Ready to prepare for your cat adventures? You are no longer alone when travelling with a cat, this is fast becoming just as popular as taking your dogs out.
Training a cat to be ready for adventure and join you on your walks can seem like a daunting task and there are a number of steps you should take before you embark on this. I've compiled this training guide to help you accomplish all of the steps needed for the perfect adventure cat. Let's begin.
How Do You Train a Cat to Be Adventurous?
- Make them feel safe with you
- Use positive socialisation techniques
- Socialise them with dogs in safe environments
- Introduce them slowly to the outdoors
- Have the necessary accessories such as a cat leash and cat harness
- Create a safe area for them, this could include a cat backpack
Enable Your Cat to Meet Dogs When Outdoors
Whilst adventuring your cat is sure to come across lots of pet's and animals. One of the biggest questions we get around this is how to handle meeting dogs - some can be over friendly and other's can be anxious or angry around cats. Read on for our tips and guidance on how you can improve and be less nervous meeting dogs while walking your cat which can also be applied to meeting all kinds of other species on your catventures.
How to Socialise a Cat
Going back to basics, they key reaction of any pet introductions links to whether the pet has had a positive or negative association with the scenario previously.
We use this in a method called cat socialisation, which is about creating lots of positive associations in a safe and controlled environment to better improve how cat's react to the same association whilst out exploring.
How to Train an Adventure Cat
This of course leads onto cat training and plenty of practice.
You must ensure your cat has been trained to first be fully comfortable outside (without other animal distractions), comfortable in their cat walking leash, (harness or collar) and has had lots of practice in plenty of different environments.
Outside of planning and preparing your cat for the encounters they will face with socialisation there are some other steps you can take to make their time outside easier.
Preparation on How to Mould Them Into An Adventurous Cat
As the cat's owner, it is your responsibility to keep your pet safe and happy. So it's vital you're ready for the changes that come with taking your cat outside, especially when meeting other pet's and owners.
Most owners will be friendly and intrigued, but some will have questions or be shocked. With any, make sure to let them know you have a cat if they come towards you and haven't noticed, especially if their dog is off lead. Otherwise try to engage where you can and check they are happy for their pet to be near yours. Some dog's may not yet understand or currently be in training for meeting other animals themselves so ensure there is a safe space.
Keep your pet under control at all times, especially keep your cat on lead when around other animals as reactions can quickly change.
Make sure you watch for body language and signal changes in both animals. Try not to push meetings to far and cause distress, at the first sign of any stress or worry, take a step back and calm your pet.
Create a Safe Space for Your Cat
Sometimes a cat will look for a safe space when it's scared, nervous or stressed. Other times knowing a safe space is nearby will help your cat feel more confident whilst being out. You can create a safe space in a few different ways;
- The first being a strong bond with you, their owner and getting them comfortable being with you/on you. Since cat's prefer to be high up, a vantage point in your arms or on your shoulders can give them the safe haven they could need.
- A blanket or piece of clothing that they love.
- A cat backpack, one of the most commonly used products for creating a safe space. You can put your cat straight in at any sign of stress or danger, or they can even learn to jump in themselves when they need some time-out.
Be prepared for worst case scenario with a cat tracking device
Should your cat get startled and manage to break free or similar, make sure they're wearing a GPS cat tracker so you can monitor their movements and find and return them to a safe place.
Alter Your Cat's Walking Times and Locations
There are popular dog walking times throughout the day such as lunch-time dog walkers or early morning before commute walks. There are also busier places such as dog parks and woodland/beaches. Try to find quieter places such as cemeteries or countryside where you can. Combining the two can lead to much less encounters, which is especially helpful when training.
To conclude, when encountering other animals, the golden rule is to keep your cat safe. The easiest way to do this is to keep distance, communicate before letting animals approach and being ready to get your cat away from the interaction if needed. There are many lovely dogs out there that love cats, in the same way there are many cats out there that love dogs. As long as you respect the boundaries they can get along just fine and be a fun part of the adventures.
If you have any other tips you'd like to share with our travel pet community, let us know in the comments as we love sharing your ideas too.
Team Travfurler 🐾