Move over, rovers! Adventure cats are the nipping at your heels as the best friend you need for all your outdoor journeying. While cat lovers have long known some felines love an adventure, the majority of people are just warming up to the fact that cats can be acclimated to life on the trail, by the shore, or in the tent. In fact, teaching your cat to adventure is a trend that’s growing worldwide.
But it’s not something that should be entered into lightly. It takes lots of practice and discipline on the part of the parent and the cat. Plus, the feline in question needs to have the right personality for adventuring. After all, not all people want to go hiking, biking, or kayaking, and cats are the same. Some of them crave life in the open air while others are cats who prefur a cushy life. Want to know if your kitty has the makings of an adventure cat? Let’s meet some of social media’s adventure cats for tips on how to take it to the wilds with your kitty.
Ready for Adventure, Kitties?
Cats have a long lineage that takes them all the way back to ancient nights where adventure was a part of life. More so, it was life. Cats then didn’t have the security of a roof over their heads and a parent who would fill their food bowl. To survive, a cat had to wander, searching for food and shelter. So, the memory of that long-ago life resides in your cat’s DNA, but today, they can be lazy beasts if they so choose.
But the cats who crave adventure can be found in the forests, on the coasts, and scaling mountains. And a search of the hashtag #adventurecats on any social media platform will yield heaps of results for your viewing pleasure. But these cats didn’t just clip into a harness and go. They’ve spent lots of time learning how to be loyal companions in the wild.
Here are a few tips from the furriest and purriest trail guides you’ll ever meet.
Learning to Love a Harness
Megan Ferney and Leon love hiking, but the first challenge the pair faced in preparing for outdoor fun was getting to Leon wear the harness. How did Megan go about teaching him?
“I knew that I wanted Leon to associate the harness with good, fun things,” Megan told USA Today. “I attempted to give him treats as an award for putting it on, but he was so frantic for the treats, I’m not sure if he understood he got them after it was on or not. It worked though, and every time I picked up the harness he came sprinting over.”
And as Megan said, it took a while for Leon to love the harness. Plus, there’s another issue when it comes to cats and the wearing of things.
“A lot of cats flop over on their sides and remain statue-like until the harness is removed,” explained Megan. “I’d leave the harness on for longer and longer periods of time, up to a few hours if I was at home. It wasn’t too long until he was accustomed to it and did all of his normal cat things with his harness on.”
So, slow, steady, and armed with lots of treats, you can acclimate your cat to a harness too.
When the time comes to head out, here’s What To Be Aware Of When Walking Your Cat On A Leash.
Know Your Kitty
Though adventure cats are usually brave and on the fearless side, they are still cats and can get scared. When frightened, cats need a place to hide so they can destress and watch the world from a secure vantage point.
Hailey Hirst of She-Explores loves to travel and her cat, Josie, is the best of road mates with the pair having thousands of miles under their paws. But before logging those miles, Hailey knew when the time came to adopt a kitten, she needed a cat who would match her outdoor lifestyle. So, part of that was getting to know Josie, making sure she was a feline up for wild journeys. She also understood a base fact about the nature of cats.
“Cats are more territorial than nomadic by nature,” explained Hailey. “If stressed or scared, it’s great to have somewhere they can retreat to that they know is safe. Maybe that’s a cat carrier or a vehicle, or a backpack.”
“Having the option of retreat is a stress reliever—especially if you encounter other animals/noise/etc.”
Hailey also reminds cat parents ready to train their felines to trek, keep your cool because cats are sensitive to our moods, so “If they are getting extra stressed while outside or in a vehicle, take a moment to check in with your own mood. They might be mirroring your anxiety level.”
Remember, this is supposed to be fun for everyone.
Take It at A Cat’s Pace
Mom to adventure cat Sirius Black, Johanna Dominguez explains walking or hiking with a cat shouldn’t be viewed the same as trekking with a dog. As she told Outside Online, “People want something that will go along like a dog, but you have to go at their pace.”
Like Sirius and Johanna, take it slow for success. When cats are rushed into something they aren’t sure about, it could doom future endeavors as fear is a huge demotivator. One of the great things about hiking at a cat’s pace is what you can find might otherwise miss. So, if your cat is one for adventure, grab a harness and introduce it to your kitty!
More Tips for Adventures with Cats
Bodhi the Adventure Cat reminds you to bring your life vest when heading out for water fun!
Don’t forget the snacks, because good kitties get treats. Look at good kitty Cash and his beautiful cookie!
Be aware of poisonous plants that could make a nosing kitty sick. Lava the CatExplorer demonstrates how cats enjoy investigating with their mouths. Yummy Dandelion!
Always research your destination and follow rules regarding adventuring with furry companions. Knowing ahead of time means you only have to focus on fun with your feline when you’re out and about. And Momo loves the fun of adventuring so much she can’t help smiling!
Looking to learn more about adventuring with your cats? Check out So You Want An Adventure Cat: Here Are 5 Tips To Get Started.
Feature Image: @littlegreysadventures/Instagram