I love writing about the wild adventures you can have with a cat. People are always doing things with dogs but never with a cat. Well, phooey on that, I say. Cats deserve to get out of the house as well, and as we learned in my article ‘Can Cats Love Humans‘, cats have a desire to be with us. So, why not go hiking with a cat.
Now, why on earth would you want to take your cat? Well, you mean, besides the fact that you love them. Cats need exercise just like humans, or dogs for that matter. It is not healthy for a cat to be couped up in a house all day long. Just like us, they need fresh air and sunlight to remain in optimal health.
While it is true that hiking with a cat will come with a set of challenges, it is also rewarding. We will cover all the obstacles and discuss the musts before you and Mr. Smellnlick get hiking.
The first thing you will want to do is train your cat to walk on a leash. Now, if you have already done this then great, you can skip the next paragraph and keep reading.
If you have not yet trained Ms. Poutyface to walk on a leash, then you will need to do that before taking her hiking with you. I have found a helpful website that will assist with training your cat. If you a more of a visual learner. Check out the video below, and I will see you on the other side.
The experts agree that you should start off slow. Take your cats for several walks to allow them to get used being out. It will also let you see if your cat would enjoy hiking or not. Just like people, not all cats are built the same.
According to my research, your cat is going to get tired faster than a dog would. If you are planning a longer hike, you are going to want to take along a way to carry them. My recommendation, use a kitty backpack. I first learned about these little buggers while writing my article ‘Cats and Vacation‘; which has alternatives if you decide that kitty should not go hiking with you after all.
There are things you are going to need to do to get ready for the hike. We have already discussed two of them, training and getting a carrier. But there is more.
You are going to make sure you pack enough clean water for both you and General Lickity as well as food. Make sure that you have bowls to put both the water and food in when you stop to take a break.
You will want to ensure that your pet is up to date on their current vaccines. It is a good idea to visit veterinary that specializes in cats to make sure that your cat is healthy enough to go on this adventure.
Do not forget to pack cat-specific sunscreen and cat safe bug repellant. Yes, you need an exclusive bug repellant when taking your cat into the wild. Another useful item to have is a pet-specific first aid kit. Now since these are not everyday items that most people know about, I have taken the liberty to find a couple of highly recommended ones.
- Epi-Pet Sun Protector Spray for Pets
- Vet’s Best Mosquito Repellent Spray for Dogs & Cats
- Pet First Aid Kit
Last, make sure you have a way for Madam Highjinx to do her business. Some people bring a folding litter box, which is a good idea if this is going to be an overnight adventure. However, poop bags are fine if you are out for the day. It is always a good idea to remove your cats waste as it could be harmful to wildlife; not to mention it is polite to other hikers who do not want to step in your cat’s nuggets.
There are dangers in the wild. Your cat can become the target of predators. You want to make sure that you have a plan in place if a threat should occur.
You will want to ensure that your kitty is wearing their collar with your current information engraved on it. Please, make sure the rabies tag is attached as well. If the people who find your animal suspect that the cat was exposed to rabies and there is no tag, the consequences could be dire.
If you have not done so by now, chipping your cat is another excellent idea. Chipping your animal allows the chip to be scanned so the rescuer can get your information and return your beloved. Collars can always come off, but the chip is a permanent way to make sure that you and your cat can quickly be reunited.
Educating yourself on warning signs about health issues like heat struck is another must. It is vital that you can recognize these elements and know-how to treat them. Petmd is a great resource to learn about potential risks.
Now that you are aware, packed, and have a trained cat that loves walking on a leash, you are ready to start hiking with a cat.
It’s A Real Thing
Some of you have read this article, and you still do not believe that this is a real thing.
“Dovey,” you say, “there is no way people are hiking with a cat.”
Then I would be forced to tell you about Tuxie. Tuxie is indeed a hiking cat. Tuxie hikes with his master, the HikingDiva as she is known on Instagram. Tuxie is a beautiful black and white kitty that can hike up to eight miles a day. To learn more about Tuxie, you can check out an interview done by Gear Junkie.
And there are more hiking kitties out there. Here are some that are worth mentioning.
- Fred. Fred went with her owner when he decided to do a backpacking with your cat challenge.
- Finch who goes camping and hiking with her owner, Chris Brinlee Jr, you can read about their adventure here.
- Honey Bee is a blind kitty who likes to go hiking.
Hiking With A Cat Is A Real Thing
So, the next time you are planning a trip, at least think about taking your furry friend along with you. There are benefits in it for both of you.
If you think that maybe a beach vacation would be more your speed, guess what! I wrote a post on that as well called ‘The Cat and The Beach.‘
I think it is wrong that dog owners get to have all the fun. I enjoy being with my cat as much as any dog owner enjoys being with their dog. It is time we level out the playing field, and make this a cat-friendly world as well.
Have you ever went hiking with a feline? Let me know in the comments below. Also, let me know what your thoughts on taking your cat on a hike.
I hope that you enjoyed reading this article as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
Until next time, be the light in the world.