last. There are those who recommend putting Bach Flower products such as Rescue Remedy near the animal to calm it.

What can I do if my cat doesn't want to travel in her backpack, but we need to travel with her?

It may happen that your cat associates the backpack with situations in which it is forced to leave the house for unpleasant purposes, such as visits to the veterinarian, and therefore it does not want to get into this carrier. To make the trip a pleasant situation, keep the backpack open the previous days at home, with a toy and maybe some catnip, in a part of the house that your pet likes.

To associate the backpack with pleasant sensations, you can put your cat's favorite toys in the open backpack. You can also reward him with a treat that your cat likes when he enters the backpack. It is very important that your cat feels that space as his own and not a scary place so that a trip is pleasant and not a trauma for the kitty.

Walk in the autumn forest on a sunny day with your favorite cat in a convenient bag for animals with an illuminator window

Remember that the backpack has to fit on your back in a way that is comfortable and easy to transport.
(Source: Larysa Lyundovska: 123938734/

What can you put in the backpack to make it easier for my cat to enjoy nature?

If you are going to make a long trip with your cat in your backpack, it will probably need to urinate or defecate. There are two options to help you keep your backpack clean in these cases. There are disposable sandboxes that you can put in the bottom of the backpack and clean when your pet has used it to meet its needs.

There are also so-called soakers, which will collect urine and are easily interchangeable so that the backpack is kept clean and your cat can be comfortable. The good thing about soakers is that there are brands created especially to absorb odors and which are waterproof, so they will help keep the backpack clean. Both of these options are good for the kitty and good for you. If you cat likes to travel in a backpack, mother nature calling on kitty is no reason to hold you back from adventure together.

Where in the car should I put the cat backpack on a trip?

During a car trip, the cat must be well secured, for his safety, so that he cannot get jostled at a sudden stop, for example. And for everyone's safety: if he were losse in the car, got nervous and placed himself at the driver's feet, this could have serious consequences, since it would have an impact on good driving. You must attach the backpack to the seat belt.

Many backpacks come with a specific hitch for this purpose. If not, you can buy it separately. For added stability, the cat may be more comfortable if you place the backpack on the floor of the vehicle instead of leaving it in the seat. The gap between the front seat and the rear seat is an advisable place for secuity and safety.

What extra items can you bring along to make a backpack trip more enjoyable for your cat?

In addition to offering a stable, comfortable space that can be kept clean with soap and that is properly ventilated, there are small aids that we can use if we see that our cat is not happy traveling. If your cat loves traveling and is not the nervous type, you will not need these extras. Just keep them in mind if you see your cat stressing out from having to travel:

  • Synthetic Pheromones: These are substances that generate odors familiar to cats, which gives them a sense of security.
  • Sedatives: If you see that your cat gets too stressed, you can go to the vet to see about the possibility of a prescription for a sedative for him to sleep on the trip.
  • Flowers of Bach: There are those who prefer natural tranquilizers, such as these plants.
  • Leashes: Put your kitty's favorite toy in your backpack so that he feels the proximity of a familiar object or the blanket where it usually sleeps.

Can I travel with my cat on the bus in a backpack?

Buses are probably the strictest means of transportation when you travel with an animal and therefore, the least recommended method. The most common rule is that bus companies do not allow you to board with the animal with you, even if you have an approved backpack, and that the cat must travel in the hold, alone.

Veterinarians claim that a trip in the hold or trunk can be very traumatic for a cat. There are companies which offer services that do allow you to take the animal with you. You need to determine this in advance and, if not, find a method of transport that allows you to keep kitty with you. It can be stressful for a cat to travel, so try not to make him go alone in the hold, if avoidable.

Can my cat be with me on the plane if it fits in a backpack?

The vast majority of the world's airlines allow you to travel by plane with your cat whenever you carry an approved backpack within the required measurements. Normally, when you buy a backpack, you will find the specific measures of the product. You should compare the size of the hand luggage that is allowed, to the backback you are thinking of buying and make sure the back pack is the same or smaller than the size allowed by the airline.

It is common for the airline to ask the passenger to pay an additional fee to bring their pet, in advance. Therefore, when buying a plane ticket you will need to arrange to bring kitty with you and make any required additional payments. Normally, along with the ticket you buy, the airline will give you instructions on the procedure for taking your cat with you.

Shopping Criteria

When you buy a backpack to travel with your cat, it is very important that you do it in an informed way and that you evaluate some specific factors, both regarding your pet and the product. Here we summarize the most important factors to consider for you to make the most appropriate purchase. It is very important that your cat is comfortable in his travels.

