Step 2 - How to Train Your Cat to Use their Cat Backpack
As with any training, we recommend that you start introducing your cat to their backpack as soon as possible.
Lumos and Noxie (like many other cats) LOVE jumping in boxes, bags and our personal backpacks. So we thought backpack training would be easy!
But we were wrong!
Lumos and Noxie really didn’t appreciate being pushed into their backpacks, and we had a huge struggle getting them into their backpacks. So we did not want to force them.
1. Positive reinforcement
So like their harnesses, we created some positive reinforcement with their backpacks. We hid treats in them, we made games with them and threw toys in them. We even put some of our clothes in them so that they smelled like us. We kept the bags with Lumos and Noxie’s toys and beds.
2. Use the backpack (yourself)
Funnily enough, the step that helped us the most – we actually used them. That is, we used them to carry our own things, we took them to work, we put shopping in them. And at one point we just took the empty bags to the car, did our errands and then took the empty bags inside.
This interested Lumos and Noxie. Finally they were going in on their own.
3. Backpack = Fun
To get the kitties used to travelling in the backpacks, we took them on walks around the block. Some other recommendations have been to take them around your home or backyard. We did this for a couple of weeks, but still struggled with encouraging Lumos and Noxie to get into the backpacks.
Lumos and Noxie really started to take to their backpacks, when we started taking them to the park in their backpacks. This helped associate their backpack with exciting adventures.
It really was the combination of positive reinforcement (treats, games and adventures) and us using the backpacks for our own use that seemed to encourage Lumos and Noxie to use the backpacks. The whole process took a long time, and took a lot of daily hard work.