By Lisa Dempsey

Camping with your cat can be an enjoyable adventure. Follow these five tips to be prepared when you take your cat with you outdoors on your next outing.

Grey tabby in a bright pink harness inside a trailer looking up at the camera getting ready to cat camp.

Secure the Camping Quarters

  • Check your trailer, tent, or van for gaps or places your cat could easily escape through if they should become scared or curious. Whenever you are camping with your cat, become familiar with the spots in your camping quarters that your feline might use as a hiding place.
  • Have a collar on your cat with a nametag and phone number. Microchip your cat and add a GPS Tag to her collar. Taf Fishy says, “I recommend getting a “find my keys” style tag and have them wear it long before going on a trip. Set it off randomly and give them the best treats when you do. This will help them get used to the noise and not be frighted if it goes off.”
  • Consider a pet monitor such as Waggle that will notify you of unsafe temperature changes and other possible emergencies while you are away from the campsite.
  • Use a leash and harness when camping with your cat. Always use a secure harness and leash with the cat outside the camp quarters. Train your cat to stay put when you open the door to exit – avoid door dashing.
Black cat in a camp chair wearing a leash and harness.  A lake and trees are in the background.
A orange tabbycat is secured in the trailer behind a screened door looking out at a picnic table covered in food.
A tip for camping with a cat on a leash shows a grey tabby cat sitting on top of a large roll of hay looking into the distance and secured by a harness and leash.

Create a Special Kitty Corner

  • Bring familiar items from home, such as a bed or toy, to make them more comfortable in the space.
  • Have a designated area, preferably with access to a window, for your cat to lounge and sleep.
  • Before making a trailer or tent purchase, consider your cat companion’s needs. Girl Camper Debbi Atkins says, “I bought a trailer with bunks, and their litter box is under the bottom bunk, out of the line of sight from anywhere in the trailer. The middle bunk is fixed for them to have a hideaway area by a window. They love sitting in front of all the windows.”
  • Have a scratching post or mat available. Scratching helps cats relieve stress, stretch their muscles, and exercise.  

Get a Health Check and Update Vaccinations

  • Check with your Vet about any recommended vaccinations or medications that might help your cat travel safely and avoid possible illness if they come into contact with wildlife or poisonous plants during your travels.
  • Keep a paper copy of your cat’s Rabies and other vaccination records, along with your Vet’s contact information, in a sheet protector or sealed plastic bag in your vehicle and smartphone.
  • If your cat has anxiety or motion sickness when traveling, discuss over-the-counter and prescription options for helping them feel more comfortable on the road with you.
  • Have a plan for flea and tick prevention. Even if your feline stays inside, you may bring pesky critters inside after a walkabout on your clothing that will attach themselves to your furry friend.
Girl Camper Lesa McDermott is in her car with her grrey long haired tabby cat and small dog.  One of the tips is to take your pets for a vet check before camping.

Bring Food, Water, and Supplies from Home

  • Have an extra day or two of food on hand. Things happen when camping due to weather, equipment issues, or other travel delays. Have your pet’s regular food available to avoid an upset stomach.
  • Water at campsites may be potable, but it also often has a very different smell and taste than what your feline is used to. Dehydration and upset stomach may become an issue when presenting a new water source. To avoid this, bring enough water with you from home to last the length of your journey.
  • Cats can be particular about their bathroom regimens. Don’t try a new brand of kitty litter or a different style box without trying it at home first. Bring enough cat litter and supplies for your trip.  
  • Poop bags are required to clean up after your cat if they defecate outdoors. Your cat may try to bury its waste, but please clean up after your cat.  Soil contamination from pet feces is a thing, and it spreads diseases. Besides that, no one likes to find poop at the campground.
Two black cats hide under a dark grey pillow in a trailer.  They look like they do not like to travel in a car.
A bright orange tabby with big eyes is sitting in a camp chair and wearing a knit sweater with a design of snowflakes and blue and grey stripes.

Enjoy Your Time Together

  • Have an outdoor playpen or enclosure that can safely and securely hold your pet while you are outside your camper or tent.
  • Lounge together in a hammock or nap together in the trailer.
  • Make time for playtime. Get out the cat toys and engage with your kitty.
  • Take a walk while on a leash or being carried in a secured pet backpack to enjoy the campground.
A pretty fluffy cat with pointed ears sits up riding in a backpack with her owner on a hike outdoors.

Click the link to read my post on Girl Camper’s blog on the top 5 websites for traveling with pets.

Check out my article on 5 top websites for traveling with Pets.

Thank you to all of the Girl Campers who posted feedback and photos for my article in our Facebook Groups.  Be sure to request to join our private Southeast Texas Group.   It is open to all Girl Campers nationwide @girlcampersoutheasttexas.

Two images of cats camping with their owners.
Lisa Dempsey
Contributing Writer & Southeast Texas Guide


Email [email protected]

App Social Buttons Image  App Social Buttons Image 

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This