What You Need to Know Before Hiking With Your Cat
For some people, getting their cat to come out from under the bed is a chore. Yet, others want to take their cats on hikes.
As a pet parent or buddy, convincing your house cat to do outdoor activities can be tricky. However, if your cat is ready to hit the trail, hiking can be easy.
Many trailblazing felines have been hitting the parks and hills with their owners. Perhaps your furry friend is ready for adventuring, too. Just make sure you plan before heading out the door.
What to Consider Before Taking Your Cat Hiking
Cat hiking isn’t for every kitty. Many cats who love hanging in their backyards aren’t ready for full-blown hiking. They’re thrilled enough to chase critters in the security of their neighborhood hunting ground.
To get your cat trail-ready, you’ll need to take a few considerations to heart:
- Training: Even the most athletic cat might not be physically fit enough to handle more than a mile of hiking. If you have a cat who seems like a potential hiking companion, get your pal ready with some training.
- Gear: Never take your cat hiking without a harness and leash. Even if your cat is the most docile, friendly creature on Earth, attitudes can change while on the trail. You don’t want to risk your cat getting lost or hurt by a predator, so train your cat with the proper gear.
- Vaccinations: Every outdoor cat should be vaxxed up. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. You may want to take your cat for a vet visit before starting your hiking excursions.
- Collar tags: Along with a harness, be sure your cat is microchipped and wears collar tags for identification. You’ll be glad you took this measure if anything happens and Fluffy gets skittish or breaks loose from the leash.
- Weather: Believe it or not, some cats don’t mind rain and snow. Others hate everything but temperate days. Find out your cat’s preferred temperature and climate tolerance before hiking.
- Trail: What is a cat trail? It’s different for every feline. Generally, the best trail for your kitty will feel good on his or her paws. Go on some test runs at your local park to get a better understanding of your cat’s preferred type of trail.
Setting Expectations Before Hiking With a Cat
Hiking with your cat won’t be like taking your dog for a hike. Cats have less endurance and may end up lying down pretty quickly. Plus, they may be less motivated to stay outside for long periods. Don’t hike with your cat with illusions that your pet will take to hiking as you do. Cats are fickle, after all!
How to Hike With Your Cat
Do cats like hiking? Some love it, but you should first train your cat to hike using the most positive methods:
- Keep them on a harness: This precaution is non-negotiable and will protect them.
- Be prepared to carry them: A specially designed or decked-out backpack can be a perfect way to carry a tired kitty during a hike!
- Stay on the trail: You probably shouldn’t go off the beaten path with your cat — who wants to deal with poison ivy rash?
- Be aware of threats: Other animals may see your cat as a snack. Stay alert for dangers. Even other people or kids could terrify your cat, which won’t be good for future hikes.
- Bring food and water: Your cat needs to hydrate and fuel up alongside you. Never allow your cat to drink water from puddles or streams, as these could contain unwanted bacteria. Bring everything you need with you.
- Go at the cat’s pace: Your cat hikes probably won’t be too rigorous. Cats like to take their time. Pace yourself with your feline’s footsteps.
Adventure With Your Cats in the Park, Woods, and Mountains
After learning how to train your cat to hike, you might discover it’s a great way to bond. Many cat parents have even tried overnight hiking with their furry buddies! Want to hammock with your four-legged friend? Check out our lineup of great outdoor gear at DutchWare or contact us today.