Biking With Your Cat - Cat Info Detective

Biking With Your Cat

Skye Blake looking left through magnifying glass

Hey travelin’ feline friends! Skye Blake here, biker cat, ready to ride with you!

Ok, so you love a good bicycle ride on a warm, sunny day… or rumblin’ down the road on your motorcycle, wind in your hair, the motor revving beneath you.

You also love doing things with your feline friend. But can you bring your cat with you on a bike?

paw prints coming in from a distance

Getting Your Cat Ready to Bike

Is Your Cat The Adventuring Type?

cat carrying luggage on back

Start be determining if your cat is an adventure loving purrsonality. Find out how at “You & Your Traveling Cat“.

Keep in mind that many cats are homebodies… happy in their safe world watching the birds. Most cats don’t like change in their territory, so this is an important step.

Training My Cat – Seriously?

If you’ve determined your cat to be a biker-in-training, take the next step and train her to come to her name, be comfortable in a carrier and walk with a harness and leash.

Start right away because it can take some time, but is well worth it as it’ll come in handy the rest of her life. You might even save her life!

It doesn’t take more than commitment, patience, and a bit of time each day for great return on investment. Go at her own pace…

Getting Your Cat Used to the Bike

cat standing on bike

Once you have your cat happy in the carrier and able to ride well in a car, use the same baby step techniques (calm praise and treats) to get her used to the sight, smells and sounds of the bicycle or motorcycle.

Motorbikes are especially loud so don’t be surprised if your cat simply doesn’t like being near them (cats have sensitive hearing).

Since both types of bikes use carriers that are a bit different from car carriers, the feel of riding in them will be different from a car.

Each step of the way, it’s important to watch your kitty’s reactions and adjust your training accordingly.

It’s important, too, to use the same steps as described for winning the car wars at “Cat Carrier Wars – How to Get Yours to Love It!“.

The principles are the same no matter what type of vehicle your cat will be riding in.

Bicycle & Motorcycle Cat Carriers

Part of preparing to go biking with your cat is investing in the highest quality carrier you can afford.

Whether you’re on a bicycle or motorcycle, the carrier has to be comfortable and supportive for your cat, while being structurally able to protect him.

No cat will be happy in a carrier that slides around, tips, or is otherwise insecure. Not only will their footing be unsure, they might get motion sickness.

Be sure the carrier fits the size of your cat.

Find out more at “What Are the Best Cat Carriers?

Check the inside of the carrier before buying it. Often there are rough edges, staples or other sharp, uncomfortable things that a cat won’t like.

If you still want to buy it, be sure you can remove these problems.

Properly Fitting a Bicycle Carrier

Sherpa® Travel Original Deluxe™ Airline Approved Pet Carrier, Black
Sherpa® Travel Original Deluxe™ Airline Approved Pet Carrier

Choosing a cat carrier for your bike is more than just picking a cute basket to stick on your handlebars. It must fit the style and model of your bicycle.

Some bicycles can’t fit a carrier unless you attach a special rack. For example, racing bikes are not made to have pet carriers attached.

The main things to look for in a good carrier are a sturdy bottom that won’t sag and stability so it doesn’t shift around.

It must fit well on the handlebars and sit securely on the front wheel cover.

Check with the bike or carrier manufacturer if you’re not sure.

Properly Fitting a Motorcycle Carrier

cat sitting on a motorcycle seat

Fitting a carrier to a motorcycle is basically the same as a bicycle.

While people sometimes come up with strange things in which to carry their cat on a motorcycle (like a very large hamster ball!), the safest carrier is made specifically for attaching to a motorcycle (not a bicycle or car).

The carrier is the most important piece of safety equipment for your buddy.

The best are those that enclose your cat, give him good air circulation, are easy to clean, and attach firmly to the bike.

If it needs extra support, consider getting a separate bike rack to put on the front or back. Test the carrier with your cat on a short trip before using it for a long one.

Hard plastic will keep him safest in case it hits the ground hard. Soft carriers offer no protection but should have firm structure such as a metal frame to keep it secure.

It’s All About Balance

man balancing on stern of boat

Using a carrier or backpack will add weight to your bike, depending on where it’s attached.

This will affect your balance, so be sure you can balance and steer without a problem.

Your cat will not take kindly to wobbling and tipping over because you didn’t prepare for the change in balance.

Put some rocks in the pack to approximate the weight of your cat and go for a test drive. The rocks should be able to shift around the way your cat will as you take corners, etc.

