You might have found us here at Fluffy Kitty through following our adventures with Yoda — our furry tripod traveler. We get so many comments everyday, asking us how fellow cat owners can get their cats to be more adventurous. So we thought it was about time we wrote our full guide on how to train an adventure cat!
Whether you want to start traveling the globe, take your fur-baby on the road or simply spend more time exploring the great outdoors together — you’ve come to the right place! This is our step-by-step guide for how to train a cat to be an adventure cat.
Because the most important thing to think about when embarking on trips with your cat is just that — training. By helping them prepare for what they are about to embark on, you are setting them up for a successful, stress-free, and super enjoyable experience.
In this article:
- Recommendations for adventure cat breeds
- How to train adventure cat
- Essential reading for cat travelers
- The top adventure cat gear you need
- The best adventure cat harness
So let’s start at the beginning, with what can potentially help your cat have a natural affinity with new experiences and exciting trips.
How To Pick An Adventure Cat
If you already own a fabulous feline, you can skip to the next part of the blog.
But if you’re soon to be a new owner and wondering how to boost your chances of picking a confident, outgoing kitty — this section is for you.
You have two options for choosing your new adventure cat: rescues or kittens. Both are great options, though of course with a rescue you have the added bonus of helping give a fur friend a second chance — which is always so special.
Guess what? Our cat, Yoda, is a world traveler and he’s an adopted shelter cat!
Whichever option you choose you’re going to be looking for the same traits, using the ASPCA’s ‘feline-alities’ color-coded assessment. Essentially, they categorize cats into 3 different personality types, who are each suited to different lifestyles and homes.
Green cats are the most unflappable, socially savvy, and extroverted felines going, so they make ideal adventure partners. On the flip side, picking a cat that’s more in the Purple zone is more likely to thrive with stability and security — much better suited to quiet companionship.
Green Personality cats usually exhibit the following behaviors:
- Undaunted by new environments
- High tail and head carriage
- Eagerly approaches and rubs new people
- Explores new surfaces and heights often
- They react positively or neutrally to handling
- They will investigate an open hand
- They rarely hide or run away
These traits are often visible in young kittens when they reach the age at which they can leave their mother, so assessing a littler of kittens with this in mind could help you find the right fit for your lifestyle. Equally, many shelters can facilitate a meeting between you and a prospective adoptee, to allow you to assess their ‘feline-alitie’ this way.
Adventure Cat Breeds
While most cats with the right personality can be trained up to become seasoned adventurers, some cat breeds are more likely to enjoy the wanderlust lifestyle than others.
We have a full guide to 9 Adventurous Cat Breeds That Like to Travel which you can dive into if you’re serious about looking for the ultimate adventure buddy.
In that guide, we explore why certain breeds are more suited to the great outdoors, and which type might be perfect for your specific traveling plans.
Included on that list are the following breeds:
- American Bobtail
- Turkish Van
- Maine Coon
- American Shorthair
How to Train an Adventure Cat
Step 1 — Assess Your Cat’s Personality
It’s super important to understand that not all cats are cut out to be adventure cats. Even if they seemed outgoing as a small kitten, they may grow up to prefer curling up the couch much more than exploring new places. And that’s ok!
So before you start purchasing all the gear and booking those flights, make sure to be honest with yourself and consider if the experience will be exciting or stressful.
If you are sure your kitty will thrive on the road, and they are meowing at the door to explore, then it’s time to start your adventure cat training!
Step 2 — Build Basic Obedience
Start by building some basic commands into your relationship with your cat, as this will both secure a strong bond and keep them safe out on the trails. You can read our guide to How to train your cat — obedience, party tricks & more!
Step 3 – Socialization & Desensitization
It’s a great idea to start preparing your cat for what they might encounter out in the big wide world. That could be getting used to being in a carrier, meeting new people, and encountering dogs.
Dedicate some time every day to building positive associations through training sessions, aimed at getting them super familiar with these things. Enlist some friends to help get them used to friendly people and dogs too, with structured socialization visits.
Check out our detailed & specific guides below for ideas on how to tailor your training to your adventure goals. ⬇
Step 4 — Leash & Harness Training
The safest way for your cat to explore the outdoors is on a leash, so it’s wise to get them used to walking this way. While they may be initially skeptical (Yoda definitely was!) soon they’ll learn to associate the harness with amazing adventures and outdoor time.
You can follow our full guide to How to Walk Your Cat on a Leash, which breaks this training process down into 7 easy steps.
Step 5 — Practice Makes Purrfect
Set your cat up to have a successful and enjoyable trip by breaking any new experiences down into steps.