These criteria are:

  • Color
  • Size
  • Materials
  • Weight
  • Functions


It is common for cat backpacks in the market to be black. Probably, because they can adapt to a large number of users and their tastes. Let's not forget that black combines practically with all colors. However, as black attracts the heat of the sun, when you buy a black backpack, notice that it specifies that it resists high temperatures. Or look for a light colored one.

Your pet should be comfortable inside the backpack, without running the risk of heatstroke or simple discomfort. There are brands that offer several colors to choose from and there is the possibility of finding backpacks with different shades and styles if you are looking for something different or striking. The color will matter more to you than your pet. Additionally, there are some backpacks to which you can attach a small portable fan to provide your kitty extra circulation of air in situations where he might need it--a hot bus, for example.


There are several factors to consider when looking at the size of a cat backpack. On the one hand, it has to fit your back in a way that is comfortable and easy to transport. On the other hand, your cat should fit comfortably. An animal should not be forced into one position for many hours because it can be very stressful and uncomfortable. At the same time, if the backpack is too big, the cat may feel insecure.

Therefore, look at the comments of people who have cats of a size and weight similar to your pet to decide what is best for your cat. Also, if you travel a lot by plane, look for a backpack that is accepted by the airlines as hand luggage in terms of measurements, and that can fit under an airline seat. There are many backpacks adapted for airline travel and that specify this on their labels and in their product descriptions online. There are more options for small cats than for large ones.


It is important that the backpack is cusioned enough for the weight of the animal's body, that the material does not becomevery hot with the sun and that it protects the cat from the cold in winter. For you, who have to carry the backpack, you should look for a material that does not make your back sweat and that does not strain your shoulders and neck. There are different materials from whcih you can choose, so you are sure to find one that is right for you and kitty. For example:

  • Polyurethene. It is widely used in backpacks in general and, especially, in those that are created for cats, since they are impervious to rain.
  • PVC: A very hard plastic, common in the so-called "astronaut backpacks" for the impression they give of being a little spacecraft for the cat.
  • Polyester: One of the most common fibers in the textile industry today. It is also rain. It is a plastic widely used in clothes because it is very cheap.
  • Mesh. Whatever the backpack, it must have several meshes, or vents which are usually nylon mesh, which allow fresh air to pass inside the bag for the well-being of your cat.
  • Polyethelyne Foam. It is a cushioned foam and very common for the part that is against the back of the backpacker and for the lower part, where the animal sits.


Taking into account that you are probably going to have to carry the backpack for extended periods of time, and the weight is according to the cat, it is important that the product you are going to buy is lightweight. Also because in public transport, like an airplane, there are strict weight limitations. Very heavy bags are not allowed in the cabin. And your pet is already fairly heavy.


In addition to the main compartment, in which you are going to transport your pet, you can see that the backpack has several useful functions. Vents are essential, and are something that all cat backpacks have. Here we are going to see some of the things that your ideal bag can have:

  • Pockets to transport objects of your cat: Some backpacks have side or front pockets where you can put your pet's accessories or your own items.
  • Harness strap: Many cat backpacks have an inner strap that is used to fasten your cat's harness to the backpack, giving you the option to open the backpack wide, for feeding, petting, etc. without the risk that your pet can escape.
  • Car latch: Many cat backpacks have a latch to put on the seat belt and thus comply with road safety regulations.
  • Pocket for extra accessories: Some backpacks come with an extra leash or strap. Others, only with hooks that allow you to attach one.
  • Chest or hip straps: So that the weight of your pet does not fall only on your shoulders and neck, some backpacks have chest or hip straps that can help make the bag more comfortable--especially if kitty is on the larger side.


When you decide on the backpack that you are going to buy to transport your cat, it is very important that you look at the size, weight and quality of the materials. Remember that not all cats like to travel. If your cat is one of these, carry it in your backpack only when it is absolutely necessary. If you decide that it is a good idea to travel with your pet, one of these well-designed bags will be a great accessory for you and kitty.

You also should take note that that you backpack should be be comfortable to transport your kitty and that it is approved to be able to carry him on different modes of public transport. If the authorities do not let you take your cat with you in the passenger area, it may be better to avoid the trip, since leaving it in the hold can be very traumatic for cats, who are very fond of routine and like to be near their humans when in unfamilair situations.

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(Source of Featured Image: oleg0: 99994022/