Any of you that know me personally know that I have a very special cat. Teal, my adopted Snowshoe Siamese, is just as much of an adventurer as I am. Since I adopted her a week before I was laid off at the end of 2008, I was able to spend a lot of extra time with Teal during my ‘funemployment’ as the recession dragged on, training her to enjoy trips in her carrier and the car, exploring new settings and even using the human toilet.
Teal exploring on her leash. Photo credit: Lisette
This summer, I decided to experiment and take Teal camping with me at Whiskeytown Lake. I reasoned that purchasing a cat play-pen for the campground was cheaper than a week of paying someone to come by the house and visit her. Since she gets terribly lonesome on her own, I was hoping that she’d prefer camping with me (and 25+ others) to being home alone in my 600 square foot apartment for a week.
Teal in her Zampa pen. Photo credit: Lisette
I was worried about three things – Teal getting overheated, attacked by another camper’s dog or escaping into the greater wilderness outside the campsite. In order to minimize these risks, I purchased a Zampa playpen for her. Since the playpen had large mesh sides and a roof, it was much cooler than a tent and allowed me to leave her safely at the campsite. I stocked it with her scratcher, litterbox, food, water and a bed. By putting the pen in the shade near my tent, I kept Teal cool and safe during the day. In the evenings, Teal became curious and would want to walk around the campsite on her leash. On the first night, she found a small rattlesnake and was rather sad when I stopped her from befriending it. On other nights, we ended our walks by sitting by the campfire and spending time with the rest of the campers. Teal had no shortage of young admirers to adore her. At night, I moved Teal’s necessities into the tent and let her stay with me.
Teal likes to sleep in. Photo credit: Lisette
Overall Teal seemed much happier camping than I could imagine her being alone at home. I found camping with her much easier than with dogs, particularly since she didn’t make much noise and could be left in her pen during the day. I highly recommend you try camping with your cat, so long as they have the right temperament for this sort of adventure!