Whenever we meet someone on the trail, we always get lots of comments. A lot of them come from cat owners who wish they could do the same with their own pet(s). I wanted to gather up some of the most common myths and misconceptions and explain why they are incorrect. I hope that it will help to encourage you to harness train your pet, and to see that taking your feline outdoors isn’t as difficult as it may seem.
Myth: Cats are not adventurous animals
Cats have a very strong sense of curiosity and desire to explore their environment. They enjoy investigating new spaces, objects, and scents – all it takes is to move the chair into the middle of the room and your feline is going to investigate it for the next 15-30 minutes!
Though cats might not be “conventional” travel buddies (at the moment), they can absolutely join you on adventures.
Myth: Cats don’t enjoy outdoor activities
Cats are natural hunters and explorers. Their instincts drive them to seek out new environments, investigate scents, and engage in activities such as stalking, pouncing, and climbing. Outdoors provide a wealth of mental stimulation for cats – new sights, sounds, and smells! It can captivate their senses and provide enrichment that indoor environments alone may not offer.
Myth: Cats can’t be trained to walk on a leash
Though it can be a difficult task, it’s not necessarily impossible to train your cat to walk on a leash. Some cats might be easier to train than others, too.
I do want to say, that not every cat can be an adventure cat. I do realize that it’s bit of a “controversial” opinion, but some cats are either too anxious, too independent, or it just doesn’t work.
Myth: Adventure gear for cats is unnecessary
Adventure gear is a must if you want to take your cat outdoors. Many people do let their cats roam freely and may or may not have success with it, but it’s not a responsible way to do it.
Gear used for cat adventures provides security, comfort, and convenience. Leash and harness keep your pet safe – you can control where s/he goes, how far, and stop them when needed. Jackets and sweaters can keep your cat warm during cold months. And a pet backpack or car seat allows you to take your furry friend to some awesome places
Myth: Cats are scared of new environments
Though cats may initially be cautious when introduced to a new environment, they are not inherently scared of change. In fact, cats are naturally curious creatures and can adapt to new surroundings quite well. Some cats are naturally more outgoing and adventurous, while others may be more reserved or cautious.
Cats love routines and habits, so new environment can be “disorienting” at first. For example, Chumka often “checks with me” when we are walking through a new path or he might be a bit unsure of the area. So I give him some verbal reassurance and he just continues on.
Cats rely on their sense of smell to navigate their surroundings. When in a new place, they need time to familiarize themselves with the new scents.
Myth: Cats can’t stay calm during travel
Cats are often pictured as being easily startled and anxious. This perception can lead many cat owners to believe that their feline friends are not good candidates for travel. But lets not put all cats in the same bag 😉
With plenty of patience and training, your pet can feel safe and comfortable during travels.
Myth: Outdoor activities are stressful for cats
Cats are naturally curious and adventurous animals, and they can actually benefit from spending time outdoors in a safe and controlled environment.
Just like I said earlier, with plenty of patience and training, your pet can feel safe and comfortable outdoors.
It might be surprising to some, but my cat is an anxious explorer. We do put a lot of thought and work into planning our routes, places to explore, and possible alternatives. There are times where we just leave him behind, or cut the adventure short – and it’s okay! 😊
Myth: Cats are not interested in exploring their surroundings
The myth that cats are not interested in exploring their surroundings is a common misconception that stems from their reputation for being lazy and domesticated. It’s also possible that your cat’s food might have turned him/her into a couch potato.
Cats have a natural curiosity that often drives them to explore their surroundings. While they may initially be cautious or seem uninterested, many cats will gradually become more comfortable as they investigate and become familiar with the new environment.
Myth: Cats are not physically capable for outdoor adventures
Cats have a range of physical attributes that enable them to explore the great outdoors. Many of a cat’s natural behaviors, such as stalking, pouncing, and exploring, are geared toward outdoor survival and adventure.
Some cat breeds, such as the Bengal and Savannah cat, are known for their high energy levels and love of adventure. These breeds are often more inclined to seek out new experiences and are quite adventurous by nature.
