Updated: May 4
Having fun should be taken seriously and here at Catventurous we’re all about helping you give your beloved feline the fun, safe, catventurous life they deserve. Below are our top 8 safety tips for catventurers.
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1. Thoughtful preparation and training are key, as is the trust and bond you have with your catventurer
Start slow with short catventures and always allow your cat to dictate the pace of training. Add plenty of gentle encouragement and positive reinforcement into the mix to build confidence. The degree of trust you cultivate, nurture and share with your catventurer is one of the most important aspects of keeping your cat safe when the unexpected happens. Cats can and do bond as closely to their humans as dogs and the more your catventurer trusts you, senses you have their back in any situation, and looks to you for guidance, the better. Be aware of your cat’s needs and personality and observe your catventurer closely for any signs of discomfort or distress. Try to intervene early.
The degree of trust you share with your catventurer is one of the most important aspects of keeping your cat safe.
2. Quality well-fitted harness and leash
While catventuring, always keep your catventurer in a comfortable, well-fitted harness, attached to a leash and closely supervised at all times. There are many different styles and types of both harnesses and leashes available on the market, so do your research and find the one that suits you, your cat and your situation. Read our guide to choosing a harness here. Consider using an extendable leash that allows you to control the distance your cat ventures away from you. Invest in products with high quality clasps and other attachments.
Important: Never use a collar and leash for cats as you might for a dog. Collars with any resistance forces placed on them can damage a cat’s neck and throat.
3. Backpack or other carrier
We cannot recommend highly enough that on any outing, long or short, intrepid or mellow, your catventurer always has a ‘safe space’ that he/she can retreat to for whatever reason. Read our blog here on why you should and how you can create a safe space for your catventurer.
We cannot recommend highly enough that on any outing, long or short, intrepid or mellow, your catventurer always has a ‘safe space’ that he/she can retreat to for whatever reason.
4. Collar, ID tag and microchip
Even though your catventurer is wearing a harness and is on leash, always provide them with a safety-release collar and an ID tag with a telephone number where you can be reached if necessary. Even if it is not prescribed by law in your country or area, we strongly recommend that your catventurer is microchipped.
5. Portable bowl, water and food
Always carry a portable bowl and plenty of water and food for your catventurer. Depending on their overall fluid intake via their food, some cats do not drink much water, even in hot weather. Generally, healthy cats will drink according to their needs but if you think your cat is not receiving enough water or is showing signs of heat stress or dehydration, a syringe in your first aid kit can assist you in giving your cat some water in an emergency. Wet food and creamy treats can also provide fluid. Consult your vet if you are unsure about your cat’s hydration needs.
6. Basic first aid essentials
Consider putting together a kit of basic first aid essentials for your catventurer, including gauze pads and bandages, normal saline to wash eyes or wounds, adhesive bandage tape, antiseptic cream or liquid, disposable gloves, a tick removal tool, individual medications etc. Include a well lit, recent photo of your cat for identification, plus copies of your vet’s contact details and records including any medications they take, medical conditions they have and their vaccination and antiparasite history. If your cat has light coloured ears or nose, consider including a pet-safe sunscreen. Consult with your vet for advice on an antihistamine in case your cat gets stung by a bee or wasp, for example.
7. Potential risks from other animals
It is wise to have a basic understanding of your natural environment to assess the possible presence of any animals that may harm your catventurer, such as spiders, snakes, toads, bees, wasps, ticks, other mammals etc.
We love our canine brothers and sisters but possibly the most dangerous creature for catventurers is an off-leash dog. Some are, of course, cat-friendly but some are not, or are driven by instinct in certain situations, and a scare or attack from a dog can be deeply traumatising for both you and your cat. There are multiple cases of cats on leash being severely wounded and killed by off leash dogs. Always stay alert for dogs, especially those off leash, even in areas where dogs are required to be leashed. Check out our article on strategies to prevent and manage dog attacks.