Are cat backpacks cruel?

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No doubt you’ve seen celebrities and “influencers” (a term I loathe using, but let’s just agree it’s just a more polite way of saying Z list celebrity…) carrying their cats around in backpacks with little windows on them. What do you think of the backpacks? Cruel or not?

Many people will argue that the backpacks are no different to a cat carrier. They’re functional, after all. They serve a purpose – they allow you to carry your cat from point A to point B. That’s what’s important, right? Well, yes, but is the well-being of your cat best served using a backpack?

Backpack carriers come with an one benefit over traditional carriers – they’re hands-free!

Many cat owners don’t drive, so taking their cat to the vet can be a bit of an epic undertaking, particularly for those who don’t live within walking distance of their local vet. Public transport with a sick or anxious cat can be unpleasant for everyone involved and may only serve to further distress the animal.

But, a backpack cat carrier allows the pet owner to transport their cat hands-free. That means public transport is slightly less troublesome, but importantly it also means that cat owners who cycle can transport their cat on their bike. This can be equally useful for those living in more rural areas and those living in built-up metropolitan areas.

Is the window a good thing?

It’ll really depends on the cat.

Many cats would most likely enjoy being able to peer out of the backpack’s window and spectate as the world goes by.

The problem is that some cats may get distressed. Normal carriers make it easy for you to manage that distress as you are more able to detect it yourself. But with the pack on your back, it’s less obvious that your cat is having issues (unless they really start to freak out, but you generally want to be able to calm your cat down before things get that bad).

Animals as fashion accessories

The main thing that gets me is the increasing trend of people using animals as fashion accessories. From small dogs in luxury handbags to cats in backpacks, it just feels crass to use animals in this way.

While the practicality of backpacks could be argued very well, the design and styling of most of the backpacks leans much more to a fashion product than a practical bag. You’re more likely to see them in a quirky gadget shop than an outdoors store or pet shop. Is it right to turn animals into quirky little companions designed to drive some short-lived attention for their owners? Living, breathing thirst traps?

Perhaps that’s a little bit alarmist. After all, while cats are animals, they’re also very intelligent creatures and can adapt to a broad range of environments and situations. Remember the Scottish guy that found a kitten while he was cycling across Europe?

That cat definitely enjoyed the ride!

Cats are intelligent and can adapt to many different situations. From being tame house cats to wild predators, they make their environment their own. So it’s likely that many cats would enjoy the curious little carrier that lets their human transport them around in comfort and safety! Chances are, they’ll probably prefer to sit in the box the backpack arrives in!

What’s your thoughts on cat backpacks? Have you tried them out? Let us know in the comments.

Comments 2

  1. I honestly just wanted to comment because this remark, “ Many cat owners don’t drive, so taking their cat to the vet can be a bit of an epic undertaking,” is the most absurd thing I’ve ever read. What a generalization. Thanks for the laugh.

    1. Haha fair point! Perhaps a better way of saying it was that there’s as many cat owners without access to cars as non-cat owners! 🙂 Certainly not making a generalisation about cat owners! 😉

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