Many people don’t realize that many cats are just as fond of adventures as dogs are. If you’ve got an adventurous breed and you socialize them properly, there’s no reason that your cat won’t be the perfect travel companion for you. You can even take them to pet-friendly beaches during the summer, provided that you take steps to keep them safe from dogs and the weather.
While some cats love visiting the beach, others hate the long stretch of sand and the noise of the ocean with a fierce passion. There can be multiple reasons for this, and we’ve listed them here.
Whatever your cat’s preferences are regarding beach visits, though, remember to never force them to do something that they don’t want to do. If they don’t like the beach for whatever reason, try to find another adventure to take them on instead.
The Main Reason Why Cats Like the Beach
Cats love the soft, powdery texture of sand. It’s the perfect place for them to walk or roll on and can even be fascinating for kittens to play in. More than anything else, though, cats love loose sand for burying their feces or urine. It’s why many kitty litters are made from loose clay or even sand-like textures. Cats are just naturally drawn to such materials to do their business in — there’s a reason that they’re always drawn to the sandbox in your yard.
The sand is what makes beaches so appealing to many cats. It’s soft underfoot and quickly warms up under the heat of the sun. At the right time of day, it’s warm and cozy. It also gives your cat plenty of space to find the perfect place to go to the potty.
The 3 Reasons Why Cats Do Not Like the Beach
You might not meet many cats on pet-friendly beaches, but you’re bound to come across a few dogs. Most of them won’t be leashed, and they’ll likely be curious about the cat trotting around your ankles. If your cat is used to dogs, this might not be a problem, but you have to keep in mind that not all strange dogs will be friendly toward cats.
To keep your cat as safe as possible, try to avoid areas where dogs are running around off-leash. Some dogs might not be trained or socialized as well as your cat’s canine friends at home and can pose a dangerous risk to your timid feline. The more dogs that are around, the more likely your cat will dislike the beach adventure.
2. Too Hot
Beaches are the perfect place to bask in the sun’s rays and enjoy the weather, but they can get incredibly hot during long summer days. The sand can quickly become too hot to be comfortable for bare feet. While we can wear sandals, our cat is unlikely to want to wear any sort of shoe at all. This means they’ll be walking on burning hot sand with bare paws.
Cats might like the texture of sand, but if it’s too hot to walk on, they’ll much prefer somewhere cooler. Too hot sand might even burn your cat’s paws. For your cat’s comfort, always make sure the sand isn’t too hot when you visit. If it is, keep them in their carrier or choose times of the day that are cooler.
As cool and refreshing as it might be, the sea is also naturally noisy. The sound of the waves crashing against the beach and the rocky cliff face might be soothing to us, but cats are unlikely to understand what the loud noise is.
It’s important to consider whether your cat is used to the sound of the ocean or not. If they’ve lived on the coast all their life, the sound of the sea likely won’t scare them. However, there’s still the possibility that your cat won’t want to get closer. Conversely, your cat will naturally be warier about the noise if they’ve never heard the sea before.
There’s also your cat’s dislike of water to keep in mind. While some cats do like water, most don’t. The sea is basically a massive body of the cold, wet stuff that they hate the most.
How to Take Your Cat to the Beach
Not all cats will like the beach, but the ones that do will enjoy the time spent on the sand. There are a few simple things to remember when you take your cat to the beach, so you can make the trip as fun as possible. These tips will help you keep your cat safe and respect other beachgoers.
Early or Late in the Day
For both humans and cats, safety in the heat is an important factor to consider when you plan your beach trip. Cats might like the heat, but they won’t appreciate walking on sand that’s too hot. They’re also just as likely to suffer from sunburn or heat stroke if you don’t take steps to protect them.
Choose a cool time of the day, like early morning or the evening, for your beach adventure. The weather won’t be as punishing and you can still enjoy the sunshine.
No matter how many precautions you take to keep your cat safe, accidents can still happen. If your cat gets badly spooked, they might slip out of their harness, or you might drop the leash when you try to calm them. You must have a backup plan just in case your cat does escape.
Ensuring that your cat is microchipped is a more reliable way of finding them again than collars and name tags. While a cat might lose their collar while they’re hiding somewhere, a microchip will be with them wherever they go. If your cat does run off, a shelter or veterinarian will be able to scan the microchip and will know that your cat has a home and worried pet parents.
Pet Waste Bags
Sand is the perfect potty for your cat. They’re naturally inclined to find soft earth, dirt, or sand to do their business in and then cover it up afterward. There’s no way of telling them that the beach isn’t their toilet, so you’ll need to pack pet waste bags — or doggy poop bags — for the inevitable kitty litter cleanup.
Most beaches don’t allow pets. Dogs or cats, whether they’re leashed or not, might not be welcome at your local beach, and it’s important to respect the rules of the area you’re visiting. It might be difficult to ensure that a beach is welcoming to both dogs and cats, but by doing your research, you and your cat will feel more welcomed at the beach that you do visit.
Before you get to the beach and after you leave, you’ll need a way to keep your cat safe while traveling. If you live close enough to the beach that you don’t mind walking, a harness might be more than enough for you and your cat. However, if your cat is skittish around cars, a cat carrier or cat rucksack will make sure they stay safe until you arrive at the beach.
Unlike dogs, cats tend to be choosier about when or even if they listen to you. While you can train a cat to respond to their name, whether they come to you when they’re called depends on them and their mood. Unfortunately, this means letting them wander freely when you’re out adventuring is a bad idea.
Your cat doesn’t need to be confined to a cat rucksack or carrier, though. If you leash-train them, you can walk them along the beach and let them explore while keeping them safe.
Not all cats like the beach due to the heat of the sand, the noise of the sea, and the dogs visiting at the same time. Many cats do enjoy the adventure and the softness of the loose sand beneath their paws, even if they just consider it to be a giant litter tray.
If you know that your cat enjoys adventures, it’s worth visiting the beach at least once to see whether they like it.
Featured Image Credit: birgl, Pixabay