Cookie is a house cat. But because he has a little bit of a wild beast in him (perhaps a tiger?) and because his favourite past time activity is looking out of window, every now and then we take him for a little outing. We live quite close to a really nice arboretum and about a 30 minute drive from the largest park in West Midlands so it's not too much of a mission.Yet still there are a few tips you might find useful if you decide to take your little munchkin for a trip like this yourself.
⇢ Get a good quality carrier: Cookie has had so far 4 carriers. And he's only 2 years old. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is a result of me not wanting to spend much money on a carrier. *hides face* First I got him one when he was a kitten - which was too small for him after about 3 months. Then he got a bigger one - I told myself that a medium dog sized one was good enough - yes, it was good enough, but it was also heavier than me & Cookie together multiplied by ten. So finally I got him this stylish foldable zip up carrier (off E-bay) which broke on our first trip to the vet. Our latest carrier is still stylish, but it's made out of soft material and therefore easy to carry and also store. BAM! This is about comfort & safety for both you and your cat.
⇢ Get even better quality harness: Leashes & harnesses have been another curse of ours. Cookie hates collars. He hates them so much that he'd rather spend an hour trying to get it off than enjoy the freedom of a trip to the park. He doesn't enjoy his harness very much either but I could say that he accepts it. Parks and open spaces can be quite scary for cats (and Cookie is one little pussy cat) and you really don't want to be stressing about him getting out of his collar and running off, that takes away all the fun! The safest harness I found is the one with a bit more padding around the chest/back. Also check that the clasps are made of metal, not plastic, especially if your cat is a bit of a beef cake.
⇢ Don't forget water & treats: Cookie tends to eat flies and bugs when out but he'd never drink from a puddle. We usually carry a bottle for ourselves anyways so Justin normally just pours a little bit into his palm and gives it to him. Justin's always up for giving Cookie a quick training sesh so treats are useful for that. They also come handy to calm the cat down when you're taking him somewhere further by car, as it can stress them out (not that Cookie really cares).
⇢ Know the environment: Be familiar with the place you're taking your cat to. We only go the the local arboretum or park as we know that there are not many dogs and there are areas where there won't be many people/scary sounds.
⇢ Train your cat: Be the Alpha dog. At least for once. Your cat really does need to have some respect for you, believe me. I'm not gonna lie - Cookie doesn't give a flying damn about me and my moaning. But he does have massive respect for Justin. Guess there might be some male-male chemistry goin' on, but after all - Cookie goes where Justin tells him to, he sits down when Justin tells him to, he even lies down when Justin clicks his fingers. Trust & respect.
⇢ Get pet insurance (better safe than sorry!): This might be an obvious thing for some - but less obvious for others. Taking your house cat out into the wild (read a local park) means that you're exposing him to various germs, bateria and viruses - when he's sniffing a squirrel's poop or rubbing himself against a patch of peed on grass, it's always better to have yourself (and your cat) covered. Vet fees are unreal, trust me. We've been there.
Do you ever take your cat out for a walk?
Or are you one of those people who just giggle when they see me & Cookz playing in the park? Haha!