Apart from a high quality diet, a happy cat also needs a level of exploration and stimulation that engages his mind and hunter instincts. Think about it, dog owners take them out at least twice a day. They get to explore the outside world, see sights beyond the four walls of a tiny apartment, meet other dogs, and engage in play. Cats live a comparably lonely and banal existence.
Conventional wisdom says that cats prefer to lounge or sleep most of the day, and stay at home. Not true! We’ve seen Planet Earth. We’ve seen those gorgeous snow leopards and pumas prancing about in the wild. Most domestic cats also love to go outside if given the chance, they love to explore their ‘hood and meet other cool cats. So for your sad apartment kitty, it’s time to jazz things up a bit!
6 Ways to take your cat on an adventure (in order of ascending difficulty
Leash train kitty by taking for short walks
Start by gathering some tasty treats and a harness that fits kitty (i.e he can’t make like Houdini and wriggle his way out of it). Put the harness on your cat, give a treat and let him get wear it around the house for 10 mins. He WILL fall on his side, crawl along the floor like you’re testing some sort of new muscle-relaxant on him, and generally put up a big fuss. Keep in mind that it may take about a week of doing this for ~10 mins every day for kitty to truly show if he’s never going to take to it or not. Once he takes to the harness, you can put the leash on and take him slowly for short walks in a very QUIET area. For more information detailed instruction, see this cat walk by NYT:
Take your kitty with you to visit friends
Going for dinner to your bestie’s house? Take your cat with you. Ask permission first! (Uh, from your bestie, not your cat). Let him play and explore a new environment. Chances are he will love it!
You can try taking kitty to meet other cats for a much-needed play date. If they don’t get along, they don’t get along. Just like you don’t want to spend hours on end with your most boring friend, kitty doesn’t want to spend time with cats he doesn’t think are compatible with his very unique personality. Try someone else.
Coffee & a crate
Going outside for a coffee? Try taking your cat in a crate. Most cafes don’t allow dogs, but have no policy against cats in a crate. How nice would it be to sip coffee with your kitty sitting beside you <3
Image Courtesy of Vanessa Song
Traveling, camping, hiking & kayaking
Self explanatory, but can be difficult. Proceed with caution and see adventurecats.com for more info. See awe-inspiring adventures of Canadian travel cat @sukiicat below
Next Level Adventures
Only for the seasoned travelers, veteran adventure kitties, and not-so-faint hearted
Before you do any of this, keep safety and common-sense in mind. Spay/Neuter your cat to avoid him running off with an exotic lady-cat while you’re out exploring some Haitian waterfall, keep an indoor kitty on-leash at all times when out in the open, don’t take her on a bigger adventure than she has indicated she’s up for (i.e don’t take kitty kayaking if she’s definitively told you she loathes the outdoors), respect house rules of wherever you are, and keep kitty safe and warm at all times. Happy adventuring!!