Hiking or traveling with your feline friend is rewarding and fun, providing you make your cat as comfortable as possible. The right type of backpack or other mode of transport can mean the difference between first class feline luxury and the worst economy cat-class with cramped seating. Cats and owners tend to prefer certain types of backpacks, such as those that have the softest, most breathable interiors made with nontoxic materials. Consider the options for toting along your four-legged buddy.
1. Soft or Hard Shell
Cat backpacks come in many shapes, sizes, colors, and materials. Some are soft, and others have a hard shell. The former type is cozy and durable, while the latter has more internal and external structure. Some soft and hard-shell cat backpacks perform multiple duties as a carrier, car seat and mobile pet bed. Many are approved for use on most major airlines and meet USDA and IATA requirements.
2. Cross-body Cat Backpacks
Cross-body backpacks tend to have a carry handle and a single adjustable strap that crosses over your torso, similar to a duffle or a pocketbook. The backpack’s shape, external dimensions and interior space are oriented horizontally, so your cat can lounge or stretch out on all fours in a natural position.
3. Viewing Bubbles
According to Huffington Post, many soft and hard-shell varieties of cat backpacks from the brand U-Pet feature viewing bubbles. Like a window into the interior of Apollo 13, these small spherical viewing bubbles allow your pet to enjoy the sunshine and scenery while providing you with an easy means to check your pet’s condition during hikes and extended trips.
4. Feline Decor
When perusing cat backpacks, consider interior features, such as ventilation holes and mesh padding. These provide soft cushioning surfaces for cats to nestle within while supporting the flow of fresh air into and out of the backpack. Some mesh panels are even removable and washable. Built-in security leashes are another interior feature to keep your cat safe, while top and side entries provide greater accessibility. Non-toxic materials ensure that your cat never comes into contact with harsh chemicals or substances.
5. Born Free
For cats that loathe confinement, there are DIY platforms. According to Adventure Cats, some entail covering PVC pipe in canvas and securing the platform to backpack shoulder straps using bungee cords and carabiners. A platform allows your cat to lie exposed to the elements and virtually free, although it’s advisable to secure your cat to your backpack with a leash.Traveling or hiking with your cat can be fun for both of you, but consider ensconcing your cat in the comfort of a special cat backpack. Soft backpacks, hard-shell and cross-body cat backpacks tend to be the most popular. Many have ventilation holes, internal mesh padding and spherical viewing bubbles. Some cat backpacks also comply with TSA requirements. Nearly all cat backpacks are also safe for small to medium sized dogs. Luckily, dogs don’t require carriers to enjoy hiking.
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