Have you ever wanted to take your cat out on a hike? It’s a fabulous way to get some fresh air and exercise for you and your cat, but it’s not an activity every cat is suited for.
Here’s what you know about going cat hiking.
Does your cat like the outdoors?
Taking an indoor or shy cat out on a hike is not recommended. If your cat does not like to stray far from its comfort zone, forcing them on a hike may not be ideal or safe.
If your cat is commonly outdoors and shows safe, adventurous behavior, they may enjoy and benefit from a good hike. Be sure they’re up-to-date on vaccinations, including rabies and flea/tick medications, before heading onto the trailhead.
Check trail rules
Not every trail is suitable or allows cats and dogs. This is often due to sensitive areas or an abundance of aggressive wildlife. Choose quieter parks and trails for your outdoor cat hiking adventures.
Off-leash dog hiking trails may not suit your cat as it’s likely to attract unwanted attention from other animals. If you’re unsure, hike the trail yourself a few times first, or go early in the day or later in the evening to avoid too many other hikers.
Know your cat’s limit
Climbing a steep mountain range may not be best with your cat. If you’re new to hiking with your cat, choose low-impact trails first to see how they perform. You may be able to gradually increase the intensity or length of your hikes over time as the cat shows increased interest and ability.
Cat obedience training
We recommend leashing your cat rather than allowing them to roam free on your hike. Get a good quality cat harness with wide, padded straps and a leash. Most cats will protest being on a leash at first. Practice in a controlled environment, like your yard or a small fenced park, until they are used to it.
Here are some extra tips for training your cat to walk on a leash.
Cat hiking packing list
Packing for a hike with your cat isn’t much different than packing for yourself. In addition to your hiking gear and supplies, here are a few cat hiking items to include in your backpack:
Water: Bring a small, collapsible bowl for them too.
Food: GO! SOLUTIONS wet food recipes come in resealable Tetra Pak packaging for on-the-go feeding. Wet food is great for this due to its high moisture content. Because wet food is generally 78-82% moisture, it's a great way to ensure increased hydration.
A cat GPS tracker: These small trackers can attach to their collar, so you can find them if they get lost.
A cat-carrying backpack: If you want to go on longer hikes, get a cat backpack so your cat can rest inside for a while. Choose one that is large enough for them to lay down in safely.
Are you ready to explore the great outdoors with your cat this year? Make sure you and your cat are prepared by reading our cat hiking tips, and don’t forget to pack nutritious energy snacks for both of you. You can find GO! SOLUTIONS wet food for cats in easy travel-sized Tetra Paks at your local pet food store.