Features to Consider About Carriers

Open Basket vs. Enclosed Carrier

backpack cat carrier open, cat peeking out

Good air circulation is important for an enclosed carrier. Not only will your cat breathe comfortably, it’ll help cool him in warmer weather.

A basket carrier that’s open at the top, is more risky since your cat could fall or jump out of the basket.

Rings to clip your kitty’s harness onto for safety are essential for both closed and open carriers.

It should be made for cats, not dogs… anything that says “pet” carrier usually means “dog”.

No matter what you use, be sure to introduce it slowly and train her to get in on command. It’s worth the investment to have a happy biking cat.

frog on bicycle

Some carriers are harnesses that strap the cat to your front or back, but this can cause problems when he moves around and the harness can loosen while you’re driving.

There are also cat backpacks that allow your buddy to see outside and also have good air circulation.

Occasionally, some people use dog trailers attached to the back of a bike, especially for more than one animal, but experts don’t recommend them for cats.

You won’t be able to see how they’re doing and when they’ve had enough.

Durability & Safety

knight's helmet, mail, gloves

Durability contributes a lot to safety. Fabric must be tough, ideally non-fading, but mostly able to handle claws, teeth, and the weather.

Seams, zippers, clips, etc., must be strong and claw resistant. The sturdier the carrier, the more protective if it hits the ground hard.

Metal reinforcing bars give extra strength for better safety. Zippers, latches, etc., must be lockable or otherwise able to prevent loosening.

We felines can be quite sneaky and get things open that we shouldn’t!

Some carriers have a moveable ring inside and short leash to attach your cat’s harness.

It’s called a sliding internal leash mount and allows the cat to move around but not escape or fall out.

If you’re interested in learning about carriers that have been crash tested, check out the “2015 Carrier Study Results” from the Center for Pet Safety®.

Weather Resistant vs. Weatherproof

raindrops on a purple leaf

There’s a difference between weather resistant and weatherproof material.

“Weather resistant” means water is repelled but will eventually get into the material and cause damage.

“Weatherproof” means that it’s able to withstand a lot of water punishment without being damaged or allowing it to get through.

The importance of this feature depends on what kind of traveling you’ll be doing.

Cool Extras

newspaper - extra
  • Removable leakproof absorbing bottom pad – Leakproof to keep accidents off your bike… absorbs to keep your cat dry
  • Travel bowls for food and water in an attached pouch
  • Attachable handles for carrying as a backpack

Examples of Bicycle Carriers

man biking with cat on shoulders

(These are for your information only. I make no money from them.)

Waterproof Large Bicycle Front Basket Cycling Bag, Sstuffy.com

Sportneer Bike Basket, Amazon.com – smaller size, sturdy bottom but not reinforced

Hillwest Pet Bike Basket, Amazon.com

Petsfit Safety Dog Bike Basket for Small Dogs and Good for All Bikes – works for cats but may be too small for larger breeds

Examples of Motorcycle Carriers

motorcycle

(These are for your information only. I make no money from them.)


You & Your Traveling CatPreparing For a Trip
Moving With a Cat…An Adventure!What Mode of Transportation Are You Using?
Air Travel With a CatWhat Is Your Travel Destination?
Teach a Cat to Come When CalledLeash & Harness Training Your Cat
Cat Carrier Wars – How to Get Yours to Love It!What Are the Best Cat Carriers?
Camping With a CatFirst Aid for Cats

Sources

Sources used on this website are either primary or secondary. Primary are always preferable and have the most reliable information because primary sources are original and directly referenced. Scientific abstracts and data are good examples of primary sources.

Secondary sources are weaker because they usually consist of opinions or articles that give no sources of their own. However, sometimes they refer to primary sources. Thus, when I use secondary sources most are those with some authority, such as veterinarian or cat behaviorist books and articles.

List of Sources

(Links given here are for your information only… I make no money from them.)

How to Take Your Cat on A Bike Ride“, by Cat Explorer

How to Take Your Cat on A Bike Ride“, by Vivien Bullen, How Stuff Works

Pet Carrier For Motorcycle- 5 Best Dog And Cat Carrier For Motorcycle“, PetLevin.com

Motorcycle Pet Traveling Guide“, by Vivien Bullen, How Stuff Works

“Top 5 Motorcycle Pet Carrier for The Budget”, by Editor Team, Caring Cat Guide, January 23, 2021