It’s time for some outdoor adventure. Whether you are a fan of cycling, hiking, traveling or just enjoying a lazy day in nature, you are in a need for a perfect travel companion.
Your cat, although sometimes grumpy and antisocial, doesn’t like to be left alone. We present you with a perfect solution – a modern must-have cat carrier. Yup, a cat backpack.
What Exactly Is a Cat Backpack Carrier and Why Do I Need One?
A cat backpack carrier is a simple way to carry your best furry friend around. Shaped like standard sports backpacks, but this one keeps your cat safe and close to you.
The majority of cats, besides having a collar, don’t enjoy being on a harness and a leash and tend to become uncooperative if we insist. Also, they can get scared of noise, wild animals or traffic.
But a cat backpack carrier is something different. It keeps your cat comfy and gives her a chance to observe the outdoors while your physical presence gives them a safe feeling. Also, it is perfect for taking your cat to the vet or shopping.
A Backpack for Carrying a Cat? Here is How Cool It is
You will be amazed by how convenient the cat backpack carriers are. Just make your cat feel comfortable in them, put the backpack on your back and voila! You are ready to go. No more leashes, muddy puddles or running up the tree to chase the birds.
Your cat is in a controlled environment and you are carefree. The best part, your hands are free so all the outdoor activities like running, hiking or cycling became much easier.
Also, you can take your cat through the crowded areas of the city or public transport with no worry – she will be well protected in her cozy cat backpack carrier. Airplane ride? No problem. A visit to the vet? Piece of cake.
OK, I’m interested. What Types Are There?
Carrier bag backpack
A classic backpack design adjusted perfectly for all the needs and desires of your cat. Mesh windows serve as a ventilation device and a window to the world. One or more entrances for the cat, top or side. Soft materials inside for maximum comfort.
They are sturdy, made from modern materials, lightweight and stylish. Besides the usual backpack, you can always get yourself a front style cat backpack carrier. These “kangaroo” carriers are most suitable for kittens and are more like a piece of clothing than a carrier, with holes for your cat’s legs and tail.
Bubble backpack – a cat capsule
Ground control to major Mittens… With this space design, your cat can finally become an astronaut. The semi-sphered dome on this cat backpack carrier will allow your cat a full view of her surroundings while looking adorable.
Modern firm materials will keep your cat safe and well protected. Nothing beats the good view, so there are even some dome windows that take up the whole backside of the backpack. Confirm your cat’s stellar status with this vintage yet an everlasting piece of modern cat owner’s equipment.
What’s better – a Classic Handbag Carrier vs a Cat Backpack Carrier?
My money goes on the cat backpack carrier. It’s healthiest for the owner, precisely for his back, because it distributes the weight of your pet evenly on your shoulders and back, unlike the handbag carriers that will leave you with a pain in the shoulder after a while.
And your hands are free, which gives you freedom of movement and quick response in an unpredicted situation. Your cat also has its reasons to like backpack carriers more. The stay in a backpack goes smoothly for her because there is no swinging included.
The higher point of view plus mesh or dome windows makes them feel comfortable and less scared of the environment. And frankly, if something is safer for you and your cat and gives her a more enjoyable traveling experience, the answer shouldn’t be too hard, right?
So What Attributes Make a Great Cat Backpack Carrier?
Size and capacity
Size matters. If you pick a backpack that’s too small you will have one nervous and crumpled cat. Pick a backpack that is too big, and your cat will not be able to use its windows and entrances. Just keep in mind your pet’s personality.
If your cat is too nervous, give her a little extra space. Most of the cat backpacks on the market are intended for cats that weigh up to 5-6 kg. You can find backpacks for heavier cats, too, but with pulling jut a little more effort in browsing the market.
Never put a cat heavier than the weight limit in your backpack, because it badly affects the safety of it.
The materials used for a cat backpack vary from classic leather-styled to modern materials like plastic, polycarbonate, polyester and Oxford fabric.
Even steel is used as a frame for firmer backpacks. It all depends on the manufacturer, style and purpose. Don’t forget the mesh for the airflow and the plastic for the bubble window. Always pick the top quality materials and never settle for less.
Comfort for the cat
The great backpack carrier must have maximum comfort for the cat. That means multiple entrances (side and top) with an option for a cat to pop their head on the top entrance.
Ventilation holes and/or mesh parts to keep your cat cool on the warm days and secure maximum airflow, a view guaranteed by a mesh window or a bubble capsule is a must. Also a nice, soft interior of the backpack, including the mat.
Comfort for the owner
Since you will be carrying your beloved pet, and not the other way around, make sure you feel comfortable, too. Choose the backpack size that fits your body size.
Any bigger deviations can cause at least discomfort and in worst case injuries. Shoulder straps must be wide and well stuffed, and an additional chest strap and a waist strap are a good option.
If you are an outdoor activity junkie, a waterproof and lightweight option is implied. If a backpack has multiple pockets for all the cat necessities, that’s a plus. In most cases, backpacks can be strapped into a seat belt so that makes the car ride easier.
