Camping with your cat can be an enjoyable adventure. Our Southeast Texas Guide, Lisa Dempsey, offers some tips to be prepared when you take your cat with you outdoors on your next outing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Click the link to read my post on Girl Camper’s blog on the top 5 websites for traveling with pets.