Do you see a Sukii or a Bolt and Keel in your own kitty that you wish to let it join you explore the great outdoors? Does Sassy or T’challa happen to have the green feline-ability – like an MVP, a Party Animal, or the Leader of the Band – or even an orange type Sidekick? If both answers are yes, then all the more reason you would love to bring them as you go camping.
It is normal for us pet parents to be apprehensive about whether to take our little tiger to our outdoor adventures. We always prepare when we go hiking outdoors, so here are a few things we may want to consider before taking our moggies camping for the first time:
Your kitty has a lot of needs at home – good places to nap, a feeding bowl, a water fountain, a litter box, and toys. Add to the list of expendables are their food, food supplements, catnip and treats, and even a first-aid kit.
Pros: It is easy to identify what things to pack for your Katy. What it needs at home are also the same thing it needs in camp.
Cons: Cramming your cat’s things in the car may be a no-brainer, but how to lug them around during hikes is another matter to consider. Unlike dogs, cats do not have their own backpack they can carry around, and on trips that involve trekking and camping, they even become part of the load to carry from time to time.
Felines are territorial and your home is their home base. Not many cats do well in adapting to changes but a green Felix won’t mind the change of scenery.
Pros: You will be assured of your baby’s accommodation. Both of you will be fine in each other’s familiar comfort rather than your cat being made to stay with strangers in a different house, a cattery or a pet hotel. Additionally, you get to save money by not letting others take care of your kitty, too.
Cons: You might need to pay an extra fee to enter where you plan to camp. In other areas, you might also need to submit yourself to regulations or even restrictions. There are also places where pets like cats and dogs are not allowed because of their tendency to chase the local fauna.
A camping trip is a series of adventures; the road trip to the site and back are two different moments.
Pros: Cats normally hate car rides. But when they are trained to ride in one, they will not mind making the car one of their comfort zones – even in the camp.
Cons: It is challenging to train moggies to enjoy the ride and you still need to ensure that they are comfortable enough in their areas during the ride with carriers, toys, a used shirt, its blanket, and some food and treats. You also need to consult with the vet for any medications or treatments to keep the kitty calm and happy.
Road trips with your furball can be slow. It can be restless to the point of being noisy and there are times that things just do not go the way you wish them to and you are forced to clean up the mess afterward.
It is prohibited and unhealthy, if not illegal, to leave your cat in the car or van, so stopping for breaks such as lunch or resupply in cafes, restaurants, or grocery stores on the way can be difficult with pets around.
Camping alone with your cat and camping with human – and another feline. This can be challenging, but it can also be fun.
Pros: Kitties will find themselves developing a favorite camp activity or two, like Sukii who loves campfires and Eevee who likes to chill in a hammock. This is also a perfect time for you to share home comfort with your feline friend.
Cats are also good alarms. They can easily sense danger so they can help save lives in the camp. They can even fend off snakes – not that you leave them outside the tent; part of your camping nights is sharing the tent.
Cons: Setting up camp can be a challenging moment since you have to make sure that your baby does not wander off because of its new surroundings. This includes putting it on a leash or a carrier and making sure no wild birds of prey or other wild animals take interest in your baby. Your feline’s favorite things will also have to be properly laid out; cat food, for example, has to be stored in the bear bag.
Some cats are nocturnal which can be problematic if you take them to camp. Whether they are nocturnal or not, housecats cannot be left outside the tent or van during sleeping hours. You have to share the sleeping quarters with them.
If you have company, camping with humans and other pets can also be stressful to your fur ball if it is not used to their presence. Additionally, if you have another moggie within the company, that means assigning areas within camp so there won’t be any catfights or bullying.
You don’t just play house when you go camping, so from time to time there will be swimming or kayaking in lakes or rivers, trekking the woods, climbing hills and mountains, and other activities with your cat.
Pros: Exploring the wild is given a different dimension when you are with your feline friend. With Lion-o, you get to spot certain details in the environment you would’ve otherwise missed – a squirrel here, a bird there, and on the curve ahead probably a familiar plant you would spot in your or someone else’s garden.
It is not just nature you get to see at a different lens. You will get to observe your cat’s wilder side too – and maybe even get a couple of ideas to keep your pet happy when you get back home.
Cons: You have to keep your tomcat within your sight all the time. If there are dangers lurking in camp, then there are even more when you go trekking, swimming or kayaking. It is not just wild animals and birds of prey you need to watch out for – cats are curious by nature so they are bound to chase butterflies, squirrels, and even small birds and other insects.
Some of the things to look out for are snakes. Although cats can fend them off, they could still get bitten back. Others are poisonous plants, some dangerous mushrooms, areas that are sources of mites, lice, tick, and heartworm, and even a beehive or wasp’s nest.
Your cat has to be either on the leash when it does not mind walking or running. But when it is time to climb or when it gets tired, you will have to put it in your backpack-carrier which can be energy consuming not just during the trek itself, but also when training your kitty prior to the actual camping trip.
Taking your cat on a camping trip provides you another way to train your beloved kitty. There are things during camping that will give you ideas on your cat’s feline-ality and clues on how to handle your feline.
Camping trips provide you and your furball a new method of exercise, some fresh air, and opportunities to explore and follow your curiosity.
You need to make an extra effort for your feline friend from time to time which can be trying either on your endurance or on your nerves.
There are already challenges in camping such as toilets breaks but with your cat around, it adds the realities like cat poop, thorns, and brambles, and peeing and spraying.
You cannot go star-gazing or birdwatching. Your pet deserves attention and priority over any activity, not to mention you moggie might scare any birds away.
Kitty’s schedule might get messed up. There are cats that love to nap during the day and prowl at night.
It may seem at first that the list of cons is longer than pros. But if you read carefully, you will notice a lot of the cons can be fixed with extra effort and patience.
When we go camping, we are there to have fun. Part of the adventure is the efforts we make; yet at the end of the day, so long as we enjoy the experience, then the trip is worth it.
The same can be said when we have our beloved cat around. The entire camping trip may require us to do the extra mile. But the moments we share with our furball is priceless and the experience is nothing short of purrfect.
Otherwise, why do we love looking at those Instagram adventure cats?