Want to take that first road trip? Try small car journeys and plenty of carrier work first. Want to attempt air travel? Simulate the experience and maybe even visit an airport or busy terminal space a few times beforehand.
It’s all about building positive experiences on top of each other, that will allow your cat to enjoy their experience with you, and strengthen your bond as you go!
Essential Reading for Adventurous Cat Travelers
Depending on your individual travel goals, you might need to take a specialized approach to your training and socialization. Luckily — we’ve got a bunch of handy, in-depth guides to help you out! Here’s our selection of essential reading for cat travelers:
- Pet-Friendly Hotels — A selection of our favorite places to stay with your fur friends by your side. Look out for new locations and destination inspo coming your way!
- Plane Travel — Our full guide to traveling on a plane with your cat, documenting our trip to Nepal with Yoda!
- Car Travel — 10 easy steps to get your cat comfortable with cat travel, including how to make sure they stay happy & hydrated en route.
- Van Life With Cats — How to take your life (and your fur-buddy) onto 4 wheels and travel in a van with your cat. Drawn from our honest experience of traveling with our cat on wheels full-time.
- Camping — This full guide to camping with cats, we’ll run through how to prepare your kitty for their first trip. Plus we cover how to keep them super safe and happy once you make it to your picture-perfect site.
- Hiking — Hiking can become an incredible bonding experience for you both, not to mention it can provide pawfect mental and physical stimulation for your kitty – which we have seen first hand with Yoda.
- Biking — Biking is the easiest, greenest, and cheapest way to travel. So being able to take your kitty with you could be a major boost to both your traveling budget and your cat’s enjoyment.
- Sedation — Our take on whether you should sedate your cat for travel, and some natural alternatives to sedation to try.
- Pet Passports — We have traveled with Yoda to 7 different countries on 3 different continents, and we only needed a pet passport once. However, it’s still useful to understand their benefits and why having one ready is never a bad idea.
The Top Adventure Cat Gear You Need
When you are out on the road, the trial, or visiting a new place, the right equipment can really help you have a seamless, stress-free experience.
Whether you need space-saving hacks, durable outdoor materials, or the ultimate travel accessories — we’ve collated a bunch of guides and top picks for adventure gear we love.
- We always like to have a lightweight long leash for those longer hikes and camping, so that Yoda can enjoy a little extra freedom to sniff and explore.
- For city breaks or situations where you need a little more control, pidan has a range of really nice harness and leashes, with handy loops for your wrist.
- The Best Adventure Cat Harnesses
- Not just useful for vet visits, having a reliable and comfortable carrier can make all the difference on your travels too. Check out our guide to the best cat carriers for every kind of adventure cat.
- We love taking Yoda out in one of these. Safe to say we’ve tested a few in our time, so be sure to check out our 10 Best Cat Backpacks for Adventurous Felines.
- A set of collapsible bowls comes in so handy on the road. We love these No Plastic Collapsible Pet Feeding Bowls, as they have a useful clip for attaching to your backpack.
- If you have an injured, senior, or XL kitty a stroller is a great way to still enjoy outdoor adventures together. Check out our Strollers Buyer’s Guide for the best options.
- Flea & Tick Medication
- It’s important to keep our feline friends safe on their travels. By wearing a flea collar, your cat will be protected for up to 7-9 months so you don’t have to worry about forgetting, and we love the Bayer Seresto collar the best.
The Important Must-Do’s of Traveling with Cats
While traveling with your cat is super exciting, it also requires some extra organizational skills. You never know when you might need to make an emergency vet visit or need that piece of paper you can’t find…!
So here are some essential to-do’s before you start traveling with your pet:
- Make sure to update vaccinations — Traveling means you could be exposing your kitty to new diseases, so be sure to talk in-depth with your vet about your travel plans so they can help you stay prepared.
- Sign up for a virtual vet service — This can be handy in a pinch and could save you larger vet bills for false alarms in the future. It can also help you to quickly know if you need immediate care or if something is a false alarm, which is really handy on the road.
- Set up a robust insurance policy — Some providers now even include a virtual vet service, which is a win-win. We’re going to be diving deeper into insurance providers that we recommend for adventure cats soon, so watch this space.
- Save all your documentation online — Set up a Google Drive or vault on your phone with scans of all your cat’s important documents. This way you always have them ready, wherever you end up.
- Carry first aid supplies — Because you never know where you might be when you might need it! We love this Portable Pet First Aid Kit.
How to Get an Adventure Cat — The Wrap Up
We hope this guide is the perfect starting point for you to begin your advent-purr lifestyle.
Let us know in the comments below where you are planning to go, and who you are preparing your fur-buddy to come with you! We’d love to know 🙂