How to securely carry your indoor cat with you on a walk or hike

Cat in Backpack


Although you can train your indoor cat to walk outdoors on leash, there are times when securely carrying your cat may be a better option (e.g., you simply don't want to go the leash route, you carry your cat when your cat gets tired of walking on leash, etc.). There are two popular options for doing this.

  1. a pet sling
  2. a pet backpack

Pet Slings

One style of pet sling carrier fits like a pouch. Your cat is secured within the pouch with his or her head poking out of it. Here are some features to look for.

  • adjustable shoulder strap to make it comfortable for you
  • adjustable head opening to make it comfortable for kitty
  • velcro to keep the zipper zipped
  • a small leash within the pouch to attach to your cat's harness as an extra measure against running off

The more traditional style of pet sling carrier is more open than the pouch style. Your cat is less constrained. Some features available might include.

  • a reversable design so it can be used inside out as well
  • a leash to secure to your cat's harness
  • adjustable shoulder straps (though this can be a downside if the straps slip dropping your cat on the ground)

Pet Backpacks

Though a sling provides a more intimate experience with your cat, a backpack allows a more hands-free experience for you. Features to consider include:

  • ample mesh windows for you cat's visibility and ventilation
  • a tether inside for attaching to your cat's harness
  • openings for getting in/out and also for your cat to get some open air
  • chest and/or waist straps to better attach the backpack to you
  • adequate space for your cat

There are also a number of variations on the pet backpack. For example, some can be worn on the back or the front. Others have a clear plastic capsule that can be used or even a full clear dome on the back. Some are approved for airline travel.

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