When you head out for a day hike or a night in the woods, you know to bring along a few items to do your “business” — namely that trusty trowel. But what about your cat? Can he just go in woods? Do you need to pick up his waste? Do you have to hike with a litter box in tow?
Well, it depends. We spoke with several adventure-cat owners to get the dirt on going in the dirt, and we have numerous suggestions for how you can keep your kitty comfortable in the great outdoors.
On the road
“We always bring a little litter box in the car that fits nicely behind the seat on the floor.” – Erin Verplaetse, Quandary Q Lotus Lady
“On day trips, we do not bring a kitty litter box. Zhiro is pretty good about using the outdoors or refraining from going to the bathroom in the car. On multi-day trips we will bring a litter box, especially if there is a lot of driving. She will frequently use the kitty litter in the car while we are driving and appears to have no problems with it.” – Lacy Taylor, Zhiro
On the trail
“We’re torn as we would love for Q to freely relieve herself along side the trail, but also want to respect the impact that feline urine can have on the environment when it’s foreign/unnatural to the area. We also have disposable litter trays about the size of your hand, and we’ll bring a tiny scoop of litter in a Ziplock to offer a potty break — though she doesn’t really take us up on this option.” – Erin Verplaetse, Quandary Q Lotus Lady
“While hiking, Josie will occasionally wiggle to let me know she needs down, will find a spot, eliminate and is ready to march onward again.” – Erin Dush, Josie
“The desert’s pretty much a giant sandbox litter box to her so [Millie] takes care of that on her own.” – Craig Armstrong, Millie the climbing cat
“We brought a litter box the first time, but he didn’t use it. He always looks for a soft patch of dirt and spends a good couple minutes digging and then goes there and buries it.” –Haley O’Rourke, Pistachio
“We brought a litter box on our first overnight adventure just to make sure she felt comfortable, but we never brought one after that. Shade grew to be an indoor/outdoor cat, so she is used to going outside most of the time.” – Alyse-Beth Avery, Shade the cat
‘The world is your litter box’ option
Your cat may have no problem learning to use the bathroom along the trail; however, we recommend abiding by the Leave No Trace principle and picking up after your pet just like you would if you were hiking or camping with a dog.
Cat feces can contain Toxoplasma gondii, a protozoan parasite that can infect any warm-blooded species. T. gondii has been linked to several health issues and can be particularly harmful to pregnant women.
The actual litter box option
Think your kitty would prefer all the comforts of home even in the great outdoors? No problem. There are numerous options available for lightweight and collapsible reusable litter boxes, as well as disposable, biodegradable ones.
The Green Pet Shop offers the Kat Pak for $19.99. Made from recycled paper, it’s 100% biodegradable and folds into an easily packable size.
For European adventure cats, there’s the stylish Poopy Cat litter box, which folds small and biodegrades, for €29.95.
There are also many foldable, reusable litter boxes available that are water tight to avoid any unfortunate accidents, such as the Sturdi Products litter box for sale on Amazon for $21.99.
Is there an outdoor litter box you love? Have any advice for adventure-cat owners? Let us know in the comments.