How Long Can A Cat Be In A Cat Backpack? - A Guide
Travel With Dogs And Cats

How Long Can A Cat Be In A Cat Backpack? – A Guide

You may have seen cats being carried around like the kings and queens they are in cat backpacks. These allow owners to transport their furry friend to different places, such as the vets.

They are particularly useful if your cat is injured and unable to move much, or if they are a nuisance and refuse to do what they are told. (That’s all cats, right?)

In recent years, cat backpacks have become more popular than ever. Maybe you have recently bought one and you’re excited about taking your four legged buddy on adventures!

But, whether you have recently bought a car backpack or are thinking about getting one, you need to be aware of certain factors, such as how long a cat can stay in a cat backpack safely.

Cats shouldn’t be left in a cat backpack for too long as it can affect them in numerous ways. From getting too hot, to being cramped up, you need to put your cat’s safety at the top of your priority list. 

Today, we are going to discuss how long a cat can be in a cat backpack and take a look at cat backpack safety.

We will also look into preparing for a long journey with your cat so they are comfortable for the duration. 

Table of Contents:

Cat Backpacks: Are They Safe?

Whenever you need to travel anywhere with your cat, or any pet for that matter, their safety is of prime concern.

Therefore, if you’re purchasing a carrier or backpack for them, you must ensure that it is safe to use beforehand.

When it comes to cat backpacks, they are generally very safe to use. Those made specifically for cats are designed to keep cats safe in transit.

But, these are different to regular backpacks, of course. Cat backpacks offer more space, fresh air, and comfort for your furry friend as you both travel. 

There are a number of different cat backpacks available, but most are soft-sided with mesh screens that allow your puss to watch the world outside and breathe freely.

These types of cat backpacks are usually the most lightweight. Therefore, if you’re planning on doing a hike with your cat, a mesh, soft-sides lightweight backpack is the best option. 

You can also purchase hard case cat backpacks. These tend to feature polycarbonate transparent bubbles with air holes included for easy breathing.

Most brands are also made with a comfortable inner lining plus a waterproof exterior to keep your fur ball dry. 

Whether you choose a soft-sided or hard case cat backpack, they are typically very safe. You just need to ensure you use a cat backpack that is large enough for your cat to fit comfortably.

Go too small, and you could cause severe discomfort for your cat, which can have long term consequences in time.

Cat Backpacks: How Long Can A Cat Stay In One?

Cat Backpacks: How Long Can A Cat Stay In One?

When traveling, whether your cat is in a standard carrier or cat backpack, the duration they can stay inside tends to be the same. 

The general consensus is that cats should never be in a cat backpack or carrier for more than four hours at a time without having any kind of break.

However, the exact time can vary based on your cat’s personality, health, and age. However, if you’re doing a very long journey, your cat may need to stay in their backpack for more than four hours.

An example would be flying internationally. In this case, a cat may need to remain in their carrier for 10 hours or so.

This is considered okay, as long as they are checked on frequently and have a space to “do their business.”

If you can, you should schedule breaks so your cat can use the litter tray, have a drink, and eat something. Ideally, this should be at least every four hours.

That means you need to be prepared for a long journey and bring everything you need, such as:

  • Water and food bowls
  • A travel little box
  • Treats
  • A leash and harness
  • Items from your home that may help comfort them 

You should check in with your cat as frequently as possible to ensure they are okay.

If they seem calm and/or are sleeping, then you can leave them in the backpack (luckily, cats love to sleep so they may sleep for over four hours on a journey).

On the other hand, your cat may show signs of restlessness, even after a short period of time. If this is the case, you should give them a break from their carrier. 

It’s important to note that your cat may not go to the bathroom, eat, or drink during their break, but this is nothing to worry about.

This may be because they do not feel comfortable in their environment just yet to do so. Give them a bit longer and try again in an hour or so. 

But, if you realize your cat has not drank any water for several hours, you should wet your finger and hold it to their mouth.

They need to drink water regularly. If they don’t, they could become dehydrated. So, keep a close eye on them and ensure they are getting enough food and water on a trip. 

How Long Can A Cat Travel In A Car?

For long feline road trips, make sure your cat gets a break every few hours. On average, a cat can safely travel in a car for around four to six hours without any stopping.

Of course, many can travel for longer if required, but they’ll need a break every four to six hours. 

To make sure your cat is happy on their journey, ensure they are comfortable at all times. Check in with your furry friend regularly.

Again, if they seem restless, take a break. If they’re calm, keep going. 

Do Cats Actually Like Being In A Cat Backpack?

Cat backpacks may look cute and are very handy for pet owners to have, but we need to put the cat’s comfort and contentment first.

Yes, cat backpacks are great for adventuring and taking your cat places they’ve never seen before but do cats really enjoy being cooped up in these carriers (see also ‘How Do You Trick A Cat Into A Cat Carrier? – A Guide‘)?

At first, it’s pretty common for cats to dislike being inside a cat backpack. But, there are things you can do to help your cat settle in and start to feel comfortable in their carrier.

For example, you can give them treats and place items from your home inside the backpack so they feel safe and secure. 

If your cat is not happy at first, you just need to be patient with them.

Slowly introduce your cat to the carrier at home by letting them explore it. Entice them with treats and toys so they associate them with the backpack. 

Chances are, a cat that hates traveling in any kind of carrier will dislike a cat backpack, but a calm, curious puss may love the experience. 

In Summary

Generally speaking, you should give your cat a break from their cat backpack every four hours or so. That gives them an opportunity to go to the bathroom and have some food or water.

Put their comfort and safety first and ensure the backpack is big enough for them to move around freely.