You might have been shopping online and came across something called a “cat backpack”. You may have even seen someone using one in person and considered getting one yourself. They seem kind of neat but you can’t help but wonder if they are even safe to use. I was actually one of these people myself.
I thought these bags would be too cramped for them to use, they would get too hot or my cat would have a hard time breathing inside of one. The truth is they are not only safe for your pet to use but surprisingly they will most likely enjoy being inside of the backpack as well as cats really like small confined spaces. This is the reason why cats like being in boxes so much.
They also have air holes so you cat won’t have a hard time breathing either.
They only thing I would be concerned about is how they would actually take traveling or being taken out of the house in general if they were to be inside of one. Cats really do not like change and traveling or being removed from the house is no exception.
They might like being in the bag but the second you start going outside the house It can really stress them out which isn’t exactly safe either so you really need them to get used to doing this first.
How Do I Know If My Cat Doesn’t Like The Backpack?
Cats are very straight forward when they don’t like something. If they start trying to claw their way out or they keep meowing a lot you should probably take them out of the backpack. Maybe they just need to get used to it first.
How To Get Your Cat Used To The Backpack
As I said, cat backpacks are completely safe to use but you don’t really want your cat freaking out when you decide to go somewhere with them. Here is what I would do to make the bag more comfortable for them when the time comes for them to travel inside of one.
Leave The Bag Laying Around The House
You will want to leave the backpack in a room your cat is usually present. Let them get used to the bag being in the room. It really helps if you put it somewhere like where their toys usually are.
You also want to leave the bag open because the scent of your home will transfer into the bag. Anything that smells familiar to cats will automatically attract them and make them feel more comfortable.
Leave Toys And Treats Inside Of It
It also helps to get them to go inside of it. If you want to make this easier it doesn’t hurt to leave it open either. treat the bag like a toy so your cat has positive associations with it. Leaving treats inside of the bag will also makes this a lot easier.
Using The Backpack For The First Time – Make The Trips Short First
When you use the bag for the first time you want to the trips to be really short as your cat will most likely get too overwhelmed because the experience will be new to them. You also do not want to the first trip to be a vet visit as they will associate the backpack with vets so don’t do this if you want them to like the backpack.
Once they get used to being on small trips make them progressively longer and they should be fine if you do this. Keep in mind some cats will never get used to traveling and may never like doing this at all. Don’t force them to do this if this ends up being the case.
Tips For Using The Backpack
If you want them to like the backpack you should probably consider some things before you do this.
Walking At A Steady Pace: When walking with your cat for the first time don’t walk too fast or run for that matter. Your cat might get scarred and won’t enjoy the backpack as much.
Don’t Leave Them In There For Too Long: Cat backpacks are really compact so you will want to give a chance to stretch once in a while. I wouldn’t leave them in there for no more than an hour or two.
Feed Them Treats: This one isn’t necessary but it will help your cat associate the backpack with something positive which will in turn want them to use the backpack even more.
Never Leave Your Backpack Unattended: You should never leave the backpack unattended because someone may potentially steal the bag. This is something that increasingly becoming more common. If you want to read my article on this you can go to this link here “What To Do If Your Cat Gets Stolen“.
Don’t Put Multiple Cats Inside Of The Backpack: Unless they are really small kittens I would not do this because backpacks like these usually have a weight limit of around 10 pounds and can potentially cause the bag to rip in time. If the bottom rips then your cats may fall out of the bag and they may potentially run away from you. The backpack straps could also potentially rip and create another safety hazard for them which you don’t want to happen.
How Much Are Cat Backpacks?
Cat backpacks don’t really cost that much and they range between 20-80 dollars roughly. If you want a list of some of my favorite backpacks you can go to my article here “Best Cat Backpacks That I Recommend“.
How To Get Cat Pee Out of a Backpack?
If you are walking your cat in the backpack you might unfortunately have to deal with urine getting in the bag. The best way to deal with this is use half water and half white vinegar and air it out for a bit. Once you waited for about a day then rise the backpack out.
If the odor is still present then just repeat the steps over again and it should eventually fade away.
How Long Will It Take For My Cat To Get Used To The Backpack?
Some cats will not have to go through a break in period and will immediately like being in the backpack but for most cats it may take a couple weeks to maybe even months. It just depends on your cats personality.
It will generally take less time if they are a laid back kind of cat and a lot more time if they tend to be more skittish in nature.
To sum everything up cat backpacks aren’t cruel for cats to be in and can even be an enjoyable experience for them. If you want different way to spend time with your pet this would be a really great way of doing it once they get used to being outside the house with you.