Do Nicole Kidman’s cats really love going on hikes in her backpack?

The actor’s revelations about Ginger and Snow have alarmed a cat-protection charity

Pet hates?: Nicole Kidman’s cat Ginger. Ginger and the actor’s other cat, Snow, go hiking with her, in a backpack. Photograph: Nicole Kidman/Instagram

Pet hates?: Nicole Kidman’s cat Ginger. Ginger and the actor’s other cat, Snow, go hiking with her, in a backpack. Photograph: Nicole Kidman/Instagram

 

Whether looking out of a window, reclining beneath a Christmas tree or sitting in a suitcase, Nicole Kidman’s cats are frequently the star of her Instagram page. The actor’s affection for Ginger and Snow has extended to taking them along to last year’s Telluride Film Festival for the premiere of the crime drama Destroyer.

But Kidman’s revelation in an interview with You magazine that she regularly takes hikes with the pets in a backpack has met with a more muted reception, with an animal-rights group questioning the cats’ comfort.

“I’ve just got one of those carriers,” Kidman said. “Have you seen those? Those backpacks that you can put them in? A cat carrier that’s a backpack, and it has a window that they can peek out of, and it’s got air and everything, and they love it.” Kidman added that the luggage is “really cute” and that her cats “can’t wait to get in” them.

But Daniel Cummings, behaviour manager at Cats Protection, a British cahrity, cautions against such transportation for regular recreational use.

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“We don’t advise people taking their cats out unless absolutely necessary, as they are very territorial and crave freedom of movement,” he says.“Placing them in small and confined spaces and taking them to unfamiliar environments will cause a lot of cats stress.

“When transporting a cat it should be for a minimal amount of time; the cat should comfortably be able to have all four paws firmly on the base of the cat carrier and have space to turn and to lie down.

“Putting them in a backpack with a window means they have little opportunity to hide, which is what they would want to do in situations where they are scared. It’s unlikely that an experience like this will be beneficial for most cats.”

Nicole Kidman. Photograph: Magdalena Wosinska/New York Times
Nicole Kidman. Photograph: Magdalena Wosinska/New York Times

Cummings concedes that Kidman might well genuinely believe Ginger and Snow were happy with the experience, saying: “It’s a very human perspective to think they would enjoy seeing the world like this, rather than considering the situation from a feline perspective.” But, he added, “cats would much prefer to explore outside, in their own territory, with control over their own movements.”

Kidman also told You that, as well as the cats, she owns alpacas, chickens and 10 fish, and that she has in the past eaten ants, describing the taste as “sort of off. Just acidic-y. Kind of weird. And I’ll eat anything. I’ve eaten almost anything. Witchetty grubs, worms and insects…” – Guardian

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