What a good backpack for a cat?
Pet Carriers

What’s the Best Cat Carrier Backpack for Hiking and Walking?

If you’re an active person and want to take your cat with you while you’re hiking or walking, choosing a cat carrier backpack is a great option. A backpack will make it easy to walk with your cat and allow them to enjoy some fresh air at the same time.

The best cat backpack carrier for hiking should be both safe and comfortable. There are many features to consider, but making sure your cat is secure and can enjoy the carrier are paramount.

Backpacks range from tote bags or standard cat carriers. You’ll be holding them for a long time on your shoulders, so the best lightweight cat carrier will make life much more comfortable for you.

Backpacks for cats have come a long way in recent years. If you’re someone who wants to take your kitty with you wherever you go, or you have an active lifestyle, they’re a great way to keep your cat a close part of the family at all times.

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Best Cat Hiking Backpack

If you want to take your kitty on long walks or a hike, you need a backpack that will stand up to different conditions. It’s good to want your cat to come with you. But, you don’t want to have to slow down or hinder your physical abilities in any way just because you’re carrying a cat. With that in mind, choosing the best backpack to carry for long periods of time is essential.

So, what should you look for in a backpack for hiking? We recommend something that is advertised toward you as a pet owner just as much as it is for your cat. Backpacks need to be able to distribute weight evenly, so your shoulders and back don’t get too sore.

Our pick for the best hiking backpack is the Pet Gear I-GO2 Escort Roller Backpack. We should note that this backpack is a 4-in-1 product that can be used as a carrier or roller, too.

Pet Gear Escort Roller Backpack

But, the benefits of using it as a backpack are second to none. It’s great for cats because of its durability. It has a robust and stable base and reinforced sides. The carrier also features a mesh window so your cat will always be aware of their surroundings.

It includes two safety clips inside if you want to secure them to your cat’s harness. That way, even if you’re walking through harsh terrain, your cat won’t get jostled around. The reinforced sides make it an excellent carrier your cat one escape from.

Finally, it’s easy to clean. It has a removable mat that can easily be thrown into the washing machine. Your cat will always be safe, comfortable, and dry.

The I-GO2 Escort Roller Backpack can also go in the car, and it’s even approved for air travel. It’s a great way to keep your active life on the move while taking your cat with you.

Best Cat Carrier Backpack for Travel

Many people choose to use a cat backpack for other forms of travel. Otherwise, it can be a pain to tote around a carrier, backpack, suitcase, etc., whenever you’re going somewhere. The Pet Gear I-GO2 Traveler Roller Backpack is the perfect solution for cat owners who want to be able to take their pets with them on different kinds of adventures.

Like the Pet Gear Escort Roller backpack, this product can quickly and easily be transformed into other things.

A look at the Pet Gear I-GO2

This particular backpack can also be used in the following ways:

  • Car seat
  • Traditional carrier
  • Tote
  • Rolling backpack

It’s airline-approved so you can take it with you when you get on a plane. If you’re ready for a hiking adventure somewhere far from home, it’s a wonderful option. Whatever you choose to use it as you can rest assured your kitty will be safe.

It comes with a variety of safety features. Some of these include:

  • Two tethers that attach to your car seat
  • An interior tether so your cat won’t get jostled around
  • Mesh sides for proper ventilation
  • Durable sides that can handle a cat trying to scratch or escape

It’s also a comfortable solution for both you and your cat. It has a removable interior pad that will keep your cat cozy, no matter how long they have to stay in the carrier.

It’s easy to overlook how convenient the backpack might be for you. We get so wrapped up in our pets that we can forget about ourselves. But, if you choose a backpack that is hard to use or uncomfortable, you’ll be less likely to use it often.

Thankfully, the Pet Gear I-GO2 Traveler Roller Backpack is just as comfortable for you as it is for your cat. First, it allows you to keep your hands free when you’re toting your cat around. This can enable you to do other things while you’re carrying them, unlike most traditional totes.

