We’ve shared that our cats camp with us many times on this channel, our blog, and our social media accounts. This has led to us receiving many messages asking questions about how we camp with our cats including what gear we use and how we include them in our camping plans.
With this in mind, we decided to share a little insight into our camping setup. In this video, we will give you a look at our cat-friendly setup both in the tent at night as well as outdoors throughout the day. We’ll also take a look at some important considerations for a safe and happy trip including the importance of proper hydration and why grooming plays into your outdoor travel plans.
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Camping with Cats
Britt: Have you ever considered camping with your cat? I know that we’ve mentioned it a few times on our blog but it’s not something that we’ve talked about much on video. So, I’m going to go through with you and talk to you about the gear we use, how we plan for it, and what we do to make sure that our cats are comfortable when we go camping.
Outdoor Setup (1:05)
Britt: So, the first piece of gear that we always have that keeps our cats comfortable when we’re outdoors is this pen.
Now, the pen itself is a regular dog exercise pen from MidWest Homes and it can be put straight, connected together, to make a larger pen, like you see here for the dogs. Or, if you take just one and circle it up, it works here for the cats. You can get different heights. I believe this is the 24-inch, if I remember right (correction: 30-inch).
And then we got this cover for it, also from Amazon. I will link both of those in the description. This cover actually just velcros onto it as you can see here. It has mesh which allows some sun in. If your cats like sunbathing, it gives them a little bit more opportunity for that. But it also has an area here to create some shade when they need it. The shaded area is waterproof. And it keeps them safely contained in here.
MidWest Foldable Pet Exercise Pen: https://amzn.to/3BEUFY4
Pet Playpen Cover: https://amzn.to/3qFuwSt
Britt: Now, in terms of a litterbox, one solution that we have come to love in particular is this one here. And this is actually a biodegradable, reusable (correction: disposable) litterbox. So, when we finish up at the end of the day, all we have to do is take the top layer off and sift it and it saves us from having to worry about bringing a scoop or anything like that. It is biodegradable, so we don’t have to feel as guilty when we throw it out at the end of the day.
Now, if we were going for a week-long trip, we would bring a traditional litterbox and go to that extent. But, for a weekend like we’re doing here, this litterbox is just a great solution, and I will make sure to also include that in the description below.
Kitty Sift Disposable Cat Litter Box: https://amzn.to/3QOgjxc
Britt: Now, on top of that, we have some blankets and some toys just to make the situation more homey here.
Jinx is our slightly unsure cat who’s learning to like camping. She can handle a short trip but if she’s here too long, she starts to get a little agitated. Pippen makes herself right at home. She thinks that being outdoors is the greatest thing ever. She’s our adventure cat, so she is absolutely loving this.
Always make sure that there is fresh water – plenty of fresh water and some food there. Our cats are free feeders, so we do have food there available for them at all times.
Now, of course, they are not going to be in this the entire time. We do take them out if we’re taking them on walks if we’re going on a hiking trail, or just want to spend some time with them. Pippen loves to curl up with me in the hammock and do some birdwatching. But, when we aren’t with them on-leash, actively taking care of them and keeping an eye on them, this is the safest place for them.
They are right in the middle of our site. So, you’ll see the way that it’s set up – Whether we’re doing something in the tent, we’re doing something over in our shelter, we’re cooking back here at our picnic table, we’ve got the fire pit over here. Everything is around and in close proximity so that we can keep an eye on them at all times because cats are far more vulnerable to off-leash dogs, or predators, or sneaking out than most people give them credit for. This allows us to always have an eye on them no matter what we’re doing throughout the day.
That is our regular set-up and next, I will move to showing you how we set up a tent both to keep the cats safe and to incorporate cats and dogs in the same tent when we’re tent camping.
Tent Setup (4:43)
Britt: Okay, so to show you guys how we set up the tent when we’ve got the cats here. We have our bed here. Now, Indy likes to sleep a little bit off to the side. We put a sleeping bag underneath to protect the air mattress and we leave a little lip there so that when Indy decides to lay there, which is about half the time, he has space. Luce has his little blanket here. His favourite blanket to cuddle up with. We have the dog bed there.
But, what you really want to know, considering that this is a video about camping with cats, is this setup. In the front corner here of the tent we have an enclosed little playpen. This is a small pet playpen. I will link the Amazon link in the description. It is the largest one that we could find. You didn’t necessarily have to go this big if you only have one cat, but because we have two cats – we have to include two cats with beds, and food, and litterbox – we went with the bigger size.
It does have a screen top to allow for better airflow. There is screening all around the outside. There is a zippered door both on this side and, if you look through, that one back there is as well. And then the bottom is a waterproof layer which is great if they accidentally step in their water dish like our cats tend to do.
EliteField 2-Door Soft Pet Playpen: https://amzn.to/3djGmi3
Britt: The reason that we keep the cats in here is two-fold. One: They can’t escape out the door when we’re coming and going. Cats have a tendency to be able to just bolt in a way that isn’t always predictable. So, this keeps them contained unless we choose to take them out of here.
The other reason that we like it is because our dogs and our cats get along great. They get along phenomenally. But, when they get along that well, they want to play together all the time and we want to be able to sleep in the middle of the night. The dogs can sleep here, especially Daviana, who absolutely loves our cats. She can be close to them. She can see them. But it keeps them from keeping us up by roughhousing all night long. So, this is our huge tent solution.
Importance of Hydration (7:04)
Britt: Of course, after every hike, or when you’re out camping, hydration is key. There are some drinks that you can get that are actually made specifically to encourage hydration. As you can see, Miss Pippen is excited.
But, in addition to offering a drink, always just make sure that your cat has lots of water. Fresh water at all times. It is key!
Grooming and the Outdoors (7:32)
Britt: One of the important considerations, when you’re camping with a long-haired cat, is that while sitting on the ground, they tend to get into any leaves or sticks. It gets stuck in their fur and if you don’t take care of it right away, they can get tangled really easily.
Ya Pippen, you tell them.
So, I always make sure to bring along – you can actually see some of her fur in there because we were just grooming – her favourite comb. Just a basic wide-tooth comb. So that I can easily give her a brush. Groom it out. Get any dirt or debris or anything that may be stuck in her, in her fur. She’s not a huge fan, but she lets me do it and I know that she’s a fan of not having to fight with tangles later because that’s uncomfortable for her and I.
Final Thoughts (8:25)
Britt: Alright, so that’s everything that we do. As we pack up here and get ready to go home. I hope that this has helped you bring your little furry friends along for the trip. Jinx has a few choice words for the fact that she can tell we’re packing up. I think that she knows that something’s up.
If you have any questions, anything you want to know about camping with cats, please let us know. Drop your questions in the comments or reach out to us on the Connect page on our blog and we will be happy to help you. Or, if it’s something that’s worth covering in content, we might put together a video or a blog post.
As Jinx wanders off, Happy Camping! And, enjoy taking your furry friends along for the ride.