Indiegogo staffers are putting crowdfunded products to the test in our new series of honest reviews. In this edition, our very own email marketing and lifecycle strategist Karisa Hunt and their cats tried out Pidan’s Traveling Pet Carrier with Habitat Expansion, which is live now on Indiegogo. Does it live up to the hype? Read on as we put it to the test!
I’ve found myself in the position of having three cats but only two cat carriers. This is rarely a problem, as vet visits are usually a one-cat-at-a-time prospect thanks to how busy my vet is, but last month, I managed to get appointments for all of them at the same time. I borrowed a third carrier from a friend, but I’ve been on the lookout for a good third carrier ever since.
I wasn’t expecting to find anything like Pidan’s Traveling Pet Carrier with Habitat Expansion, but when I saw it, I knew I had to try it out. Bacon Bits was an outdoor kitty before he came to me, and sometimes he tries to make a break for it when I’m bringing in groceries. This carrier folds out to be a whole kitty playpen, so I’d be able to bring him outside to experience all his favorite sights and sounds without worrying about him getting loose and running off. Plus, I’d have a backpack-style carrier, which means I’d have a hand left for each of the other carriers should I need to get them all to the vet at the same time again.
The carrier ships in a flat box, and I’ll be honest: when I pulled it out the first time, I was concerned about getting any cat inside it, let alone my biggest boy. Luckily, I soon found out that it folds out into a respectably-sized playpen.
There’s a diagram that shows how to fold the whole thing up, and it’s fairly easy to follow. Even if it wasn’t, though, it’s pretty intuitive–if you look at the photos on the campaign page and keep tugging at folded-up mesh, you’ll be able to get it popped into shape fairly quickly.
It was a little trickier to convert it from the full-sized playpen into the carrier backpack. It’s not difficult, but you do have to know which part folds where in order to successfully fold it into shape instead of collapsing it back down again.
The playpen is a great size, and the cats like being in it–I didn’t have to put them inside because they were curious as soon as I put it down.
And really, I didn’t have to worry about the size–two of them fit in there at the same time.
The best discovery was that you can switch it from the extended layout to the backpack (and vice versa) without taking the cat out. As long as the cat is in the backpack part, the playpen part folds up and zips into what becomes the padded part that sits against your back. No worrying about Bacon Bits getting any fresh ideas while I was converting his travel pack!
The backpack is padded on the shoulder straps, too, so it’s comfortable to wear… assuming your cat doesn’t double as a bowling ball. Imagine wearing a backpack that weighs about twenty pounds and has the ability to move without warning and you’ll get the picture of trying to use this with Bacon Bits.
We found it easiest to have a kind of “loading zone” to put the backpack on, too–I was concerned that the cat would move while we were trying to get it on, and we’d either drop it or fall and land on it. However, we figured out pretty quickly that putting the cat in the carrier, then putting the carrier on the sofa, then slipping your arms in and standing up works pretty neatly.
The litter box
To be honest, I don’t see myself ever using the litter box for its intended purpose.
I understand why it’s included. If you’re taking your cat out, you want them to be able to do their business without scooping it off a lawn, and cats would rather use something they’re more familiar with anyway. However, the box is made of fabric, and I can’t figure out how to effectively clean it after it’s been used. There aren’t any liners, and it’s an odd shape and size, so anything I put in there would either be too big or too small. I’d personally rather use a cardboard box with disposable litter, where I can just toss the whole thing at the end of the day.
In good news, though, the cats have decided that it makes a great bed, so it’s not going to waste.
This works great as a carrier! I’ve left it open to its full size in my living room, and the cats think it’s pretty neat–they play and sleep in it all the time. I’m sure it would be great to use outdoors as well, but the weather where I live hasn’t been warm and dry enough to try that out just yet. I also like that it’s a backpack, now that I’ve figured out a safe way to get it on and off–it gives me an easy way to carry all three cats at the same time, since I have one on my back and a hand free for the other two carriers.
I’d just avoid the litter box if I were you.
To learn more, check out the campaign for Pidan’s Traveling Pet Carrier with Habitat Expansion, now live on Indiegogo.