7 Hiking Safety Tips Every AZ Adventure Cat Owner Should Know

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7 Hiking Safety Tips Every AZ Adventure Cat Owner Should Know

There are cats and then there are “adventure cats,” or felines who act a little more like their canine counterparts. They walk on leashes, swim, and go on hikes, and these unconventional kitties are always up for an outing.

Arizona is home to tons of pet-friendly trails, but when Kitty comes along, there are dangers their owners should look out for. Below, check out 7 safety tips that every purring parent should know before exploring the great outdoors with their outgoing companions!

1. Avoid High Heat

Forecasts call for a scorcher? You’re better off keeping Kitty at home. As much as she may love a good hike, it’s kinder to leave her in the air conditioning on hot days. Even if you consider the temperature to be moderate, remember that dry heat may feel tolerable until you start exercising in it. When you do decide to head to the woods, opt for heavily-shaded paths and try to plan your excursion before or after the hottest part of the day. Also, it doesn’t hurt to keep these hot weather safety best practices in your back pocket.

2. Protect Paws

Between heat, gravel, cacti, and even poisonous critters, furry hikers — especially avid ones — might do best with some booties. (In fact, some mountains even ban pets, in part due to the fact that their paws were getting burned on hot days.) If your feline absolutely can’t stand shoes, a protective paw salve can offer a shield from some of the elements.

3. Bring Plenty Of Water

When it comes to trekking on the trail, make sure to have plenty of fresh water for both you and your feline friend. Bring insulated water bottles so it stays nice and cool, and don’t forget a water bowl so your companion can easily lap it up to stay hydrated.

An additional side note: remember that even the most easygoing cats can be particular about their water bowls. Be sure to pack one that you know yours loves drinking from (often, a wide, flat one works best) to prevent dehydration.

4. Keep Cats Leashed

Keep your kitty close by your side. She may love making new friends, but remember, some other pets on the path — particularly aggressive dogs — aren’t quite as agreeable (and some owners are irresponsible). What’s more, kitties who wander are more likely to run into other dangers: cacti, toxic plants, porcupines, scorpions (check out these scorpion safety tips), and even predators, to name a few. Plus, felines are known to scale trees, especially if spooked, and a wonderful day outdoors can quickly turn into a nightmare if your furry friend gets lost.

5. Be Aware Of Predators

As mentioned, cat guardians should be especially aware of predators that live in the Arizona wilderness. While these animals can also pose a danger to dogs and humans, smaller animals, like cats, are especially susceptible to an attack. This is because their shape and size may be attractive to hungry carnivores, plus a bite could do more damage to little bodies as opposed to bigger ones. Even birds of prey can view your feline as a meal, including certain breeds of owls and hawks.

Needless to say, it’s imperative to educate yourself on predators that live in your area, and always be aware of your surroundings. Scan the scenery on all sides of you, and refrain from listening to headphones on your walk so you can keep your ears open, too. By simply staying close to your pet, a predator is less likely to attack (since you look like a much bigger “animal”). Also, be sure to steer clear of large birds and nests you may encounter on the trail.

It may be wise to carry a loud whistle, spray water bottle, or animal deterrent spray with you on your outings. None of these methods will hurt an attacking animal, but it may scare them off enough to prevent an altercation.

6. Have Kitty Wear ID

Whenever you’re out of the house, you should always have and ID on your companion. Remember, no one plans on losing their pet, so it’s important to keep a collar and ID tag on them, just in case. And don’t forget — if your purring pal does get loose, a microchip can mean the difference between a happy reunion and never seeing your pet again.

7. Bring A First Aid Kit

When hiking, you should always bring a first aid kit for yourself — and don’t forget one for your cat! In an emergency situation, a few simple tools can mean the difference between life and death for your beloved feline.


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