It’s always better to buy the backpack made of high-quality materials, even if it costs a bit more. Reduce the risk of anything happening to you and your cat by choosing the cat backpack with a solid frame and untearable, claw-resistant material.
Combine it with good waterproof material and you will have a backpack that will last for years.
Easy maintenance and cleaning
Always choose a cat backpack that is easy to clean and maintain. Because of its size and mixture of materials used, most of the backpacks aren’t suitable for a washing machine.
Pick one with the most detachable parts so you can clean them separately, in a washing machine or by hand. The leather parts of the backpack are in a need for special care, so get yourself a leather treatment conditioner and some patience.
Be extremely cautious with the chemicals that you use, because some might damage the material and even have an unpleasant effect on your cat.
Your cat’s security is the main reason for buying a cat backpack carrier. If your fluffy pet weighs more than the weight limit of the backpack, you are putting your cat in danger. A backpack might break, usually on the bottom.
Choose a nice, sturdy backpack that’s double stitched for extra safety. To secure your cat can’t run away from your backpack, combine security lock with a leash and the harness, just make sure your cat has enough space.
All the zippers on the backpack should be lockable. Put some extra care in the quality of mesh windows so your cat can’t claw her way out. If your cat comes from a Houdini bloodline, avoid the backpack with the top opening.
Keep in mind that cats can squeeze even through the smallest holes, given the chance, so get yourself a backpack with a strap that goes over the entrance parts.
Does spending more means more quality?
Spending a fortune on anything doesn’t guarantee you any level of quality. Do your homework, inform yourself and with the help of this guide you will be able to choose well. Be very careful with cheap manufacturers and offers that are too good to be true.
Of course, fine quality materials and personal style touch always come with a price, but you know what doesn’t? Your cat’s safety is priceless.
If you are new in the world of cat carrier backpacks and especially if you have a small kitten, you can start by experimenting on smaller, cheaper products for some short trips, but just be careful. Every high-quality product will justify its price in the end.
Tips on How To Prepare a Cat for a Travel
- Start with the smaller, shorter trips as a process of getting your cat used to a backpack.
- Avoid going to the vet’s office on the first couple of trips because your cat can associate a backpack with an unpleasant experience.
- Always treat your cat with a snack when she behaves well it the backpack
- Develop a “Pavlovian response” in your cat. Backpack equals fun equals trip equals snacks.
- Never leave your cat unattended in a backpack. Disaster can happen in a moment.
- Never open the backpack in the middle of the car or public transportation travel, no matter how sadly your furball meows.
- Combine the backpack with the leash and the harness to avoid incidents. As soon as you open the backpack, the first reflex of a cat that’s not used to trips is to run.
- If you are going to travel by plane, get yourself an airline approved cat backpack so you don’t get separated during the flight. If you do get separated, don’t worry – on every plane, there is a special part of cargo space secured for pets, with the appropriate temperature and pressure.
- When your travel involves leaving the country, your cat needs to be microchipped and have all the medical records and paperwork ready.
- Study the laws and the customs of the foreign country that you are planning to visit with your pet so you don’t get in an unwanted situation, especially in public transportation
How To Teach My Cat To Use a Backpack Carrier
Just small steps and patience, that’s all you need. It’s best to start with the learning in their younger age, but it is not impossible even when the cat has had their fair share of birthdays. Start by leaving the backpack on your cat’s territory.
Their curiosity will lead her straight to the backpack as it does with the plain cardboard boxes. Gain her trust by leaving some catnip in it, her favorite treat or some toys. Soon, the backpack will become a usual part of their setting.
Once the cat enters the backpack for the first time, try to slowly close the backpack and keep it closed for a few moments. If your cat starts panicking, set her free, and try again after a while. Don’t worry, most of the cats love their backpacks, just need some time getting used to. But don’t overpush it – you don’t want to create an aversion for the backpack.
How to Clean and Maintain a Cat Backpack Carrier
And here is where choosing the right material for the cat backpack becomes important. You don’t want to throw your money on a new backpack every couple of months and start over the process of acclimating your cat to a new backpack carrier again and again.
Clean and disinfect your cat backpack after every trip, considering the materials used in its structure. Safely remove any movable parts, clean them well, depending on the material, dry them and put back together.
Get yourself a travel litter box as protection from smelly “accidents” during the travel. If you own multiple cats (lucky you!) purchase an excellent cat litter for multiple cats, and make sure that you use the same type of litter for home and for travel because your cat might refuse to use a new one and it could get messy.
Frequently Asked Questions
I want the best cat backpack carrier ever! What size do I need?
It depends on your cat’s size, weight and nerves. Weigh your cat and choose the backpack with a similar carrying capacity. Make sure your cat has enough space especially if she is a nervous little fellow or if you combine the safety of the backpack with a leash and harness.
Your cat should always have enough space to lie, stand, turn around and have a snack. Even if you own a kitty, you can get her a grown-up cat carrier. Kittens grow at incredible speed and will reach their full size pretty fast. Until they do, fill in the extra space with a towel or an additional blanket.
Do cats prefer hard or soft backpack carriers?
