While we may not see it as obviously today, our house-cats are direct descendants of majestic large cats–although it is difficult to see this when cleaning hairballs out of your sink for the third time this week.
Our cats may be domesticated, but they are still wild, in a sense, and most cats enjoy stimulation and experiences outside of their normal routine.
One great way to spend some quality time with your cat, while enriching their living environment, is to take your cat on a camping trip with you.
Would Your Cat Enjoy a Weekend Away?
According to Roadmap Website, has an article about bringing pets on camping trips, in which they make an excellent often forgotten point. Would your cat enjoy camping?
All animals have different personalities, and some cats may prefer a weekend at home, especially if they are timider, or used to the indoor life.
You likely know your cat better than anyone and should make this decision yourself. If in doubt, speak to your veterinarian first.
Some Things to Keep in Mind Before Setting Out With Your Cat
While taking your cat camping may sound like a great idea (and potentially is), you should keep a few things in mind, first.
You’ll always want to check with your veterinarian beforehand to ensure that your cat doesn’t have any physical limitations that will make it difficult or unpleasant for your furry friend to accompany you on a trip.
One important point that AdventureCats Website, author Laura Moss states are to always ensure that your cat is properly vaccinated before taking them on an extended outdoor adventure.
Also, Wheelingit Website suggests always knowing where the closest pet hospital is to your destination, in case of emergency.
You’ll want to do some basic research into the area you plan on visiting, as well.
Make sure that pets are allowed into the park or reservation that you’re going to, and that you don’t need to obtain any documentation or otherwise beforehand.
Some areas don’t allow pets in any capacity, while others may require a fee beforehand.
What Should You Bring With You For Your Cat?
Animal Wellness Magazine points out that it’s important to make some accommodations to keep your cat comfortable while camping.
Make sure to bring adequate food and water for your cat, as well as other items that they may want or need: a bed, carrier, leash, harness/collar, medication, etc.
Anything your cat needs at home, it will also need while camping. If in doubt, grab it anyway.
While camping should be a fun experience for both of you, a weekend with a grumpy and unhappy cat will undoubtedly be an unpleasant experience.
You may need to make a few special purchases, such as a cat harness, as many cat owners don’t regularly take their cat out. If you don’t already own a cat carrier, this is a must for a trip such as this.
Dr. Smith of Foster and Smith suggests a variety of carriers tailored for your cat. As well as a harness and carrier, a first aid kit with cat-specific items is a must. Catster Website has a helpful list to put together a first aid kit for cat owners.
How To Modify Your Plans For Your Cat
Just because your cat isn’t at home doesn’t mean that their normal routine should be entirely disrupted.
Do your best to keep their feeding and watering routine consistent, in terms of feeding time as well as what you’re feeding your cat.
Changing your cat’s routine could lead to diarrhea or illness. Also, ensure that your cat gets exercise and isn’t cooped up in a tent or camper all day.
The point of taking your cat camping is to enrich your cat’s life, and you’ll both have a better time if that is happening.
If you plan on visiting any special destinations while on your trips, such as a particular restaurant or other location, always check first that your cat is welcome.
Extra Safety Considerations for Your Cat
There are certain safety factors that you may not think of when taking your cat camping.
Some things to be aware of in an outdoor environment include being aware of potentially dangerous plants that could poison your cat, such as lilies.
Many cats enjoy chewing on plants, which can obviously lead to a bad situation.
PetMD has a very useful and comprehensive list of all known plants that could make your cat sick.
Also, you’ll need to keep an extra eye on your cat to avoid unpleasant interactions with wildlife such as spiders or snakes–or even other animals at campsites.
Ensure that your car isn’t left unattended, or left in a hot car or camper. On a similar note, always check the weather before leaving for your trip.
You may need to bring extra items such as cat sunscreen or additional clothing items for your cat in case of cold weather.
If you have any doubts as to whether the weather is suitable to take your cat with you, speak to your veterinarian before leaving for your trip.
Travel Considerations for Your Cat
Campfire Magazine makes an interesting point. If you plan on traveling abroad with your cat, you may need special documentation, such as a pet passport.
Some countries will require your cat to be completely up to date on vaccinations, and you may need to provide proof of this.
Many countries also require your cat to be micro-chipped beforehand, which is recommended if taking your cat on an outdoor adventure in any case.
Helpful Resources for Camping With Your Cat
While the above may seem like a lot of information, camping with your cat can be a painless and very fun experience.
There are lots of helpful resources such as the sources in this article, as well as a variety of other online resources, such as this video from Technomadia about RV-ing with a cat.
This video, along with a wealth of other online resources, provides helpful information to keep your camping trip fun for both you and your cat. Your vet should also be able to provide you with helpful information.
All in all, camping with your cat can be a wonderful experience if done correctly.
Keeping the above information in mind, there is no reason why you and your cat can’t make weekend camping trips a regular event.