We’ll admit it: Anytime we’ve seen someone walking their cat on a leash, we’ve done a double take. But what’s a cat lover to do when they want to take their furry friend out for a stroll in nature or on city streets without risking one of their precious nine lives? Enter cat carrier backpacks, which have plenty of cat-titude, just like your pet. Tote Mrs. Whiskerson around like the queen she is and leave the leashes to the dogs (though the truth is many of these styles fit most small dog breeds too, if you’re an equal-opportunity pet lover).
Whether a bubble-style pack, favored by stars like Taylor Swift, is right for your cat depends on how comfortable they are with stimuli. In general, hard carriers are better than soft ones for anxious cats, but not every kitty is created equal. Here’s a good test: When you tote your cat around now, do you need to drape a blanket over her carrier so that she doesn’t get overwhelmed? If yes, then a transparent bubble style is probably not right for her. But if your cat likes to look around when you two are out and about, then it’s all systems go on a see-through case. With any luck, her new carrier will become her go-to safe space.
You know how some people wear their baby carriers on their chest, and others on their back? Your furry babes have the same option. Your cats will appreciate how close they are to you regardless of whether they’re on your front or back, so placement comes down to personal preference. In either position, the absolute most important thing is their comfort and yours, so make sure to measure carefully before buying, and look for a style with shoulder pads for you. If your cat is old or has health issues, consult your vet before purchase. (Rule of thumb: Your cat should be able to sit upright comfortably in the pack.)
The benefits of catpacks extend beyond your four-legged friends. For their human companions, unlike a traditional carrier, backpacks keep your hands-free. Pockets in most styles give you a place to stow your important stuff (ID, credit card, phone), eliminating the need for an additional bag. And if you pick a pack with chest and padded shoulder straps to more evenly distribute weight, you’ll actually end up doing your back a favor. All of those features add up to a pet accessory that’s the cat’s pajamas for you and your beloved kitty.