Once again, it all depends on her majesty, The Cat. Well behaved and trained cat will be satisfied on every occasion. Some cats enjoy the windows, some enjoy being in the dark. Some cats enjoy the security of hardshell and the others enjoy the comforts of a soft cat backpack.
Make a couple of tests to see what kind of carrier suits your cat the most. When traveling by airplane, cats don’t get to vote – regulations declare hard case carriers if your cat is located in a cargo area.
How long can cats stay in a backpack carrier during the trip?
Usually, up to 6 hours if the cat is a healthy adult specimen. But take short breaks for water, food, some snuggle and bathroom use. You don’t want to make your cat uncomfortable, anxious or sick. Longer travels can disrupt your cat bathroom routine, and cats, unlike dogs, can’t relieve themselves anywhere.
Cats need to feel safe to urinate or poop so always provide them with a safe environment at the end of the trip or on the break. Cats can spend the night sleeping in the carrier, just provide them with water and cat litter before sleep, and the same as soon as they get up.
I have two cats. Can I get them one big cat backpack and carry them around together?
Worst idea ever. Even if your cats are friends or brothers, they will start attacking each other in the backpack in no time. It’s not that they hate each other, but the lack of personal space and the presence of another living being will make them anxious or nervous so they will become aggressive. Never do that, please.
How to properly disinfect a cat backpack carrier?
Cleaning your cat backpack carry often is a habit you must harness. Not just for aesthetics, but to prevent odors, diseases and parasites. But cleaning is a process that comes before even more important one – disinfection. While cleaning removes just the surface dirt, disinfection actually kills the germs and parasites and keeps your furry child healthy.
First, you will need to physically remove any gross leftovers from your cats, like poo or barf. Second, vacuum your cat backpack thoroughly. Then proceed to wash all the washable parts in the warm water properly, with the addition of mild unscented soap or detergent.
Steps before are important because disinfectants work only on a clean surface. Disinfectant is a chemical solution made to exterminate harmful microorganisms and parasites.
You can use a do-it-yourself homemade solution of bleach or one of the many professional cat disinfectants recommended by your vet. Some of the disinfectants also serve as an odor eliminator. Always use your disinfectant strictly according to the industrial manual to avoid harming your cat or damaging your cat backpack.
My cat gets too nervous and anxious while traveling. What’s the best way to calm her?
Make sure your cat is well adjusted to a backpack. Going on a trip with a brand new backpack without proper training is not the best idea. Don’t overstuff your cat with food or liquids on the day of the travel, so you won’t have smelly little accidents.
Use her usual backpack and sprinkle it with catnip or valerian root, and put her favorite blanket or a toy in it. Bear in mind that herbal remedies won’t work on every cat. Around 30% of cats have catnip resistance. Your cat needs to feel your presence, so it’s not a bad idea to turn the backpack on your chest every now and then if you go hiking, running or cycling.
If you travel by a ride, keep the backpack near you. Do that if the cat is extra anxious, so it can see you every moment. Take short breaks to talk to your cat, with a soft and calm voice and give her some treats.
Pamper your cat from time to time, or place your hand on the window or the ventilation hole of the backpack so your pet can feel your scent and relax. If your cat is more fan of the dark, try putting the piece of fabric over the backpack to calm her, with extra attention to ventilation hole safety.
But sometimes, all our efforts and unconditional love just don’t help. If your cat is still stressed and anxious on your trips together, consider asking a piece of advice from your veterinarian.
There is a broad spectrum of anti-anxiety medicaments for cats, that vary from natural, homeopathic to cat sedatives. Veterinarians rarely prescribe the sedatives as they can influence your pet’s mental health and cause even more stress when the pet is waking up.
We learned what cat backpack carriers are. More importantly, we learned how to use them and how to choose them. We also learned that they are an incredibly cool and must-have item for every cat and cat owner.
So put your cat in a backpack and go get some adventure time. Shoot for the moon and good luck!
Photos from: Wifesun / depositphotos.com, liukov / depositphotos.com, londondeposit / depositphotos.com, Kzenon / depositphotos.com, Amaviael / depositphotos.com, belchonock / depositphotos.com, Savvatexture / depositphotos.com.
- What Exactly Is a Cat Backpack Carrier and Why Do I Need One?
- A Backpack for Carrying a Cat? Here is How Cool It is
- OK, I’m interested. What Types Are There?
- What’s better – a Classic Handbag Carrier vs a Cat Backpack Carrier?
- So What Attributes Make a Great Cat Backpack Carrier?
- Does spending more means more quality?
- Tips on How To Prepare a Cat for a Travel
- How To Teach My Cat To Use a Backpack Carrier
- How to Clean and Maintain a Cat Backpack Carrier
- Frequently Asked Questions
- I want the best cat backpack carrier ever! What size do I need?
- Do cats prefer hard or soft backpack carriers?
- How long can cats stay in a backpack carrier during the trip?
- I have two cats. Can I get them one big cat backpack and carry them around together?
- How to properly disinfect a cat backpack carrier?
- My cat gets too nervous and anxious while traveling. What’s the best way to calm her?