Best Backpack Carrier for "Big" Cats

Updated: Mar 10

Cat condo, cat carrier, cat backpack…whatever you call it, this carrier will become your cat’s refuge when they’re out adventuring. And a cat carrier is an essential tool for any Adventure Cat.


Fox and Frankie use the “Fat Cat” Backpack from Travel Cat on a daily basis. Fox and Frankie are Maine Coons and at almost nine months, they are already the size of many domestic cats. So the Fat Cat Backpack is great for XXL kitties!


Like any carrier though, you need to make sure your cat is used to the backpack and is comfortable in it, in the safety of your home before you venture outside. There are great videos on Youtube to train your cat to get comfortable in their carrier, like this one from Jackson Galaxy.


Pros

The Fat Cat Backpack comes in a few different colours and is made of sturdy, water resistant canvas-type of material. It features many openings for ventilation and is spacious.


The best thing we love about this backpack is its versatility. The top of the backpack features a zipper and a zipper flap that can be rolled and clipped back to stay open if your cat is comfortable to hang out. Or if your cat is overwhelmed by the environment, simply zip the backpack panel closed and the cat will feel safe, cocooned in the carrier.

We also love the fact that there is a breast strap that helps to distribute the weight of the cat. For us, with heavier cats, this is very important. After about an hour, a 13-pound cat, in the backpack will begin to feel heavy.


We also really love the removable bubble that the cat can look out of. It features ventilation and can be swapped out for another panel or removed altogether for an open "window" if your cat is comfortable with this.

To secure your cat, the Fat Cat Backpack has a clip that you attach to the cat's harness. At first, we clipped the cats in, but lately, we've simply held onto their leashes while the cats are in the packs. This allows them to jump out when they feel the need to explore or simply stay in if they don't feel like hiking.

For storage, the Fat Cat Backpack has two side pockets. These are perfect for snacks, treats and water.


Cons

We have been using the Fat Cat Backpack since August 2021 and so far we are really happy with it. However, there are a few cons.


As I mentioned earlier, while this cat is great for XXL kitties, it can get quite heavy after an hour plus. Perhaps when they redesign this backpack, the folks at Travel Cat might want to add a belt, much like larger hiking packs. This belt would really help to increase the comfort of the back and help to distribute the weight of the cat more evenly.

The second con is the price. We imported the bag to Canada from the U.S. Even with the bag on sale for $119, with the U.S. exchange rate, duties and shipping, the bag came out to about $180 in Canadian dollars.


Thirdly, we wish the side mesh windows were larger. Above the side pockets, there are mesh panels on both sides of the pack. While this allows for great ventilation, if your cat is on the bottom of the pack, it can be difficult for them to see out of the sides. Of course, they have the bubble window or panel, however, if they are facing one of the sides, they won't be able to see out of the pack unless they sort of sit up. If your cat is frightened or would like crouch instead of sit, then they can't see out as easily. We would love the mesh to extend a bit farther down.


Overall Rating: 4.5/5 Stars


Overall, despite the couple of cons, in our unscientific opinion, the Fat Cat Backpack is a great cat carrier. And if you have big kitty, we recommend it. As of publishing this blog post, Travel Cat now has a similar design for kittens and smaller cats.


Because the Fat Cat Backpack really allows the cat to interact with the world, it does attract a lot of attention - which can be a good thing. For us, we don't mind it because it does create awareness of the Adventure Cat movement and also it allows our cats to be socialized. We have complete strangers that ask to see our cats and pet them!


Our intention with the exploring and adventuring is to enable our cats to become comfortable and confident kitties in many situations and circumstances. The Fat Cat Backpack enables our kittens to achieve this and also, bring a few smiles to all who meet Fox and Frankie. After all, who doesn't want to say hello to a cat that is hanging out in their environment?!


For more on the Fat Cat Backpack, visit the Travel Cat website. To see the backpack in action, be sure to find us on Instagram @Fox.and.Frankie. Or if you have any questions about the pack, please leave us a message. Happy adventuring!





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