Everyone has seen it online - it's been scrolling across all social media for months. After typing the appropriate phrase into a search engine, hundreds of links to stores and auction portals appear.
There is no doubt - the cat backpack is more and more often replacing the usual cat carrier.
But what do cats think about it?
Is it really as safe and convenient for them as the advertisements suggest?
Cat backpack - pros and cons
It looks like a spaceship - all because of the plastic ball window through which your purr can look out at the world. The cat backpack is also (or at least should be) equipped with air holes. The whole structure is rigid, sometimes reinforced with a plastic panel - some models have a detachable cushion inside for the cat's comfort.
It comes in different colours and sizes but always draws attention to itself - a cat carried in a "capsule" is still an original view. And this is one of the reasons why many cat owners decide to buy it. Is it right?
Let's start with the fact that a cat backpack - like everything - has its pros and cons. Manufacturers and supporters of this gadget emphasize the convenience it should provide both the cat and its owner. The form of a rigid, closed box is supposed to give the cat a sense of security while keeping the possibility of observing the outside world. Air-permeable holes also allow scents to penetrate, so the cat can sniff freely.
Sounds beautiful, but what is the reality? Well, a lot depends on the character of our cat. Brave, adventurous purrs may be pleased with this form of transport and, with great interest, watch the world from the "capsule" placed on the back of the caregiver. They will not be disturbed by the curious stares of strangers.
On the other hand, more withdrawn and shy cats can be strongly stressed by the fact of being "in the open" in addition, without the soothing presence of the owner (carrying the cat on our back, we can't establish such contact with it as, e.g., when carrying it in a bag or a carrier). Traffic and street noise (the backpack is often used by people travelling on bicycles or on foot) may also arouse anxiety.
Cat backpack - what to look out for?
Do you believe it is a good solution for your purr and wants to try it? Don't buy the first backpack that pops up for you on Facebook. Approach it with caution and first look around the offer - it's vibrant. This is good and bad at the same time. Good, because there is a lot to choose from. A little bit worse because the Internet is full of poor quality products that look good only in auction photos.
In reality, they can be made of low-quality materials and do not meet any safety standards - yes, at this point, we think mainly of Chinese auction sites.
When choosing a backpack for your cat, check the offer of proven pet stores. The ideal would be to buy in a stationery store. Only in this way you can personally check the product, try it on, determine what it is made of and whether it has the appropriate certificates. If you opt for online shopping, do the same - order from known and verified sources or directly from the manufacturer.
Avoid auctions, especially the "bargain" ones - a reasonable quality cat backpack costs even several hundred zlotys, as does a decent cat carrier.
Look at the workmanship
The backpack should be made of waterproof material, and it must have good ventilation - holes, and mesh. Beware of popular plastic - it can heat up dangerously in hot weather, so there shouldn't be too much of it. We also advise against completely transparent models, like the one pictured above. They do not provide any privacy for the cat and, in addition, expose it to sunlight and prying eyes, from which the mutt has no place to hide.
A single window is enough - let the cat choose whether it wants to look through it or not. Even better (although not as impressive) is a net - the cat can observe its surroundings through it without feeling "uncovered."
It is also crucial to secure the backpack, i.e., solid zippers (unopenable by the cat's paw) and additional elements for attaching a harness or leash in the main compartment. This way, we lower the risk that the cat will jump out of the backpack in the middle of the street and run away or get hurt somehow. Actual bags are equipped with them.
Cat's needs come first
A responsible and sensible caregiver will not put their own vanity above their pet's welfare. A cat backpack looks good on Instagram and arouses the curiosity of onlookers - that's true. However, at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is whether the purr carried in it is happy and safe. Don't force it if your pet doesn't want to settle down with such a gadget.
Simply return it to its usual carrier. Remember that cats are compassionate creatures, and stress negatively affects their health - both mental and physical.
Do you have a cat backpack at home? What do you think about such an alternative to bags and plastic carriers? Share with us your opinion in the comments.
Essential equipment for a cat
You already know that the arrival of a new pet in the house is a big event for all household members. You need to prepare for it properly. First, go shopping and pick out some essential accessories! What are the essentials for a cat? What will you need for the first days together and later on? We've prepared a shortlist of essential cat equipment for you!
The right food
A cat layette cannot exist without the right food. You need food that will provide all the necessary nutrients to your pet's body. Choose a product with a good composition, and high meat content, but without the participation of cereals. This applies to both dry and wet food.
If you have a young kitten at home, you should opt for food designed for growing animals. Of course, it's best to continue with the food you were given in the cattery. However, you should be informed about everything by an experienced breeder from whom you buy a cat.
Cat harness and leash
A harness and leash may come in handy if you intend to go outside with your pet. In this case, it is worth hanging an address tag with your cat's data and phone number on the harness in case it gets lost. The leash should be adapted to the size and needs of the animal. It works well with cats going out on their own and should be equipped with a self-tensioning mechanism. A cat kit may also include a collar.
A cat carrier is obviously a must if you want to bring a cat into your family. You will need it right away during the journey from the kennel or shelter to your home. After that, it will come in handy during any trip, including those to the veterinarian. A carrier is essential to ensure the safety of the pet and the owner, for example, while driving in the car. You can choose this cat equipment in versions:
- a fabric shoulder bag;
- a backpack with a window.
Toys - essential equipment for your cat
If you have a cat in your house, you certainly can't miss various toys that will be an excellent attraction for your pet. Their choice is so large that you will certainly not be able to decide. You will find various mice, balls, feathers, and much more in stores. There is no layette for a cat without toys. Thanks to them, you will encourage the animal to move, bond with it, and satisfy its hunting instinct.
Scratching post - necessary equipment for a cat
The scratching post should be in every house where there are cats if you want to prevent the destruction of furniture. You can say that it is a kind of playground for the cat. It can be more minor or more significant, and it all depends on how much free space you have at home. In a cat outfit, a scratching post is a must.
You surely know that cats have their own character and are not very obedient. They just like to walk their own paths. Consequently, even if you buy them an excellent sleeping pen, they will still lay down where they want. This doesn't mean that a bed isn't necessary.
Boxes work great - cats like to hide in such places because they feel safe there. All you have to do is observe where your cat lies down most often and then put the cat bed you bought there. This way, he will quickly learn to sleep on his bed.