Cat carriers and cat backpacks make transporting your cat much easier, but it’s not always a total picnic for the cat. Many owners are worried about their beloved pets becoming stressed or uncomfortable, especially on longer journeys. How then can we make sure that our cat is as comfortable as possible on any journey?
The first step is to choose the right cat backpacks to go travelling, or the right cat carriers. Once you have it, there are further steps you can take to make the experience a lot more comfortable and stress-free for your feline friend.
Step 1: Make Your Backpack/Carrier Part of Their Home
Where do you normally keep your cat carrier? Do you lock it away in storage somewhere, perhaps in the basement? If so, you need to dig it out ahead of your next trip and start getting the cat more acclimated to being inside it. Place it in places where you know your cat likes to sleep or sit, but not near their food or drink because you don’t want them eating and drinking too much before suddenly having to go in the carrier/backpack.
With the carrier more integrated into the home environment, it’s more likely the cat will go in there to sit or sleep. It will thus start to get more used to the confines.
Step 2: Place a Calming Blanket or Mat in the Carrier/Backpack
At this point, you need a kind of calming pheromone spray product for cats, which you can pick up at a pet supply store or possibly your local veterinarian practice. Spray some of the pheromone onto the cat’s blanket or other bedding, or a mat it uses and place that inside the carrier or bag. That smell will become a positive association for the cat and they will find the carrier or backpack a calming and relaxing space in which to be.
Spray the towel or mat, then first waft the towel in the bag or carrier before placing it in there. Leave it for at least 15 minutes before letting the cat go in there.
Step 3: Place Some of Their Favourite Toys in the Carrier/Backpack
Another positive step is to start playing with the cat around the carrier and then placing their toys in there so if they want them they have to go inside to get them. This starts to make them comfortable with the action of going in and out of the carrier so when the time comes for travel, it will just feel like yet another time they are in the carrier with their familiar relaxing smell and their favourite toys.
Step 4: Increase the Time that the Cat Spends in the Carrier/Backpack
Finally, the remaining step is to increase the frequency and length of time that you get your cat into the carrier either by getting them to sleep in it, or letting them have their regular treat in there. The more time you get them used to being in there, the more relaxed they will be when the time comes to travel.
Additional: When the Cat is Resisting
If after the above steps your cat is still resisting your efforts and appears to hate the carrier or backpack as much as ever, then you may have to try some disassembly. Open the backpack, or take off the top of the carrier to make it an open box. Let them start with a more open version of the container and then work back up to being contained within it. It takes more time but it should help bridge the gap.