Can You Take a Cat Camping: Tips for Camping with Kittens
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A man’s best friend is usually a dog, but what if your best friend is a feline instead? We see families bring their dogs on camping trips all the time, but can you take a cat camping?
As silly as the idea may seem to some, you can indeed take your cat on a camping trip. Just like you would with a dog, you must plan carefully and take some cautionary steps to ensure the best possible trip for you and your kitten. This article will answer the question, ‘can you take a cat camping?’
Can You Take a Cat Camping?
You can bring your cat along on your camping trip, but it isn’t quite as simple as that. Cats can be unpredictable creatures, and they’re often not trained in the same way that dogs are.
Which Types of Cats are More Suited to Camping?
All kinds of cats can go camping, but some may be more suited to the activity than others. Both long-haired and short-haired cats come with their own sets of pros and cons.
Short-haired cats have a better chance of staying cool and clean during their stay in the wilderness. However, they are at a higher risk for sunburn and may require sunscreen. Additionally, they may get too cold during winter camps or at night.
Long-haired cats have no problem staying warm, and they’re well-protected from the sun. But their long fur can easily pick up dirt, sticks, leaves, bugs, and other debris. You might find yourself combing through mats long after your trip is over.
It’s also wise to take into account your cat’s personality. Some cats love the outdoors, while others are homebodies. Some cats love to wander and return regularly, while others will bolt and never return. Still, most won’t leave your side at all.
If your cat hates the leash, refuses to go outside, and spooks easily, she’s probably not well-suited for a camping excursion.
Tips for Camping with Cats
It seems there are endless things to worry about when you bring any kind of pet on a camping trip with you. Rather than sweating the tiny things, keep these more general tips in mind. They should cover most of your worries.
Check the Weather
You should never bring a cat camping in extreme weather conditions. Inclement weather is hard on cats, whether it’s snow, blistering heat, or intense thunderstorms. Check the weather ahead of time. You might decide to leave your cat at home or reschedule altogether.
Introduce Living Spaces Early
Proper planning will be a lifesaver before a cat camping trip. If this is your first time camping with your cat, make the transition a little smoother by introducing your living space to the cat before the trip.
If you plan on sleeping in a tent, set it up in the backyard and let your cat check it out and explore a little. You might even consider spending the night camping out so you can see how your cat does in the enclosed space overnight.
Aaricia (@munro.and.me) put her tent up in her living room for the weekend, so that her cat Munro could get used to camping. The noise of the sleeping bag spooked Munro a bit at first, but she soon got used to it. Check out Aaricia and Munro’s full interview for more info about their camping trips and some advice about training your cat to wear a harness.
If you camp in a camper or an RV, do the same thing. Introduce your cat to the space, let her roam and sniff, and consider spending a night there. Bring the cat’s favorite treats, bed, and toys to make her feel comfortable and at home.
Consider a Picket Line
A leash or even a long lead can only take your cat so far, and you’ll soon grow tired of hearing her constant protests. Consider getting a picket line to widen your feline’s range.
Picket lines attach high up from one tree to another. A second line attaches to your cat and slides along the line, letting your cat move more freely. Depending on your setup, a line like this could give your cat access to the entire campsite.
Before setting up a picket line, do a thorough investigation of the surrounding area to make sure there are no wild predators, cliffs, poisonous plants, or other risks to your cat. Also, ensure her food, water, bed, and litter box are all within reach.
Never Leave Your Cat Alone
If you think your camping trip is going to involve any kind of activities that require you to leave your cat alone, don’t bring your cat on the trip. It’s always better to be safe than sorry; never leave your cat behind at the campsite unattended.
Why? Accidents happen.
Whether you lock your cat in the car in a secure crate or tie her to a line, something could go wrong. Your cat is your responsibility, and if that’s not how you want to spend your trip, let her relax back at home while you explore.
What Do You Need to Bring Camping?
Packing for your cat on a camping trip isn’t too different from packing for yourself. Make a list of everything your cat needs to survive comfortably in an outdoor setting and go from there.
Here are a few essential items you’ll want to bring along:
- Cat food
- Water and food bowls
- Cat carrier
- Leash and harness
- Cat bed
- Flea and tick repellent
The above list includes a few necessities we recommend taking along. Your specific needs may vary depending on your cat. For example, if your cat loves to play, you might want to grab a few of her favorite toys. If your cat is short-haired or hairless, consider bringing her a sweater.
Another essential item to consider bringing is a litter box. Outdoor cats who frequently wander the neighborhood should be fine using the campsite as a restroom, but indoor cats accustomed to litter boxes might have trouble grasping the idea. Evaluate where your cat stands and make the best choice for her.
Can You Take Your Cat Camping? Final Thoughts
So, can you take a cat camping? Absolutely! The key to a successful camping trip with your cat is good planning. Research your campsite, check the weather, and make a solid packing list for an exciting adventure with your favorite feline friend.
Stay hydrated, avoid long hikes, and never leave your cat alone. The guidelines will help you have a blast without leaving your cat behind!