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Why we won’t design a cat travel carrier


Time to read 4 min

Cat Travel Carriers, like the one portrayed in the film argyll, are stressful for cats

Cat in Cat Backpack

At Kuba & Leia, our passion lies in creating products that enrich the lives of our feline companions. Their health and happiness are at the forefront of everything we do.

That's why we, along with many cat lovers, animal welfare organizations, and veterinarians, were concerned about the recent trend of cat travel carriers, particularly those with windows being used in films, at social events or as a fashion statement. Our view is the majority of cats simply don't like being inside them and is a stressful experience.

As you may know, many scenes in the movie "Argylle" feature a cat in a bubble carrier and it has sparked a lot of conversation. Here's a breakdown of the concerns:

  • Animal Welfare: Being strapped to someone's back in a bubble backpack can be stressful for cats. The unpredictable movement, lack of ventilation, and feeling exposed can all contribute to anxiety. Animal rights groups expressed worries about the cat's welfare in the film

  • Film Representation: Some viewers felt the scene was unrealistic and didn't fit the tone of the movie

  • Public Backlash: Social media users criticized the use of the cat carrier, which may have unintentionally increased demand for a product not recommended for cat transportation

It's important to remember that for many cats, the sight of a cat travel carrier can induce stress or even panic. These carriers, intended as safe havens, can feel like a confining and stressful environment for them.

This is why, at Kuba & Leia, we focus on developing products that prioritize feline comfort and well-being. We believe cats deserve to feel safe and secure in their own environment, surrounded by things they love.

Why are cat travel carriers so disliked by our feline friends?

While there are certainly times when cat carriers are necessary (like those important vet visits!), the reality is that many of them just aren't cat friendly 

  • Stressful association: For many cats, the cat carrier has become synonymous with unpleasant experiences. It only comes out for car rides, vet visits, and other situations a kitty might find frightening

  • Confined spaces: Even the roomiest carriers can feel cramped for cats, restricting their movement and increasing anxiety

  • Unfamiliar environments: Many carriers offer little privacy. This leaves cats feeling exposed and vulnerable in busy or noisy spaces.

Sensory Overload: Understanding Your Cat's Carrier Experience

Imagine yourself in a small, unfamiliar space. The sights and sounds are muffled, and the air feels a little stale. Now, picture being transported in this environment, unable to see where you're going or control the situation.

For many cats, this is what carrier travel feels like.

Cat carriers are often essential for vet visits, travel, or even short trips, but it's important to understand how the experience can be overwhelming for our feline friends. Here's why:

  • Limited Space and Control: Carriers restrict movement, which can be stressful for cats who naturally crave control over their environment. Imagine always feeling a little cramped and unable to fully stretch out

  • Sensory Overload: The sights, sounds, and smells of travel can be overwhelming for cats with their keen senses.The unfamiliar environment, combined with car noises or the vibrations of a carrier on the go, can create a lot of sensory input

  • Feeling Vulnerable: Cats are naturally cautious creatures, and being enclosed in a carrier can make them feel vulnerable. They can't see what's happening around them, which can heighten their anxiety

  • Design Flaws: Some carrier designs themselves contribute to the problem. Small windows offer little comfort, while loud ventilation systems or flimsy materials can exacerbate anxiety. Backpacks, while offering more visibility, often lack adequate space and ventilation, making them unsuitable for extended trips.

By recognising these potential stressors, we can make carrier travel a more positive experience for our feline companions.

Lady Holding Cat

Choosing the right cat travel Carrier: A Cat's Guide to Travel Comfort

Happy Cat

Let's face it, the standard carrier isn't exactly a feline palace. 

But fear not, fellow cat guardians! Here are some key features to look for when selecting a carrier that prioritizes your cat's comfort and well-being:

Space for Comfort: While "spacious" might be ideal, a carrier that's too big can also feel overwhelming. Aim for a size that allows your cat to stand up, turn around comfortably, and potentially lie down.

The Right Shape: Skip the round carriers! Cats prefer rectangular or box-shaped carriers that offer a sense of security. A flat top can also double as a cozy perch during travel.

Ventilation is Vital: Good air circulation is crucial to prevent overheating and anxiety. Look for carriers with mesh panels on multiple sides to ensure proper airflow.

Sound Management: While complete soundproofing might be a dream, consider carriers with noise-dampening materials to minimize travel noise. A soft cover draped over the carrier can also help create a calmer environment.

Scent of Security: Line the carrier with familiar items like a favorite blanket or towel that carries your cat's scent. You can also consider calming pheromone sprays or wipes to create a more relaxing space.

Bonus Tip: Opt for a carrier with easy-to-clean materials in case of accidents. A removable, washable liner makes post-travel cleaning a breeze!

By considering these features, you can choose a carrier that offers your feline friend a safe haven during travel.

We think a comfortable and familiar environment goes a long way in reducing stress and making travel time a more positive experience for your furry companion.