Cat transporter backpacks cause 'stress and fear' to feline passengers, charities say

By Shiler Mahmoudi

TK Maxx has been under fire from animal charities after selling backpacks for cats.

The bags are meant for the owner to carry the animal on its back, and has a window for the cat to look out of.

The carriers have been popular amongst celebrities, with Nicole Kidman admitting to have used the cases to hike with her cat, while Taylor Swift, 31, put her kitty Olivia in one the same year.

However, they have been flagged by animal charities who say that using them may cause "stress and fear" for the cat, and that they should only be taken out of the home when absolutely necessary.

Would you put a moggie in one of these? Let us know in the comments

The bags are large enough to carry small dogs. (TK maxx)

One of these backpacks is on sale for £24.99 on TK Maxx's website, which means it is most likely available in one of brand's stores.

There are also cheaper version for £16 which can carry up to 7kg, making them relatively affordable for pet owners.

It is marketed as a "pink and red pet carrier for secure pet transport" for animals up to 15lbs, meaning it could also hold a small dog.

It is "well ventilated" with a "bubble dowe attachment."

Whilst these bags are popular amongst owners, videos circulating online shows that cats may find the experience distressing, as they appear to be jumpy and uncomfortable.

Owners generally tend to like the bags, but cat charities have warned that they may cause animals stress. (TK maxx)
A cheaper version can also be found on TK Maxx's website, on sale for £16 (TK maxx)

"Cats are very territorial and crave freedom of movement so placing them in a small and confined space, and taking them to new and unfamiliar environments, will only cause them stress and fear," said Nicky Trevorrow, charity Cats Protection's Behaviour Manager.

"Cats need choice, predictability and being able to feel in control.

"We don't advise taking cats out away from home unless absolutely necessary, for instance to go to the vet.

"They prefer to roam freely in their familiar home environment where they can rub against items and leave themselves reassuring scent signals."

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' Director, Elisa Allen, took a somewhat softer line, saying some cats may enjoy being carried.

She added: "Most cats would prefer to lounge indoors rather than go travelling - but all cats are different, and it's possible some may enjoy the experience.

"PETA encourages anyone who uses specially designed cat-carrying backpacks or any other animal-carrying accessory to be responsible and ensure that animals are carried gently and with care, aren't confined for long periods of time, and are never left unattended."

Some cat-owners expressed a liking to the cat backpacks on Twitter.

One person wrote: "I found a fully ventilated backpack for your cat to sit in while you go on hikes. Should I get pink or teal. "

Another person said: "My brother got one for his beast of a cat (my guess 20 something lbs) he liked it in there, and doesn't like to be picked up otherwise! I think just don't try to do it on really hot days!"

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