Camping with Cats: How to Take Your Kitty on Your Family Vacation

Many people like taking their pets with them on vacation. Increasingly, that includes cats. Taking a cat along, however, requires planning. For example, the cat should be microchipped and wear a collar or harness with your contact information. It should also be up-to-date on all of its shots, and you should bring its veterinary records. Here are some other ways to make certain that you and your cat have a safe and enjoyable trip. 

Harness train the cat ahead of time

Part of the fun of taking a cat on a camping trip is taking it on walks with you. To do that, you will have to train it to walk on a leash well before the trip. The ideal time to harness train a cat is during its kittenhood. Adult cats, however, can be trained. The website provides a step-by-step guide on how to harness train a cat, so you can eventually walk it outside. If your cat just doesn’t pick up harness training at all and is resistant to going outside, then you may need to accept that your cat would not feel comfortable camping.

Bring familiar items for your cat

During the trip, both you and your cat will be basically living in the camper trailer. This is preferable to just a tent, as the solid surfaces will be more appealing as a safe place away from the outdoors for your cat to rest between adventures. Before the trip, you should bring Fluffy into the trailer and let her explore it and get acclimated to it without going anywhere. Don’t get annoyed if she rubs her face on items; that’s a way cats mark a place as one of safety and security. Similarly, you should bring familiar things like her cat bed, favorite toys, and litter pan. Such items will make the camper trailer smell more homelike and less threatening.

Provide a safe enclosure

Cats should never be allowed to roam a moving vehicle, as there is too much risk of their getting hurt in the event of an accident. Even a sudden stop might send a cat flying. Moreover, cats often try to escape when people stop and open the door. You should, therefore, keep your cat in a crate, playpen or carrier while traveling. The website Cat Travel Trips describes the many possible enclosures for cats. Make certain to secure the enclosure so it doesn’t slide all over the place. It’s also important to put the enclosure in a place that won’t get too hot or cold.

Stick to the cat’s usual diet

Sudden changes in diet can make a cat sick, so bring their usual food. Also bring a supply of water from home, since the water at the campground may taste “wrong” to your cat and may even upset her stomach. Hiking burns up calories in cats as it does humans, which means Fluffy will work up an appetite. Make sure you have enough food and treats to keep her happy during the trip. Also, consider buying bowls with non-slip rubber bases so they don’t slide all over the place. Bowls made from heavier materials like ceramic have the advantage of being less likely to spill.

Traveling with a cat in a camper trailer does take planning, but it will be worth it in the end. You can have a lot of fun with your cat – and take lots of cute pictures.

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