• Aries

Product Review: Cat-Packs

Updated: Mar 10

An important part of adventuring is the mode of transportation! Before we talk about cars and trains and planes, let's look at carriers, condos, and what I like to call - Cat Packs!

 

There are some great carrier bags on the market but I recommend making certain that your bag is TSA Approved. I have an X-ZONE PET carrier purchased on Amazon. I have really liked this carrier - it has a removable pad that is machine-washable, as well as a strap that fits over the suitcase handle for easy transportation in airports! It has an inner safety leash that connects to my harness, has plenty of ventilation, and comes with an attachable shoulder strap.





PROS:

  • Very large and spacious

  • Large side pocket to carry treats

  • Machine-washable interior

  • Extra shoulder strap and posterior strap for suitcase attachment

  • TSA Approved

CONS:

  • Purchased on June 7, 2020, and one of the attached straps tore off in July of 2021. I can't think of anything very strenuous that would've caused this tear but some rough stitching and it's good as new!

 

Condos are something new to me! I purchased this collapsible cat condo for a 15-hour road trip I was making. Each cat has a very unique way of riding in the car, some become very anxious, others really enjoy car rides. Read more about traveling by car with your feline friend here (coming soon)!

I own a CHEERING PET collapsable condo, purchased on Amazon. It sits really nicely in the backseat of my Toyota Camry and can be strapped in using seatbelts. It's incredibly spacious, comes with a large foldable litter box and water bowl. Plus a few extra toys for fun!


I will say that I was left in the condo in the car alone for about 15 minutes and got anxious and tore a hole in the zipper to get out. My human should not have left me unsupervised! She fixed it up using fishing line and it's good as new.


At the end of the day, I'm the kind of cat that really likes the freedom to roam the car and am not a danger to my human. There are different ideas on the safety of riding in a vehicle without restraint but thus far, it was been manageable. Again, refer to (coming soon) for more information on traveling by car!

PROS:

  • Large/spacious

  • Collapsible for easy storage

  • Secures easily via seatbelt or stakes (included)

  • Velcro attachments for litter box and dish

CONS:

  • Technically, was ripped very early on but my human should've been more vigilant.

 

Cat-packs are backpacks made for the adventurous kitty that enjoys walks, hikes, bike rides, etc. In my opinion, they are a MUST HAVE for any adventuring that takes you away from the comfort of your home or yard.


Our first Cat-pack was purchased on Amazon, a CATISM backpack for $30.00. We purchased it because it appeared to be lightweight and functional. Which it was! But it did not fit all our needs, but we'll get into that for a minute.



This bag weighs around 2 lbs so it's fairly lightweight. But there were a few problems I noticed from the very beginning. For starters, this backpack has no pockets. None. To counter this, I bought a fanny pack that I kept everything in. I had to carry my 24 oz hydro flask in hand and was able to flip a little collapsable water bowl to the backpack. This ended up being the real deal-breaker for me because I couldn't carry enough water to survive a Phoenix desert hike.


Most backpacks come with a safety latch or a small leash that you attach to your cat harness so they can ride inside safely, without being able to hop out. That was another challenge with this backpack, the latch is placed in the bottom right corner and is not very long at all. In fact, when I was hooked up to it, I couldn't sit upright, only lay down. My human finally had to attach a carabiner to lengthen the reach just so I could be comfortable. This was rather unfortunate, as many cats like to peek their head out the top of the bag.


This backpack has a chest strap, which is helpful with some weight and has some minimal padding for the shoulders and back. Overall, a good beginner bag but was not sufficient for when I started doing more rigorous hiking.


PROS:

  • Lightweight

  • Stable frame but collapsible for storage

CONS:

  • NO POCKETS

  • Safety latch uncomfortably short

 

Our current Cat-pack is the PetAmi Turquoise Carrier and we are IN LOVE with it. Let's break it down:


This Cat-pack is a grand total of $40.00 (only $10 more than our first backpack). It has 2 LARGE mesh pockets on either side of the bag and a small pocket with a velcro closure on the front of the bag (plus this spot has a cute little "Who's in the bag" tag!). Anticipating a 4-mile hike, I took my camelback bag out of the usual backpack and put it in one of the mesh pockets that covered half of the bag. I used a carabiner to attach it to a zipper at the top of the bag for extra stability. I was able to put my 24 oz hydro flask in the mesh pocket on the other side to balance the weight and was now able to carry a total of nearly 3 gallons of water!


The safety latch is placed at the TOP of the bag and is twice as long as the prior safety latch, allowing me to move freely, sit up, lay down, poke my head out, etc.


The design of this bag is similar to a backpacking backpack. It has heavier padding for the shoulders and back and has both a chest and waist strap. This allowed the positioning of the bag to be more secure (a less bumpy ride for me!) and the backpack rested its weight on the hips, not the shoulders, similar to a backpacking backpack.


And to top it all off, it comes in a variety of colors (yay!) and is AIRLINE APPROVED!

PROS:

  • Padded back, chest & waist strap

  • Safety latch at the top

  • POCKETS, (2 mesh, 1 velcro)

  • Strong frame

  • COLORS

CONS:

  • A bit heavier than our previous bag but that is due to the amount of water we loaded onto the bag!

 

With any of the above (carrier, condo, cat-pack) it's important to expose your feline friend to it little by little!

  1. Leave the carrier, condo, or cat-pack out in a space where your feline friend can sniff it, bite it, check it out. (You know they've gotten comfortable with it when you see them hopping into it willingly!)

  2. Once they've willing gotten in the carrier, condo, or cat-pack, it's time to carefully zip them in for safety and take them outside. (Nothing too extreme, just a walk to the car or around your house)

  3. It's important that you don't ONLY use the carrier or cat-pack to go to the vet. This will condition your feline friend to expect a vet visit each time they get in the carrier! Vary location and destination.

Thanks for reading, we hope you discovered something that works for you! If you have any questions, please comment below or send us a message here!


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