Seeing all these cats walking on leashes, accompanying their humans on trails and hopping into the canoe for a paddle may have you wanting an adventure cat of your own, and that’s pawsome!
However, before you clip on that leash and head into the great outdoors, we encourage you to take the following into consideration:
- Adventuring isn’t for every kitty. Not even leash walking is for every kitty, so first determine if your cat is right for this activity.
- Keep your cat indoors unless he or she is with you. Indoor cats live longer for a reason: They’re not exposed to disease, wildlife or busy streets. And the same goes in the great outdoors. If you take your cat outside, you are that animal’s constant chaperone — never let him or her out of your sight.
- Talk to your veterinarian before taking a cat outdoors. Your cat should be in good health and up to date on vaccinations, as well as flea, tick and heartworm treatments.
- Before you take your cat outside, buy a fitting harness and train him.
- Always keep your cat on a leash. This is the best way to ensure your cat doesn’t wander off and encounter wildlife, chew on a dangerous plant or get into another dangerous situation.
- Don’t take your cat outside without a collar and ID tags. We also encourage you to have your kitty microchipped.
- Be prepared. This means packing essential items and knowing how to keep your pet safe on the trail.
- Make sure cats are allowed on a trail before you go.
- Travel safely — that means your cat should be in a carrier.
- Pay attention to your cat. Don’t force your cat into a new situation that will cause stress, and don’t push your kitty outside his comfort zone.
- Use your best judgment. Your cat may enjoy an easy day hike or a casual paddle on the lake. Your cat likely won’t enjoy a strenuous week-long hike or a trip down Class IV rapids.
The bottom line: You are responsible for your cat’s health, safety and well-being, so don’t ever put your feline friend in danger. If you have any qualms or second thoughts about whether your cat can participate in an activity, it’s probably best to let your cat sit this one out and take a catnap safely at home. Adventuring with a cat is all about improving a cat’s quality of life — not lessening or shortening it. Please adventure responsibly.
And if you’re looking for your own adventure cat, we encourage you to adopt from a local shelter. Please don’t purchase a cat from a pet store or breeder when there are millions of shelter cats you could save. Adopt. Don’t shop.