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Things You Need Before Taking Your Cat On a Trek

September 21, 2022 6 min read

As a cat parent, you want to take your cat everywhere you travel. It has become common for cat parents to carry their cats on vacations, workations, and even adventure trips. At first, all the ifs and buts of what could go wrong outdoors with your cat could strike you, but with some preparation and planning, a trek with your cat can be a success. While planning an outdoor trip for your cat, you should consider its preferences. Some cats are naturally adventurous. They like spending the daytime and even nighttime in outdoor spaces. At the same time, some cats like the indoors. They do not venture into the wild even if their human accompanies them. Another question when cat hikes are discussed is whether treks and adventures like that are healthy for cats. The answer is yes. The exploration is great for cats. New sights, sounds, and smells stimulate a cat's senses and help them stay physically and mentally active. This, in turn, prevents feline obesity and lethargy. Taking your cat on a trek can also help you bond with your feline companion.

Here are some tips to help you prepare for a cat trek:

  1. Choose The Right Hiking Gear: Good hiking gear is a must when you plan to take your cat into unknown territories, especially on a trek. There are three essential pieces of gear that you will need for your cat during a tour:
    • Cat Harness/Leash:There are two facts about cats. One, they hate leashes, and two, they can wiggle out of anything in the world. If you know these, it's easy to conclude that handling cats in harnesses will be difficult. Make sure you get a harness with padded straps so that it is comfortable for your cat. Once you buy the proper cat harness, start getting your cat accustomed to it at home. It will take multiple attempts to get the harness on your cat and multiple more to make it comfortable with the saddle. This way, your cat will be comfortable wearing a harness for long distances on the trek.
    • Cat Carrier: Even though cats prefer to be independent, you might need to carry them in a backpack sometimes. A suitable cat carrier is spacious enough for a cat to sit or lie down comfortably during the trek. It can be worn frontward so that you can interact with your cat throughout the journey. Keep the harness on even when your cat is tucked inside the cat carrier because you want to avoid all chances of your cat escaping. Staying inside the backpack would be a foreign concept for your cat, so practice at home first.
    • GPS Collar: No matter how many precautions you take, the only way to be genuinely stress-free is to add a GPS tracker to your cat's collar. You must add your phone number on your cat's collar if it gets lost anytime during the trek. Instilling a microchip in your cat is the surest way to track it. With the safeguard of a tracker, you can let your cat walk the trails freely.
  2. Fit-to-trek Checkups: Just as cats need a fit-to-fly certificate to travel on airplanes, they also need one to go on treks. Vaccinations are the most important of these health checkups. Make sure all vaccinations have been updated. Visit a veterinarian doctor to certify that your cat is fit for the excursion. The doctor may also suggest certain health precautions for your cat.
  3. Take Your Cat On Short Trails Near Your House: If your cat is a typical house cat and hasn't ventured out much, it is best to take it for short trails around your house to understand their behaviour better. You can try to walk in contained environments like parks which are free from dogs and other cats. Going around the house will help your cat become confident outdoors. Encountering new objects, smells, sounds and surfaces will become a habit. They can move from a place of fear to security through this practice.
  4. Let Your Cat Explore On Its Own: When you take your cat out, let it explore new spaces at its own pace. Try not to force your cat to walk freely into new spaces. The first few times, it may be scared because everything is unfamiliar, but its confidence will increase with time and repetition. You can give treats and small rewards after completing each outing. It will get used to walking with harnesses too.
  5. Help Your Cat Get Used To Car Travel: The next level of training is car travel. Cats don't feel safe in cars. They need extra attention to accept the concept of a moving surface. Drive steadily and make sure the road is not too bumpy. If you hold them through the first few drives, they will have positive associations with the car. You can put on their harness throughout the drive to familiarise them with the setup.
  6. Supplies: Make sure you have enough supplies for your cat and more. Finding cat supplies on a trek can be problematic, and in a new environment, you don't want your cat to feel uncomfortable due to a lack of supplies. Cat food, treats, and cat litter are some basic necessities for your trip. Carry wet food if you feel it is needed; otherwise, you can avoid it. Carry diapers for travel and soaking tissues.
  7. Contingency Measures: For health emergencies, carry a first-aid box with all the items your cat might need. Carry your backpack everywhere so you can pick your cat up and put it in its safe zone in case a snake, rabbit, rodent, etc. is encountered. If you feel that your cat is agitated or anxious, pay immediate attention to it. Also, if your cat is exhausted while walking or climbing and needs to rest or drink water, you should be alert for signs. Cats can hear sounds from long distances and sounds that are not on the human radar. So if you see your cat rattled without any reason, it may have listened to an animal or sound that has caused it distress. One solution is to play music to calm your cat. Then slowly lift it and place it in the backpack.
  8. Don't Let Your Cat Get Dehydrated: Water is one thing most cats aren't particular about. Cats often forget to drink water. You must remind it to drink water now and then on the trip. If pouring water into a bowl for them is inconvenient, you can always carry a water bottle and use its cap as a bowl for your cat to drink water from. During car travels, you can set reminders for your cat to drink water so that even if it slips your mind, your cat does not suffer. A hydrated cat is a happy cat.
  9. Cozy Sleeping Space: Treks can bring out all the excitement in your cat. If you're on a multi-day trip, make sure your cat has a safe, snug corner to sleep in. With all the day's adventure, you and your cat need to rest for at least 8 hours. Even though your cat will be vigilant through the night due to the new place, your presence and a cozy sleeping space are a must. The sleeping space should be warm and fluffy, so your cat feels at home.
  10. Enjoy Your Cat Trek: With all the preparation and planning, don't miss out on the fun you should have with your cat. Outdoor trips are the perfect opportunity to bond with your cat. Letting the worry outweigh living in the moment is natural in circumstances like these. But be mindful and savour each moment you spend with your feline companion. Try not to be too controlling as long as it falls into safety limits. Gear up, breathe, and enjoy your time.

List of Recommended Products

  • Cat harness
  • Cat leash
  • Cat carrier
  • GPS tracker

Conclusion

As you go on a trek with your cat, click loads of pictures and videos. You can even make a mini vlog series featuring your cat. The first trek with your cat is the most worrisome and the most precious at the same time. Make the most of this time. After a few treks, your cat will get used to it. Let it interact with other humans and make friends. You will not be able to control everything, but trust yourself to improvise and handle situations.



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