Camping with a cat – what to expect

Cat wandering through a campsite, stack of wood is in the background

I love camping. But what I love even more is camping with my loved ones – including the furry ones. Camping is often associated with the companionship of dogs. However, cats, with their inherent curiosity and adaptability, can also make exceptional adventure companions! Here are couple things you can expect when taking your cat camping with you.

Preparation is Key

Before embarking on your camping adventure, it’s crucial to ensure your cat is physically and mentally prepared for the experience. Familiarize your cat with the sights, sounds, and smells of the outdoors by taking them on short walks or hikes in your local park. It’s also important to train your cat to be comfortable during car rides. This acclimatization process will help reduce stress and anxiety during the actual camping trip. Make sure your adventure cat is up to date on vaccinations and has proper identification, such as a collar with your contact information.

Click here for an ultimate prep guide for cat camping.

Cat on a beach Prepare for the weather changes

Depending on the time of year you go camping, as well as the area you’re staying at – you might need to pack some extra gear. Camping nights can get chilly, so it’s important to ensure your adventure cat is warm and comfortable. Bring an extra blanket or sleeping bag for both you and your cat to snuggle in. Cats are excellent heat-seeking creatures, so they will appreciate the warmth.

On the other hand, you might need to prepare for some hot summer days. Some great options are cooling mats, cooling vests and bandanas, or even little portable fans. Click here to see our current adventure cat gear list – it includes both summer and winter gear.

Respect Wildlife and Campsite Etiquette

As with any outdoor activity, it’s essential to respect the wildlife and the outdoor etiquette. Make sure to follow Leave No Trace principles and pack out all waste, including your cat’s litter. Dispose of waste properly to minimize the impact on the natural surroundings you are enjoying.

Keep your cat on a leash whenever they are outside to keep them safe. You want to keep an eye on your cat anytime they are outside (the tent).

Here is a really good article explaining how to keep you and your pet safe outdoors.

Prioritize your cat’s comfort zone and safety

The biggest advice for camping with your kitty is: keep your eyes on the prize (your pet). It can be a bit inconvenient, especially if you stay in a tent but it’s essential. It’s also very important that they have their ID/ air tag on them at all times, along with a glow in the dark collar when it starts to get dark.

It’s good to scan the campsite and its’ area for potential hazards such as poisonous plants, wildlife, and potential garbage left behind.

Be patient and understanding as your cat adjusts to the new environment, and don’t push them beyond their comfort zone. Take breaks when needed, and provide plenty of opportunities for your cat to explore, play and rest.

Create a little safe space for your cat. Somewhere he can sneak in and “hide” – it might be his backpack or inside a car, and such… You never know what or who might be “in the foreign neighbourhood” so having such spot will help your cat enjoy the trip.

You might need to cut your trip short

Camping can be a stressful experience for some cats due to the unfamiliar surroundings, sounds, and smells. Pay attention to your cat’s behavior and provide a safe and comforting space for them when needed.

If you think that camping (this trip or in general) is not good for your cat, it’s best to pack up and head home. You don’t want your cat to get sick from the stress, or develop fear of the outdoors.

Final words

Most importantly, enjoy your time outdoors with your feline friend. I hope that you’re gonna have the best time ever!

Please give your pet some love from me💛

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Paulina, Chumka's Mom

Paulina, Chumka's Mom

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