We often take our dogs camping but most do not think about the cat. My cat is no different from my dog. Neither of them like me to leave them. The cat and dog alike get that I can’t believe you’re leaving me again look.
Can you take your cat camping? Sure, cats [some] like to camp as well. No one knows your pet better than you do. Remember just like with hiking, one way is not always the best way for everyone. Know your cat. Some cats get really stressed by new things; however, this does not mean that you cannot slowly accustom your cat to camping.
Here are some basic things to think about before your first venture.
🔹The car ride — Most of us are familiar with how cats respond to car rides whether on the first trip home or to the veterinarian. Cats are not particularly fond of car rides and will sometimes loose hair, often moan, and occasionally vomit. Cat crates or boxes are good for getting the cat accustom to the ride. Start them out on short rides around town. For The Blaze, I bring his crate so that he has a place to feel safe if he needs it but no longer lock him inside. He still cries usually during the first 15 minutes of travel and then settles down. While I do not have a picture, he will often stick his head out of the window into the wind with my dog, Maximus.
🔹The campground — Blaze does not like other people or other animals. It takes him a while to warm up to them. This should be taken into consideration as well. Are you going to a place with heavy traffic? Will there be lots of people, other animals, and noise? How does your cat respond? How does the cat respond to extreme temperatures, hot or cold? If your cat is an indoor only cat, you probably do not want to take him or her with you in the heat of summer or the freezing cold of winter unless you will be in a climate controlled camper. My cat only goes during the cool seasons. I have cheap $20 sleeping bags just for the pets.
Cat harnesses come in different types. Blaze has a simple nylon harness (pictured above) similar to the blue one below from Amazon but some prefer a padded harness. You should also start allowing your cat to get accustom to wearing a harness and leash before going. For a leash, I use a cable tether leash because it gives him plenty of room to roam around the campsite and get tangled around everything. Cats will often cower down initially when using a harness because of feeling restricted. They might spaz out with a leash. A harness is better in the long run because it is less apt to harm your pet.
Make sure that you follow the rules of the campground. Check the rules before going as not all campgrounds allow pets.
Do not leave the cat zipped up in a tent (or camper) without proper ventilation when it is warm outside. Even on cool days, direct sunlight can warm that tent up quite a bit.
🔹Food and water — Obviously, do not forget your cat’s food, but also do not change its food. Feed it what it normally eats. It may already be stressed and changing its food will up the chances of diarrhea. Do not be alarmed if your cat may not want to initially eat or drink.
🔹Humans, other pets, and wildlife — Keep an eye out for other fury creatures and humans. If your cat is liable to run, assure that it does not hang itself or tear your camp down with its leash.
🔹Potty time — Consider what you will do with pet waste. No one likes stepping in poop. Consider bringing a travel litter box or be sure to clean up after your pet so that you nor anyone else steps in it. You can get disposable litter boxes or litter boxes that fold down.
Google Motorola Nexus 6 (featured picture and cat on the leash)