If you love the outdoors and camping, but you believe you can never go because your cat won’t let you, think again. Your pet may seem like an indoor cat now, but you’ll be surprised how much your feline friend will enjoy getting out into nature.
Yes, you can bring your cat camping, but before you go, you’ll need to prepare. You’ll want to get your pet used to time outdoors, stock up on the proper supplies, find an appropriate camping site, and stay safe along the way. Let’s dive into your complete guide to the adventure that is cat camping.
You may be a big-time adventure enthusiast who takes every opportunity to get outside and see the world. While many cats enjoy being outdoors, you may have an indoor cat, and so you’ll want to work on getting them used to the idea.
If your cat has rarely been outside, you can get used to the idea by going out with the cat and taking a reward or toy so the cat can play with you and get more comfortable. Start with manageable 10-minute increments. While you’re out there, train them to come back to you when you call their name, which you can also do with treats/rewards. Once the cat gets more comfortable, consider installing a pet door so they’ll get more used to the outside environment.
While you’re at it, ensure that your cat is used to wearing a collar or tag, which can come in handy when camping. Better yet, have a microchip installed to relieve some of the stress of losing your pet.
When you’re confident that your furry friend is ready for the big camping trip, the next step is to gather the best apparel, supplies, and accessories. First, find the supplies necessary to stay safe while allowing your cat to enjoy the entirety of the adventure. Many products can fit the bill, including an adventure pack that will enable you to bring the cat on your back as you explore the hiking trails. The cat can stay inside the enclosed area or peek outside and enjoy nature.
Your cat may be more independent, and if so, you can look into a secure harness that will fit them without allowing them to wiggle out. Try out the harness before your trip so the cat can get used to it and feel at ease when you both head outside.
There may be a time when you want to relax without watching the cat’s every move, and if you believe that will be the case, add an instant screen house to your cat camping gear list. This sets up with little fuss, and then your cat can play around in it and still enjoy the outdoor air. Consider bringing along a few toys and a scratching post to put inside to keep the cat occupied.
Next, look at seasonal apparel that will keep you warm outdoors. Camping during fall is an excellent idea because you can see the foliage change colors, and it won’t be too hot. Still, you should wear layers. You could bring a light short-sleeved shirt that can go under a long-sleeved shirt, and bring a jacket just in case. You can take things off when necessary. Spring is also lovely because you’ll have warmer weather and you can catch the flowers blooming. Be sure to wear breathable fabrics that help you to stay cool. Don’t forget to bring at least one hoodie or sweatshirt if it gets cooler.
When you’re shopping for the perfect camping attire, don’t forget to include your cat. A quick search online will present various outdoor outfits. Consider a red and black patterned sweater or a quilted cat coat with cozy sherpa lining. There are even hooded sweatshirts explicitly made for cats. Try to find a human outfit that matches, and you two can be a super camping duo and impress all the other campers.
It’s a wise idea to purchase all of the equipment well in advance to be sure you have everything when the time comes. To avoid clutter in the house, put the stuff in the garage. If you find that room is tight, try a few garage hacks to free up space. One idea is to use hooks to hang leashes and harnesses. You could also hang shelves higher up and put your camping supplies there. Consider building cabinets to store the outdoor cat enclosure, portable food and water bowls, and the travel litter box.
Finally, complete your research to find a campground suitable for you and your feline friend. Not every campground will allow pets, but most do. However, you need to follow the guidelines and leash policies that they set forth. You can research pet-friendly campgrounds in your state and find several. Many campgrounds will also have comfortable pet-friendly cabins that provide space for your cat to run around safely.
The final advice for your cat camping trip is to know how to stay safe. Be cautious if you start a fire and keep the cat away because they may be unaware that the flames are hot and may try to bat at them. Whether you’re near your tent or hiking the trails, keeping kitty on the leash or harness whenever possible is highly recommended.
It’s vital that you stay safe as well and watch after your personal needs. Bring a first aid kit with gauze, bandages, and the particular medication you require. Also, always stick to the designated hiking trails. Be aware if you’re camping somewhere without a cell signal. If you’re unsure, prepare by getting a map of the area and learn how to use a compass to find your way back to base camp. Also, pack enough food and water and bring it with you if you get turned around for longer than you expect. Don’t forget to tell at least one person where you’re going so they can know where you are and be aware if you don’t return.
Follow these tips and properly research the campgrounds in your area, and you and your cat can have a fantastic time traveling to new wilderness areas into your golden years. This is a great chance to bond and an opportunity neither of you will soon forget.
About the Author: Katie Brenneman
Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, and animal-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or snuggling with her cat, Clementine. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.
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