From Leashes to Backpacks, ‘Indoor’ Cats Are Getting Outside
FatFace is a formerly-feral cat who adopted Colorado residents Lauren Modery and Geoff Marslett. She’s an adventurous cat who regularly travels with her people to 30 US states, including 13 national parks. AAHA tells the story in the latest Trends magazine:
“People often assume FatFace hates it, but Modery once tweeted, ‘At home she gets so bored and eats a lot. On the road, she turns into a kitten again, and I believe it’s good for her body and mind.’
“FatFace usually sleeps under the car’s front seats in transit, but she isn’t stressed by even long car trips. ‘FatFace is a remarkably adaptable cat. I think that’s why she did so well in the wild. She just goes with the flow and has zero ego,’ Modery said. ‘She’s a dream at the vet. They love her. While she’s not giving them kisses or anything, she just chills out. That’s how she is on the road. She just kind of goes along for the ride. She loves hotel rooms and exploring them. By the second trip, she was like, ‘Oh, I’ve got this!'”
“In public, FatFace rides around in a pet backpack since she never took to leash walking. ‘She loves looking at things when we bring her out of the backpack,’ Modery said. ‘Her favorite place seems to be Santa Fe. We think she likes the smells there.'”
A Cat in a Backpack?
For most cats, the backpack is a convenient replacement for a conventional cat carrier:
“Cat backpacks aren’t designed for your cat to sit in while you take them on long hikes or carry them around town. Think of your cat backpack as a compact, convenient cat carrier on short trips to the vet or anywhere else you need to take your feline friend. They aren’t suited to long journeys as they’re not roomy. Some people use them to transport their cats to safe areas to walk on a leash. This allows indoor cats to see more of the world and experience the outdoors.”
There are several brands of cat backpacks, and we encourage you to read reviews to find what might be best suited to your cat:
Some Cats Enjoy Leashes
To have a safe an enjoyable time outdoors, cats first need to be trained indoors on wearing a harness and being on a leash. You may have heard that cats can’t be trained. But Zazie Todd, PhD, author of the soon-to-be-published book Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy, insists that cats can (and should) be trained.
“‘Cats can be trained. Not only that, but it’s a really good idea to train them,’ Todd said. ‘Cats can be trained using food as positive reinforcement, just like we do with dogs, although the pieces of food should be much smaller.’ Think small pieces of tuna, cooked chicken, cooked shrimp, or wet cat food dispensed from a tube.
“Make going into a cat carrier training goal number one, for safe transport and veterinary appointments. Purr includes a step-by-step training plan for cat carrier acclimation.”
How About a Cat in a Stroller?
Visiting with our friend FatFace again, she also enjoys walks in an enclosed pet stroller.
A pet stroller might be a good replacement for cats who don’t take to the leash and feel too cooped up in a backpack. Lauren Gay writes about her adopted cat’s experience with strollers:
“FGG and I behaved like first-time parents and bought gadgets and a stroller before our ‘baby’ even came home. We knew, from speaking to the previous owner, that Kashmere could be an escape artist. She enjoyed being outside. Our solution? Duh: buy her a pet stroller. I took her on a walk around the square. There is nothing more ‘extra’ than a cat in a stroller, and I’m ‘extra extra,’ so pushing my cat around town in a stroller is ‘on brand’ for me. She really seemed to enjoy it after the first five confusing minutes in a strange contraption.
Check out Amazon’s Best Sellers in Cat Strollers for more information on what’s available for sale.
When helping your cat have adventures and enjoy the outdoors, you know your cat best. From backpacks to leashes to strollers, an indoor cat’s horizons have never been broader. Keep safety and temperament in mind, and you’ll be making new memories with your kitty in no time!