Cat exploring is no doubt a great activity for both you and your cat, but as with most things in life, there are downsides to it. One of my goals with this website is to share honest experiences with you all!
Pro #1 Cats have fun
The most obvious one, is that cat exploring is fun for the cat! It’s undeniable that adventure cats are more engaged in the world, they are more active, and they can experience things that indoor cats will never get to experience. It is a great source of entertainment for them and to tire them out, especially if they don’t have much interest in toys (like Teddy).
Pro #2 You will go outdoors more
When you are walking your cat, you’ll be outside with them! It’s a great break from the computer and TV at home. Getting out on hikes, road trips, and other outdoor activities are great for you, and going “cat exploring” is a really an excuse to enjoy the outdoors.
Pro #3 Bonding / trust building with your cat
When you are out with your cat, you are the person responsible for keeping them safe. Over time, your cat will understand this, and will come to you for safety. It’s so rewarding knowing that they think you are the most important person in the world! I believe it’s something that they can’t get when they are indoors only, because they aren’t exposed to many dangers.
Pro #4 You will feel famous
If you like chatting with strangers, this one is for you! So many people will come up and ask how you trained them, tell you about their cats, and or just smile when they see you. You’ll get so much attention! And you’ll be able to chat about cats and adventuring.
Pro #5 Your cat will be more adaptable to change
Sometimes, situations with your cat can’t be avoided. For example, if you have to relocate, or evacuate your building, or if you are going on a trip and have to take them with you. Having a cat who is used to being in new places and won’t get scared, is very beneficial.
Pro #6 You can bring them on trips
Instead of leaving them with a sitter, which can add up in price and cause worry about if they are doing ok, you’ll be able to bring your cat on your vacations and even work trips.
Pro #7 Great community and furriends
This one is for our little Instagram community! I’ve made so many friends which similar mindsets, and its been great asking for help or sharing knowledge. It’s nice knowing that you are not alone and other people will be able to help you! Not to mention seeing adorable photos of each other’s cats.
Pro #8 Companionship
This one might not apply to all of you, but sometimes if I am going somewhere by myself, like a solo hike or road trip, it feels more fun when I have Teddy with me. I feel less lonely, and I feel like the trip had more purpose than if I went alone.
Con #1 It takes a lot of patience
Adventure cats were not made in one day. You don’t simply buy the gear and take them on adventures. It takes time and effort to slowly get them used to new situations and make them comfortable with things. Some cats may take to it naturally, but that is very rare. Even if you started as a kitten, they will have to learn new things when they are older, and that takes a lot of patience.
Con #2 It can be frustrating
Cats will not always follow your instructions. If you want to walk, they will sit down and sniff a bush. If you want them to stay in the backpack, they will jump out. If you want them to stay still for a photo, they will walk away. Sometimes Teddy gets in a mood when he will scratch me if I try to pick him up, and that’s rather frustrating.
Con #3 It can cost a lot of money
Yes, cat gear costs money! You’ll have to buy new harnesses, leashes, backpacks, car seats, and other accessories and gear. Plus there are always new harnesses you want to try, and new bandanas you’ll want to get! For Teddy specifically, he got his dirty paws in my car’s entertainment controls and it will cost me to get that fixed.
Con #4 It can be limiting
When you take your cat out with you, you will have to adapt your plans to make them cat-friendly. When you are hiking, you’ll have to allow for more time. When you are eating, you’ll have to get takeout, or find a pet friendly patio. You can’t just walk inside a store like you normally would, you’ll have to check it’s pet friendly. When looking for a hotel, you are limited to the pet friendly ones (and sometimes those mean dog friendly).
Con #5 Unwanted attention
If you are like me and don’t enjoy random conversation with strangers, this one is for you. Sometimes people ask too many questions, or they go on and on about their own cat, or if kids run up and want to play with the cat and you don’t know how to say no…
Con #6 There are some dangers
Obviously we will do what we can to keep our cats safe, but being outdoors is undeniably more dangerous than being strictly at home. There are dangers of getting lost or injured. As owners, we have to be constantly aware of the surroundings, which can sometimes take away from the experience.
Con #7 Cats might want to go outside all the time
This one does not apply to all cats, but it could be true that once they get a taste of the fun outdoors, they’ll want to go outside at every opportunity. Some cats will meow at the door, or scratch at it, or dash out at every opportunity. There are ways to work around this, like installing a baby gate, or training them to wait by the door, or don’t give in to the meowing.
Regardless of the challenges and frustration, cat exploring is still incredibly fun and rewarding. To me, the pros far outweigh the cons. Sure, you’ll experience some ups and downs, but that’s part of life, and part of the experience!
What did you think about this list? Are there any you don’t agree with, or any I’ve missed? Let me know!