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Onyx, Viper, Blackberry, Stormie, Trooper, Leia, Storm, and Kreacher
Where can we find you or your furbabies on Instagram?
Tell us how you met your fur babies!
All of our furbabies are rescues, and believe it or not, they found us! A few of them were dropped off due to having health issues, but we got them all fixed up, and they're all living their best life.
What style is #yourcatbackpack?
What was your biggest reason for getting your cat backpack?
We have a few hybrid mixes, and they're too long and lanky for regular soft-sided cat carriers. They fit perfectly in The Fat Cat backpack, and they love sleeping in it even when we're not adventuring or traveling.
What’s your biggest tip for getting your cats used to your cat backpack?
We used treats, and toys and sprinkled a little kitty nip on the inside. We set it down flat and opened the top part entirely. Our furbabies love climbing around in it and playing with The Fat Cat.
What’s your cats' preferred method of travel in your cat backpack? Bubble? Screen? Top open?
We keep the bubble on it, so they don't feel claustrophobic. We don't usually leave the top open unless we're sitting down with them.
What’s been your favorite outdoor experience with your cats?
Besides carting Kreacher or Viper to the vet, Onyx has been out to the flea market and the store with us. Everyone loved it and thought it was the coolest thing. The kitties love looking out and seeing all kinds of new stuff from the safety of the cat backpack.
Tips for hiking, biking, and general outdoor adventures with your cats?
Make sure your cat actually likes it. Some of ours are okay for a bit but don't want to be out for long. Your furbaby has to trust and feel safe with you. Also, always make sure you bring snacks and water for your cat and yourself.
What are your tips to get your kitties feeling comfortable during car rides?
Our furbabies are blanket lovers. We get blankets made of light fleece from Walmart, and we'll just put on in there with them, and they snuggle in it. Kreacher loves traveling with his stuffie. You can also wipe them with Feliway Calming Travel Cat wipes, which helps calm them down. So does Rescue Remedy.
What are your tips for your kitties feeling comfortable during airplane rides?
Well, the only cat who's ever been on an airplane was Onyx, and that was a few years ago. Familiar comforts are always a good idea, and sometimes having a few treats sprinkled throughout is great so they can snuffle for them and have something to do. Certain airlines have different rules, so you also have to stick within those guidelines.
Tell us about your favorite odd but endearing behavior you see from your cats!
Onyx loves butt scratches and thinks he's a dog. Viper LOVES to roll around like a worm on hot cement. Trooper loves to sit on his butt with his back legs out and play with his stomach, Leia chases her tail. Storm is our special boy, he's autistic and loves cuddles but sometimes doesn't really know how to express himself and allow him to be touched. On those days, we speak calmly to him and soothe him from afar.
Stormie is a floof ball that looks like a pastel storm cloud and loves tummy rubs. I mean, she drools hardcore from tummy rubs. Blackberry is a Derp Queen. She's simple but adorable. She has these giant amber eyes that are always big and looks like a deer in the headlights.
Lastly, but not least, Kreacher is our lanky and double jointed boy. He can be quite clumsy sometimes and LOVES to cuddle with his siblings... he also sounds like a fog horn when he meows and he loves scaring everyone by randomly meowing at the top of his lungs.
Many of our catstomers want to leash train their cats. Tell us about your experience with that. What worked best? If you gave up, that’s ok, too. What was your deciding factor?
Well, I didn't really do anything to "train them" per se. For Onyx and Iggy (she's my husband's cat, but lives at my mamas), we just put harnesses on and they walk around with the dogs like that. I guess we used the dogs to help train them in a way. I highly suggest starting to train them young and use encouragement and treats — kind of like when you train a dog to wear a muzzle.
Do you foster, TNR, or volunteer at animal shelters? If so, how has your experience been and what would you say to others to encourage them to do so, too?
I have done all the above before. Fostering can be challenging cause you want to keep all of the cats, but in the long run, having them bless your home is good enough. Helping them to find their forever homes is always the number one goal.
I am ALL FOR TNR. I helped my mama TNR the colony she had at her house. Stormie and Blackberry are actually from that colony. They bonded with my guys, and we ended rehabilitating them, and they live with USA now. I used to volunteer at a couple of different shelters in different states (I've moved around a bit). Each one is different, and each one has obstacles that can be hard to overcome but can be necessary for the long run. Volunteering is what further solidified my dream to open a 501c3 rescue ranch for animals other than cats and dogs. I've seen people drop off pigs, donkeys, and even some oddities like sugar gliders cause they didn't know how to take care of them. I've helped my mama with rescue since I was little kid and it's just part of me now.
Once my husband retires, we want to open the rescue and help animals that people get as "pocket pets" but don't know how to take care of them. Okay, totally off topic so back on track, volunteering is an excellent way of spending time with animals, especially if you can't have anywhere you live. They're great therapy and helping any way you can is always encouraged. Not enough people do that these days.
What do you wish people without cats knew about the joys of owning a cat?
Cats are some of the most intelligent, and expressive creatures out there.
They can learn amazing amounts of tricks and talents, and they can form an extremely deep connection with their owner(s)/family.
What’s your biggest tip for other cat guardians?
Try and learn their cues, like what they do when they are upset with you, and when they are happy. Know what their favorite toys are and use that to further your bond. When they ask a question, try and answer it as best you can.
Any cat guardian hacks you want to share?
Always keep extra feather/fuzzy toys on hand. We have a "secret" stash pile of toys that we have in our animals' stash. Also, have an animal emergency kit on hand in the home and car if you travel. You never know when you may need it.
What's your favorite part of #yourcatbackpack?
It's like a "freedom" for my furbabies to have for adventures and traveling.
Any question we didn't ask that you want to answer?!
Remember to ALWAYS have fun and take a little extra time out of your day for bonding with your kitties. It's important to bond and nurture your bond too.
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