The straps on the backpack are adjustable and will evenly distribute your cat’s weight on your shoulders and back. You can wear it for long periods of time with no pain or discomfort.

Finally, the carrier is easy to clean, easy to store, and easy to make convenient for the things you need! It has several external pouches that can store your cat’s things, as well as your own belongings. This Pet Gear backpack is perfect for the trail. But, if you’re an avid traveler by car or plane, you can use it in many different ways. That allows you to get more value out of one carrier.

Best Lightweight Cat Carrier

Cat backpacks are great because they can help to distribute your cat’s weight on your shoulders. But, if you’re looking for a more traditional carrier that is lightweight and easy to hold onto, we recommend the Sherpa Original Deluxe Pet Carrier.

The Sherpa Original Deluxe has mesh siding on the front and sides instead of heavy material. Not only will that allow for a lot of cool air to flow in for your cat, but it also makes the carrier lightweight for you.

This carrier comes recommended by the ASPCA and Humane Society. It’s ideal for air travel as well as car travel. While it isn’t a backpack and probably won’t be the right solution for hiking, it’s still comfortable to walk around with. It’s suitable for airports, trips to the vet, etc.

A look at the Sherpa Pet Carrier

The carrier features reinforced handles so you can rest assured it won’t break or falter when you’re carrying your cat. It also has a comfortable shoulder strap that you can sling over one shoulder to keep your hands free. If that’s one of your favorite features of using a backpack, you can get a similar benefit when trying out this carrier.

While the reasons for using the Sherpa Original Deluxe might be different from using a backpack, it’s a sound option for anyone looking for an escape-proof cat carrier that is lightweight and looks sleek.

What Are the Advantages of a Backpack?

The backpacks can quickly be transformed into other types of carriers. That alone offers a huge advantage. It will save you time, money, and effort. But, using a cat backpack even on its own can have major benefits.

Most people look into backpacks for their cats because they want to take them outside to go walking or hiking. Backpacks make this easy because you don’t have to worry about putting them on a leash or carrying them in your arms.

For example, the backpacks here are also perfect for trips in the car, no matter how long or short they are. When you’re ready to take the backpack out of the car, you can use it as a traditional carrier or put it over your shoulders to remain hands-free.

Some people have a hard time with traditional cat carriers. They can be hard to grip or hold onto for long periods of time. If you find yourself having to carry your cat around for a long period, a backpack will be much easier on your body.

Another advantage of using a backpack regularly is that it can give your cat a chance to explore more. Thanks to mesh siding and windows, your cat will always remain cool, and they’ll love being able to look out. They will also likely be aware that they’re close to you, which can provide comfort.

So, the main advantages of choosing a backpack are all about how many ways you can use them. If you need a hands-free solution for taking your cat with you or you’re tired of holding onto traditional carriers, it might be time to consider a backpack carrier.

cat hiking backpack

Selecting the Right Size for a Cat Backpack

Cat backpacks can be slightly different than traditional carriers. You always want to make sure your that your cat fits in the backpack comfortably. The two backpacks (above) can be expanded if your cat needs more room. But, it’s always a better idea to choose a backpack that gives your cat enough room from the start.

Most backpacks will suggest a weight limit. While that weight limit shouldn’t be ignored, it’s not the only resource you should use to determine which size backpack you might need. Measuring your cat is the way to get an accurate idea and choose the right size.

Cats should be measured from the floor to the base of their ears, and from their nose to their tail. Then, compare those measurements with the inside dimensions of a backpack. Your cat should have a few inches to be able to turn around and lay down.

But, too much space can be dangerous and can cause them to get jerked around. Since backpacks are often used for walking and hiking, you’ll want to be sure the one you choose for your cat isn’t too large.

How to Get Your Cat Used to a Backpack

Cats aren’t always known for loving their carriers. It can be easy for a cat to feel anxious or scared when they’re being forced into an unfamiliar, small space. The same goes for introducing them to a backpack.

