How to Take Your Cat on the Adventure of Camping
The summer months are a great opportunity to plan a camping trip for you and your family. But you may not be aware that it’s completely possible to include your beloved cat along for the journey. Taking a cat camping can be a fantastic way to give your kitty some outdoor exploration and enrichment. Camping with cats isn’t without its challenges, though, so here is a guide on how to take your cat camping to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time.
Set aside time for preparation
Before you can take your cat camping, you need to make a few preparations. How far away are you going? Is your cat comfortable with car rides? Did you pack their food, treats, a litter box, and a pet bed? All of these questions should be considered when planning for a camping trip with your cat.
If your cat is timid or sensitive to new environments, a little extra time in the preparation phase can help them feel more secure and give you peace of mind in the days leading up to your trip. Consider gradually exposing your cat to the car and camping equipment ahead of time in a way that feels comfortable to them.
Choose the right equipment for your cat
Cats are curious by nature and a lot of camping gear can be of interest to them – but not necessarily always for the right reasons. Make sure you pack items that are both useful for your cat and safe. Familiar items that your cat usually likes to sleep on, like blankets, can be brought and placed in the camping area so that they can feel more secure and comfortable.
Bring along their toys and a scratching post or cushion for them to play around with safely, and keep any other non-pet-related items such as plants, food bowls and cutlery out of reach. For outdoor exploration, think about purchasing a leash and harness specifically designed for cats so that you can keep an eye on them in an open space while still allowing them to be adventurous.
Pick a pet-friendly campsite
Not all camping grounds are pet-friendly, so make sure to do some research ahead of time. Most campsites that are able to accommodate pets will have some limitations on the types of animals allowed—your cat should be listed as an acceptable pet in order to gain entry. If kids are involved, make sure to choose a campsite that has an appropriate playground area that your cat can’t access, as some cats can be aggressive towards younger children.
Whether you choose a campsite with heating facilities or prefer the primitive style of camping, you’ll want to pick an area with plenty of natural shade and water around to keep your cat cool and hydrated during the summer months. Additionally, look out for nearby roads and local strays and choose a spot away from any potential dangers.
<img src="https://campkulin.com.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2023/07/how-to-take-cat-camping-1278.jpg" alt="cat drinking from a bowl of water outside"
Familiarize your cat with the campsite
When you arrive at the campsite, be sure to take your cat for a tour. Cats need time to adjust to new environments and familiarizing them with the area is the best way to ensure they stay calm and secure. With your cat in their leash and harness, bring treats and encourage them to explore and sniff new corners of the camping area. Introduce them to any humans that will be joining in on the adventure.
If you’ll be cooking near your cat, let them get used to the smell of the food and the sound of kitchen utensils. If there are other pets around, let your cat get familiar with them before letting them roam around independently. And of course, keep a watchful eye on your cat at all times to make sure they stay safe and that all the activity doesn’t overwhelm them.
How to keep your cat entertained when camping
Once your cat is comfortably settled in and has had time to explore the area, you can start looking for ways to keep them entertained. Though cats are known to be independent and need less physical attention than dogs, they still need plenty of mental stimulation and will appreciate any activities that will keep them alert and engaged. Here are a few ideas you can try to keep your cat entertained:
- Playing Hide and Seek: Use your campsite as your playground and give your cat the opportunity to find you. In a supervised environment, practice hiding and making sounds to peek your cat’s interest.
- Stargazing: Cats are naturally curious toward light sources, and what better way to take advantage of that than stargazing from the comfort of your campsite? Bring out their laser pointer and show them the glimmering stars.
- Watching Nature Videos: We don’t always have the luxury to take our cats outdoors, so let YouTube do the work for you and show them some nature videos from the comfort of your tent. Who knows, your cat may love watching the birds and squirrels.
Prepare for potential risks and hazards
Just like any other outdoor expedition, taking a cat camping can come with certain inherent risks. Be aware of any potential hazards that may not be suitable for your cat, such as rocks or debris that may cut, sharp edges, and toxic plants that your cat may potentially eat or come into contact with.
Inspect the area outside your tent for any other animals – like snakes, insects or various wild animals – that could harm your cat. If you’ll be sleeping during the night, leave a small light on inside your tent to keep wild nocturnal animals away.
It is important to also remember that some camping sites may have prohibited animals or stipulations surrounding the animals’ approach and behaviour. Be sure to check with the management before letting your cat explore, and always remember to clean up after your pet.
Taking your cat camping can be the ideal escape for both of you with the right preparation. Pack the necessary items to keep them comfortable and safe, pick a pet-friendly campsite, and make sure to familiarize your cat with the environment. Include activities in your trip that will keep them entertained, and prepare for any potential risks and hazards along the way.
By following these instructions, you and your cat can have a fantastic and memorable time. Whether it’s lounging in the sun, playing fetch, or simply sniffing around new scents, your cat will love the adventure of camping.