What it’s like to have an anxious adventure cat

When you think of “adventure cats”, what qualities come to your mind? Adventurous, curious, bold… Well, my cat has the first two, but he is the complete opposite of the last one. It might come as a surprise to some – especially that he seems quite bold when you look at some of the content I’ve shared on our Instagram. So how is it possible that he comes along for the adventures?

The Challenges

I think the biggest challenge – especially lately – have been social media. I found myself comparing to so many creators/ folks with adventure cats. You see them travelling the “popular” spots, going to the cafes, parks… you name it. And their pets either don’t mind or genuinely enjoy being around others.

I really wish that my cat was a bit more bold – or even that he could recover from his anxiety a bit faster, so we could continue on our walk. Because if he gets “spooked” by something (usually a dog or a human), then it’s over… He will pull so hard to go either back to the car or away, that I worry he will hurt himself – and he has a harness designed to help with pulling. So I place him in his backpack and he will stay in there until we get to the car. Because if he can’t see you, you can’t see him, #catlogic.

Another thing is that I can’t just pick him up and go to a nearest park. In order for him to really enjoy the time outside I need to take him to a “remote” place. And we all are busy people, so we don’t always have time for that.

Why not let him roam freely?

He was allowed to roam freely (with supervision) on our latest camping trip and I saw how much he loves being outside. It kind of made me “understand” why people let their cats out to roam freely. And “I wish I could do that” for my cat but it’s not safe in our neighborhood – and in general.

So I try to take him outside as much as I can… even if it’s just exploring the backyard.

Why do I still bring him along

Because he enjoys it.

The short moment of anxiety doesn’t define the whole adventure. I am learning ways to help him be more bold or to shake that anxiety off. I never do anything that’s far outside of his comfort zone or that would traumatize him.

We usually bring him to places that are remote, or we go during off-hours. So the possibility of coming across others is much much smaller. I also try to work with him to be a bit more comfortable around humans. The main problem is the time needed to actually make it work. Because if you don’t use something, then you lose it.

How do I plan/ prep for cat adventures

There is a lot of planning involved in any trip that we do – even local ones. First, we need to find time for it, and decide on a place to visit. We have couple local places that we go to, so that’s “not a big deal”. But you always need to think about safety, your own and your pet – and we have coyotes/ bears in most of our parks lol

We always bring Chumka’s backpack with us. This is his safe place and escape from “scaries”.

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Paulina, Chumka's Mom

Paulina, Chumka's Mom

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