Traveling with my KCC Adventure Team is one of my absolute favorite things. It is a wonderful opportunity to bond with my little adventure cats and to expose them to new and exciting things. It’s unfortunate that many people don’t realize cats can make wonderful travel and adventure companions! It may take some training, and you’ll need to get some adventure cat gear, but it’s well worth it.
Before trying to take your cat outdoors, you definitely want to make sure you have all of the necessary equipment. Of course, the bigger the adventure, the more gear you will need. But even if you are just taking your cat out into your backyard, there are several must-have items!
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1. Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed
If you are traveling in the car with your cat, even for a short distance, you definitely need to secure them in a travel carrier. Don’t neglect to secure your cat because you think they are calm and will sit nicely in the car seat beside you or in your lap. Tragedy can happy in a split second. All it takes is a fast brake, something spooking your cat, or, worse-case scenario, a car accident.
The Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed is our #1 choice for travel pet carriers! Sleepypods double as both a cat bed and a carrier, allowing your cat to travel safely in the comfort of its own bed. This greatly helps to reduce any travel-related stress for your cat. The mesh-dome top also allows your cat to have a clear view of everything while traveling. Not to mention that Sleepypods are totally stylish! They come in seven different colors, with an exciting new color coming out in September (but available for preorder now!). Spoiler alert: it’s violet! 😀
Not only are Sleepypods functional and stylish, they are safe. They are equipped with multiple velcro straps that secure the mobile pet bed into the seat of a car with a seat belt, so you can be sure that the carrier and your pet won’t be going anywhere. They have passed all of their crash-tests, and they have even held up in multiple auto accidents without injuries to the pets! (All accident information was voluntarily shared with Sleepypod by its customers.)
2. Harness + Leash + Identification
A high quality and secure harness and leash are an absolute MUST when going outdoors with your cats! Cats are quick and can bolt or climb up trees in the blink of an eye. They can also be prey to other outdoor animals, such as large birds, aggressive dogs, or even other cats. For their own safety, you want to keep them secured with a harness and leash.
Our favorite harness is the walking-jacket style – specifically the Mynwood Cat Jacket. They are the most secure, and your cat is less likely to be able to slip out of these. Trust me, I know from personal experience! Kylo Ren has slipped out of a step-in harness more than once. I now have Mynwood Cat Jackets for the entire KCC Adventure Team. As for leashes, we recommend a standard 6-foot leash.
There’s always a chance for accidents though. Just in case your cat does manage to wiggle out of her harness, be sure that she is wearing a collar with clearly marked and updated identification tags. These tags should have her name, your name, and your phone number. A tag that says something to the effect of, “If outside, I am lost! ” is a good idea too. That way if someone finds her, they will know that she needs help. I also highly suggest having your adventure cat microchipped!
3. Water, Food, and Treats
You can’t have an adventure without hydration and sustenance for everyone! Water is an absolute must, especially if it’s hot outside. Heat stroke can happen quickly and suddenly, so make sure that your cat is properly hydrated while outdoors. He may also get hungry, so having some of your cat’s favorite food is always a good idea. Nobody likes a hangry hiking or canoeing buddy, amiright?
Treats are handy to help reward and reinforce positive behavior. These are especially important if you are in the process of training your adventure cat. Not to mention the fact that having food and treats can help to calm your kitty should he get nervous about something.
4. Sleepypod Yummy Travel Bowl
When taking your cat out on an adventure, you can’t leave the house without food, water, and treats. The best way to store those things for easy travel? In a Sleepypod Yummy Travel Bowl! These travel bowls are a 3-in-1 prepack system, which includes:
- A spill resistant water bowl that serves as the base
- A food bowl slips that into the water bowl, making the water bowl leak-free
- A lid that doubles as an extra dish, sealing the Yummy Travel Bowl and making it totally spill-proof
These bowls are so great because if your cat doesn’t eat all his food or drink all his water at once, you can easily close it all back up and adventure on. When he is ready for more later, it will still be there, kept fresh in the Yummy Travel Bowl!
5. Backpack Carrier
A cat backpack carrier is definitely a must-have adventuring accessory! Riding in a backpack allows your cat to get acclimated to new environments and situations from the safety of a carrier. It also provides a safe space for your cat to retreat to should you encounter something or someone who spooks your kitty. Plus, if your cat gets tired when out on adventure, she can retreat to her backpack for a rest.
6. Pet Waste Bags
Pick up the poop! You hear that all the time for dogs, but you’ve got to do it for cats too. In case your adventure cat feels the call of nature while enjoying the great outdoors, you want to be prepared with some disposable (and preferably biodegradable) pet waste bags. While your cat may not be used to going potty outside, she may eventually feel comfortably doing so. I remember the first time Sophie went potty while out on adventure. It was so unexpected, as she had never done it before, so I wasn’t prepared. Don’t be caught off-guard like I was!
No matter what kind of traveling or adventuring you are doing, there is always an opportunity for messes to be made. Your cat may walk through some mud, fall into the river, or even have an accident in the car. Having a towel or two to clean things up with is always super handy. Trust me – I know from experience!
8. Favorite Toy/Blanket
Having something familiar from home like a favorite toy or blanket can help your cat to feel more comfortable while traveling in the car or even while outside on an adventure. I always bring Sophie and Kylo Ren’s favorite wand toy out on adventures so that we can enjoy some play time together and because it can help to calm them down if something spooks them.
Having a blanket from home helps for the same reason. We personally love the Sleepypod Cloudpuff Blankets. They are soft and fleecy, so the cats love to sleep and snuggle on them. I leave them out at home all the time, and then bring them along with us on trips. The familiarity of the scent and blanket helps the KCC Adventure Team to feel right at home.
9. Pet First Aid Kit
Having a travel-size pet first aid kit is a MUST! What happens if your cat gets a splinter, gets bitten by a snake, gets cut, etc? You want to be prepared to treat your adventure cat as best as you can until you can get her to a vet. Items you’ll want to include in your first aid kit are:
- a pair of latex gloves
- medical tape
- gauze pads
- antiseptic wipes
- self-adhesive bandages
- styptic pencil
You can put together a kit yourself, or find one online. (Though many of the pre-packaged kits are lacking some essential items and will need to be modified.)
No adventure is complete without a camera to document all of the fun! Whether it’s your phone camera, a point and shoot, or a DSLR, you’ll definitely want photos to commemorate the day with your adventure cat. A video camera is also a plus. Our personal favorite is the GoPro! Great photos and video all in one, plus it’s durable and water proof! 🙂
Okay, so now that you’ve got the gear, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start adventuring! Remember to start small though, and always prioritize your cat’s safety!
Do you travel or adventure with your cat? What items do you consider to be “must-have?”