Myth: Cats prefer to stay indoors at all times
Whether a cat prefers to stay indoors or explore the outdoors will depend on their individual personality and experiences. Some cats may be perfectly content indoors, while others may thrive with outdoor adventures. It’s important to balance a cat’s desire for outdoor exploration with safety considerations. There are plenty of risks when letting your cat outdoors, such as traffic, predators, and exposure to diseases. Letting your cat explore the outdoors should be done under supervision – such as a catio, or leash training.
Myth: It’s safer to keep cats indoors at all times
It’s true that cats are safest inside their comfy homes. In fact, even if kept indoors, they can find ways to satisfy their adventurous instincts. They might explore different rooms in the house, climb on furniture, and investigate nooks and crannies.
Outdoor adventures are “completely” safe when taken proper precautions – such as tick/ wildlife prevention.
Myth: Adventure cats must be outdoor cats
The biggest reason we train our felines to be “adventure cats” is so they can explore outdoors responsibly. We all disagree (more, or less) on letting your cat to roam freely outdoors.
You could say that adventure cats are indoor only cats 😉
Myth: Adventure cats are only for certain breeds
Some cats (breeds) are naturally more outgoing and adventurous, while others may be more reserved or cautious. But there is an abundance of just good ol’ mutts exploring the world! 😊💛
Myth: Adventure cats are only for young and active cats
While training a young cat/ kitten is easier than an adult one, you can still teach an old cat new tricks 😉😉
You can adapt the adventure types to suit your pet’s needs. In fact, exploring the yard counts as an awesome adventure! Whenever we take Chumka out for walkies with us, we know we won’t get far – he prefers to sniff every bug and investigate each blade of grass 😹
Myth: Adventure cats are too independent to be trained
While cats are not as easy to train as dogs are, it’s not impossible to train them. Felines are smart creatures, capable of learning complex tasks.
It’s important to approach training with patience and a positive attitude. The training sessions will be short, trust me. This article says that a cat has an attention span of somewhere between two and fifteen minutes. For me and many of my “kitty friends”, the training sessions last max 5 minutes, with an average of 2 minutes lol.
It’s important to respect your cat’s individual personality and preferences. Not all cats will excel at the same skills or enjoy the same activities, so tailor training to your cat’s specific interests and abilities.
Myth: Adventure cats are only for experienced cat owners
While experience with cats can be helpful, particularly when it comes to understanding feline behavior and safety, the concept of adventure cats can be enjoyed by cat owners of all experience levels!
What matters most is a genuine love for cats, a willingness to learn and adapt, and a commitment to put your cat’s well-being and safety of first. By starting slowly, seeking guidance and resources, and prioritizing safety, cat owners of all experience levels can become adventure cat owners! 😊💛
Myth: Adventure cats can never live indoors
This myth comes from the misconception that cats will become unhappy and restless if confined to an indoor environment. But the reality is that with proper enrichment, socialization, and care, adventure cats can thrive and enjoy a fulfilling life indoors.
What’s really cool is that if I keep up with playing with Chumka, taking him outdoors enough, and giving him different enrichments – I can leave the door open and he won’t run away. He’s just content being inside.
Myth: Adventure cats are always hunting wildlife
There is this big misconception that cats are inherently predatory and dangerous to wildlife. It’s important to know that cats are opportunistic hunters. Their prey choices are largely influenced by factors such as the availability of food sources and their own individual preferences.
It’s true that free roaming cats have a really negative impact on wildlife. But that’s why it’s important to supervise your cat outdoors – it’s both for their own safety, and the wildlife’s.
Myth: Adventure cats are always at risk of getting lost
There are steps you can take to ensure your cat’s safety – purchasing a well fitted harness is your most important step to ensure your pet’s safety. Another helpful item is a cat backpack – it gives your pet a safe space to escape to, during an unexpected event.
And last but not least, pet tracking devices can give you additional peace of mind in case your cat does get spooked and flees.
Myth: Adventure cats don’t need regular exercise
I think it’s safe to say that many of adventure cat owners don’t take their cats outside everyday. Yes, the cats do want to go outside at any given moment, but many of us live busy lives and can only commit to couple walks a week.
Just like us, humans, should do some sort of physical activity each day, cats also need to move a bit to maintain their health.
Please give your pet(s) some love from me 😊❤️