How to use a cat backpack | WJHL

Crates, Carriers, & Containers by: Lauren Corona, BestReviews Staff Posted: Jun 24, 2021 / 11:28 AM EDT / Updated: Jun 24, 2021 / 11:28 AM EDT Some cats take to going on adventures in cat backpacks better than others. Follow their lead and don’t force them if they aren’t interested. […]

Crates, Carriers, & Containers

Some cats take to going on adventures in cat backpacks better than others. Follow their lead and don’t force them if they aren’t interested.

Getting your cat used to a backpack carrier

If you’re looking for an alternative to a conventional carrier for your cat, you might be considering a cat backpack. With partially clear or mesh fronts and plenty of ventilation, cats can see the sights of the outside world and smell exciting scents in the breeze. Learning how to use a cat backpack and introduce your cat gradually helps the whole process go smoothly. 

What are cat backpacks used for?

Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier

Despite what some people believe, cat backpacks aren’t designed for your cat to sit in while you take them on long hikes or carry them around town. Think of your cat backpack as a compact, convenient cat carrier on short trips to the vet or anywhere else you need to take your feline friend. They aren’t suited to long journeys as they’re not roomy. Some people use them to transport their cats to safe areas to walk on a leash. This allows indoor cats to see more of the world and experience the outdoors. 

Do cats like cat backpacks? 

Some cats seem to love going out and about in their backpacks, seeing new places and smelling new scents. Others would rather do virtually anything rather than get in their backpack. Your cat is more likely to enjoy time in a backpack carrier if you’re careful about how you introduce it. 

How to get your cat used to a backpack

If you try to pick up your feline friend and put them inside a cat backpack too quickly, they’ll be scared and unlikely to go in it in the future. Instead, take things slowly and allow your cat to learn to love it in their own time, with a little gentle encouragement and positive reinforcement. 

Leave the backpack out

The key to teaching your cat to love a cat backpack is to take it slowly and never push them. Your first step is to simply leave the pack open in your living room or another spot of your home where your cat likes to hang out. Then, allow your pet to explore the backpack in their own time. Some cats will instantly want to sit inside it, whereas others may start with a cautious sniff or ignore it altogether. 

Use positive reinforcement


You want your cat backpack to seem like a fun spot for your feline friend to hang out. Start by putting some cat treats or new toys inside the pack. Not only will they encourage your cat to explore the backpack, but they also work as a positive reinforcement as your cat will remember that they get something they want when they step inside their backpack. Once your cat has started to get used to treats or toys being inside, start to remove them while keeping an eye on your cat. Then, toss a treat in as a reward when they go inside. This way, they aren’t being lured in by the presence of food or toys, but they’re getting a tasty reward when they choose to step into their backpack. Once your cat seems happy to go in freely, it’s time to shut them in and start exploring. 

Start with small trips

Don’t overwhelm your cat by taking them on a long journey the first time you shut them in their backpack carrier. Start by zipping up the doors, walking around your apartment for a minute and letting them back out again. Gradually increase the length of your trips and incorporate some fun outings, such as excursions to a park where your cat can explore on their leash.

Tips for using a cat backpack

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Once your cat is comfortable taking trips in their pet backpack, make sure that you use it carefully, so your feline friend is safe and happy. Always double-check that the doors are fastened properly before heading out. If you intend to get your pet out of the backpack to walk them on a leash, it’s best to put their cat harness on before you leave the house so that they won’t slip away from you once you reach your destination. Be careful not to swing the backpack onto your back or jostle it around too much. You can choose to use a cat backpack on your front if you find it more manageable. 

The best cat backpacks

The Fat Cat Backpack

The Fat Cat Backpack

This is a roomy backpack for larger cats who feel cramped in smaller offerings. The clear window allows cats to look around while the sides and top are well-ventilated to keep your cat comfortable.

Sold by Amazon

Jespet Dog & Cat Carrier Backpack

Jespet Dog & Cat Carrier Backpack

Features multiple entrance points so you can more easily get your cat inside. You can use the safety tether to secure your cat if you want to open the top of the pack for them to get a better view.

Sold by Amazon

Petkit Pet Backpack Carrier

Petkit Pet Backpack Carrier

This sturdy backpack carrier offers plenty of protection for your feline friend. It has a large window for your cat to look through and a built-in fan for cooling.

Sold by Amazon

Pet Gear I-GO2 Escort Dog & Cat Carrier Backpack

Pet Gear I-GO2 Escort Dog & Cat Carrier Backpack

Thanks to the large mesh panel, this pack is well-ventilated and your cat can easily see out. It also has a telescoping handle and wheels, so you can choose to pull it along.

Sold by Amazon and Chewy


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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.

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