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Article: How to Backpack Train Your Cat

How to Backpack Train Your Cat


Thinking about getting a cat backpack for your fur baby? Or did you just get a cat backpack & are ready to get adventuring? Yahoo! We're very excited for you. 

Just like any new addition to your cat's life, be thoughtful about how you introduce this new adventure-making item to your cat's world, to make the transition easier on them (and you!)

Take it from cat parents of Mike & Lily:

We love our cat backpack because it is Mike and Lily's safe place when we are out and about plus it gives them a place to nap if they get tired. The key to having any type of pet carrier be your cat's safe place is to leave it out in your home all the time so that it smells like home and so that they don't associate it with negative things like going to the vet. When you get a new carrier, make sure the first few outings are to places they enjoy. Mike and Lily love their backpack, They sit in it when we are at home and when we go out, it is a race to see who gets to sit in it first.

How to get your cat used to their cat backpack:

1. Open the bag with your cat and let them explore it on their own.

Influencers aren't the only ones who love unboxing a new haul. When your cat backpack arrives, open it with your cat. Let them see, explore, and sniff. It even helps to leave it out & open on the floor, that way they can come and check it out as they wish throughout the day, or even use it as a place to nap. 

@mistymewmeow in our Stray Cat Backpack & Harness


2. Treat your cat backpack like a toy, and put toys in it.

As you continue to introduce your cat backpack, do it as if it's a toy -- have them play around in, jump through the hole in the front, and run in and out. To make it more appealing, put some of their favorite toys in and around the bag. Maybe they'll get tuckered out from playtime & even take a quick cat nap 😽


The Jackson Galaxy

@adventurecatleo in "The Jackson Galaxy" Convertible Cat Carrier

3. Put some treats in your cat backpack and feed your cat in the bag.

Of course, enticing your cat to get into their backpack by placing treats in the bag is a great way to get them to explore and form a positive association with it. You can toss a treat in to get them to jump in on their own, or reward them with a treat once the approach/hop in the bag. 


Tip from fellow cat parent @secretcatlife

"A strategy that worked for me was to place her food bowl in the open backpack every meal before actually carrying her around with it so she associates it with positive things. Placing a favorite blanket or heated pad inside always helps. And now she actively seeks out the open bag to nap in!"

4. Leave it open and near other favorite toys and areas of the house.

When not actively introducing your cat backpack to your cat, leave it open so it becomes a place to play and hide throughout the day. Leave the top unzipped, and even take off the bubble & screen attachment so they can explore all angles of the backpack & poke their head out. Place it near their favorite play area - like by a box or cat scratcher so they associate it with having fun.


5. Make sure the first few trips are short and enjoyable (not the vet), like a little walk around the block:

You want your cat to establish a positive association with the backpack, so that they are excited (or at least feel neutral) about riding in it. The more positive experiences your cat has in their backpack, the easier it will be to take them anywhere, whether that’s hiking, on vacation, or yes, even to the vet. 

Once they feel comfortable with the backpack’s presence, put your cat inside, zip them up, and walk around the room with the backpack on your back. When you take the backpack off, immediately reward your cat for a job well done.

Slowly start to take your cat on longer journeys in the backpack. Walk the length of your home with your cat on your back. Take them outside, but walk just to the sidewalk and back. Next, walk to the end of your street.

@peanuts_pawsteps in "The Fat Cat" Cat Backpack & "The Purrfectly Pink" Cat Harness 


Build up trip by trip, always rewarding with a treat or two, until your kitty is totally used to hopping in the backpack and heading out for an adventure!


@adventurecatwiz in "The Fat Cat" in Aqua 

The Fat Cat Mini Cat Backpack Carrier

@clem.en.tiny in "The Fat Cat Mini" Cat Backpack in Purple



Are cat backpacks safe? 

Yes, however not all backpacks are created equally. If you're looking to carry around your kitty, you want the best quality backpack for the job. We create our cat backpacks with the most durable materials that are made to last, to create a safe place for your cat to adventure, sleep, play, & call home. 

Do cats like backpacks? 

Not every cat will love being a cat backpack, and that's okay! Every cat is different, and as the owner you know their comfort zones the best. That being said, it can take some time for kitties to warm up to being in a cat backpack - so be patient & don't give up too quickly! Follow our steps to form a good association between your cat and their backpack. And always involve treats!

How to carry a cat: 

Check to make sure the cat wants to be picked up, as some kitties prefer to just be pet. Never pick up a cat directly around their tummy, or from right under their arms. Gently place one arm under their front legs, and scoop them up from their backside with your other hand into a cradle position.

How to put a cat in a carrier:

The ultimate goal is to have your kitty jump into their carrier on their own, but some cats just need a little extra encouragement. Try placing a treat or their favorite toy in the carrier & see if that coaxes them in. If that doesn't do the trick, try petting and kissing your kitty, then picking them up like instructed above & gently placing them in their cat backpack. Immediately reward with treats!

"The Navigator" Earth Convertible Cat Backpack

There you have it! Our tips for making your new cat backpack life fun and enjoyable for cat parents and fur babies.

Any questions? Leave them in the comments, or DM us on Instagram (@YourCatBackpack) or message us on Facebook (

Check out our best-selling cat backpacks!


1 comment

Would you be able to travel with 2 cats (total under 25 pounds) in the convertible cat back pack comfortably


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