Follow these simple steps to get them used to it:

  1. Once you get your cat backpack, make opening it an experience for your kitty. Open it when they’re next to you and allow them to explore it from the start. They probably won’t have any idea what it is or what it will be used for, but this is a great way to introduce something new into your home for your kitty to feel more comfortable.
  2. Leave the carrier somewhere where your cat can easily investigate it. You may even start to see them go in and out of it sometimes. You can encourage this kind of play and exploration by praising your cat or engaging in play with them in and around the backpack.
  3. If your cat doesn’t seem interested in the backpack or is nervous about going inside, you can entice them with some of their favorite treats or a toy. A positive association can make a significant difference in how your cat feels about the carrier.
  4. Keep your trips short once your cat does start to get comfortable in the backpack. Whether you’re going on a hike or taking your cat to the vet, make sure each trip is brief and enjoyable. As they get more comfortable, you can start to make your treks longer.
  5. Don’t forget to keep rewarding and praising your cat when they do an excellent job in the backpack. It’s easy to stop doing that once we think they’re comfortable. But, be sure to give them a treat once in awhile and encourage them if they’re behaving inside.

Every cat’s personality is different. You know their temperament better than anyone else. Use these tips as a guide to get them more comfortable in their backpack. But, if you know it might be more of a challenge for your cat, feel free to add your own personal touches or expand on these.

Never force your cat inside their backpack. This can be a traumatic experience, and they won’t want to go inside the carrier again!

Cat Backpack vs. Cat Stroller

If you’re an avid walker or hiker who wants to take their cat along with them, you may have also started looking at strollers.

Let’s look at some comparisons:

  • Strollers need to be pushed. This is great for walking on streets and sidewalks. But, it can be harder when you’re on a nature trail with different types of terrain.
  • A stroller will allow you to stop and brake whenever you need so that you can rest. You also don’t have to worry about wearing any part of it. Many pet strollers have strong, durable wheels that make them easier to push. They’re an excellent option for seniors or people who might not be strong enough to carry their cat on their back, perhaps due to arthritis.
  • Strollers tend to have extra storage space. If you’re going on a long walk and need supplies, there’s more room to keep them.
  • Backpacks allow you to be hands-free on your walk or hike. That leaves you open to carry a walking stick, hold onto a water bottle, or use your hands to push branches or brush out of the way as needed.

There are pros and cons to each of these outdoor solutions for your cat. But, it depends on the type of adventures you want to take and the type of terrain you’ll be walking on. Cat backpacks are the ideal way to go on long hikes and stay hands-free, but strollers can be better-suited for walking in busy towns and cities.

How to Hike with Cats

If you bought a cat backpack specifically for walking or hiking, you’re off to the perfect start. But, there’s more to hiking with a cat than having a great backpack.

Use the following tips to make your hiking experience with your cat safe and fun:

  • Instead of putting a collar on your cat while they’re in their backpack, choose a harness. Many backpacks come with tethers that can be clipped to harnesses. Cats can easily slip out of collars and may get tossed around inside the carrier if their collar comes off.
  • Even if you plan on carrying your kitty the whole time, make sure they have their health in order. Your cat should have all their vaccines and should be microchipped. Accidents happen, and if your cat got loose, you’d want to know they won’t get any diseases and can be found quickly.
  • You might be the one doing all the hiking, but that doesn’t mean your cat can’t easily get dehydrated, especially on a hot day. Make sure to carry supplies with you for both yourself and your kitty. Thankfully, the backpacks we’ve suggested have pockets that make storing whatever you need an easy project.
  • Take your time on the trail, and don’t expect your cat to be okay with a 10-mile trek immediately. Just as we suggested above, it can take time to get your cat used to their backpack. It can take even more time to get used to different hiking lengths. It’s always better to add miles a little bit at a time until you know how long your cat can be comfortable in their carrier.

By choosing a cat carrier backpack with many different features, you’ll be able to take your cat almost anywhere. For pet owners who want to treat their kitty like part of the family, this is an important feature.

Don’t get discouraged if your cat doesn’t seem to like their backpack right away. If it’s the right size for them, you can follow the above tips to help them get used to it.