- The younger the better. Some cats don’t even like to hike at all. That’s why if you want to go out on hikes with your cat, you may want to start them young. Have them with you on the trail when you go out on hikes, and let them get accustomed to the outdoors. That way, they’ll be more comfortable on the trail with you when they get older.When you start with adult cats on the trail, then you need to temper your expectations.A few cats may enjoy hiking for a couple of miles, because they find the new sights, scents, and sounds intriguing. But others may only go a few steps and then curl down to sleep once they find a nice shady spot. When that happens, you’ll need to carry them with you.
Photo Credit: tillydiekatze
- Keep them on their leash. Letting your cat roam freely while on your hike is never a good idea. It doesn’t matter if they’re trained to come to you when you call. It’s just too risky. They may just wander off too far, or get into trouble.
- Be on the lookout for dangers. For cats in the outdoors, “trouble” can mean a lot of things. They may eat a newly discovered plant that may turn out to be dangerous, or come near to poison ivy which contains allergens that can spread to you. They may drink water from a bacteria-filled stream. And you should be very careful of various predators. Kittens aren’t the only ones at risk when you take them out. Even fully grown cats are vulnerable to various predators, which may include mountain lions, coyotes, and snakes. And look up for various birds of prey as well.
Photo Credits: Masha Popovi
- Keep your cat fed and hydrated. Treats will be adequate for trails, but you should also only let your cat drink the water you brought with you. Make sure you whip out the water when you see you cat panting.
- Leave no trace. And that means you better take all the waste with you. And in case the presence of the poop box in your prep kit didn’t clue you in, it also means you need to take care of your cat’s waste.
Hiking with your cat can offer several healthy benefits. These include exercise that can prevent or reduce obesity and it can also offer mental stimulation. And of course, the best reason to go hiking is that for you and for your cat, it can be a lot of fun!