Hiking with catsMarch 6, 2017
When you head out the door for a hike, do you ever stop and consider taking your cat along? You should! If your cat already enjoys the outdoors, hiking with your cat could be a fun new activity to try. While it may seem like a strange idea, it’s actually becoming more common, especially for those with adventurous kitties. Thinking of exploring the great outdoors with your feline friend? Read the tips below to help get you started!
Preparing for the hike
Start preparing for your hike by training your cat to wear a harness and walk on a leash. This will be a slow process where you’ll build your cat’s comfort level gradually. Leash training should actually start in your home. Once your kitty is comfortable wearing a harness and walking on a leash, move your training outside close to home, first in your yard and then in an outdoor area with little people and traffic. This will help your cat adjust to new surroundings. You should also work to teach your kitty to come when called in case you become separated while outside.
Other important steps to take to prepare for a hike with your feline friend: make sure your cat’s vaccinations are up to date, and talk to your vet about your cat’s current health to determine how much physical activity they can take.
Photo: Nathalia Valderrama Méndez (adventurecats.org)
Getting out on the trail
While out on your hike, be sure to keep your kitty on a leash and harness at all times. Without it, your cat could come into contact with something dangerous, such as poisonous plants, unclean water, or wildlife.
If at any time you encounter something dangerous – wildlife or an unleashed, unfamiliar dog for example, pick your cat up. Anything that could be a potential danger to your feline friend on the ground, simply remove them from the situation by holding them.
If you’re planning a longer hike that will likely tire out your kitty, consider bringing a backpack that doubles as a pet carrier (there are lots of options and cute designs to choose from). Remember to bring plenty of water for both you and your cat and keep an eye on your kitty for signs of dehydration. Bring snacks for both of you as well, and take breaks whenever necessary. Stick to the trail for the duration of the hike, and don’t forget to clean up any kitty waste!
Have you ever gone hiking with your cat? Let us know how it went on our Facebook page or in the comments section below!