If you’ve seen a dog bounding down the beach or running around a camp site, you’ll know how much fun pets can have when on holidays.
Holidaying with cats is more complicated – that’s probably why you’ve never seen a pet cat sitting by the campfire!
But if you don’t want to leave your feline friend at home, can you take them with you?
Camping with Cats
It really depends on your cat as to whether they’ll be comfortable out of the home. Indoor and timid cats are unlikely to enjoy leaving their safe space. You don’t want to stress your cat, or risk losing them in an unknown place.
If you’ve got the Bear Grylls of cats, camping might be possible. You’ll need to be prepared though. If you’re staying at a camp site, check that cats are allowed (in Australia, they are banned from national parks) as a first step.
Your cat will need to wear a harness while camping, as even the most confident kitty will make a break for it if they get spooked – and the last place you want them disappearing is far from home, as they can get disorientated and truly lost. Dedicate time to harness-training your cat before making camping plans. While some cats have no issues wearing a harness and being led around, others hate it!
Plan ahead, checking the weather forecast (are storms predicted?) and think about your activities. What will your cat do while you go for that all-day hike? Can they come with you for short walks, or can a friend or family member look after them at the camp site?
We love cats, but it’s also a fact that they aren’t great for our natural environment. Outdoor cats kill native birds and wildlife, which are likely to be abundant in camp sites or parks. This is another reason to keep your cat on a harness or lead if camping, to keep both your pet and other creatures safe.
Looking After your Cat
As well as harness training a cat, it’s important that your cat is microchipped (and your details are up to date) as your best reassurance while you’re both adventuring.
You will also need to pack their food and bowls, a litter tray if they’re used to using one, and a cat carrier for them to be transported in.
Don’t forget plastic bags to clean up after your cat, keeping the camp site clean.